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December 2021

November 2021

My Goodness!! Where did the year go?

It's the end of the month and tomorrow is the first day of Advent!!!

Where did the year go?

I was just sitting having a coffee and my Xmas mouse, (that I hadn't put away from last year), was next to my coffee mug saying, "Ha, Ha, you're not ready!

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(That biscuit is from Aldi and I bought them to serve at Xmas but I find I only have one left!!  I have no idea where they all went!!!)

Luckily I have some work started, but not finished.

Panic stations!!!

In praise of cross stitch.

I think I have told this story before, but, when I was at school I could never get the hang of cross stitch.  My stitching was just a mess.  When I left school and travelled to Denmark I found all this cross stitch at the Danish Handcraft Guild.  I just had to master the technique and during the process got addicted.  At one point I stitched a sampler every year, until I had so many I had no place to display them.

Recently I came across an internet link to a library of free cross stitch designs from Hungary.  There are hundreds of designs.  I like this dragon.

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Border designs just go on and on....

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Then they get even more detailed.

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Some are taken from Museum Collections.

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There are even instructions on how to digitise photos ,drawings and mosaics.

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But I think I will make this needle case.  I found it at a blog called "Make Stuff Be Happy"

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There are a lot of free patterns here and this pattern was taken from the above library.

Looks like I have talked myself into doing some more cross stitch again!

I love this little needlecase.

Kate sits opposite me at stitching days at the Guild.  We normally compare notes on things French, but neither of us have been able to travel since the pandemic began.  She has this lovely needle-case that she designed and stitched, so I asked her permission to put up some photos of it.

It is stitched in silk threads on Moray silk fabric.  (The one that has a kind of watermark in the weave.)  I really covet this piece.

This is the back and you can see how she has bound the leaves together.  That twisted cord around the edge sets it off nicely.

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Inside she has printed an index of the needles, the following leaves are in Doctor's  Wool Flannel.  (You can see the sheen on that silk fabric better here.)

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And on the front cover she has stitched this delightful motive.

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A couple of detail photo's to see the actual stitching.

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Just lovely.


An idea

One of my all time favourite animations is Yuri Norstein's  "Hedgehog in the Fog".

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The story centres around a little hedgehog who goes to his friend, the bear, at his house, to count the stars. 

I thought that I might embroider some little hoops, the ones you can hang around your neck, with  images of the bear and the hedgehog for my great nieces as Xmas presents.  The things is, these little hoops are only about 1" in size so I expect that I will have to do outlines and maybe one or two features that are stitched.

So, I have done a couple of little sketches to get started.  I need to stitch four of them. 

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They are quite cute so I can see me stitching more than just four.  Yoko Saito made a wonderful quilt about this little hedghog.  I wonder if I could do a little drawing of him?

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As if I haven't got enought to do?


Some More Embroidery from South America

I think that I had 'brain overload' when I got home from South America.  I saw so much embroidery that I didn't really appreciate what I was seeing.

This lady is paid by the guides to model her clan's head dress, and it is about 7 metres long.   I have seen her since numerous times on the internet since I returned.  That doesn't detract from her wonderful costume.  The embroidery around the neck is quite distinctive.  All the other patterns on her clothing are woven.

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Although the stitching is similar to Brazillian embroidery it is just a bit different.

There is also a lot of satin stitch used.

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Around Lake Atlilitan they use bird motives a lot. The people have many stories from pre-Spanish times about the birds of the forest. Mainly satin and long and short stitch.


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And you see the lily in much of the work along with the birds.

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And there is tons of Bullion Stitch.

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You can buy some printed patterns but mostly the women go to the artists who work in the markets and get them to draw the designs onto their fabric, then they take it home and embroider it.

The problem is that now it is cheaper to buy second hand clothing that comes in by the bail load from the USA Charity Shops.  It is so much cheaper that I wonder how much longer this tradition of wonderful embroidery will last?



A week off!

My son is taking my grand daughter for home schooling this week so I have a whole week off!  What a luxury?  I love my grand daughter but not having any time or space to myself is limiting.  I have done little sewing and I am always so tired that I don't feel like doing any.  School starts at 8am and there are breakfasts to make, hair to braid, putting her bed away for the day and making sure she takes her medication, which can lead to difficulties and everything else that goes with parenting.  How every did I manage three children, a husband, a home and a full time job?  Granted I was younger then.  And this week past I had a birthday as well.

My island friends called in for afternoon tea and gave me a new blouse that is just right for the island. 

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My husband forgot the day as the family was taking me out to lunch on the following Saturday at the Sailing Club.  But, when the weekend came I was spoilt.  He gave me some nice jewellry.

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My grand daughters said that I like birds and flowers, so I got both.

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Plus the added bonus of pretty paper and a card.

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My little grand daughter (the artist) also gave me some note paper and a pen which she decorated the top 5 sheets of.

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And after a lovely, but exhausting day, we had a wonderful sunset to look at on the ferry home.

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I quite liked my birthday this year.



Last Sunday I was on gallery duty at our local gallery.  The roster co-ordinator always teams us up with another person and this time I was teamed up with a lady I hadn't met before.  The long and the short of it was that she gave me a bag of threads that she wanted to clean out of her sewing table.  I didn't like to say no and thought "I will sort through them and give them to the Guild" which I proceeded to do.

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There wasn't as much to throw out as I had at first thought.  Thread wound onto paper was put aside along with anything that was too tangled.  Most of the threads were DMC or Anchor and Semco.  All common enough but there was also this other shinny thread, which was labeled merserised cotton and was manufactured by Peri-Lusta.

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I really liked the shine on this thread and I then started digging.  I found an Abandonment Notice,

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and an address

Screen Shot 2021-11-18 at 11.04.54 amBut no information about anything else.  So I had a look on Ebay and found these 'darning dollies'.

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Quite a few actually.

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They appear to have made a popular thread for darning silk stockings.

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It has been some time since I have worn stockings and as for the silk variety, never!

But I like this thread.  So, I then went through the ones wound onto paper to see if there was any more.  One piece was rolled on old news paper from Sydney (NSW) and there in black and white was an add dated for a cruise in 1934!!!

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And look at those prices!!  I suppose you would have had to get to London first which would have cost a bit.

On the other side was advertisements for the Movies.  The bottom add is for the Empire which was also had live shows.  The paper was ripped so I'm not sure just what the show was but the name 'Henry Kendall' kind of jumped out.  (Was this the poet of the same name or someone who took his name?)

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I think I might have to take this treasure back to my new friend.

A really nice neck edging

I have been looking at some of my photos again, which I do at intervals to see if I can get any inspiration.   This photo caught my attention for the neck finishing  and the stitching where they had attached the sleeves. Screen Shot 2021-10-20 at 10.20.08 amIn my dressmaking class I have choosen a blue coloured fabric so I suppose that is what caught my attention because the colour is so similar.  This neck edge seems to be stitched in a blanket stitch, or it might have been crocheted.  You can get that effect with crocheting as well.   I think I will go with crocheting.  The stitch used at the sleeve seam will have to have been done with a needle.  I am going to have to have a go at replicating that I like it so much.   It was probably done with a blue varigated perle thread.    And although the flower stitching is perfect for this piece I don't think it would suit my dress.

Feral Flowers

I couldn't find any flowers to pick this week on my bush walk.  Then, right outside my home there was this.

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Looks like they have all been zapped.  I do not approve of this spraying.    It doesn't kill the weeds but it does kill lots of other plants.

The other discovery I made this week is the Bear likes cats.  There must have been a cat in his life at some point.

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He is such a gentle little dog I'm really lucky to have got him.

The weather has been so hot and humid and now the storms are crashing on top of us.  I don't hold out much hope of the washing drying.

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I can't turn on my sewing machine and I should turn off this computer because of all the lightening.

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