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May 2018


So, not a lot of progress on anything.

I did undo my knitting and knitted it again, so that now I am slightly ahead of where I was before I undid it.

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I am experimenting with shopping bags.  All plastic bags are being withdrawn from supermarkets here in July.  I found that the patchwork fabric wasn't robust enough and that soft furnishing fabric was too robust and expensive.  I settled on some fabric from Ikea.   At the rate I am going I think I might be better off just buying them from the supermarket!

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Still here

This virus is sure a problem.  Now I have had an allergic reaction to the drugs they gave me for the ear infection and am still in bed. But I have good company.  Charlie had her next operation to restore her sight and she and I lay around just sleeping and getting better.  However, she is not allowed to go up and down the stairs.  She has got used to being carried and now insists on being picked up when she wants to go outside.  But the good news is that she can see and even bark at people passing by.  She is not allowed on the stairs for another 2 weeks so she could end up totally spoilt.

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It is quite wintery here and my daughter has given the seal of approval to the Carbeth sweater that I knitted for her.  ( I see on Ravery that there are 1060 projects for this sweater.)

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I adjusted the pattern to make it longer in the arms and body than stated in the pattern.  It took 3 balls of a  wool/bamboo blended wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills  called Stella  which is a 12ply yarn,  this was on special when I bought it at $12.00 per ball, so the cost of materials was $36.00.    (Now $14.50 per ball).  My children have sensitive skin and that bamboo content makes this garment perfect for them, no itching.  This was one of the quickest and easiest sweaters I have ever knitted so I think I will knit the cardigan version for myself.

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image Kate Davies Designs

 I am not young and slender, although I have lost quite a bit of weight (20Kilos), so I think I will make the body longer.

Peeking out from below the blankets

I am still alive, just.  I managed to catch another viral infection, this time from the bride (who I had made the dress for) when I embraced her.  I find the best place to be is in bed, although I can't lie down as the infection is in my throat and ears.  I have to say sleeping sitting up is not the most comfortable position.  If I was a dog they would put me down.

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I am laying here looking at my knitting, and thinking about the sewing I should be doing.  Just looking and thinking.  Maybe I will develop supernatural powers and they will progress just by my directing my thoughts towards them?


This week has been all about getting the samples stitched out for the July Children's Holiday classes.  Now I have them finished and all the kits ready to be packed up.  (I still have to write up the instructions.)

One simple design in back stitch for the beginners and another more complicated design for those who can stitch.  And although they are not over large I found that each one took me two days to stitch out, even the back stitch design.  I hope the kids like them.

( These are my own designs to which I own the copyright.)

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One thing about living on a tropical island is that there is always shells and coral to pick up on the beach to frame the photo.  The remains of the seed pods are from the mangrove plant.

Charlie and Me

Charlie and I went for a short walk this morning.  She can't see very well but she trots along on the lead and wants to smell everything.  She seems to have accepted the cone of shame around her head although she just can't get into things like she did before. 

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We only walked a couple of blocks, there and back, up to the community centre.  This island used to be 3 or 4 farms.  It became  soldier settler lots that were leased out after the 1st World War.  Someone donated it to soldiers who came back from the Western Front Shell shocked or suffering with Post Traumatic Stress.  They were very productive farms sending produce onto the Brisbane markets.  When we first started coming here there were still a small railway line up the jetty on the mainland side where they used to unload the produce.  There were farms on all the bay islands with fruit trees, avocado, mango etc.  Today on our walk be walked into the yard of Amina Garden's which was a place to eat 30 years ago and from what I found in the grounds before this it was an orchard.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 6.53.58 pmThere I found a Star Fruit tree, just overloaded with ripe fruit.  The ground below the tree was littered with fallen fruit.

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Needless to say I took some home to add to a fruit salad. 

The Wedding

Firstly,  an update an Charlie, she is improving with each day.  At the moment she is enjoying a bone off the lamb roast.

Secondly, the Wedding was yesterday and it was a beautiful cool but sunny day.  Well, cool for Queensland, about 24 C.

My bride Hayley, had put on a bit of weight from when I finished the dress but as the back was laced that worked alright.

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The wedding was held on our local Golf Course and the reception in the community centre at the top of the stairs to the 1st tee.  Family and friends where there from early in the morning getting everything ready.

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Along with the piper who would pipe the couple into the hall.  The sound of the pipes drifted over the water and boaties all looked up to see where the sound was coming from.

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The bridal party processed down the stairs from the hall to the golf course led by a page boy and flower girls who set a cracking pace.  Mum can be seen trying to slow them down.  They reached the bottom of the steps long before the bride.

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It was not an easy dress to bring down the stairs and someone should have gone behind to help with the train.  But the father of the bride was stoic and they reached the bottom intact.

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The dress had an under shell of lined satin.  This went over a fathingale hooped petticoat  along with 2 other petticoats to set that shape.  Over this was 6 layers of silk tuille and then another layer of chiffon like silk onto which lace was appliqued .  The bodice was satin overlaid with lace which was also used for the sleeves.  As she is full busted this was built around a shaped bra.  The back opening was laced to pull this all in over a separate panel of stiffened satin.  Normally a bride loses weight this one put it on.

The bridesmaids provided their own dress and looked lovely.

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So all that stress of getting the dress ready whilst I was very ill paid off and the bride looked beautiful.

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This wedding would not have been able to take place a few months ago as the couple are gay but with the change in the law they can openly proclaim their love for one another.  

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Charliie - update

Alive, but minus one eye. It was touch and go if they would get it out before it ruptured.  The vet said she must have been having severe head aches, but never a sign of that.   We go back in two weeks to have an operation on the other eye which they think can be saved.

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My bank balance is several thousand dollars lighter but hey,  it's just money.  Charlie (Charlotte) is more important. Goodness, I knew she was special to me but not 'how' special until this.


Today I will know if I have to have my dog put down.  I had been taking her to the local vet for problems with her eyes.  She has cataracts and I was told not to worry.  But worry I did and my husband took her to our old vet in town.  She is having an emergency  operation at 9am this morning.

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She has been my constant companion for the past 10 years.  I got her as a little puppy .

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I have always had family dogs but Charlie was my dog.  She laid beside me when I was ill.

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And now I may have to say goodbye to my dearest friend and her serious face.

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I do pray for a reprieve, but I don't want her to be in pain.


Another week in which I seemed to spend a lot of time in bed.  Having to teach a class on Sunday really wore me out but after another day in bed I feel a lot better and I am back to my embroidery.

I got one more flower finished on the tablecloth.

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Then I got an email asking how I was going on the Children's Class for July?  Well I have been thinking about it but have been to unwell to do anything else than that.  All that thinking must have done something because I drew up a couple of designs and then turned them into vector drawings.  Now I'm in the process of stitching them out.  They will be needle cases and scissor keepers.  One for the little ones and a more advanced design for the more advanced.

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These designs will continue the Queensland theme for this year and they are based around the corals of the Great Barrier Reef.  The reef is under pressure from climate change and other environmental pressures.  I remember snorkeling over the reef when I was younger.  It was like an underwater flower garden.  The colours were mesmerizing and the little fish would follow me around like puppies.  Now we see images of miles of bleached  and dead corals.  What a tragedy if humans were to destroy it.