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February 2023

Some Shopping

I managed to make a great purchase for only $2.00!

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The cross stitch is for my grand daughter, the wool for a bennie.

Then, I managed to buy a not so great set of ipod airs for myself at $400+

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Why not so good?  Well as I am setting them up I find that my hearing aids will do the same job!!

No one explained to me that this was possible when I bought the hearing aids some time ago.  But after I set up the apps on my phone I could hear music through my hearing aids.  They are connected to my phone so that I can hear all the calls that come in.  (They must be blue tooth technology.)  This is the same technology that the airpods use, all I need to do is to install the App onto my phone and "Hey Presto" I have sound in my ears that no one else can hear.

Now I have a very expensive set of AirPods that I don't really need, all set up to go.  My daughters birthday is only a few days away, I think this might be her present.  (lucky girl!!)

The other purchase that arrived in the mail is my Gold Work Kit.  (again not cheap.)

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I am not opening this!! Can you see that list  behind it?  Well that has to be finished first.  I have to stop this starting things and not finishing.

Back to experimenting with the pin and clip pillows.


Trialing some new designs - Version 1

I stitched some pin cushion fronts last year and am now trialing how I will make the pin cushions.  I had seen a number of "Pin and Clip cushions", although all seemed to be for patterns that you had to buy, like this illustration.

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These are a fairly new designs, as the clips haven't been in common useage for all that long and here they are rather expensive.  I like the feature of the clips on 4 sides but this doesn't sit very well on my sewing table.  As  result of this I have decided to try three different designs.  The first I have made out of the smaller of the 'gum tree' design that I appliqued.  I have put clip holders on two sides.

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It is the simplest of the construction methods , being just a rectangle with the clip holders sewn into the side seams and then stuffed with wadding.

But, it sits perfectly in the front of my smaller sewing machine. 

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If I had put holders at either end this would look more balanced but would not have been so ergonomic  in it's use.

Next I am going to trial a larger version.

Design inspiration

This painting looks so modern, but it was published in The Book of Miracles, anonymous, circa 1552

Screen Shot 2023-02-21 at 8.38.47 pmThe translation of the text says

"In 1300A.D., a terrible comet appeared in the sky and in this year, on St Andrews Day, an earthquake shook the ground so that many buildings collapsed.  At this time, Pope Boniface V111 established the first Jubilee year.

But I think it was the shape of the comet and the colours in this picture  that I thought was so modern.  I wonder if it would make a good embroidery?


Because of the hot and humid weather a lot of the big old gum trees have become stressed.  This has resulted in the shedding of leaves in large quantities and the dropping of large limbs from the trees.  This is a problem when they fall on power lines as it can take quite a while for the repair crews to get over here and get the power connected again.  So, candlelight dinners, salads and BBQ's are the norm at the moment, not to mention the ever familiar call of "don't open the fridge".  Also, because of this there is little stitching going on.  (No air-conditioning, electric light at night, no sewing machine, the list goes on.)

But, I still have to get all the kits ready to teach my next class.  (I'm only volunteering here.)  I thought I might have 5 or 6 in the class but 20 have registered so this has been a lot of preparation.

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But now the bag is packed and I am "ready to roll".

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The only other stitching I have done is on the seams of a quilt I started ages ago.  This is a great project to take to meetings because it doesn't require a lot of concentration, but that is the only time I get to stitch this one.  (I'm not counting on it being finished any time soon.)

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Another Book

This book was a gift from my friend Pam and what a gift, one that keeps on giving.  It isn't a new book, being first published in 2012, but, it is quite magnificent.  Just the bird on the cover gives you an inkling on what is to follow.

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The illustrations are quite lavish.  Those tassels are magnificent.

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And it covers the traditional,

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To the contemporary, as illustrated in this needle lace.

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I am just in love with every page of this book.

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At the moment I sit and read a few pages at a time with my afternoon cup of tea.  Heaven.


A New Week

I hope that this week is better than the last few!  The heat has been playing havoc with my health and well-being (along with my husband) and this week I want to move on in a calmer state of mind.  Although, family matters are still testing.  My grand daughter is not adjusting to regular school at all well.  Academically she is at a year 12 standard and she is in year 8.  I think there may be another move on the horizon but it will not be back for lessons with me.  She needs to be with younger people.

I am eagerly waiting for the delivery of a new book, "China Adorned." 

Screen Shot 2023-02-19 at 5.31.18 pmThis is only becoming available this month but the reviews have been good.

This was one review: Aesthetic influences drawn from China have long resonated throughout Western art, design, and philosophy. China Adorned challenges the monolithic idea of Chinese culture and fashion, turning the lens on the rich clothing traditions of the country’s ethnic-minority peoples.

Drawing on more than three decades of research by cultural anthropologist Deng Qiyao, this volume documents and demystifies the customs and rituals of more than thirty minority peoples through their clothing and accessories. Deng’s never-before-published archival photos sit alongside contemporary imagery by photographer Cat Vinton, showcasing the fabrics and jewelry in conjunction with the surrounding landscapes. In the process, the book helps readers to better understand the deep connections between people, place, ritual, and adornment. Contributor essays delve further into the mechanics of these textiles and techniques, the role of the artisan, and the extraordinary resilience of minority material cultures, offering a timely reminder of the importance of preserving these traditions for generations to come.

Part anthropological study, part photography series, this stunningly illustrated collection challenges and enriches our Western perception of the diversity of Chinese culture.

I am going to return to my knitting tonight, my wrist isn't nearly as sore as it has been.  I only have the yoke to finish on this piece and the colder weather has got to be coming around soon.

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Another resolution

Yes, here is another resolution.

"I will not go out if the weather is too hot and humid or too wet."

I did this, in the heat and humidity, and made myself ill.   No more.  It just isn't worth all the pain.  Nothing is so important that it can't wait.  What I will do is sit in the air-con and plan new work.  Or maybe finish some old stuff!

I found some great inspiration in the work of Georgina Warne.

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Her decoration is almost like Elizabethan Embroidery.  All her work here has been sold, so someone else likes it as well.

This fellow looks as though he is tattooed.

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Now I also saw some toy horses on Pinterest that had been embroidered.

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Ideas, ideas.

A bit behind

The weather is just so hot and humid here at the moment.  A large cyclone has been off the coast and in now headed for NZ and that is the reason for the weather.  I am trying to get a display of my work together for the Embroiderers Guild and am finding it a really hard ask.  I have come to the conclusion that I am only going to include work that I have designed myself.  But, I have so much.  Hundreds of samplers that I have designed, 50 book covers, the list goes on. 

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Some things that I started and didn't complete, like the challenge with friend Pam.  I thought about putting all this in the bin but today friends talked me out of it and into completing the display quilt.  I have completed 38 of the 52 blocks but there is still the assembly and I have another 2 quilts to finish.  One just needs another applique added and the quilting and the other just the quilting.  And it is sooo hot.  I try to stitch but feel as though I am melting.

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