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March 2019
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May 2019

April 2019

Art & Quilting

This Sketchbook Revival has really got me fired up.  I need to buy more colours for my watercolour paints as I am using them at a great rate! This class was about intuitive painting.  I tried that and the first results were not too good.  So  I used a photograph as inspiration.  The first one doesn't really look like the photograph but I like the picture.  (These are all tiny 17cm x 12cm)

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The second one does look like the photograph but the colours were dicatated by what was in the paint box.

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I need to explore watercolour painting a bit more I think. 

The next class was from Nina Rycroft who is a book illustrator from New Zealand.  You know I look at those books and admire them so much but would never think I could draw them.  Her class on drawing a dog has turned that all upside down.  She starts with a side view from a photograph all based around the circles for the shoulders, hindquarters and then the head.  Easy Peasy.

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Then put that drawing away and using your imagination, or observation of dogs start giving it some animation.

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There is no way that these are good drawings  but they are a start.

My godson's two boys, Oscar the eldest and Leo the little one, who has cystic fibrosis, got a new dog last week.

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Leo is such a dear little boy and although there have been a lot of medical advances he is still looking at a life expectancy of 40 years.  Both of his grandmothers and other members of his family raise money for research.  I look at my huge stash of fabrics that I will never use and have decided that I will make items for them to sell to raise money.

So, the first one is this wall hanging.  I have had the fabric like forever and will never use it.  So this is my first contribution.

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Some more quilting trials

Today's sketchbook activities included quite a number that I didn't have the equipment for so I went back to my experiments with curves using my walking foot.

Free Curves

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A bit more structure.

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and the front of the mats.

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Then I drew a grid and took that structure pattern at bit further.  This pattern would stand out better if I used a heavier weight thread.  ( I also tried a machine finished edging that just doesn't do it for me. So back to hand hemming.)

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Then I sectioned of the mat and drew a curve and shadowed it.

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  Still not sure which kind of quilt I would use them on.

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I have now finished 22 place-mats which is my quota till the end of May.  My machine goes in for service next week so I might have to put this project on hold for a while.

ANZAC Day 2019

It was a chilly morning that greeted us as we made are way down for the morning service.  Most people walked and the flash lights stood out in the darkness because we only have the the odd street light here and there.  It was very dark in the early morning and that procession of lights said so much.  People also arrived in dingys from their boats and these were pulled up along the beach.  I am surprised by the number of children who attend, some with their parents many with there grandparents and all are perfectly behaved and seem to know how special this service is.

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The playing of the Last Post ends our service and the trumpet calls loud and clear through the gum trees.

Lest we Forget.

I should be sewing, but..

I have so much sewing to do but I signed up to a free drawing class.

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 5.18.42 pmIt is actually a glorified advertisment for various on-line artists and the classes that they offer, but it is so much fun.  I am still stuck on day 1!  The first exercises were continuous line drawing but is the second class of day 1 which I have played with.

I know that using pavement cracks as inspiration for drawing is nothing new, rather like look at shapes in the sky, but it is fun.  I have done a class with Carla Sonheim before but not this one.

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I have fallen in love with this technique but unfortunately there are no pavements on the island, or non with cracks in them.  All the paths are new.  Luckily Carla had an image for us to work from.

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There are so many different shapes in here that look like animals.  I just couldn't stop drawing.  Hence no sewing.

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This fella kind of jumped out at me.  I'm going to have to do some of these classes.

Easter Report

The weather was wet.  Very wet.  Only one person braved the beach for swimming.  Some guests arrived by kayak, but it was too wet to paddle back so they caught the ferry.    (Those extra kayaks are now stored, along with our own,under the house.)  The had to catch the ferry anyway as they had drunk too much wine!

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That all sounds a bit depressing but it wasn't.  We all had a great time just being together.  The children had all the adults acting like kids again.  We fell about laughing at the girls running up and down trying to get their kits flying.  Monqiue successed ,

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But Jasmine had to keep running.

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The island is overloaded with visitors all intent on enjoying themselves.  The path at the front of our house was thronged with walkers, bike riders and kids going down to do some fishing, in the rain.  All the holiday houses seemed to be full and there were people everywhere.  The dogs, (all 3), barked at everyone one who went by.  Most people brought there pets with them so there were all these other dogs to bark at.

I nearly wore myself out getting the back patio ready, I'm not really up to housework, but, it was the perfect place for everyone to sit, eat and talk.

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I put some seedlings into those pots I haven't used for ages and because  the patio  is at the back of the house it is out the wind and a pleasant place to sit.

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The girls loved their bunnies far more than I thought they would and when they returned home sent me photos of them in the beds telling me they were a perfect fit.

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The moment the received them they gave them names, Georgia and Sunny, who are now the cousins of Geraldine and Samantha who arrived last Easter.

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They are both into using acronyms at the moment and the white board was full of them.  The BAE stands for ' Best Aunty Ever".  Aunty Laura played hide and seek for hours with them.  (Jasmine's spelling of Georgia is inventive, Gorga.)  They were reunited with the family dog so he was mentioned as well and I'm not sure what role Goro played.

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I am so glad my cleaner comes tomorrow.  After so much rain, lots of people and dogs the floors really need a good clean.  All in all it was a very good Easter Holiday.


I could do with one of those, just to keep all the visitors in check.  Along with the 12 family members, who have invited themselves to stay for Easter, I know there will be others who will 'drop in'.  "We were just over to the island and thought we would drop in and see you".  I'm feeling a lot of trepidation about this Easter break and a dragon would help.

Talking of dragons, I had lunch with my daughter who does leather work and is making a new wallet for a customer, (along with her job as researcher and university lecturer.)  The first thing I thought of when I saw this piece was, DRAGONS.

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The hide was like nothing else I have ever seen before.  Turns out that this is Emu hide, which you can't buy in Australia because the birds are protected.  She bought it in New Zealand where it is farmed for it's meat, feathers and hides.  It is the leg of the Emu.  It also reminds me of Dinosaurs.  Not surprisingly as the two are related.

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I think I need to commission her to make one for me, although I could use a fire breathing dragon.

Have a happy Easter, I don't think I will have time to blog for the next few days.


This past week has been spent getting my quilt top sewn together ready for quilting.

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It is a queen sized quilt but I thought I might increase the size to king size.  Then I remembered I had a king sized quilt that is half quilted and I need to finish.  Also, I don"t think the extra size will enhance it much.  I have to sew a 20cm border all the way around so that it can be mounted on the quilting machine and piece the lining.  I rang the patchwork shop who said they have a 6 to 8 week wait on quilting, so that will make it June before I can get it finished.

My sewing machine is now ready for a service so I will have to get the old machine out again and running.  I can't remember where I put the walking foot for that one.  And I have a project, that I have put aside safely and can't find, to be finished for next month.  I will have to do both things in the next day or two because this weekend is Easter and I have 12 extras who have invited themselves to stay for the holidays.

Rember that embroidered coat I was going to make?

I have the fabric, and the design but I was just too ill last year to do it. 

NOW I have found one ready made in a shop. 

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It is partly hand embroidered with some machine work as well.  Even the back of the coat is embroidered.

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I worried about the cost for about a nano second.  It was expensive but I love it.  It is embroidered onto linen which means it is a good weight for our climate.

I even love the manufacturers tag that hung on it, I did remove the price sticker so I wouldn't get nervious every time I looked at it.

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They had another short jacket as well and I have asked them to order it for me.  (If i die don't go looking in the Charity shop for it.  It fits my daughter as well and she has her eyes on it.)

New Book

I do like Donna Leon's books which are set in Venice.  There was a TV program the other night about the toll tourism is taking on the city.  I think this was raised right back in about book 8. ( This new book is book 28, she writes one book a year most of the time.)

The Title of the book is "Unto us a son is given".  The principal character is Commissario Guido Brunetti and with all those Italian lessons I took on line I can read any Italian that is quoted, that surprised me no end.  ( There is a nice article at Penguin about the main characters.)

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As usual I have to slow my reading down.  There is a terrible temptation to read from cover to cover at one sitting.  But, as usual her reference to Classical Greek and Roman texts has me reaching for the books quoted to see if I agree with her interpretation.   These books are not deep and meaningful but are a pleasure to sit and read.