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October 2023
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November 2023


So, all the chock blocks are (nearly) finished, Ta Da!!  I just have to finish the eyes and I have half of those done. 

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And I have finished Mr Fox. I don't like the shadow of the darker fabric under his chops but  think that might get lost in the whole quilt.

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I found the white fabric didn't show the definition of his face so I added a light shadow with some ink intense pencils.

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Now I have to cut them to size and stitch them together, do the borders and then it will go off to the quilter.

A bit more on the cross stitch,

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and not a lot more.

Trying to cross the T's and dot the i's

I know I shouldn't worry  but I want everything in order before I start the intensive part of my treatment.   So, I mowed the lawns, did the garden and got things in order and wore myself out in the process.  But now I'm happy.  (My husband went absent during this time and was no help at all.) This is the back garden which is sheltered from the wind off the water. 

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It is a lovely warm spot to sit and read in winter but can get a bit humid in summer.

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I have bird baths positioned all around my garden.  One I placed amongst the ferns for the little birds that hide in the trees.  They are very shy and very quick.  I can see the disturbance in the water,

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but just can't get them in the frame.  I did at one point get their reflection in the bird bath.

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I will just have to keep trying.

 Now back to those chooks, who I am heartily sick of.  I am positioning the eyes.  I think I will leave it for a day and come back.

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I still have that fox to finish yet.

Sally Whitwell

I first heard Sally perform as the accompanist of the Gondwana Children's choir.  There was something about her performances that made them different from every other accompanist I have ever heard. This one one of her compositions.  She is a very talented artist and composer.  (She is the accompanist.)



Another week

Some days are harder then others and over the past week my cancer treatment and I have been in disagreement.  Still there is nothing I can do about it so I try and take my mind off it all with my stitching but even that hasn't been able to help.  The weather has been wild, then we get a good day, then it goes wild again.

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I had a birthday last week and my family took me to the Strawberry Farm for lunch.

The drugs I am taking make food ... just say I'm not into food at the moment but I did enjoy this day.

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Also, I did get a nice bundle of 'loot' on the day including a couple of new books to read.

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My grand daughter told me not the worry because the flowers, they would open in a few days and that she was working on a name for her craft business, she is 11 years old.  She though "Crusty Crochet" might work.  I'm not sure about that.


I'm not up to doing anything much at the moment but I have been working on the cross stitch.  I have to make some corrections to my previous report.

I find that I have to use the magnifier.  I nearly went cross eyed trying to see the fabric.  It didn't happen all at once but once it started I just couldn't see anything.

That thread is old.  You only get one shot at getting it right, no unpicking, it just shreds.

I can only stitch for a limited time and then my hand says "NO MORE!"

Still it keeps me occupied.

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Book - The Man Who Died Twice

This is an enjoyable, entertaining read.  In fact I read it in one sitting.  I should try and pace myself but I got caught up in the story and just kept reading.

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I think it has been written with the idea of it being translated into a TV series and, with the right actors it would work well.  The author, Richard Osman, has a background of working in TV, (Pointless Quiz), so that makes sense.  It is amusing, has pathos, an entertaining story line and keeps you guessing until the end.

(It would also make a good Xmas present and I see it is now for sale in Target and Woolworths at a good price.  That is one present taken care of.)


There was a time when I was really into block printing.  I found it a great way to get my special needs students involved in textiles and in fact some of the students, especially those from the Torres Straight, were experts at making the blocks.  (Little did I know back then that this was a much practiced craft that their parents were engaged in.)

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I also bought a bundle of blocks back from my times in India.  I still use them sometimes.

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I have been thinking about embroidering my Xmas cards and thought these blocks might make some good designs but found that most of the ones I had were too big.  So, I went looking on-line and found this old book.

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All the designs are copyright free, not too big, easy to download and trace and I think will do the job.  I don't have to use all of the design, just those parts that will make a small design.

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I will let you know how I get on.


Chooks and more chooks, just a bit of stitching each day.  Very do-able.

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It is all the details that are taking my time.  I have finished all the feet, beaks and eyes in a satin stitch zig zag.  I am leaving the iris of the eyes until they are all finished.  This feature will give each animal their own personality.  The combs and tail feathers, along with the decoration on each choock has been stitched in a blanket stitch, some are in a single stitch some in a double.

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I decided that I would use a 25 count fabric for the Cross Stitch and stitch over 1 thread.  I am only going to use threads that I have to hand and have selected Danish Flower thread to stitch this.

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I don't have enough of any one coloured thread to stitch the whole piece so have started the vine in dark green.  If there is enough of this coloured thread I will go back and stitch the leaves, if not, I will use the lighter green for these.  I have this thread prepared in lengths for stitching.  The thread is at least 20 years old so I took it apart and checked that it was perfect and it was.  (The same can not be said for all old cottons.)

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Stitching over 2 threads would have made the piece too big.  I like this compact version, I just hope the colours of the threads work.

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I am surprised that I can see my work.  I don't even have to use a magnifyer.