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May 2016

The weather

It is supposed to be winter but the days are still very warm, between 25 and 30 degrees C.  The nights have started to chill and this morning on the early barge I could have done with some gloves but it still isn't cold.  The weather man says we are in for some rain and we could really do with that.  Everything is very dry and dusty and this kind of weather encourages fires.  The reptiles should all be in hibernation but they are still out there and not in the least bit sluggish.

Come on cold weather so these fellows will go back to sleep!

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A new book

I first came across these roofs while researching some family history.  Some of my ancestors had lived in Norfolk and were baptised, married and buried in a church there.  When I visited the church I walked in and saw this incredible ceiling.  It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.

"The Angel Roofs of East Anglia,  Unseen Masterpieces of the Middle Ages" by Michael Rimmer is a most interesting book about these roofs.

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I found a reference to this book when I was reading an on line article about Bury St. Edmunds on Medieval Histories. 

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I love the cobwebs on this Arch Angel and I love this book.  I bought a Kindle version and the images are just wonderful.

Even if you are not into Medieval History the inspiration from the images will get you creating.

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I can see a series of picture quilts.  Now I need time to make them.


I need to start again

I am working like mad on designs for the next Children's Holiday Class at the Embroiderers' Guild.  I was going to re-cycle something I had done before but reconsidered  that because some students have come to every class for the last 5 years so they will have already done this. 

I had the fabric from a class on hand and quickly drew a design free hand on this fabric.  Big mistake.  It isn't balanced, it's off centre and I have used a whole hank of thread on this one already.


What a waste of time and effort!   I have to get this all finished by tomorrow.  I have finished another 2 designs that are a lot better but I liked this one.

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Home furnishing

I have been busy sewing curtains for my newly renovated home.  Well, not really sewing, altering curtains is more like it.  My eating area is in a bay window and has a lovely view out over the water that I look at whilst having breakfast.  It also catches the morning sun which can be so bright that it drives you out of this area.  

Then occasionally, the next door neighbours visit their holiday home and they have this huge TV that throws light through this window.   I played around with hanging block out curtaining but this was too heavy.  I actually settled for a light weight fabric that cut out the sun and glare.  It can still be hot but the sun moves to another position fairly quickly so this is not a problem.  As luck would have it I found some ready made curtains at Ikea. (I  have to reset the hems and sew in the pinch pleating.)  That is after I drove 1 1/2 hours to buy the curtains and rails and then drove 1 1/2 hrs back again and then struggled onto the ferry with 3 metre long curtain rails.  Luckily my husband was able to hang them for me. 

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At one point in my varied career I was employed as a Soft Furnishing Buyer for a department store.  Part of my responsibilities was managing the workshop that made the soft furnishings and this included the making of curtains.  We made curtains for theatre's though to humble bed sits and I quickly learned that you need weight in the hems to get those curtains to hang well.  A lot of ready made curtains have skimpy hems on them.  Luckily for me my curtains had to be shortened and I was able to put a double hem 5 inches wide on them.

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I also want to hang them in the guest bedroom and the second bedroom that are both in the new extension.

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  You don't really need curtains, there are thick trees just over the back fence, but I think that guests will feel happier with them there. 

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In all cases I want to have the curtains pulled back for most of the time so I have used the excess fabric from the hems to make tie backs.  I am now eagerly waiting for my new furniture to arrive.  The bedroom furniture is due this week.  I hope the delivery man has an off-sider because he needs to get one set upstairs and there is no way I can help.


I have not been pleased with my lack of progress on my stitching so have reverted to the old "20 minutes a day" tactic.  It works.  I have now finished day 4 of the ornaments.  It is nearly the end of May so I need to get cracking on Day 5.

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Another weird thing is that my eyesight is suddenly better.  Things are easier to see.  This might be the lighting in my new work room,  I had LEDs installed in a white light, but it might also be that I have moved out of the pre-diabetic range.  What every it is it is sure an improvement.

A birthday party

My grand daughter Jasmine has just turned 4 years of age.  She told me this was her party day, her birthday was the next day.  She thought she should get presents on both days.  The possibilities that a jar of snakes offers flashed across her face as she looked at them.

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She had a wonderful time with her cousins and other friends.  Everything a little girls could desire.  She is such a cheeky monkey, look at those feet.

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Thank goodness it will be another year before her next birthday arrives.  I don't think I could keep up the pace and Charlie agrees with me.

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The dangers of unpacking and cleaning

I got a bit carried away with all this cleaning and unpacking and hurt my back cleaning that horrible outdoor furniture.  It has been over a week now and it just gets worse.  I went to the physio yesterday who got me moving but the underlying problem with the disc is no better.   I think this is going to need bed rest for a few days so that the inflammation can recover.  On the up side, I can stitch, watch TV and relax.  I have meetings I should go to and Jasmines birthday party on Sunday. I think I will have to send my husband in my place.

I saw over on Rachel's blog that she is putting geese into her current piece of work.  My friend up the road has a gaggle of rescued geese on her mini farm.  They all have 'attitude' and she has given everyone a name,  I can't remember any of them, the names that is.  "What's that ones name?" I ask.  Still this one, who's name I can't remember, is always first to the gate.  He is handsome.




Mother's Day

This saw me back in the car and driving up to Green Mountain in the Lamington National Park, along with lots of others.   I have to say that I like the park far more when they are not so many people there.


  It has become very commercialised.  Where we would sit on the grass and the birds would fly in flocks to land near you now they sell bowls of seed and there are so many people and the birds so well fed they can't be bothered hasseling you for food any more.


But lunch was nice, the rainforest still amazing and having the family all together, special.


We took the tree tops walk and the girls loved it along with the hollow trees where they could play.


Coming down the mountain to go home we stopped at the alppaca farm for a coffee.  Again the view was wonderful.


And the girls loved feeding the alpaccas.



Now these animals are always hungry.


Then we drove home again with just one night before we headed off in the early morning to do our babysitting duties.


I have so many things to do my stitching has been badly neglected.  Plus the fact that I can't find anything and when I go looking I just have to organise and sort things as I go.  I may never see the fabric draws as tidy as they are at the moment.  I still have all the embroidery and dress making fabrics to go.

I'm having trouble deciding which is the tidiest draw!


I have put aside this bundle to strip.


This means there is even less stitching being done.  But I did do a little on my "Days of Christmas" cross stitch No 4".  That's all folks!


(Oh, I have to add the fish are biting at the moment so there may be even less stitching for the next few days.)

A country funeral

I didn't realise  that the builder doesn't clean the house when he is finished.  What a horrible job that is.  I don't know how long it will take to get the house as I would like it.  I think I will just have to keep on cleaning for some time yet.   I know I hate the horrible out- door setting my husband bought.  I have hurt my back just moving the chairs.  The table is so heavy I can't move it at all and he loves it and won't have anything said against it.

At the same time as moving we have had two funerals and Mother's Day.  Non of this was close to home.  I seem to have been driving my car forever. One funeral was my husbands cousin to whom I was close.  It was a beautiful Mass with lots of tears but also a close loving family to support each other. The other funerals was held out at Harris Town which is a tiny village west of Ipswich.    We thought that we would get breakfast out there but had to settle for some flavoured milk.   This town hasn't changed very much since it was first settled but it does support a thriving farming community.





They did have an interesting aquaponic garden next to the cafe, (which was closed because they had a job outside of the town.) 


Very healthy fish


and the vegetables and flowers were thriving.


I would have liked some of these Rosellas to make jam with.


They had a series of paintings on a bill board about their founding fathers.  One of these featured the Chevals, who were pioneer film makers. 



One of their movies was "Sons of Mathew."  This was about the O'Rielly family who settled on Green Mountain in the Lamington National Park. I saw this movie when I was a child and it was to O'Rielly's Mountain Resort we were headed for Mother's Day.


It was strange going to the funeral of someone who was very familiar but not knowing anyone else in the church.  Estelle's life on the island was very removed from the other life she had lived in this small town but it was here that her heart was. The church was full of people from the town who knew and loved her.

 We then drove into Ipswich where I found my favourite fabric shop there was closing down.  I bought lots of No 8 Perle threads that had been reduced, plus a stock of elastic and cords.  I then found a new knitting shop and got extra needles and some felt.  I'm not sure where the felt came from but it was labelled "Fair Trade".  It came in large sheets about A3 size at $10 each.  We then had Saturday to recover and be up with the larks to get to O'Reilly's for Mother's Day lunch.  Lots more driving.