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August 2021

Where I live

The season is about to turn.  How do I know?  My neighbours blossom tree is in flower.

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I look for this every year and know that spring isn't that far away.  Jane, my neighbour, has adopted an old Jack Russel dog named Buddy.  He is a lovely old man and keeps the kookaburras at bay along with all the other birds who try to steal the chicken's food.

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I can see it is time to start planting my summer crops.  Jane has her's underway and her chickens are helping to prepare the soil.  We have all taken to having some native bee hives placed in our gardens as well.  Native bees have no sting and the honey is delicious.

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My vegetable garden is just some styro-foam boxes.  I can move these around out of the salt wind off the water and into the best positions.  I usually get a good crop of salad vegetables.  Jane lives one street back from the waters edge and is sheltered from the salt winds.  I would love a garden like this.

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But then I have the water views so stryo-foam boxes it has to be.


Well, I have finished the quilt top, still the backing and the quilting to go. 

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But I am so pleased with the result.  I added borders that make the quilt a perfect size for a single bed, with a decent over-hang.

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I also love the fabric I found for the outer border. 

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It is a Japanese print of an embroidered fabric.  I am going to draw up some of these motives and see what they look like when they are stitched out.

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Now for the backing.

The next book

This book has come to me via my husband.  It is part of a group of book and is the first in a series.  It is non fiction and is about the 'songlines' that are found in the knowledge storing of all first nation peoples.

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I am finding it instructive and it explains so much about the culture of our aboriginal people.  For me, it continues a learning that began in my childhood.  Let me explain.  The name of my grandparents home and now my home was 'Lumeah. ' This is an aboriginal word that translate, 'peaceful place' or 'place of rest'.  My three times great grandfather on my mother's fathers side of the family, took up land in NSW in the early 1800's and the aboriginal people who actually owned this land became his friends.  This was their name of the land where his farm sat.  I was visiting Stradbroke Island recently and there was a park there with the same name.  I was told the name came from that same tribe that my forebear knew who had cultural links with the Stradbroke people.  That is over 2,000km of travel south.  All knowledge, science, law, stories etc.,  was linked to the land and shared across the continent for over 65,000 years.  It wasn't just religious knowledge but all knowledge and it was transmitted orally through story, song, dance and art.  This way of holding and transmitting knowledge is common to all first nation peoples.  It is only about 2,000 years since all of my ancestors belonged to this group. It follows that there is much I can learn from this.  But, it is not a novel it is non fiction so others may not find it as interesting as me.

Not a quick sewing job

I have finished my sewing apron.  It was not a quick job but I am really happy with the result.  I have used this pattern before but this time I customised the fit to suit me and it is super comfortable to wear.

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The fabric is a Japanese screen printed cotton, which was a pleasure to sew.  The swing, cross over back means that the shape adjusts to your figure.

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And there are no ties to come undone.  Because I used a cotton fabric which has a lot of body to it the piece holds it's shape.  Now I'm waiting for a sale on a nice linen which I think would drape better.  This is based on a free pattern from Tessuti fabrics.  ( You can just down load and sticky tape the pages together.)  They have very good step by step printed instruction to download as well.

I found 2 You tube tutorials for this apron.  The first from Asia, very clear instructions, not a lot of talking and even gives some tips on how to stick all those A4 sheets of paper together quickly.  The second from England and she is a bit chattier. 

The instructions say "one size fits all" but I made my straps  a little longer and increased the size of the pattern by about 1cm all over.  I am a size 16 and found this a good fit.  If you are larger just lengthen the straps which will give you the extra room in the garment.

Now I can keep all those loose threads under control.

Threading that needle

I had an operation on my eyes a few years ago and my long distance sight is great, it is the up close that is the problem.  I need glasses to read and sew, even to knit and threading a needle can take a bit of time.  I found a post the other day on just how to get that needle threaded, without too much fuss, and it works.  I was attracted to the article because of the Normal Rockwell illustrations.  Those expressions.


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The name of the site was"" Last place you would think you would find out about threading a needle.  (My daughter is a leather worker and she told me about this site.)

Anyway here is the link.

They also have a great collection of riddles for kids.   I can keep the grandchildren entertained with these.


Looks like I'm going to be in lock down for another 7 weeks until I can get my second vaccination.  My little student will be unable to come here  and my life is going to be very contained.  Still, that's life in a pandemic. 

I am working on my quilt and it is slowly coming together.  All the vertical pieces are now in place and I will start on the horizontal ones tomorrow.

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But all those little 2" squares shed so many threads.  I seem to be covered with them so I have stopped to make myself a sewing apron.  I lost my original pattern so I had to start from scratch.  I now have it all cut out ready to begin.

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The kitchen island bench makes a great cutting table.  When I was teaching full time I always had access to drafting paper, not now.  I had a roll of paper I bought from IKEA for the grandchildren to paint on and I got creative with the sticky tape.  Does the job.  This time I am going to put the pattern where I can find it again.


Where I live

Now the lock-down has been extended so my world has shrunk to the confines of the island.  It seems so strange for the beaches and the surrounding waters to be so quiet. 

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There are more people out early in the day, all with their cameras out to catch the beauty as the sun rises in the east over Stradbroke Island. Over that horizon lies the Pacific Ocean.

During the day the island just lays there, looking like paradise. This was taken on the southern side of the island from the barge ramp.

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My home is on the top of a high bank overlooking the water.  The road out the front is always beautiful no matter the season.

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In the afternoon the sun swings to the west turning the sky pink.  The island on the horizon is quite a distance away to the south and the tide was nearly full.

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Then there is the sunset.  Facing east the sun catches the clouds and puts on a light show.

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Normally there would be small boats about with people fishing but everyone, or nearly everyone, is at home, like me.  Great place to be locked down.


I think I'm back

Three weeks it has taken to be able to function.  I have struggled to do things only to end up back in bed again.  My balance is still a bit precarious but I am pushing through.  Shame the universe is pushing back!  Now we have another lock down.  I went up to Toowoomba only having to turn around and drive back again.  My booking on the barge was on the next day and there was no room for me.  So, I locked everything in the car and parked and then carried as much as I could to get the barge home.  At the last minute they said "get your car we will get you on somehow."  So, now I am home.  With all my sewing stuff and my car and locked up for the next few days.  I had stopped overnight at our townhouse, which was right in the middle of the hot spot.  But, I had heard that there were positive cases of students so didn't go out.  I am so glad that I didn't.  I even skipped breakfast so I wouldn't have to go into any cafe. 

It was a lovely drive up the range and so nice to see my friends, even if I had to come home again.  I had set this weekend aside to work on my donation quilt for the Embroiderers' Guild so they can use it as a raffle.  I have selected 12 embroideries for the quilt and am auditioning the frames.  I think I will change some of these fabrics because I will use 2.5" sashing blocks around each frame.

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As I have over 300 little squares too sew together I am just going to sit at the machine most of the time.