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October 2021

September 2021


Stitching my Kogin bag got me thinking about Tomiko, my on-line friend who died in the 2011 Tsnami.  She gave me such a wonderful gift when she introduced me to Kogin stitching.  I love the process of stitching, how the needle threads the cotton through the weave.  I love the colour difference between the blue fabric and white thread. I love the weight of the hemp fabric.  It was indeed a gift in other ways as well.  It introduced me to how 'healing' this kind of stitching can be.

I was looking around the web for more information on how the fabric is dyed and came across this wonderful video about the making of indigo dye.  This looks at the work of making the dye which has been carried on in the same family for 20 generations.  The video runs for 15 mins and is itself a little meditation. (I had to add the video as a link so just click on that not the image.)

A Treasured Creation: Today's Treasure - Ai, the Natural Indigo of Japan

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Some Practice

I need to practice my 'Quaker Stitch".  So I have found a little quote and I will see how it goes.

Screen Shot 2021-08-31 at 2.44.14 pmI haven't decided on the scrip I want to use just yet and I can't for the life of me read the name of the source where I found the quote.  Maybe I will try it in a number of fonts?  (Telling myself to be happy.)    Will I just stitch the letters?  Will I embellish it?

We will see where this leads.


I put out my classes for next year and after only 3 days am nearly booked out for the year.  That was a surprise.  I have to start updating notes, placing orders and generally getting myself organised.  Now the best laid plans of mice and men can fall into a heap.  Who knows what this virus is going to do?

So I went out and picked some more 'feral flowers'.

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Made an 'avatar' of myself for my 'art on the Ipad course', wish I was as trim as this.  (Looking at it I might grow my hair again.  All old ladies seem to have short hair now.)

Screen Shot 2021-09-25 at 3.13.40 pmAnd, I will have to keep this from Monique as she is always making avatars and getting into trouble from me.  School goes back this week so I'm glad I'm a little ahead because soon I will be rushed off my feet.

I don't have the right yarn!

Wouldn't you know?  Julie releases a new pattern and I don't have the yarn to knit it up.  Even though I have boxes of yarn.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 10.51.05 amThese little ones are just so adorable.   Besides the ones I want to knit as gifts I think I should have one for myself.

I have been reading "Blinky Bill" with my youngest grand daughter, Jasmine.  She loves these kind of toys.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 10.58.33 amThis book was her father's, who loved the stories as well.

So, even though I am itching to get started I have to get some more yarn.  Bother!!!


A big zero this week.  My time has been spent doing administration work for the collective.  I just seem to have spent my time making mistakes!!!

Turning up for meetings at the wrong time.  Deleting all the Emails on my phone, Breaking ornaments.  The list goes on.  I did find a nice wooden base for a pin cushion however and they are only $2.50 each.  

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But the cost of shipping is so expensive, more than doubling the cost.  Then I started to look around and found that these bases sell for about $15.00 each in shops.  I think I can make them work for another Kogin class I have in mind .  I would varnish them first and I worked out that I can supply the whole kit for $15 each.  That will make the class quite attractive I believe.  So they are ordered. 

I have been trying to source this item for ages.  I approached a number of wood turners but to no avail.  (Gee I had this works.)

Re-doing an on-line course.

Things move so fast that I decided to re-do the 'Art on the I-pad" class with Susie Monday.

Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 5.03.36 pmIt isn't that I don't know how to do these things it just helps to keep doing it .  I have become a 'bit stale' lately so this should help to get the creative juices pumping again.

I first met Susie in Houston (USA) a number of years ago.  I can recommend any of her classes.

I have been fighting with Google Mail all day.  I wish there was an easier way to use that.

A new week

I don't know why a broken rib should effect my brain, but it has.   Thinking is a problem so I am going to try and put that aside for a few days.  I had meetings and things on this past weekend, I thought.  I turned up on both days to things that will happen in the future!!  I am not with it.

Most of the feral flowers are now finished but I did find this iris.

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Now there are lots of seed pods getting ready for next year.

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My husband told me that the boganvillia I had planted was some other plant, so I went a bought a new one, only to find he was looking at the wrong plant.  I have 2 plants climbing on the back patio.  I would love them to look like this.

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But they still have not grown too much and look like this.

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I live in hope.  But my lavender and rosemary are doing fine.  The rosemary was bought in the fruit and veg section of the supermarket and has just taken.

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And some of the other flowers are looking good.

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I have finally got Bear to go in and out by the doggy door.  Just in time I think.  I found a dogs jaw bone the other day.

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And then came upon these two wandering around.

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They are last things I need in the house.

I can't concentrate on sewing so have been confined to mending. 

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I suppose that does qualify as sewing, but it is boring.


I am coping with a broken rib and have been unable to get to a Doctor to get my Vit B injection.  Everything is happening in slow motion at the moment.  I have very little ligament left in my knees, (which I knew) after operations for non cancerous growths in the knee cavities.  I am always careful because I know that I could fall.  My knees have been very painful lately but I know that more operations would leave me with even less ligament so will not have them done and just put up with the pain.  I really don't know how I came to fall, I must have turned sideways and down I went.  Onto the hard concrete, Ouch.

So work is all in slow motion as well.

I have got all the stitching finished for the Kogin bag but have to put it together, thinking that through is a bit of a challenge at the moment.

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I have drawn up a rough design for a new applique and need to sit and refine it.  (Looking at that I think I have an idea how to solve my Kogin pattern printing problem.)


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And I have an idea hatching for a Boro (Kantha) Class.  I have made some book-covers before as gifts  I think they might make an interesting class.

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After travelling in South East Asia I was surprised just how wide spread this type of stitching was.  I found the same kind of work in India, Mirimar, Thailand, and Vietnam.  The big difference was the colours of the fabrics.  All used the indigo colour but in India they used bright coloured fabric.  It leaves a lot of scope for what I could do.

Palistinian Embroidery

At first glance this type of embroidery just looks like cross stitch but it is so much more than just cross stitch.  Traditionally it is called Tatreez and all the patterns have special meanings.  The patterns are mostly geometric, following Islamic tradition.

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In an exhibition that I once helped hang there were a number of women's dresses which were torn at the neck and then repaired.  I was told that this denoted that the wearer had been a widowed.

This company, that I found on-line, has some stunning embroidered scarfs in their shop.  (there is a lot of eye candy just to look at here.)


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I also subscribe to the Maydel newsletter and they also have a lot of Palestinian designs at the moment.  I am really tempted by this design.

Screen Shot 2021-09-10 at 11.15.46 amBut I think I will just go on admiring it and get some of my other work finished.

They do have a great video tutorial on how to decorate clothing using some of these designs.

Screen Shot 2021-09-10 at 6.21.34 pmThis one is a keeper.



It is coming to the end of term so working on assignments with my grand daughter on her home schooling takes up a lot of my time and has taken over most of my space. (Maths has changed a lot since I was at school and she is far better than me at Japanese.)

I am stitching a new Kogin piece for next years class.  My computer with the drawing program got replaced with a new computer for Monique and I have nothing to draw those types of designs on.  The drawing program I have does great vector drawings but doesn't print a grid.  I might just have to learn how to use illustrator, which is super expensive.

So it is back to the graph paper but I still find stitch and see just as good.  I am using an old design but am adapting it to fit the fabric I have.   Allana used the same design in it's original form on one of the bags she stitched.

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My version is similar but my space is smaller.

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A lot of trail and error, then reverse sewing.  But I think I have got it now.  I'm sure this is how the old people did this work.  They didn't have computer programs or even graph paper to work out their designs.  It might have been easier to just cut a larger piece of fabric!