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June 2017

May 2017


I go in for my first eye op this Friday so I'm trying hard to get my 'Peace' embroidery finished to post on the 1st of June. 

After the bombing in Manchester last week these embroideries are taking on an even deeper meaning for me.  I still experience bouts of P.T. S. And  though they don't take the stress away and these events bring back the nightmares just looking at the embroideries is soothing.  If I am feeling this on the other side of the world my heart and prayers go out to all those who have experienced this horror in Manchester and to those who live with it daily in the middle east.

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I think that one of the embroideries is going to have to be what we say in our Christian church service.

"Peace be with you."

The other WIP is still in my head.  On a visit to Melbourne last year I visited The Dr Suess shop and seeing the actual painting inspired me to think about an embroidery based on the paintings, but what?  When reading one of the books to my grand daughters and seeing them chuckle and engage with the story,  and then stitching these peace sayings,  I think I will do an insiprational saying for each of them taken from those books.  Some saying that can be framed to hang on the wall in their bedrooms. That they see every day and could inspire them and make them laugh.  It will have to have the 'Cat in the Hat' in them,  he is just ridiculous.  As the girls tell me.



The wonders of nature

I was sweeping the balcony outside my bedroom.  Because I have a high window that gives access to the roof I get a lot of leaves and seeds being blown in.  I found one leaf that was just a bit different to the others and when I looked closely I could see that it was from a succulent.  When I looked even closer I saw that it had 3 baby plants growing at it's edges.

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Those little plants are perfectly formed, they even have roots and that leaf is only about 4" long.   What a wonder nature is?


Start of another week

Remember when the weeks used to go slowly?  It is a dim memory to me.  We moved to the island to retire and I am so busy.  I have another week of 'busy' coming up.

Last Friday and Saturday I spent with my friend Angela up at Toowoomba.  I always enjoys this time.  I am looked after like a queen.  Allan, Angela's husband is a fantastic cook and he always makes the meals interesting.  Added to this he likes baking.  So when I head off to the quilting group my lunch is packed for me and that includes home baked bread rolls.

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Angela is an expert quilter on the domestic machine, sweet sixteen and a long arm machine.  They are off soon for Europe and she has made 6 quilts to take to friends and relatives.  I like this hexagon quilt in particular.  It would be a great quilt for a boy.

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And the quilting pattern suits the quilt and I think is something that I could manage.

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And how about this for a cot quilt?

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You could use up little scraps and still put together a quilt quickly.  Clever lady my friend.

A new toy

I have a brand new toy.  A Scorpio terminator 10 kayak, it matches my birth sign.

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I have been thinking of buying one for a while now but I just couldn't decide between a sit in or sit on.  I choose a sit on because it is easier to get out of and this one is set up for fishing as well.  The sit in looks better and goes faster.

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But I am no 'spring chicken' and as I get older I still want to be active, so I am now all set up.

We loaded the new kayak into the ute, which has been misbehaving, and after a couple of detours headed home. 

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We no sooner got onto the barge and some clown put a pirate flag on it.  Are they trying to tell me something?

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Choppy and the Universe.

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This is the last sample for the Children's Classes in July.  It isn't what I first planned. That was a space dog but I was watching my son's dog as he sat in the backyard and he looked so pensive I knew I wanted to embroider him. This will be a good design for the beginners as the whole of that universe could be glued in position leaving just the dog.  Even the stars around the border could be glued in position.

Choppy is a dear little dog and a great character.  This is him when he was younger.  He is getting rather long in the tooth now.

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You have to watch him because he likes to get into the beds.  It starts with sitting on top,

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And next thing you know you find him under the blankets.

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I took the background I had drawn for the space dog, made it bigger and did a little sketch of Choppy looking up.  He was actually looking at some birds he wanted to catch.  He doesn't like them in his space.

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So this class is now already to go.


What to do when you can't see very well.

It is just over a week until I start the operations on my eyes and I can't wait for the time to pass.  My eyesight is deteriorating very quickly at this point and embroidery is becoming difficult.   I still have my last Children's Class sample and my June 'Peace' embroidery to finish and then I plan to put embroidery aside for a bit.  A bit being about 6 to 8 weeks.  That is the amount of time I am told I will need to heal.

I plan to use that time to knit.  I have one shawl on the go and it is problematic but I will eventually work it out.  So what else?  Well,  Kate Davies has a new pattern for a shawl that I think will fit the bill.

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image from Kate's Blog

It is mainly knitted in garter stitch which I can do by feel if necessary and I know the auld shell pattern pretty well also.  You can buy this pattern from her Ravelry Shop.

Then as my eyes get better I plan to knit some sheep, toy ones.  Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits has just released a couple of new patterns which are also available in her Ravelry Shop  along with her other patterns.

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Image from Little Cotton Rabbits

They are just adorable in their little dresses and sweaters.  I have knitted her animals before and I have to say I hate giving them away but the kids always get around me as they love them as well.

This is to make up for the disappointment I felt at missing out on buying the kit for the 2017 CAL from Scheepjes. There are only 2 shops in Australia that sell this wool and both were sold out.

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So my work is going to be a bit different for the next little bit.

Another project finished

My cottage patchwork group always have our Mother's Day Breakfast the Sunday after Mother's Day, that was yesterday.  After all the rain we have had recently I was a bit worried about the weather but the morning was fine with banks of incredible clouds in the east.  (There is another island underneath some of that cloud.)

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 4.07.16 pmAnd in the west.  This one looked like a giant wave about to break.

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It was an interesting drive to the venue.  Through thick fog and blinding sunshine.

The ladies had decorated the table.

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And made bags of goodies for everyone.

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They all had delicious, non fattening chocolates in them.

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The challenge this year was to make a Book-Cover in the Boro style.  I put a lot of thought into my piece and actually had some Boro fabric from Japan that I was able to use.  I left the darning stitches that someone had put into some of the pieces and embroidered over the top of them.  I also left 4cm seam allowances as I had embroidered a larger piece so that the book-cover could be unpicked and re-purposed latter on.  It was a bit scrappy and didn't look like any of the others.

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And the others were great.  Some used non traditional fabrics.

Not traditional

Others used traditional fabrics.


This is going to be a hard act to follow next year.




Not quiet sure about this, it might be good or bad.

I am a fantasy freak.  I have always loved comics, fantasy stories and movies.  I am so glad that I am around to see all the Marvel Movies.  And now the Museum of Modern Art here in Brisbane is about to launch a major exhibition titled "Marvel creating the cinematic universe".  I am so anticipating this exhibition I just hope it comes up to my expectations.  I see that most of the movies are also going to be screened at the Museum as well.

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What I am really hanging out to see are the costumes from the movies that will be on display.  It is one thing to look at an image and another to see the actual item. 

It opens on the 27th of this month, so I have set myself a little reading to help give me a better understand  of the stories.  I know that most of these comics have their origins in Norse Mythology as do most of the fantasy novels around today.  To this end I have bought a copy of Neil Gaiman's book of the same name.

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There are so many events to accompany this exhibition.  I think I will need to buy a season ticket.




Stitching is difficult at the moment.  I was quilting a quilt on my sewing machine and caught my thumb under the needle.  My first action was instinctive and I pulled my thumb away.  This broke the needle but left a jagged tear in the ball of my thumb.  It is slow to heal and still quite painfull after a week has passed.  So embroidery has to be of the type that doesn't hurt.  I am surprised just how much I use my thumb.

I found that I could crochet so made a couple of kitchen towels for a friend.  Then I found I had no buttons.  I have no idea what happened to them all in the move.  I had jars of them but they are nowhere to be found.

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I can knit, but all I seem to do is make mistakes that I have to unpull.

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And I have started on my peace embroidery for June.  I can manage cross stitch in a frame, slowly.

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 I have one more box top to finish but I am finding holding the stitching difficult.  This is my grand daughter's little dog Choppie.  He is getting very old and frail.

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And I am working on a piece of Boro stitching.  I need this finished for next Sunday.  I think I should be focusing on this piece.

I am keeping the words of the Haiku Master Issa in mind doing these things.

"Oh snail,

Climb Mount Fuji,

But slowly, slowly"

Which could be a version of the fourth step of humility,

"Endure the pain of development and do not give up."

So much for reflection, back to the stitching.