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May 2024

Where I live

It just rains and rains here.  You can get a beautiful day and the next day it rains.  But it does have an upside in that the light is a lot softer.

The reflections in the creek are lovely, but,

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it is difficult to tell what is up or down.

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The camilia trees have had all their flowers knocked to the ground and are spread out like a carpet.

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I hadn't seen many flowers on my own tree but found just enough unbruised blooms to put into a vase along with some other survivors.

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The weather man says this rain will go through winter and onto summer as well.

(We might all turn into fish!!)


So, those scraps!!   I have been sewing little bits together,

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to make bigger bits.

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Then I found some left over denim so I put the two together to make a block.

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And hopefully I can make the blocks into a quilt.

A little each day on my Cornish Coast embroidery.

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I am finding stitching this piece a favourite part of me day.  My desk looks out into the trees and now the Bouganvillia is starting to flower.

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And I have worked out a way to use my French fabric to make the applique on my table-cloth.  The fabric is too thick and stiff to needle turn.  So, I made templates for each pieces and gathered these onto the template. This is a slow process so I will not have much to show for a while yet.

(Tomorrow I am off to the Gold Coast for shopping with my patchwork group, I got new shoes that have me walking again and I think I am finally over the flu.)



Still Struggling with Technology and a Surprise Gift

I am determined to get to grips with this technology issue.  (Says she gritting her teeth and pulling out her hair!)

I was all set to buy a new desktop but then Mr Apple wouldn't let me into my Email account and on top of that said I had security issues because I was trying too many ways to get in.  So I have put my $3,000 back in my bank account and am going to learn how to use this laptop properly.

I have had some wins, but I am still behind.  I managed to link this machine to the printer, download a new browser and attach an external hard drive, air drop a photo, (which I can't open), they were big wins.  Next I have to transfer everything over from the old desk top.  Hope I survive that!

And then in the midst of all this chaos a parcel arrived in the post from my friend Marion in the UK.  It was a lovely embroidery kit .


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I already have it set up in my hoop ready to start stitching.  I find stabbing easier than scooping when stitching these days, hence the hoop.  This isn't something that I would have bought myself but I just love it.  Thank you Marion.  (This will now be part of my WIPW.)

I spent the morning with the scrap material and and thinking, "should I continue with this, or should I put it all in the bin?" The constant cutting is aggravating my wrist problem but then again it is starting to take some shape. Maybe just a bit each day.

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The mess is getting to me but I don't want to waste the fabric.  Then again if I put it into the bin I can concentrate on other things?

Decisions, decisions.


I made the mistake of volunteering to sort out some scraps that were donated to my patchwork group. 

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They were going to be put in the rubbish, which was a terrible waste, so I said I would organise them into more manageable units. 

I firstly put them into bundles according to colour. Then started by ironing each piece and then cutting it. I soon became obvious that there was a lot of unusable scrap but I can't stop now. I still have 2 bags to go.   Then I will sew them together myself as I now have a couple of ideas about how this could be done.

I now have a hand brace for my right hand.  Still lots of things I can not do but I can type, some hand sewing and machining, so things are looking up.

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I have long had some ideas of embroidering some pieces featuring birds.  I have done some in the past,

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but want to do some more.

Not wanting to reinvent the wheel I first turned to my on-line antique pattern library books and there I found some wonderful designs that are now all out of copyright.

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What I want to do is use the basic shapes to depict some of our native birds.  That will require some changes to the designs but I now have the basic shapes and can tweek the drawings to suit me.  I also noticed that there are a number of Kate Grenville designs in this book, also out of copyright.

Big Mistake!!

I bought myself an Apple Laptop computer, I hate it.  I can't transfer over all my files, I don't like the screen or any other feature.Screen Shot 2024-05-19 at 5.10.53 pm

I'm going to get a new desktop.

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But I have a big problem with my Telstra email account (where my apple id is stored) and they will not talk to me about it because THEY have listed the account in my husband's name, even though we listed it in both our names, they changed it to just his name.  As his wife I have no access even though I pay all the bills and he has memory loss!!!!

I am so frustrated and angry at the whole affair.

Talking to other women, who also have the same problem with Telstra, I have been told I have to ring them, with my husband standing beside me, who will tell them that I am his wife and they will address my questions.  How out of date is that?

Where I live -

I planted a Tibouchina tree beside the water tank.  It has started to grow and I keep waiting for the flowers to die down to trim it. 

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Problem is it just keeps flowering.

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I hope it stops flowering soon because these trees can grow up to 10 metres and I need to trim it back.

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It is planted just off the back verandah over the railing from the BBQ.  I put it in to cut out the western sun when we eat and entertain out there.  I don't think we will need to worry about the sun. 

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I planted another at one of my old schools back in 2006.  It was all concrete in that part of the yard.  Now it is a great place to sit and that tree fills the space.

Why didn't I think of that?

At one point I cleaned out my fabric cupboard and gave a great bundle of dressmaking fabrics to me daughter.  I was never going to make clothes again.  (Since then I have changed my mind.)

My daughter came to visit wearing a jacket she had made from left over woollen fabric, It gets cold up on the range.

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Then she showed me the lining.

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My son bought this fabric for me from Bali 20 odd years ago and I didn't know what to do with it, so I passed it on to my daughter.  I couldn't think what I would make with it.  It was so bright.

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I Love the result.  Not a shabby result from scrap fabric.


I just can't take a trick at the moment.  My feet are really bad and now I have a head cold.  Well at least the head cold is keeping me off my feet!!

I really only have a couple of pieces on the go at the moment and that is the evelope bags I am making as a gifts.  It is taking forever because of the pain in my wrist and hand.  But, I am making progress on stitching left handed!!

Screen Shot 2024-05-14 at 4.28.47 pmI am using a rayon and viscose Anchor thread for the stiching and it is really good to work with.

For the other one, I have pieced the fabric and decided on the colours, but there it sits.

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I foolishly said I would teach a class in how to do this bag.

(Will I never learn!!!)

Mother's Day

Well my sister and brother-in-law have left and returned to their home in NSW.  It was a hard goodbye for me, I still weep when I think about it as I know there is a chance we may never see each other again.  I remember back to childhood when I was so jealous of my sister, our Mother loved her more the me I always thought.  She was everything a daughter should be, pretty, blue eyed and fair, a lovely nature, clever, popular and no trouble.  I was the opposite, dark hair and eyes, lots of trouble, not popular and driven.  I know now that non of that matters to a mother.  You love your children no matter what, there is no other alternative other than to love.

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(My sisters wedding, I am on her left, she was 18 Y.O.)

We did lots of catching up, as she still keeps in touch with those we grew up with.  But there are very few of them still alive.  Breast cancer has been the grim reaper for almost all of my childhood female friends.   We sat and knitted together and I could feel my right arm hurting so much.  I knew, what I had suspected,  that I will never be able to knit much again.  (I also injured my foot with too much walking and am having to sit all the time.)  So, with heavy heart, I pulled out all my wool stash for her to choose what she would like to take and she took 5 boxes full, I also gave her all of my knitting books.  All the wools I had collects from around the world, so lots of precious memories went with that gift.  She is the only person I would have given them too, they will be safe with her and I know she will knit them up for her children and grandchildren.

My son rang to say that all my children will be here for lunch on Mother's Day.  With everything going on I had forgotten that that day was nearly here.  So now life moves on.  It think about what I learned from my Mother in the 16 years before she died. 

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I always have fresh flowers in vases around my house, she loved that.

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I love to look at peaceful scenes that calm my heart, she loved that.

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I look at my children and love them, she did that too.

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What I Learned From My Mother

I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know
the deceased, to press the moist hands
of the living, to look in their eyes and offer
sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.
I learned that whatever we say means nothing,
what anyone will remember is that we came.
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
awful pains materially like an angel.
Like a doctor, I learned to create
from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse.
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.
       ––Julia Kasdorf