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February 2018

January 2018


So, I have put in the last hand stitch on this piece. It still needs to be blocked and then made up, so another weeks work still to go before it is complete.  My challenge was using a running stitch (pattern darning) and Kogin Hishisashi patterns from the Nambu region of Japan  (even count), stitch a piece where every pattern is different.

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There are 95 different designs in this piece, (and a number of small counting errors, which you really have to look for to find. )   I started by selecting the count of the diamonds then I choose patterns that would fit into that count.  The fact that there are some small errors is a positive when it comes to teaching.  It shows that although it is technically not completely correct, and you would never enter it into a competition, you can wing it, sometimes.  

You know, it is going to drive me crazy that there are a couple of small mistakes.  I might have to stitch another one?

Some new books

I dropped into Spotlight to get some more knitting needles and came home with a whole lot of books.  All reduced to $5.00 each from a Recommended Retail of $40.00 each.  Then I got another 30% off because it was a sale. (This was in the branch next to Ikea at Springwood, I'm not sure if they are in all Spotlight stores.)

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I also picked up some great craft books for the grandchildren for $1 each.  Then I found I was late picking up my husband and took a left turn in the car and ended up in a traffic jam on the freeway.  That made me very late but I did get this great buy.

On with life

I have my hands full at the moment with some extra studies.  They were just going to be a few fill ins but instead I find myself back at the books.  I can not write a piece without first doing my research.  All that Study I did for my degrees has brain washed me and I find it almost impossible to write a personal piece.  Then I do drafts 1 to infinity.  That comes from being a class room teacher I hope the kids took all my lectures on board as I have.

What I really want to get into is my course of "Art on the Ipad" with Susie Monday.  I did an introductory course with her in the USA and it has whet my appetite for more.  I've signed up I just have to get past all the things I have to do first!

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Then I have a group of Craftsy classes I have purchased and haven't got to yet!

I need to do a course on managing my time better.

Summer Stitching

This is not a good time of year to stitch.  It is hot and sticky and the outdoors keeps calling.  But I have been experimenting with a new zippered bag.  I am calling this one "a good idea at the time!'.  It seemed a good idea to do the stitching but I had no clear plan of what I would do with it.  Some pieces are samples on which I tested ideas others are for projects that didn't work out.  Now I have come up with a bag design in which I can use them all, or some of them anyway. 

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I am working on making a pattern and tutorial that I will put up later.


A little knitting is all I have achieved this week all my efforts have gone into teaching and finishing children's work.  (And write an assignment that was overdue.)

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 6.12.53 pmIt took a number of attempts to get the knitting to this point due to the fact  that I am using a different wool to the one recommended but I think I have got the tension right now.  Also we are coming to the pointy end of the Australian Open Tennis and it is so exciting that I will probably knit even quicker.

A new book and the heat

A couple of weeks ago we had the Book launch for "Hayley and the Magical Farm". 

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The author of the book is my neighbour, Maxine, and the farm belongs to my friend Hayley who lives is a few doors away.  (That is where I go to feed the chickens.)

We have seen this book go from an idea through to this launch and I know every animal featured well.  My grand daughters also know all the characters, human and animal, and wanted to be there for this launch.   Monique, who also has aspirations as an author, has adopted Maxine as her special friend and holds long conversations about the writting of books,

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plus she likes this book because she knows all the characters and they are not just imaginary.

Lollipop the donkey.


The guinea pigs.


Marshmellow the sheep, who they have known since he was a lamb.

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Marmalade Toast, the cat that eats carrots,


and Cheesecake the dog that wears a onesie.


Most of these animals have been rescued and some like Cheesecake have a sad story.  He was abandoned by some one who dumped him on the island.  He would sit down at the barge waiting for them to come back.  He did that nearly every day for over 6 months.  He just loves Hayley and she him.

The farm is all pink and purple, Hayley's favourite colours, she has repainted all the railway carriages and it did look magical.

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Old TV cabinets have been painted pink to act as places for the chocks to sit.

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All the garden statues are pink and purple and sit in an old canoe.

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The water features have been painted.

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Even the cow got new ear rings for the day.

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It has been so hot here, 40 degrees C on the day of the launch, and although we were under the trees and there were lots cool drinks, (some pink), everyone was suffering and trying not to show it.

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They had a book reading for the children, who have all read the book 100 times or more, and our neighbour Simon,  dressed up as a wizard did the reading.  (Simon is a retired Oxford Don, so has the perfect accent and long white hair, to charm the children.)

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(There are mirrors everywhere for the animals to check themselves out!)

Hayley, her mother and sister were dressed to kill and had put in so much work making the farm look wonderful.

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There was some great food.

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And the baby chickens were a big attraction.

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After the launch everyone sought relief from the heat and left Hayley with the mess.  My dear husband stepped in and cleaned it all up for her.  He is a treasure.  That evening Monique was ill from too many sweet things and the heat.  Looking at the photos I can see she went from hot,

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to over heated even with a hat on and in the shade.  We missed that in all the excitement.

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Still it was a good day and Hayley's Magical Farm Rolls on.


I think I am back!

This last week has been so intense that when I sat down to write this post I thought it had been weeks since I had been here not days.  I have such a backlog of tasks to catch up with and a huge pile of others waiting to be attempted.  What has got me so off balance you ask?  Those Children's Classes! 

On reviewing  I feel that the embroidery designs were good but there was too much to do in the making up of the projects, especially that purse frame.  I still have a small bundle of purses to put together and post out to students.  That has only happened once before.  I think the problem was that we had such a large class and I 'assumed' that my volunteers knew more than they did.  That is one to put down to experience.  Having said that those children were delightful.  I do like teaching kids no matter how frazzled I get.

Starting with my big girls, who are now on the brink of becoming young women.  (How time flys.)  They were not very taken by pineapples.  So, out came the books and they came up with something that suited them.

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Another crop of stitchers who have great skills to now move on into the world of embroidery.  This is what teaching is all about.

The younger ones did like pineapples and they stitched their little hands off.  Some stitched so fast I had to quickly come up with a design for a back panel to keep them busy.


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The images are not as good as I would like.  I have a new camera and getting the images onto my computer is a unfamiliar process.  Plus, Apple keeps sending through more upgrades to the operating system and I have to work out how they work!  They say they are improvements but I'm not sure.

I have a break now till the next class and this time the assembly is going to be a simpler.


I am tired up with teaching this week and have little time to do anything else.  But I did see a sweater on Kate Davies site that my daughter says she would like for winter.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 3.06.43 pmI am going to use wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills and although it SEEMs to be the right meterage 3x200g balls just doesn't look enough.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 3.15.00 pm I will knit a swatch and see how it goes.


Not much to report this week except that I am teaching every day and that doesn't leave much time for anything else.

But I do try to do a few lines of the Kogin each day.  I still have quite a bit to go.

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