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March 2018


That was months away and now it is tomorrow!!

I have a ton of sewing that has to be finished.

A wedding dress to alter.  The neckline and shoulders to be changed and the hems, 9 layers of hems, to be shortened.

 Capes to be made for the ANZAC nurses for the 25th April for the memorial ceremony. (ANZAC Day)

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And this wedding dress thing is getting a bit big.  I have 2 other weddings for a couple of months time.  Funny how life goes in cycles.  In my early 20's I made wedding dresses to suppliment my income,  now I am old they turn up again.  We are going to have a quiet Easter but I'm sure the island will be busy with holiday makers.  We might have to escape to the city?


Samantha and Geraldine are finished.

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Those two have been on my 'to do' list for a few years now but the time was never quite right.  They were always destined to be for my grand daughters but with so much work involved I wanted the girls to be a little older so they could look after them better.  I am so surprised at their different personalities.  The patterns are identical but each rabbit is different from the other.  And, they took some time and a lot of effort to make.  I stitched each one in a different coloured thread so that, even without clothes on, they could tell which was which.  I am not altogether happy with the boot laces.  They are probably a bit long but little fingers have not perfected the skill of tying them so I make the laces a length they could manage.

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I see that Salley Mavor over at Wee Folk Studio has a wonderful idea for slippers that I could also sew.  ( Everything Salley does is inspiring, I have all her books.)

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At the moment their wardrobe includes;

a good dress + capelet

a skirt + jumper

and 4 pair of undies.

Each rabbit has it's own overnight bag.

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I need to make hoodies, slacks, cardigans, night clothes, quilts and pillows.  One cardigan is finished but I am a bit worried with the amount of wool I have left to finish No 2.

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Grandpa is still working on the beds so they will not be finished until after Easter and I might leave the quilts until then.

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I have become quite attached to these young girls.  They have been writting to my grand daughters so hopefully they will get a warm welcome.

A fatal error!!

That is what I have made with my SAL embroidery.

Short of starting again I will not be able to fix it I'm afraid.

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When I read the instructions it said the piece was 70cm X 50cm.  I read this as 70cm width and 50cm height.  I now realise it should have been 70cm height 50cm width.  There is no way I am going to have enough fabric to stitch the design as it is.

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I have put hours of work into it so far and used a whole hank of silk.  What to do?  I am going to have to change the pattern and make it 50cm x50cm.  So it doesn't matter that I am behind any more.  I will finish the width and when the next pattern comes start adjustments. 

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Oh well, I will just have to be different to everyone else. 

I suffer from dyslexia. Give me a map, and I go in the other direction.  Spelling has been a problem all my life until spell check appeared.  I read numbers in reverse. This was a problem at school until a teacher gave me an oral exam rather than a written one and it became clear I could do the math problems but when it came to writting them down I would reverse the numbers.  As a teacher I made sure I had over heads rather than having to write on the blackboard.  Some times I would write everything in reverse on the board, especially if I was stressed, and the kids would fall on the floor laughing. I know all these things and check all the time but I reversed this one vital measurement. 

I could kick myself!!!


Tilly the cat

This little cat has driven me crazy.  I should say 'making' this little cat has driven me crazy but toys take on a persona as you make them, so I think of it as "this little cat".

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She has been hanging around for months waiting to be finished.  The big problem was the yarn I choose.  I was seduced by the colours but it is horrible to work with because it isn't a spun thread.  The thread just pulls apart, as you can see from the fluff on the tail.  The pattern called for a crocheted tube for the tail.  I tired every which way and failed miserably.  I ended up with a plaited tail and that seems to work.

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I think she is destined for a donation to "teddies without borders".  I hope some child likes her.

Some acqusitions

I bought this painting last year when my husband was ill in hospital.  The hospital had an exhibition at the time and part of the sale was donated to the hospital.  Problem was I couldn't bring it home because the exhibition was to hang for the rest of the year.  I almost forgot that I had purchased it!  But now it is home and hangs next to the breakfast nook.  I have a passionfruit vine in the garden I just hope it fruits like this one.  As I come up the stairs from the lower level this is the first thing I see.  I am so glad I bought it.

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Also in the breakfast nook I have my new (old) chicken scratch table cloth given to me by my friend Angela.  (The Rosemary is cuttings from my garden that I want to strike for next year.)

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The design is only simple but very effective.

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And I must remember this rick rack braid edging put on with herringbone stitch,

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Doll's underwear

I hadn't realised just how involved making clothes for a doll could be!  I have sewn some bloomers in a very light cotton and these look good.

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But then I got thinking that they might be a problem to get on and off for little children.  So I went out and bought a packet of cheap babies socks.  These I have cut off at the heel.

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Zig zaged around the cut edge.

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And on the wrong side sewn in the legs.

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 7.09.37 pmI over sewed this to make sure it wouldn't unravel and then cut out the unwanted fabric.

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Undies that are easy for kids to put on and off.

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One thing about writting this post is that it keeps my stitching front and centre in my mind. 

Just what did I do last week? 

What will I do next week?

What would I like to do?

 So what IS in progress.

My sampler.  Looking at this image I hadn't realised that I had made so much progress.

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But that is only progress on January's pattern, I am 2 months behind on the rest of it.

Doll's clothes.

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I hated dolls as a child now I love them.  (I never said I was normal.)  I bought these kits back in 2013 to make for my grand daughters but they were always a bit young for them.  Now at 5 and 7 years I think the time is right.  You can still purchase the sewing patterns from Alicia Paulson  although there are no kits.  I adapted the little sweater from a pattern I bought from Little Cotton Rabbits.  These are such good patterns that adapt to all kinds of toys. I also have a few pieces of fabric for more clothes.

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 and that's about it.

The Birdman's Wife

My love of birds was fostered back in Primary School and I remember our class joining 'the Gould League of Bird Lovers'.  We all got a certificate like this one, I have no idea what happened to mine but I do remember collecting the cards that were handed out.

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There was a copy of "The Birds of Australia" in the school library and we could only look at it under supervision.  I spent hours looking at those images.  Fast forward 50 years and I now find that Mr John Gould wrote that book but it was Mrs Elizabeth Gould who did all those wonderful illustrations.  It always amazes me that women are somehow invisible in our history even when they have made outstanding contributions.  ( It has been said that Einstein's first wife did as much work on the theory of relativity as he did but got no recognition.)

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And Elizabeth Gould was no ordinary woman.  This book opens the window on the life of an amazing woman.  Her accomplishments are at least as great as her husband's, if not greater.  This book by Melissa Ashley is well worth reading and when I look at the work of other 'famous men'  I think I would also like to find out about their wives as well and recognition of their contribution to the men's work should be noted. (Now I will get off my soap box!)

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A new week

I have to sit and get my photos and notes in order but this week is shaping up to be a busy one again.

We were met at the airport by my daughter's partner who drove us back to the apartment.  From there we picked up our car and drove out to our son's home to pick up the dog only to find that their front plate glass window was shattered.  The gardener had been that morning and I think he had thrown up a rock when mowing the lawns.  No rushing home to get the washing on or pick up any supplies we had to sit till they got home.  It was great to see the grandchildren but I knew it would put my schedule out of wack.

By the time we got home to the island, with no supplies and only frozen meat in the freezer we settled for a tin of soup for dinner and it tasted delicious.   Not sure why.  Next morning I was up early and off again to the Embroiderers' Guild.  I have been completing my Competition Judge's qualification and the lecturer had flown in from interstate to finish our practical assessment, there were 4 candidates.  Three from outside Brisbane and one who lives in the city.  Now, I have been judging for some time now, but, I didn't have that official piece of paper.  The course was based around 6 assignments and my biggest problem was not writting too much!!  So now I am a qualified Embroidery Judge.  One more thing off the bucket list.

Next thing to do was to check on what the birds have been doing and some are up and off.

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Two of those birds we have been watching have both got from here right up to China.

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Coochiemudlo is just south of Peel Island which is in the centre of the above picture.  That island was a leper colony back in the 1900's.  The mainland is on the left and Stradbroke Island is on the right.  I watched the eagles hovering over my house today as I hung out the washing and the sense of awe as you watch these creatures just takes my breath away.

I think that I should get the house in order before I start stitching again but my fingers are twitching.  On the weekend prior to my trip to Melbourne I was up at Toowoomba and got started on my rabbits for the girls for Easter. (I stitched them in different coloured thread so we could tell which was which.)

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I still have a lot to do to make them presentable.  There are sweaters and cardigans to knit and a whole wardrobe for each rabbit.  (There names are Geraldine and Samantha.)  They have actually written to the grand daughters telling them they are coming and asking where they will sleep.  That request has been past to Grandpa who has to make some beds and wardrobes.  I already have their over night bags so their clothes can stay in there until the other furniture is finished.

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This is not getting the housework done and time is rushing on.


Last Day

We are travelling home this afternoon and I must say that after the constant go, go, go I will be pleased to get on the plane.  Not that I haven't enjoyed my time here but the constant pressure of people in your face all the time is just getting to me.

I had breakfast at the tea house in the block arcade.  Only eggs on toast and a cup of tea.  I left all those delicious cakes in the cabinet.

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Some people actually had cake for breakfast!

I now need to get home and process everything I have seen and done.