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December 2021

Being Tempted

So, the last day of the year.  Not a great year.  Lots went wrong but some things were good.  I am still trying to sort out just where the balance is.  This pandemic seems to be deepening and makes one feel very, well, not quite unsafe, probably unsure about what is to come.  I have just about finished clearing out all the extra fabric from my sewing room.  It didn't really clear a lot of space, which is surprising as I had 5 large shopping bags full to donate to the Guild or the Op shop.  Some of the embroidery kits I bought back in the 1970's when we were in Europe.  I am never going to finish them, better they go to a new home.

There were a few things I just couldn't part with.  Like this piece of Marimekko fabric from 1981.  I was going to make it into a wall hanging but now it is a table cloth for my patio table.

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And this quick drawing my friend Pam did for me on a piece of fabric.  I might have to frame this one.

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Some Ukranian work, I didn't finish, and this piece of Limerick Lace stitched by my grandmother and great grand mother.

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And I found my old darning mushroom that my grandmother gave to me.

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As to stitching, all I seem to see lately in my research is canvas work.  Firstly Rachel on her blog with some new delicious stitches.  Then I have seen all this wonderful work on the Royal School of Needlework's site.  I just love this post box and although this is worked on linen not canvas it still uses the same stitches.  This piece is by Ayako Tanihata.

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And how about this piece by Sally Randall?  (I wonder when she is coming home?  She may never get out of the U.K.!)

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Luckily for me I only found one piece of fabric suitable for canvas work so I'm not giving in just yet because I have a long list of other things I want to stitch, but it is tempting.

Roll on 2022.

This quiet space in my mind

"It is such a waste, all that fabric I have pilled up. "

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This is what is going through my mind as I clean.  "I could give it to the sale table at the Guild, donate it to an Op shop, I've already given heaps to friends."

The other thing running across my mind is that my hearing aids are giving me trouble.  One has completely died.  I wondered the other day when I went shopping why everything was so quiet.  It was Xmas Eve and there was no noise at all.  I rang the audiologist but everyone is on holidays and I am going to be living in this super quiet space until January 5th, probably longer, because the aids has to be repaired or replaced.  I ordered some cheap ones on-line to get me through, but they have to get here through the post.  It has been 15 years since I suffered the injury to my hearing when I was attacked.  It has just got progressively worse over the years.  I had no idea that this would be the outcome back then.  Being unable to hear also turns on your internal voice.  It was there before but now that there is nothing else to hear it is getting 'very loud'. 

"What are you going to do with all that fabric?"

I can't hear anything but I can sew.  The noise of the sewing machine may send others up the wall but I can't hear it!!

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I also have a set of noise cancelling earphones and I can hear the music I am playing on I Tunes on my computer.

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So maybe I can turn this set back into a plus? 

(Note to self : Put some more money in your itunes account you need to buy some more music. This stuff is so old!)


Everything is slow here.  It suits the humid, windy, drippy weather. 

A bit of simple stitching.

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This looks a bit like 'Sponge Bob'.

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A bit of raised band stitch in the tail.

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And that is one giant gold fish.

More work on the book cover.

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No real plan to this.  Just stitching as the fancy takes me.  It started out as Boro stitching but then morphed into something else.  The satin fabric is fraying like mad at the edges so I decided to embroider over the designs on the fabric.  I quite like those frayed edges.

As stitching is being limited I am taking the opportunity to clear out all the draws in my bed room and sewing room.

The first bag of donation fabrics.  There will be more.

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A hitch in the plans.

I think the heavens are sending me a message.

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I broke this arm a number of times, horse riding, falling down stairs, falling off bikes and the worst, when I got caught up in someone else's fall, speed skating.  All that was over 30 years ago but it has come back to haunt me.

I can still sew, mainly on the machine, but writting with a pen, knitting and crocheting are out. So, it is slow stitching for me for a while.

It is also my grand daughter's 11th birthday today.  Happy Birthday beautiful.

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Simple stitching (2)

I wrote this post before Xmas and thought I would start the week with it.  There is some great simple holiday stitching and other things to be found on this site.

Helen Stubbings has been around for a while (2001) and is always very generous with her ideas and patterns.  She has also published numerous books on quilting, applique and embroidery.  She has a plethora of social media sites. (She has links to all of these on her blog.)

I liked all the great advice she has on her blog.

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Her articles on how to survive breast cancer treatments, taken from survivors, is really good.  (I can second the one about taking warm comfy socks.)  As are all the wonderful free tutorials and projects .   

These are not only on her site.  She is the Queen of networking and you could spend a life time just following all the links.  It always leaves you feeling good and full of enthusiasm after visiting her blog.

It is getting so close you can smell it

Communication isn't too good in this house.  The kids think my husband will keep me informed but it just doesn't happen.  I had to go out yesterday and leave Bear on his own.  Something I rarely do because he get anxious.   He just loves the beach.  Straight into the water,

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Then a roll in the sand, what a mess.  He has a long coat and all that sand comes home into the house.

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He ends up getting left behind and comes running flat out to catch up.

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Still, it had to be done because I have the family coming for Xmas  Eve and I have to shop.  Problem is dogs are not allowed in the shops.  Plus now that the borders are open COVID is running around unchecked.  I still have a couple of months till I can get a booster shot so I went out  feeling quiet unsafe.


I said that I wanted to do some more cross stitch, so I did.

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I used a pattern from the Hungarian data base but I just rushed in thinking I would use it in a book cover.  Now I think I would like to use it in the lid of a IKEA round  wooden box.  It doesn't fit.  This one needs some thought.  Might have to be a book cover and I will find something else for the box.  But then I found another box that was just the right size.   I need to stitch a decorative border for this.

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This was one left over from my Children's Classes a few years ago.

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  I am going to up-date the construction of this and work out how I can line the box.

I have also been indulging in some 'slow stitching' with my book cover.  Still some way to go.

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Looking back at Xmas' past.

I thought I would clean out some of my old files on the computer, letters etc.  There I found all my old letters and lists from Xmas' past.  I started these to deal with the trauma of being attacked that year.  I wrote..(2007)

"Happily I can say that I am slowly regaining my health although I am left with neck problems, loss of hearing in my left ear where I was hit and diminished eyesight caused by long periods of heightened adrenaline in my system."

The hearing has got worse since then, as has the eye sight, now 15 years later, I still deal with anxiety but I am in a far happier place.

I also found that I had all my dinner planning notes, recipes, shopping lists etc. for every year since then.   So, I have printed a selection and will select some to serve for the late lunch on Xmas Eve when my children and grand children will visit.  I always had a Xmas Eve Dinner Party with family and friends before we moved to the island.  They were a lot of work but it was something I loved doing.  I am looking forward to re-creating this again, this time for just the family.

The other Xmas tradition is making the Gingerbread House.  I usually get this from IKEA but it doesn't stand up to the humidity very well.  So, this year I have bought two, pre-made houses from Aldi.  Far better option.  They each had their own house to decorate and they came in a box they could use to take home.

So one house each.  Jasmine.

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Monique, who will turn 11 just after Xmas.

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The Santa photo was a bit weird this year with social distancing.

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But the beach is ever welcoming.

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One of my sons have a new sail boat being delivered this week.  Guess where he is going to keep it?

Simple Stitching (1)

I had a couple of people ask about the simple  stitching patterns by Australian Designers, so, I thought I would put up some information about them.  Most will have a free pattern or two on their web-site so you can try their work before you purchase anything.  And, I get no kick-backs on any of this, I just find it interesting that there are so many designers here doing this thing.  I plan to feature one designer each week. 

I have already talked about Natalie Bird, who's work I love, her work is always interesting and just that bit different.

Then there is Country Hart Designs.

There are a couple of free patterns on this site and if you are looking for something quick to stitch for Xmas there is this pattern.  Just click on 'My free Pattern."

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I have also stitched her other block last year and it was a pleasure to stitch.  It is also a free download from her web page.

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These are the only free things I could find on the site but there are lots of other interesting things here.