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January 2017
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March 2017

February 2017


I came across an exhibit at GOMA that I found a bit weird.  They were garments made from skins.

Animal fur wasn't unusual.  We have seen that before although the cloak design should have been a warning.

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How about frogs?

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One way to keep the cane toads under control.

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Then there were lizards.

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Shoes or a handbag but clothing?  I think not.

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Finally, fish.

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There was no smell, it just envoked a weird feeling in the stomach.

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New Book

I borrowed this book from my Council Library  and I thought that it would be such a good resource.  I thought of copying some of the patterns but decided that there were just too many good patterns to copy.  So I bought the book.

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It comes in both paper and Kindle editions and in the paper edition there is a disc enclosed with all the patterns on it.  Now it is not an earth shattering book but does have great illustrations that I could use with the children's classes.  Some really interesting alphabets and small every day objects.

Scan 1


Scan 2

  I bought my copy through The Book Depository.  It was here within the week and no freight.

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It is by Sarah Watson who is an illustrator and sewer. She does have another  self-published book which is an introduction to Sewing.  I wouldn't recommend this.  The use of English had my red pen twitching.



The end of Summer

I know that the cool weather is coming but gee I wish it would put on some speed.  Summer this year has been very hot and tiresome.  Up until this year I have been able to handle high temperatures.  I couldn't sew in them but I could work in the garden and handle a list of other activities.  This year I think I would have expired without the air-conditioning.  I have an auto- immune problem that has been with me all my life but as I get older it is getting more difficult to live with.  My body just can't regulate my temperature very well and I have had a couple of bouts of severe dehydration as a result.  It is getting so uncomfortable I think I might have to visit the Doctor.  I hate the Doctor, he always finds something else wrong.

But, on another note, I seem to be getting the hang of growing flowers in pots.

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And I am experimenting with plants along the side of the house.  The best one is the Rosemary, (my middle name).  I am so pleased that this is thriving in the poor soil and the SE winds that come off the water.  My middle name came from my father's great aunt, who he and my grandmother loved.  My grandmother always used to point out the plant in the garden and tell me it was for remembrance.  She said to me after my Mother died;

"when you crush it between your fingers, the memory of loved ones is carried on the fragrance.  They can always be  with you if you have some Rosemary in the garden."

The best ones were those I bought in the supermarket at $3 each the more expensive ones from the hardware shop at $8 each have all died bar one.

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I have a bundle of old pots that I brought from our old garden and it is time to start replanting.  I know I will lose some but as long as I don't lose more than I plant it will be fine.

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I have been stitching, but not a lot to show for it.  I have been playing around with fly stitch.  I flattened it out and then made that centre holding stitch small and sent it on a walk. (On right)

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I also had a play with different types of chain stitches. (on left.)

The other thing was that I started another pin cushion and have miscounted the stitches. I am not undoing it so I am going to have to improvise.

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I bought four patterns from Modern Folk Embroidery so they will keep me busy in my spare time.  (Ha, Ha.)

I could have designed them myself but these are so charming.

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I think I will go back and purchase these ones as well.

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I have a lot of past work mates to make Xmas presents for!   (Non of these are for me.)




Small projects

I cut out 5 projects that I am sewing for Easter Presents for my quilting buddies but they have been languishing on the design board.

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They are small bags but I needed something to close the flap.  I thought about velcro but as these are to go in your handbag I thought that was a bit bulky.  I also considered a snap fastener, but that is a bit old fashioned and you have to line up the snap.  Then I happened on rare earth magnets. 

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These magnets are small but super strong. With metal touching metal they are almost impossible to pull apart.  I have found that If I cover each surface with fabric they make a really good closer on small bags.  They are also not very expensive, about 45cents for a pair.  Now that my delivery of magnets has arrived I can get the production line started again.  (I will show you the finished product after I have given the presents which should be the end of March.)


I had a beginners class on Saturday.  It was full of students who were quite accomplished embroiderers.  They though that because they were 'self taught' they were beginners. 

I often wonder why I put so much work into preparation of my lessons.  I revisited the small booklet that I give to students in this class, along with some of the samples I include.  Part of the revisiting included updating the web links that I include.  I check that the web addresses are active and in doing this I realised that there has been a shift,  from 'printed resources' to 'video resources'. ( I only give 4 links,  you could give a whole list but if you keep it simple I find people will visit the sites.)  It is interesting how we are slowly moving away from the printed word. 

The four sites I use are;  this has lots to look at in the Tips & Techniques section including some good 'how to' videos' at the bottom of the page.

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Pintangle's Stitch Dictionary. It you ever want to look up a stitch this is the place to go.  There are 100's of stitches and images of different variations.

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The Embroiderers' Guild of the U.K.  There are some nice videos with Nicola Jarvis demonstrating different techniques.  This site also has lots of interesting links.  One could waste a lot of time just exploring here.

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And finally, DMC U.K.  or DMC USA

Both sites are similar with the USA site having more video tutorials.

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With the samples I include in my kit I usually put a free pattern from Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly but her webpage and Facebook pages have been removed.  Bronwyn is fighting caner at the moment and her family want her to concentrate on that.  I really miss her breezy blog and all the lovely patterns she includes.

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So why do I put so much effort into preparing a class that is free for new members?  Well I love embroidery and I like to share that love with others.


Image and Data Resources from the Met

I came across and interesting article on the Metropolitan Museum's Web page that states the will have an "Open Access Policy" to images they believe are in the public domain.  So I put in 'Medieval Textiles' and an 'good' image of Courtiers in a Rose Garden: A Lady and Two Gentlemen came up with the Public Domain symbol displayed.

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Then I put in 'Medieval Embroideries' and got very excited.  (This is a section of a larger work.)

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I am going to be able to look at and uses as inspiration such a range of work.


More Loot

On the road again and this time the destination was Toowoomba.  Always a good hunting ground. There are lots of interesting shops, artists, gardens and Op shops.

The Op shops were first on the list after I had attended to business.  I was looking for a small bar tin for baking.  My husband thought the other was old so he threw it out.  It was one like my Mother had and not easily replaced.  I found a tin but not the one I wanted but I also found lots of things I hadn't even thought about. Like these lovely little Japanese dolls.  All $2 each.

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And another bunch of things that I can't show because they are going into the Christmas draw.  But let me say that I spent another $20 on 5 presents!

Then I saw there was a sale on at Hana's, which is a family department store.  I only bought 2 shirts but I have noted lots of things for my next visit.  Out to the patchwork shops where there were sales but everything I liked was full price.  Some nice Moda fabric.

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Just some top ups on Shadowplay.

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Some nice 'boy' fabric, small scissors and thread.

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Then onto the craft show.  It was very hot by this time and I think I parked my car illegally under some trees at the University but I wasn't booked thank goodness.  Here I caught up with lots of people I knew and found some bits and pieces I have been looking for.  New blade for the rotary cutter and needles which I keep dropping and can never find again.  (I'm sure there is an imp that collects them.)

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Some Japanese thread I want to trial.

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A stand for my rulers.

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I think I could do with a second one of these as I have lots of templates still in packets!

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That was all stuff I needed.  The rest is, well I wanted it.  A lovely hand turned bowl in Campher Laurel.  The smell is divine.

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Finally I am starting to find some Australian wool producers.  With all the wool the country produces it is a crime that we have to buy from over seas.  I only bought the one hank of wool to trial.  We will see how it goes.

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Good thing I remembered to put the trolley in the car boot because I would never have got it home otherwise!

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I think I had better stay home for a while to let my wallet recover.



I thought I was finished with this book cover but I decided to change the stitching and use it for my "Exploring More Stitches" class.  I was only going to do small inserts of detail and perhaps those in the class who don't want to spend a lot of time on the piece could still do this.  But I have decided that this sample should have a fully stitched band across the design.

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I have tried to use a range of stitches  and then use those stitches in different ways.  From left to right the tree truncks use Herringbone stitch, the next two are an alternate back stitch, Pekinese stitch, Stem stitch and finally Cretian Stitch.  I still need to put in the details of vines, flowers and birds.