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November 2017

October 2017


Oh boy.  I have been running around.  Got on the flight from Brisbane, changed flights at Auckland, flew to SAN Francisco and got stuck in immigration and missed my connecting flight.     Only thing to do was get another flight via Seattle and ended arriving 2 nights and 3 days later in Houston.  Then the hotel gave me someone else’s room and I had to start again.

When I went to bed that night at 7pm I slept though to 8:30am and was 5 mins late for class.  But it was a great class on creative embroidery with Judith Baker Monsanto.   Then we went to the Iron Quilters Challenge to support Pammy and she won.  I don’t have a clue how to put up images as yet.  Hopefully I will work that out soon.

Today is the day- I hope

Yes I'm off on another adventure.  The bag is packed and I hope to be away for the next 4 weeks, that is what I have booked for but who knows what will eventuate.  I have a friend who went to India and came back the next day!  Something was wrong with her visa.  My visa waver from the USA is still pending.  They said to expect it within the next 72 hours but I will be on tender hooks until it comes through.  I may have to spend a little more time in NZ than I planned. I intend to just take it as it comes but I must admit to panicing.


I am not sure how I will go with this blog.  It may go into hybernation during this time or I may not get away at all and it will just continue.  Internet charges at hotels could feed a family for a year and from what I have read there isn't much internet reception in South America, or not where I am going.  When I get back I hope to have enough material to keep posting for the rest of the year.

See you, maybe sooner than I planned.

Postscript:  My Authorization has been approved just hours before I leave



I am going to have to treat this as a trial, it needs to be restitched.  For the first time I have had a problem with the transfer pens.  It must be this fabric , which they have discoloured.  Plus in my haste I didn't transfer the pattern quite straight.  The edges were straight but the print was off a bit.  I knew this could happen, people have been telling me about it for ages and now I know from personal experience.

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So I have re-transferred it to another piece of fabric, this time making sure it was square on the print of the fabric and used a .1 brown pen.  (This fabric is printed like newsprint with lots of place names in Australia and is by a young local designer.)  I have no hope of finishing this before I leave so will take it with me to stitch in my down time.

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New Book

I really don't have time to be readying books but this one has got me in.  "The Atlantis Gene"  is the first book in a Science Fiction Trilogy.

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It is not the best written book I have ever read but there is just enough truth in the basic facts to make the story believeable, well almost.  It is still fantasy but it gets you in and you have to know what happens next.  Like many modern books it reads a bit like a movie and surprise, suprise, they are making one.  It is an enjoyable read it you want some thing easy to read.


5 days to go

It has been some time since I was on a countdown for overseas travel.  I think the last one was a trip to NZ and that didn't go well back in 2011.  (Tasmania doesn't count.)  I had a fall and broke some ribs and ruptured a hernia!!  It has taken 6 years to be off again after lots of medical problems and this time I am going to be very careful with myself.  I have a whole lot of travelling I want to do after this trip.

I have got to the point where I have given up worrying about all the things that aren't right.  Like the fact that  my Houston paper work hasn't arrived as yet. ( I sent them an Email and they said they would print it out again when I got there. )  Or that they sent all my paper work to Boston for my trip to South America.   Just "go with the flow" and take it as it comes.  Who knows, it might mean I do something even better?

I said to myself "think peaceful thoughts", which sent me running to the computer to do some drawings for October's 'Peace Embroidery".  The connection?  Well, when I was in Toowoomba I also visited the 'Japanese Gardens'.  At the entrance they had a board that gave a layout of the garden and some history regarding it's design.


The park is called Ju Raku En,  "Enjoying Peace and Longevity in a Public Place".  I thought about just embroidering "Enjoying Peace"  but decided to use the Japanese words because they said so much about this place and how peace can be enjoyed.

On the day I was there it was very hot, around 38 degrees C and it was busy with lots of people looking at the gardens.  There has been little rain over the last few months and everything was dry.  The ground was rather dusty and the water in the lake brown but it was still beautiful.  There was a 'peace pole' just inside the entrance but as the saying was similar to one of the past embroideries I am still thinking how I could use this one.


As at all the parks, people had brought picnics to sit and enjoy the day.

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I walked the circuit to look for inspiration and to just enjoy the park.  I love the use of the colour red, at the gates and on the bridge.



You can view the bridges from a number of vantage points and everyone gives a lovely picture.


There were blossom trees in bloom,



and that same red was mirrored in the flowers and foliage.



The water in the lake was rather murky,


but the ducks and ibis didn't seem to mind.



You could just see the tortoises


And lot's of children were feeding the cat fish who had made the water even worse as they fought with the ducks for the spoils.


But the little streams that feed the lake were clearer


and this is where the birds were drinking.


It really is a peaceful park and I liked the secluded parts away from the central lake.

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I have put all this aside in the last few weeks and have decided that I like the name of the park and would embroider something simple to enhance it that reflected the simplicity of the garden design.  So this is what I have decided to embroider.

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Hope I get it finished before I go.








Some odds and ends from the past few weeks.

I didn't post most of the images from my trip to Toowoomba for the flower festival and some of them were interesting.  Like the number of the platform at the Railway Museum.  Even Muggles could see this one.  (This was from my second visit, my husband was miffed that I hadn't taken him so I had to do the trip again.)

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There was also our breakfast stop at the Picnic Point Lookout and the surrounding gardens.


It was a very hazy day.


And all the tables in the park were taken with people who had brought their own breakfast.

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I realised that I had never seen 'Xanthorrhoea plants" in flower before.  There are just there in the bush.

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But on this day they were in full bloom and the parrots were feasting.  I am told they are rich in nectar.

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There were lots of tulips at this years display.

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I always look out for that one flower that comes up as a mixture of the two colours.  And there it was.

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They also had a display of vintage cars and the wonderful old bus was back working again.

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After our breakfast we headed up to Laurel Bank Park to have morning tea at the Croquet Club.  Being that time of year there were warning signs all over the place.

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But the morning tea was wonderful and there were very few spare tables.  They had even put out plastic sets of chairs and tables for the extra customers.

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All the old wooden sets were quickly filled.  (It rather looks like a scene from an Agatha Christie Movie!)

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There was a new recipe for the scone but they were still good and there were proper china cups and plates.  The only plastic was for the jam and cream.

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And every table had that vase of flowers.

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The park was full of children, on school holidays, and visitors and music and flowers.  The bees were very happy.

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Again, there were lots of tulips.

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And native flowers as well.

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Every older woman had an ipad and a pleased smile on their face.

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But the prize for best dressed had to go to this dog.

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What a lovely way to welcome spring.






My stress levels are through the roof.  The only way to deal with this is put on my headphones, get some cross stitch project and stitch.  So I have been doing more of that than working on class samples.  These will be pin cushions for the Guild Xmas sale table.  I am stitching them in wool thread from "Modern Folk Embroidery".  Just heaven to stitch with and his charts are so easy to read.

But just now the stress levels have dropped a bit.  I just got an Email to say although some of my paperwork has not arrived they will print it out when I arrive in the USA.  Now I just have to return the beds I bought that came in King size not Queen and are now reduced by $150 each.  I think I will put the headphones on again and stitch.

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I must say I have been having fun with some of these drawings.  Not sure how they will translate into stitches though.

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Quilt Show - 2

This is another quilt I liked from the show.  It is reminiscent of Sue Sprago and was developed out of a workshop with Wendy Williams by the maker.  I think this was the original quilt.

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And this is the one in the show.

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There is so much detail here when you look into it and lots of embroidery.  Some of the stitches used are quite novel and I have made a note for future use. For example, this tree.

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And this one also.

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This combination of felt and embroidery.

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The flowers.

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and this great basket of flowers.

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Lots of ideas here.



Time to panic

I had a lovely few days away.  The weather was cool and the company good. The mornings were foggy,

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and the clouds as they rose over the escarpment, memorable.

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In the evenings the skys were the most amazing colours as the sun set over the western downs.

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 I was introduced to another woman who is travelling to Houston for the festival and she said,

"Oh yes, I leave in under two weeks".

  I thought,

"She must be going early." 

Now I have looked at the calendar, it is less than 2 weeks before I leave.   It is all shaping up to be a disaster.  My paper work and tickets have been sent to Boston for Guatamala, (I live in Australia.)   No paper work has arrived for my classes at the festival.  I have an email confirmation which says I have to have the paper work for the classes, the email is not good enough.  But they have deducted the payment for the classes from my account so I am hopeful that this might still work out.  I think I need to make some international phone calls and I am not good on the telephone because I have a hearing problem.  I must transfer money into another account just in case the other credit cards don't work.  (My husband has given me another 3 credit cards on top of the 3 I already have.) Stress, Stress, Stress.

 I need to get the samples finished for next years classes and they are not going well.  The drawing are great, the stitching isn't bad but I have chosen the wrong colours for one piece and will have to start again.  That is the one that needs to be finished in the next couple of weeks.

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 The furniture is still being delivered for the city town house and I need to buy a dining room set and my daughter keeps suggesting very expensive ones.  The washing machine has just broken down and as I have had it for some time I think we will have to get a new one.  No one delivers to the island so that means carriers and stress.

 On the upside I do have a new suitcase and I have got all my clothes organised.  I have cleaned out my wardrobe and the back of my car is loaded with donations for the charity bin.  My new ipad is packed ready and my camera is working well.  (Got to find that passport.)

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I finish a dummy run on the crocheted bunny, very cute.

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Look at that fat tummy, and I love the tail.

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(I still need to make clothes for the girls bunnies.)  I used left over yarn from the shawl.  Lots of adjustments to make and the next ones will be white rabbits.  Of course the only crochet hook I don't have is a size 3, the one I need for this wool.

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I think it is time to make lists and start to find some control in all this mess.



I got the crocheting of this shawl finished before I left for Toowoomba.  Still needs to be blocked and it is so big.  I never normally work in 8ply it is just too bulky for me.  But as this is going to my niece, who lives where it can snow, I think it should suit her.  Although I have told her if she doesn't like it give it to "knitting for the needy".

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I changed the border pattern by adding an extra shell edge with picots at the centre of each one.  I will have to pin that out carefully when blocking.  I was going to make this again in cotton but I think I will stick to the animals until next year.  I have some yarn left over so I might see how one of the animals would go?  The yarn does have acrylic in it so it might be good for that.