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June 2018

An explosion of chickens

It has been 4 months since I first became ill and today I was well enough to visit Hayley on her mini farm.  My friends Lollipop and Marshmellow still remembered me and ran to the gate to greet me.

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The first thing I noticed was how many chickens there were, far more than there were 4 months ago.  Looking around I soon discovered the reason why.   Three of them actually, cocks.

Story-book is the king of the yard.

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He is a very handsome cockeral.  He sits on the steps of one of the railway carriages and surveys his domain.

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This chock knows who he is.

Then I spied another cock in another part of the yard.  Not as big but his feathers are beautiful.

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These males certain win in the beauty stakes.

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Then there are the chocks who know how to look after their broods and those that don't.

This one had 10 chickens but is a poor mother.  She just leaves them on their own and the crows, magpies and snakes have reduced her brood to one.

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On the other had this mother keeps a weather eye on her brood all the time and 6 chicks are surviving, for the moment.

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There are plenty of half grown chickens following their mums around, and so it goes.  An explosion of chickens.  I did suggest they would make good eating but this went down I like a lead balloon.  Looks like the snakes will be well fed.


Another relapse but I have bounced back better this time, fingers crossed.  Still not completely back to normal but I was able to go into the Guild this week.  I drove myself into town and back home again.  So fingers crossed.

I also finished the sample for the "introduction to applique' workshop.  It is a cushion cover.

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I have included 7 different applique techniques in this piece so participants can have a taster of some of the common methods in use today and I plan to add a tassel to each corner of the cushion. The design is based on a bird I saw in Quatemala.  It looks nothing like the bird in question but is my representation of how I think it should look.

This is the male,

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and this the female bird.

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I thought these birds looked kind of royal, hence the crown.  I also included the colours of Guatemala, like the ones we saw in the thread shop.

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I realise now the these threads are for weaving but I am experimenting with making some tassels with them.  They are about the thickness of  2 strands of embroidery floss but have a higher twist.  This is going to be a slow job. 

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First you have to work out just where to undo the knot, like all of these things there is a knack to knowing just where to pull it apart.  I have it around the back of two chairs, just like my mother would have done when balling wool.  Then the very slow process of winding the thread around the base frame.  I hope they work out alright.

Death of a mentor

I was saddened to read of the death of Peter Thompson the golfer.

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 12.53.21 pmWhen I was a young girl he taught me how to play golf, along with every other kid who turned up to have lessons.  We lived near Beverly Park Golf Course where every Monday afternoon after school he held free lessons for any child who wanted to come along.  I always found him the most generous and patient of instructors.

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Beverly Park doesn't hold the happiest of memories for me as it was where my mother died when I was only 16 years old.  In fact I couldn't wait to get away and put all that behind me.  But looking back it wasn't all bad.  In fact some of it was good.  Like the golf ball retrieval that a group of us ran.  There used to be a deep tidal storm water canal that cut through the golf course.  We would station one kid at the bridge to watch for sharks swimming into the canal while the others would dive for the golf balls that got hit in.  It made good pocket money for us in the school holidays.  I'm not sure how clean that water was though.

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And it wasn't as built up as this and we could sail our VJ boats on the bay in summer.  Not a bad place to live for a while growing up.  Now our old home is worth millions and it is a very sought after address in Sydney.


School Holidays are nearly here.

That means that I will need to have a couple of activities to do with the grand daughters.   So I have come up with 2 that I have found on line.  Both require little in the way of resources and I think they shouldn't take longer than an hour or so each.  ( I have included a link to each one.)

bird 1

This bird is mainly left over yarn.  I think that I will pre-make the feet as they could be a bit tricky.

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bird 2

We have a lot of wooden beads left over from some other activities that we could use here.  This uses a pop-pom maker but I think we will stick to the old 2 rounds of cardboard to make ours.

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My pom poms never turn out like the ones in the photo so I will invest in some stick on eyes as well.

And another set of purse clips arrived.  I had forgotten I had ordered these.

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Well being back in bed has turned out to have a down side.  The downside is the lack of attention from my husband!  He and our daughter are off overseas in a week or so and he is so busy with this he doesn't have time to look after me.  Looking after me would include cups of tea, making sure I have water and the occasional meal.  

It is cold and very dry here and I have the reverse cycle air-conditioner on to keep warm, but it sucks the moisture out of the air.  Next thing I knew was that I was suffering from dehydration.  That has put me back a bit.  Now I have a stock of water bottles beside the bed and I have made soup and other pre-cooked meals prepared in the fridge.  One has to be self reliant!!!

So not a lot of progress on my projects.  The knitting is now up to the stage of being divided at the armhole to knit the front and back neck and sleeves..

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The sample for the applique class languishes.  It should have been finished last week but I have just been to ill to even attempt it.

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There isn't a lot of work to go I just have to feel well enough to stitch it.  Hopefully I will get this finished tomorrow.

Oh well life goes on.  I have a pile of projects I want to get started on but not the physical resources just at the moment.


Back in my bed again

I have had another relapse, which is usual with this virus, so have had to take to my bed again.  I am sick of sleeping in the single bed, even though it is a king sized single so I have moved to two singles together to make a king sized double.  Charlie isn't squashing me anymore and I have room to put my books and knitting on the bed.  But what I didn't have was a cover.   So I took two Indian quilts and made them into a new bedspread.

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One quilt reached right across the top of the two beds but had no overhang on the side.  So I cut the two sides off the second quilt, neatened the cut edge and attached them to either side of the first quilt.  I kept the hand stitched edge on top and attached the other pieces at the back of this.

(This is a bit hard to see because of the fabric pattern but it is the pattern that is just over the edge of the bed..)

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This left me with one piece of left over fabric from the centre of the second quilt.  I decided to make this into a reverse sham to cover the pillow.  I had thought about making more scatter cushions but I thought the change of direction of the fabric would make a nice contrast.

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These Indian cotton quilts are made with two layers of thin cotton that are 'Kantha' stitched together with a cotton perle thread, great for hot weather.   Everything is hand sewn with means that nothing is accurate.  I had to put a few tucks here and there to get things to fit.  I have a couple of other quilts like this and they wash well on the cold cycle of the machine and dry fairly quickly on the line.

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So now I can have my relapse in comfort.

That was quick

My replacement bag clips have started to arrive and my stock bag is looking a lot more healthy.  I paid postage on these, about 15c each, which in the scheme of things isn't very much.  I think I will pay postage in future to get the stock that much quicker.

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I love these little bird clips but they are 8.5cm and only have an attachment loop on one side.

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My bird bags are 12cm.  Luckily I have found some more in the size I like.

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This larger size comes with attachments for a shoulder strap, so I have ordered some of those as well.

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And then I found these lobster claps for jewelry.  I had to buy 100 so I think there will be some embroidered jewelry in next years Children's Classes.

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All this rush is to beat the governments new GST on small imported puchases.  I hope I have enough to see me through?

Some Inspiration

I found a talk by Kate Davies from Kate Davies Designs on TED talks.

In this talk she discusses the impact of her stroke and deconstructs just how it has changed her physical reality.  Kate was only 36 years old when she had her stroke and she used her love of knitting and knitting design to help rearrange her mental/physical capacities.  I love her designs.  That is the top I am working on that she is wearing in this video.  A stroke can hit at any time in a person's life as can other physical impediments.  This talk is an inspiration of how to adjust and in fact triumph over there effects.




This is dead boring stuff.  Sewing the binding on a quilt.  I have finished the machining now all the hand stitching.

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This is another quilt I made for my grandaughter that she didn't like.  "Too babyish."   My daughter's friend has just had a new baby so it will be for baby Bella.

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I had the quilting done at my local quilt shop, "Bayside Stitch Craft " at Cleveland.  I am really please with the job that they did so will return with some of the other quilt tops I have in the bottom drawer.  I see I haven't made a label.  More hand stitching.

Spoke too soon

Back in my bed again.  Two steps forward one backwards.  Still that is one step in the right direction.

I finished the little applique bird and those pieces are a bit too small to get a perfect finish on the piece.

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But I don't want to discard this design so I have re-scaled it and mucked around with it a bit to make it fit a cushion cover.

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I will stitch this out and see if it works.  (I think I need to make those tail feathers a bit longer.)