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December 2022
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February 2023

January 2023

More resolutions

I am having serious problems with my knitting and have ripped out all the final lace panel again, actually for the 4th time.  Missing one stitch is a disaster,  still, just keeping at it is the task in hand.

But, on the upside I got to go to my first concert for the year, and it was here on the island.  My friend has a beautiful property and when she was landscaping it she installed an area for concerts, a small ampitheatre.  What a great place for a recital?  Most people brought their own seating, food and beverages of choice, some even brought their dogs.

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Tidal Moon is a duo from the island, although Barbara played harp with one of the Symphony orchestras and also plays numerous other instruments. 

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I didn't really think about the music I would be hearing, and for the most part it was made up of original music that Barbara had written.  (We have some seriously talented people living here.)  In the second part of the recital another group performed, Green Gratz.  I was blown away with the 'fiddle' playing.  Mainly Celtic, but lots of other genres as well.

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Overhead the Southern Cross shone from above, the night birds called and you could hear the sea lapping on the beach.  It was a most enjoyable night.

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Then, I picked up my chair and walked home, which was a bit hairy as we have very few street lights on the island.  I trod carefully on one section of the walk home where it was pitch dark and I was frightened I might step on one of those animals that come out at night.  Namely a snake!  But, I got home in one piece.

So, I have started on my journey for another resolution, to attend concerts.  I see an advertisement for another one I want to attend coming up in February.  If I can afford the tickets I would like to attend one a month.

Getting to some of those New Year Resolutions

I took myself off to the Art Gallery last week and really enjoyed my day.  This was one of my resolutions for 2023.  To do this I also took myself right out of my comfort zone and travelled to and from the city by train.  I used to travel by train to and from work when I was in my teens and early 20's, then I was single and living in Sydney, then I moved and bought a car and have travelled by car since then. Trains in Brisbane are a whole lot more comfortable than those and I was able to park my car, for free, at the railway station.  I am now quite confident  that I will be able to get to and from the Embroiderers' Guild during the week.  (That's another resolution I will be able to fulfill.)

It was interesting comparing the view from the train, then and now.  Different cities, different style of houses, big walls so people have privacy.  The train has to travel through the wet lands, over mangroves, rivers, streams and bogs here. In Sydney there were a couple of major rivers, lots of suberbia and industry.  The big difference is that the train I travelled on wasn't crowded and was air conditioned.

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I walked from the train station to the gallery, which is just across the intersection. 

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My first stop was for a cup of coffee. 

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Now, I haven't been anywhere since Covid struck and I find I am way behind the times, they no longer have loyalty card in the coffee shop.  Should have seen the look I got!!  And in the meantime we had a flood which trashed all the water features.  Some are still trashed but others have been restored. 

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I sat in the coffee shop courtyard and soaked myself in the beauty of fountains and ponds.

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It was hard to tell what is up an what is down.

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The water dragons are still there and came out to say hello.

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I got lots of inspiration from the exhibition titled "Air" at the GOMA gallery.  I am still processing it all.  It was very thought provoking.

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But I am so glad that I have ventured out again.

On Rejection

Rejection is something I find very hard to deal with.  It is like a physical blow to my body and my 'flight or fight' response is immediately triggered.  But I came across this post from Cindy Sherman, on Instagram that made me think again.  (Cindy is famous for her ability to make herself look like anything she wants to portray.)  

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If someone so acclaimed is not recognised for what she is most famous for all those other rejections that I have experienced and will experience in the future, are really about the person doing the rejecting!  (It has taken me a life time to work this one out.)   Why am I wiritting about this?  Well I'm putting together a display of my work and I can hear the rejection of it in my head.  I have never been able to fit the 'norm'.  Maybe it is time to embrace it?


I have been busy lacing my current lot of portraits onto boards.

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I am about to start the final lessons from Sue Stone that I started a few years ago but life got in the way.

I have to put together a display for the Embroiderers' Guild of my work and I am finding choosing what to put in it difficult.  Most of the traditionally stitched pieces of work I have done I have given away as gifts over the years, although I have held onto a few, most of which need to be assembled

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or are really large pieces.

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  What I have the most of left is the experimental pieces.  Oh well, I will just have to put in what I have.

Schools Back

Yes, the holidays are over.  My grand daughter started at high school yesterday after a 3 year break where I helped home schooled her.  I thought I might be called on to help get her home in the afternoon but her parents have arranged with their employers that they will do this.  Things have changed so much since I had my children.  By the time the eldest was 7 years old and his brother 6 I had them travelling on their own.  They had to catch a bus from outside their school, get off in the busy Fortitude Valley, which wasn't a very savoury place for kids or any one else for that matter, cross a very busy road and then get another bus home.  If they walked home from the Valley the old Italian men who sat in the pub, which was on the way home kept an eye out for them.  They were accosted once and all the men came out of the hotel to their rescue, which they thought was very exciting.  Then I insisted they had to get that second bus, no walking.  But they learnt how to look out for their own safety and be responsible for themselves.   I also took the time to teach them how to be safe on their push bikes in the traffic in the inner city suburb.  My parents had given me similar lessons when I was 5 and 6 years old out in the country where the risks were different but still real.

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Today those little boys are in their 40's and the eldest is responsible for his own family.   I know it is easier to take the children in the car to and from school.  There is more traffic and we are more aware of the risks.  Up to 12 years of age it is against the law to leave a child alone, although I'm sure there are plenty of parents who do.  I believe, learning how to look out for your own safety is something that should start early.    I got a call from my son to tell me that my grand daughter had a great day at school today.  Well now this grandmother has more time for stitching

I got my preferred diary, at last.

With all the disruption of illness I wasn't able to purchase the diary I like to use for this year.  I have used this type of diary for at least 10 years and every year I stitch a cover for it.  I thought that I has missed out and purchased another one just to go on with but then I found the one I prefer.

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I like it because it is well constructed, there is a list of school terms for every state, it has a  monthly and daily planner page, for this year and next, lots of room for notes and photos of subjects that sooth my soul.

I am pressing on with the challenge, which I will use for the cover of this diary. 

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After applying the paint I went looking for other fabrics to incorporate into the piece and low and behold I found an old piece I had stashed away from a workshop I did with Dijanne Cevaal back in the 1990's!  I very much copied her style for this block and I still have not mastered how to free machine quilt.  In this workshop we did Procion dyeing of fabric and them made lino blocks which we printed onto the fabric.  I did the workshop so that I could learn the process and use it with my special needs students, who it turned out, were far better than me at doing this.  (We made a quilt for the local library about the history of the schools local.)

This turtle is just the right colours for my fabric, but, it has thrown a spanner in the works.  I was going to have floral stitching but now it will have to be linked to the sea.  That is going to be a whole new story. I think I will attempt to machine embroider the turtle and although I have put together a whole lot of threads I'm not sure how the rest of this will turn out.

The Design Challenge

I have been slow in getting started on this, but then I'm just slow at everything at the moment.  I still find I have to lie down and just stop at points throughout the day.  Still, I got my fabric prepared and the paint onto it for the first stage.

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My tools included 2 sizes of brushes, which I didn't use much.  Some cut up labels off a pair of slacks I have bought and a broken plastic clothes peg.

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This was last years challenge and I see I must have used the same blue.  I have done little painting since then in acrylics it has all been water colours for the past year.

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Now to let it dry and move onto the next stage.


I finally worked out that if I used markers on my knitting I could keep better track of the pattern.  (Boy am I slow?)  So now I am on the home straight with this one.  I hope I will have enough wool left over to knit a hat as well.  Then I should be able to return to my winter sweater.

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But, I have just bought Julie's new small patterns from her shop


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and sweaters.

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My grand daughter Jasmine just loves soft toys.  She has a mountain in her room of these but I know she would love some more.  Luckily, (unluckily) I don't have the right wool for the mice so it will just have to be the bears.

My TAST challenge piece for this month is completed.  I am only using running stitch and it's variations for this one.

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I decided to use woodland and water spirits as my inspiration for this series.  This one is based on Resulka the Vilia. (My Resulka isn't nearly as beautiful as the one in the video, I am trying to make her other worldly.)


And, on a more prosaic note, I'm still finishing pot holders

My phone isn't working!!

My phone isn't working properly.  I had no idea just how much I relied on it.  I can do some things like receive and send messages, look at advertisements and some photos and some apps but I can't receive or make phone calls, use the camera or the alarms.  I don't know if I have hit some button by mistake or the phone is faulty.  This calls for a visit to the Apple store which is an hours drive away and I can't get an appointment at the Genius Bar until 1 pm today.

Now, although I love all things techie I don't have a lot of knowledge, I just barge in and hope it works.  I might have done that on the phone.  After 10 years of trying to work out why my circular knitting needles keep coming undone I saw some one else tighten theirs and had  light bulb moment. I kept moving the screw when I should have been twisting the needle!!

I am going to have another attempt at "Stitch Camp" tomorrow with Gwen Hedley.  I did this course last year and really enjoyed the process.  (It's Free.)

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This year I have  taken my colour scheme from a vase of flowers I saw in a gift shop.

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And this time I think I will try a more figurative approach.  So things are about to get messy but I have my workspace set up to withstand the mess I make this time.  (I hope.).