Previous month:
June 2017
Next month:
August 2017

July 2017

The after effects of the eye operation

I was warned, but I didn't believe them.  I can see dust and dead ants and spiders webs and other things I have been missing. (Like just how many wrinkles I have on my face.)  I never knew that I had blue rings around my brown iris',  I thought my eyes were  just plain brown.

I finished a friendship block for one of my quilting friends.  Before the operation it looked good.  After the operation it looked terrible.  I have now re-stitched it and I can see an improvement.  The brief was to use blue fabrics on the base cloth provided and she wanted a basket of flowers.  I like the idea of a handbag.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 7.23.58 am

But I just had to add a little colour.  I used a deep red for the stitching around the handbag and added French knots to the centre of each of the flowers on the bag.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 7.24.14 am

I was tempted to use a bright yellow in the centre of the flowers but restrained myself and used a bright blue for the seed stitching.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 7.23.44 am

It is always a good feeling when you can tick something off the 'to do' list.


I have been caught up with business matters since last week and sewing is taking a back seat for a while.  Having said that the sewing was driving me up the wall!!  I just couldn't work out the stitching sequence for the border I was stitching in 'Outrum' design which is a design in Wessex Stitchery.  I have it worked out now, after a lot of restarting and just need to keep repeating the pattern.  It is nearly the end of the month so I need to get a wriggle on.  I find this kind of stitching just like most computer games.  It is all in working out the sequence.

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 2.59.03 pm

I am using a 32 count linen and I strand of a DMC multi shade thread.  (I still don't have proper glasses only the magnifiers.)

There hasn't been a lot of progress on the quilt either.  I just couldn't get the hang of the rulers so have put them aside.  The quilt has 3 borders which increase in size.  I have free machine quilted the 2 inner ones with a random star pattern and then measured out the outer border to be stitched in a large diamond pattern using my walking foot.  I'm still thinking what I will do with the rest of it.

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 2.59.19 pm

My bobbin has just run out so it is time for a tea break.




A small exhibition

While up having coffee with a friend at Cleveland I took time to drop into the Redland's Council Gallery.   It had an exhibition that I had already seen but in a side room was a small display by an indigenous artist, Claudia Moodoonuthi.  

Her work was all based around her two dogs that she had got from the RSPCA  as rescue dogs, Ruby and Hunter and her culture.  The dogs looked a bit wild to me but she obviously loves them.  She has a very interesting web page that gives a lot more information about her.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.55.18 am

Camp dogs are often a subject for art but this is the first time I have seen them shown like this.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.55.46 am

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.55.34 am

The paintings have that simple presentation and she has added wooden cut outs of the dogs in each one.   You could really feel the personality of each dog.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.56.24 am

She is a very young artist, not long out of school, and it will be interesting to see how she develops.


The year has turned

The year has turned.  My early morning trips on the barge see both the sun

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.13.07 pm

and the moon in the sky. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.13.18 pm

When I head off for the early ferry I no longer need to take a flashlight with me to light my way.  We haven't had any really cold weather this year, although August winds are still to come.  I am not looking forward to summer, I much prefer the cool weather.

As a treat I took my grand daughters to the dollar shop to buy some 'dress-ups'.  Monique decided to be a pink super girl.  Those mesh gloves have "zapping" powers.  Choppy thought that might bring him some food. Wishfull thinking dog.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.12.44 pm

Jasmine got a police hat and pink fluffy hand cuffs.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.12.32 pm

When her father got home she slapped them on him saying, " now that  solves the tickling problem!"  He soon escaped and the tickling became worse.



The Xmas decorations are finished and off to the Guild to form part of their Xmas raffle.  That beading around the edge was fiddly but it finishes them off. ( I will attach them to the board with pins that are invisible not these.)  I used a left over piece of velvet made into a sleeve to go over a piece of cardboard to display them.  I stitched these using a perle 8 thread onto 32 count linen.  The cardboard that I mounted them on was cut to a 3" circle.   There are lots of other patterns you could use to make decorations, it is the assembly that takes a bit of effort.  I will put up a tutorial for that in the next couple of days.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 12.36.40 pm

I have also finished the peace embroidery for July.  It is not what I would have thought I would have designed but I have to say that I am pleased with the result.  It isn't exactly the same as my drawing and I added a smattering of French knots.  The lettering looks a lot better in back stitch.  I thought it might have been the colour of the thread I was using that didn't look right but it was the stitch.

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 5.43.35 pm

So I am now onto Augusts offering and this has not started well.  I choose a piece of pink even weave linen I had in the draw but find I can not see it any time I try to stitch.  It just all goes invisible and merges.  I mentioned this to my eye specialist who immediately said I think you have Erlin Syndrome. Now I find that my grand daughter has the same problem.  It isn't an eye problem rather a problem with how the brain processes the information.  So although I love pink my eyes can't see it properly.  I have now opted for a white piece of linen and have it tacked out.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 9.04.48 am





Indian exhibition 3

These were yet again labelled "Dowry Bags."  This was yet again another type of design.  Moving from a heavily embroidered base up to an open Kantha type stitched top.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.29.56 am

The way that the cords had been wrapped was interesting.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.29.23 am

Buttons for decoration and the cord on this one is interesting.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.29.07 am

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.28.40 am

Besides the stitching, which is stunning, and the use of mirrors and the colours I was taken by the types of tassels used to decorate the edges. Mostly just strips of fabric tied together and maybe some shells added.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.29.47 am

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.28.55 am

And how the edging was put together.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.28.24 am

So much inspiration in such a small exhibition.






More of the Indian exhibition 2

In the exhibition were a whole collection of what were called "Dowry Bags", which made up the bulk of the display.  I take these to be the equivalent of our old "Glory Box"  which held stitching and items to start their newly married life.  A lot of work went into these bags and there were a variety of embroidery designs.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.24.50 am

These three were the same but different.  Same central medallion surrounded with lines of stitching.  I tried for close ups of the stitching but the camera on my phone just wasn't up to it.  These are as close as I could get and keep the resolution seeable.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.25.04 am

The mirror work is featured on each bag and each shape is treated slightly differently.  I was taken by how those mirrors on the corners of the bag were used as a feature.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.25.20 am

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.25.35 am

These are some of my attempts to get in close.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.00.20 pm

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.26.14 am

Lots of button hole stitch and variations.  On a similar note you can see how to do some of this stitching on this blog.  Chitra has a number of tutorials on Kutchwork.






Past Exhibition

Back a few weeks ago, (a month ago), in fact back when I went to the Marvel Exhibition, which I want to go to again,  I saw a small display of Indian Embroidery in the main gallery.  (That was a mouthfull. )  It was only because I ran into some friends from the Embroiderers' Guild that I was alerted to the fact that it was the last day it would be on display.

The exhibition was called "weavers, Wanderers".  (Click on the images for a larger version.)

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 8.52.04 pm

What I found remarkable about this exhibition was the level of skill on display.  I have seen quite a lot of Indian embroidery but these pieces, besides being beautiful in design were also beautifully stitched.  There were 2 quilts on display.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 8.58.22 pm

Any one of these squares would make a great embroidery.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.01.38 pm

The second is appliqued and embroidered.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 8.59.56 pm

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.01.26 pm

There was also a black and white photo of a house which had been decorated with hand painted images.  Lots of design ideas in these three pieces.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.00.58 pm

I was also struck by the similarity between the women painted on the left of the photo and folk embroideries I have seen from Sweden.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.15.39 pm Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.16.50 pm

I will write a post about some of the other pieces at a later date.

The Weather Report

In the last week the weather has been very temperamental. That is not all bad, variety is said to be the spice of life and we have had a variety of weathers.  Mostly it is fine and dry with a cool nip in the air.  Cool enough to have to wear a light woollen top and pile on the blankets at night.  This has got the flowers all out of sinc.  The wattle thinks it is spring.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.11.32 pm

And for the first time in my life living in the sub tropics (or tropics or north of that) I have managed to grow and get fushias to flower.  I have managed to get leaves before this.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.12.56 pm

We had an unsheduled weather even during the this time.  That means the forecasters didn't see it coming so no one was prepared.

The day before everything was as usual but it was very still and there were some unusual clouds in the sky.  Peel Island could just be seen on the horizon.  Actually it was very pretty, hence the picture.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.10.56 pm

That night it rained and the next morning we woke to fog.    So heavy and so widespread that all the airports were closed causing all kinds of problems for travellers.   It was that wet drippy kind of cold.  You needed a coat, hat and gloves.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.11.57 pm

This is very unusual weather for here.  On my walk that day I passed residents sitting out on the verandahs all rugged up in blankets looking at it.  Everyone I spoke to had a theory about it and all were enjoying the novelty.  We were lost in the fog.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.11.20 pm

It was thicker in some spots.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.11.44 pm

Next morning it was gone.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.12.05 pm

Back to business as usual.