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September 2016
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November 2016

October 2016

No need for that crystal ball

No, all you have to do is look it up on You Tube.

I remember as a young student being shown all the new gadgets they expected to be introduced in the retail industry.  Things that are just common place today, like scanners, bar codes etc.  Here is a short video of some of the gadgets that will be introduced over the next 20 or 30 years.

And on a mudane note, we are on the list as one of the houses the kids trick or treating are visiting tonight.  Happy Halloween.



Study - update

Those courses that I am doing are throwing up some interesting things.

I entered into "The Power of Colour" thinking it would just be a refresher course but lots of interesting things are surfacing.

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 I don't remember the colour theory as well as I thought I did.  Time to switch my brain on again.  I even got one of the answers wrong in the test.

The science side of how we see colour is really interesting.  I'm not a great user of twitter so I missed this discussion about just what was the colour of the dress.

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In the material on the course I saw it as blue and black but the lecturer saw it as white and gold.  The science behind this is really interesting and women see colour better than men.  No surprises there.

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I have also found some great books.  I can find them for sale in the online shops but not in the Council Libraries.  Next stop is to see if they are in the University Library. Written by  Michel Pastoureau and the most notable is "Black: the History of a Colour".  This book looks at the 'Social History of colour and is great if you are interested in fashion, art, media or design.  There are a number of books in the series and if I am not able to get them at the library I am going to become very poor!

It's good when something exceeds your expectations. 





Ta Da!!

I've finished stitching the Kogin cushion cover, just have to block it and make it up now.

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I have also got back to my Portugese Cross Stitch and have started on the scissor case.  I have already stitched 2016 on the box so I have to get the rest of it finished before the end of the year.

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One day it is cold, the next hot.  It is dry and you have to keep watering the lawn or it turns yellow and dies.  But everywhere I look there are flowers, new bird chicks and butterflies.  Perfume rises from the flowers filling the air.  It must be spring.

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Exhibition at Craft Fair

There was an exhibition at the Craft Fair featuring the work of  Akiko Ike.

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(I did make a video of her talk but it was too long to upload.)

Her method of stitching "Chiku Chiko", which is taken from the sound the needle makes as it is pulled through the fabric, is very simple but falls into that catagory of stitching that makes it very relaxing to stitch. 

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But it was Akiko's personality that shone through.  She is irreverant and funny, has great style and this all shine though although she speaks no English.

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It was the details that made this talk so interesting.

The fact that she couldn't sew as a child but came to it at 60 years of age and has been stitching every day since and she is now 74 y.o.

Her hands.

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Her sewing box.

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And the fact that she kept her cottons in a colander.

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I can see why her techniques have become popular.

Here are some interesting links about her work. (lots of images)

Crazy Sashiko 1

Crazy Sashiko 2



These was also an artilce in Quiltmania Issue 100




Week 12 - Placemats for Charity (enforced rest week)

All I could do this week was look at the pieces up on the design wall.

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I have now got my machine repaired, it was a screw that had come loose and lodged somewhere where it stopped everything.  But I got it back too late to do this weeks place-mats.  So no sewing and the weather hasn't been very good but today the winds dropped out and the sun shone.

I saw an elderly couple down in the BBQ area cooking some sausages when I went out for a walk.  Then on the way back I spied them hand in hand down on the beach.

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They had left their Eski at the top of the sand and gone paddling.

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Simple pleasures are often some of the best.





I have kind of over committed myself to do on line courses.  I signed up a few months ago and now they have all come at once.  So what am I doing?

  • Duolingo - Italian  This one is going to keep going for years I fear.  I am so slow at remembering, but I can now pick out words in conversation.  I have committed to about 30 minutes each day, although I do more than that.  I see that they are also introducing bots. Only in French at the moment, hope they hurry up with the Italian one.
  • The other courses are all at Future Learn.
  • Italian No 1 & 2.  I am using these to support the Duolingo course.  They just give me that extra practice.
  • Radical Spirituality - This is about the beginnings of the Quaker movement and it is the last week, but I will continue looking at the life of Margaret Fell.  I enjoyed this course.  It was history based and having been a History teacher it appealed to me.
  • The Power of Colour - Great for understanding colour and it's uses.  I hope it leads to lots of practical applications.  As of yet there is nothing new but I'm hoping it will give me more understanding.
  • Designing the Future -  This is some professional development to improve my design process.  It is rather academic in it's approach but so different that it could be good.
  • Digital Marketing -  I have been considering developing a business around the embroidery kits I design but need to research how this can be done.  This is the start of that research.  I have a feeling that this one is going to be very good.

When I look at that list it isn't too bad.  It comes down to 5 units of a University course and I don't have to sit in on lectures.  Any library research will be because I am really interested and best of all, no exams or assignments.  But, if I'm doing this I'm not sewing.

Just sitting

I managed to get all the way through winter and now that spring is here I have caught a flu virus.  I spent weeks looking after the grandchildren and my husband with this wog.     I had a protective injection earlier in the year and thought I was very clever not to catch it, then at the Children's Classes, it got me.

Added to this, the weather changed and those beautiful summery days were replaced by strong winds.  Firstly from the North and that blew all the sand-flys and mosquitoes out of the mangroves and I think most of them bit me.  They make me quite ill. 

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Then the wind changed to the south west and this time it was cold.  Walking to and from the ferry or traveling on the barge had me out it that weather and that really got the virus going.  It also blew in drifts of jelly fish.  They washed up on the beach and were a dense carpet in the shallow water.  They were bight blue on the sand but it the water they were iridescent.  Poor things.

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A tale of 3 little fabric bowls

My friends have given me little fabric bowls as gifts over the years.  Two in particular I find just doesn't work but they were given to me by a friend that has passed on and I like to look at them and think of her.  But that still doesn't make them work! 

The problem is that I use these to put the ends of threads in and the opening is too small.

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I keep looking at them on my desk and try to think how I can fix them.  The sides have been machine stitched, so I have tried undoing this  a bit, but that opening is still too small.  So today I completely undid the sides of one, folded down the flaps further and re stitched the sides by hand.

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It works a lot better.  But is still not as good as the one that I made as gifts for my friends a few years ago.

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Luckily I put up the pattern in April 2009 as a free download,  so I was able to get it down and make another one using some scraps I had left over.  I tried to dress it up a bit by beading the edges.  I was just going to do the corners but got carried away.  Then I thought it could use some buttons, so I made some.

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The pattern for this can be found on Mary Hickmott's blog.  It is a fair way back and is titled "Yorkshire Buttons".  She has included templates is several sizes, from small, like mine, to large.  She said you shouldn't start with the small size, but I don't listen very well.  I also made mine out of 3 strands of DMC cotton, which is a bit challenging, but I'm please with the result.  I have now put those other thread bowls on tables I don't use as much. Then I looked at them again and have had a better idea, wool bowls!

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Now I originally made my thread bowls back in 2009, 7 years ago as Easter presents and filled them with chocolates.  I think I will make some more this year as Xmas presents.  I have lots of scraps and I can get some more practice on those buttons.