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My computer has gone down!

I have an Apple Mac and just love it but it will not boot up.  No problems before this it just stopped working.   I think I might have to buy a new one.  I know they build in redundancy at 5 years and this is older than that.  I’m glad I have an IPad, in fact a couple.    In these days of lock down I need my desktop computer.

Life is all about change

Well my life is, if not everyones.  And my life is about to make a huge change.  My grand daughter is high functioning autistic.  She is having so many problems in the class room at school she is going to have to be home schooled.  She is fine 1 on 1, it is the social interaction that causes problems.  Plus she is so clever that school work, for her age group, is boring.  That means she is disruptive.   I am going to have to take on the teaching role, if not all the time, for a good part of it.  I never expected or wanted this to happen but there is nothing I can do about it.  It is just how it is.

Luckily for me I am a trained teacher so I know what to expect, or I think I do.  The next few weeks, which are school holidays, are going to be spent preparing the curriculum.  I know from the experience of lock down that she can finish a full day's work in an hour, so the lessons from distance education will not be a problem.  It is keeping her extended that is going to be taxing and I will have to design the learning myself.

Her physical co ordination is not good, in fact it is terrible.  We will be doing a lot of sewing I think.  I have started with this bag, which she found difficult to keep the line straight on the machine but it is serviceable and attractive.  She had real trouble cutting out the shapes so cutting out things will be top of the list.


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I am going to have to come up with some innovative ways to keep her occupied.

Be carefull what you eat!

We thought we would try a new Asian eating place the other night.  The meal was delicious.  Then we went to a movie.  Next day I wasn't to well but after a lie down felt a bit better.  Next morning my blood pressure was through the roof, combined with a bleed in my eye, stroke territory.  So, a trip to hospital where they thought it was stroke territory as well.  After some medication and a night in hospital I was sent home.  (I had a "go to the loo quick" attack that morning.)  That day the blood pressure was out of control again and another visit to the Doctor but I had a normal reading by the time I got there.  After all that it turns out there was MSG in the food and that was responsible for everything.  It will take a few more days to get it out of my system.  I love Asian food but will be very careful where I eat in future.

As a result of this I am behind on my stitching.  The Embroiderers' Guild has asked me to design some embroidery work for sale to their members and that is to be finished.  I did get my tablecloths sewn and they are now in the draw.

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But today a parcel arrived.  A quite large box for Inspirations.

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Inside was a smaller box with my Medici kit. (This looked like pass the parcel.)

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Inside this was a smaller parcel.

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And this contained a ball of thread a small piece of fabric and a needle.

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The fabric is 16 threads to the inch count. (My Kogin fabric is 18 count.)  So a rather open linen fabric.

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I have just been able to source some open weave linen fabric from a friend.  She got it from someone that said their parents had brought a number of bolts from Finland to Australia when they came here some time ago.  It looks very open weave, and not all together even.  I was surprised to see that the thread count for this fabric was 24 threads to the inch.

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Not nearly as open as I had at first thought.  I was going to experiment with some blackwork on this.  I will give it a go and see what happens.  The linen thread in this piece is very strong.  I had also thought about working with wool on it but I think the linen thread would shred the woollen thread.  I have no idea what this would have been originally used for only where it came from.  Something to research.

Look what turned up!

I gave up ever seeing this parcel.  I ordered it back in November 2019 and there said there would be a delay.  It left the warehouse back in January 2020 and the parcel arrived today!

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It is in good condition and unopened so I guess it was overlooked.  I had been onto the supplier who assured me it had been sent in January.  As it was cheap I just wrote it off and decided not to buy from them again.  But here it is, my new Iphone stand.

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It must be my day because I was checking my comments and there was an email from Christa in France who commented on my Nasturtium post.  She sent me a link on how to grow these flowers

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Whilst I was in Toowoomba Angela collected some seeds for me and I have an empty pot I was wondering what to plant out.  I will just put in some and see how they go.

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My first visit since lock down

I took a trip up to Toowoomba to stay with friends and 'the fridge on the ridge' lived up to it's name.  It was cold and the wind went through all the warm clothing.  But it is so nice to come in from that terrible cold.  I had to fight with the Millie to get near to the heater.

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I love staying here, the friendship, the food, the shopping, heaven.  This virus has changed how everything operates but we are adapting.  Some of us slower than others.

We started the stay with  shopping and a break for lunch.  I am still nervious when a lot of people gather together.  A funeral 'wake' arrived just as we were finishing and I was glad to move on.  That is not to say that the lunch was not delicious, but, shopping beckoned.  We started at Hanna's, a country department store where they still write dockets for their sales and offer proper service.  I have enough clothes but I needed more fabric for table clothes.  They stock a wide seersucker that can be put in the washing machine and doesn't need to be ironed.

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I also found a couple of other gems at a teriffic price.  One for patchwork and one for another apron.  Then, in a back corner in the soft furnishing department I found their sale table.  Off cuts from their curtain making department, mainly sheers this time,  "2 bags full for $2".  Also ends of rolls at $5 per metre.  I was very strong and resisted buying any of these but I will check out this area next time I am there.  What I also found was manufacturers sample swatches.  These were also $2 each.  Three for recycling.  There is too much for me here so I will share them with the Guild ladies.

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We also checked out Vinnies.

A few new doylies.  (look at that price!)

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And some bowls that I want to experiment with for the pin cushions and I do like that lavender design. 

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That lot came to $6.00.  We visited a couple of patchwork shops but I wasn't tempted this time.  I hadn't been able to find any big buttons at the op shops, so i bought a couple of cards to see me through and replenished my stock of small sharp scissors. 

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Problem was I had forgotten how sharp they are and promptly cut my finger!   I had a great weekend.

Last treatment

I had the last treatment for the infection I have been fighting yesterday, so I celebrated by buying a new book, "Quilts from Tilda's Studio".

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I have to say I am a fan of the Tilda range of fabrics and the quilts in this book are an inspiration, along with the toys that are pictured with them.

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The toys are not in the book but you can download the patterns for free from their blog.

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If you are into dolls have a look at "Tilda's Friends".  All free patterns again.

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I do like how they incorporate traditional Scandinavian Designs into their quilts and pillows.

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There are a number of pin cushions on this page as well.

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My friend Angela also sent me some images of pin cushions by Kelly Klien.  I will be making pincushions for ever.

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Out of action

I am out of action for a couple of days due to some health issues.  So I thought I would share an image of one of my favourite flowers, the nasturtsium.  These were on the table when I visited my friend Jane.  She had found them growing on a vacant lot.

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I've tried to grow them but have had no luck.  Maybe the salt from the sea has been the problem?

The medals

This week past has been rather testing.  It started fine but then those 2 young women brought the virus into the state and worse than that, into the surrounding suburbs to where we live.  Everyone checked where they had been and if they might have crossed paths with them.  Then we sat in the line for hours waiting to be tested.  Thankfully, these came back clear, but the stress and uncertainty saw my PTSS rear it's head again.  Only one night without sleep and I immediately knew what the problem was and was able to deal with it. But the result for me is that I have slipped behind with my work.  I am considering skipping the workshop with Cas Holmes, but we will see.

On a happier note, I decided to only stitch 3 medals not 4, there just wasn't enought time.  I cann't see myself doing this again, but never say never. I ended up spending a lot more time stitching than I had intended because I just couldn't deal with the finish or stitching on the sample pieces.

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Having said that the process of selecting the words to use was interesting.  I read 3 or 4 articles reporting on how the Covid virus has effected the community and from these selected a list of words that I thought were relevant.  What I did find useful was the information regarding the fonts to select, any thing with 'handwritting', and there are only a few, the size of the font to select, 48 and to print them out and 'draw in' the connecting lines so that the stitching flows easily.

I selected the words; mend, peace, care and safe for my medals.  I used an old hand towel for the fabric to stitch on, so this one will slot into my recycling project for the month.  I have a small packet of Liberty floral fabric pieces which I raided to select flowers to applique around my selected words.  I kept all the pieces as one until I made up the items.

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I didn't use the glue suggested but did use this basting glue.  There isn't the problem of the needle getting caught with this one.  ( I think I bought it at Allthreads.)

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I decided to embroidery the flowers and leaves to applique them to the background.  As these medals are about 3" (small) I used only 1 thread of stranded cotton to do this.  I then mounted them onto some card, also recycled and beaded the edges.  I bought some pins from the $ shop to hang each medal.

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I backed each one with a piece of felt, stitching it into place.  A pin could be sewn on the back to make each one a broach as well.

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I want to give one to a friend who comes out of isolation tomorrow.  She rushed to Melbourne to be with her Mother, who has since passed away.  She then got caught up in the virus scare and has had to spend 2 weeks locked up on her own in a hotel room.  Only being able to exercise for 30 mins a day under police guard.  She certainly deserves a medal!  But which one?

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I think I will let her choose which one she would like from the three.


A small but special gift

We have all scurried back into lock down here.  Two young women returned to Queensland from Melbourne and lied on their entry forms and then tested positive for the virus.   From the list of places they had been since their return it seemed everyone knows some one who had been at the locations listed.  The lines at the testing clinics are long, with most people having to wait hours to be tested, but better safe than sorry.

So looking at this small gift made by a friend it has added a ray of sunshine to my life.  Some times it is that special small gift that touches you.

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Janie only started knitting a few years ago when her first grandchild was due.  Since then she has made some lovely things and come to appreciate the value of good quality yarns opposed to the cheap one.  So, the washer she has knitted me is of a linen/cotton mixture, soft on the skin, and the soap is destined to go into my underwear draw.  Such a lovely smell.

When I visited we had to make a stop at the yarn store that is near my city townhouse.  I have avoided this place for a few years knowing that the yarns would be too beautiful.  Plus, it is owned by a friend and I wouldn't be able not to buy some thing.   Yarn Glorious Yarn is all the things I thought it would be.  I was very good and only bought a couple of balls of the Linen/Cotton mix yarn but I saw all these beauties.  I will have to return.

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