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So Beautiful

My friend Angela has been quilting her old embroideries and the latest one is quite stunning.  It was a cross stitched embroidery stitched by her late mother-in-law, so it held special memories.  She turned it, from an embroidered table runner

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To a stunning work of art by mounting it on a background and then quilting it.

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This is then an heirloom for future generations.  What a wonderful way of transforming a piece of embroidery.

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

Covid Negative - finally

It is a red letter day today.  I have finally tested negative to Covid.  I have been positive for the past 14 days.  I knew that the virus would give me trouble, having an immune system problem, but I think that all those vaccinations, (5), probably helped me to survive.  There was one period where I was hospitalised, because my blood pressure was out of control, that I think was the most dangerous. And as much as I am grateful to the Doctors and Nurses at the Hospital I hated the Covid ward, it was like being locked up in prison.  The ward was separate to the hospital.  A locked concrete block building with windows up at ceiling level, I was so glad when they said I could go home.

I got the virus from my husband, who isn't thinking properly because of the onset of dementia.  He probably forgot his mask and I know that at least one of his rowing mates had the virus.  Jut shows, you can be as careful as can be but there just has to be one person in your close circle who isn't thinking about spreading the infection and you have it.

So now I want to sew again.  I don't have a lot of energy and am still not thinking clearly but if I can get all this "out of my head and into my hands" I am sure I will gradually get better.

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I made a start by sewing the gathering around my little cushions for the pin cushions and attaching them to the cardboard bases.  Not a lot, but it is a start.

Time for a review

Well looking at the year that was I didn't set a goal for each month as I said I would.  Life kind of just took over and I reacted to events.  

  I think I had more success when I set a list of goals, even if I didn't achieve them all. 

I did resign from all paid teaching although I have kept a few classes where I will work as a volunteer.  

I must NOT let this grow' and, I will limit the number of judging jobs that I undertake.

My right arm, which I have broken a number of times, can be temperamental and I have been doing a lot of knitting in the second part of this year and I have a number of knitting and crocheting projects I want to take on.  

I will need to pace the amount of knitting and crocheting I undertake in the following year.

Friendships have been super important over the last year.  My husband is ageing and experiencing signs of dementia and I have found this very distressing.  It has highlighted just how important having a good support system is. I am also getting older and I know at some point in the future driving may be a problem.   I have joined a local patchwork group that I can catch a bus to, to attend meetings.  I have also made some new friends in my local area and will take more time so I can meet my old friends.

Also,  I need to re-kindle some of my other interests, most notably, my love of music.  I need to attend more concerts and play the piano more often.  This is difficult with the injury to my right arm but not impossible.  What is impossible is singing.  I have a inoperable growth on my thyroid gland and if I sing it becomes very painful and I lose my voice, but I can listen. So, going to concerts in on the agenda and visits to the Art Gallery in the city needs to recommence.  These activities also allow me to join with friends to enjoy their company and having responsibility for home schooling of my grand daughter is no longer an issue.

Now that I am not teaching the priorities for my stitching have changed.  Most stitching was driven for the need to design teaching pieces.  That is no longer the case.  This has left me rather unsure about just what my priorities will be.  So I asked myself,

"what do I want to stitch?"

The list was so long that it would be quite unmanageable.  So this list may change as the year progresses but I will;

join the TAST challenge

Design and stitch a new book cover for the year.

Continue with the Kogin pin cushions and bags.

Complete the Graffitti and Friendship quilts.

Make the majority of my own clothes.

Travel is now back on the agenda but I don't want to go far or for very long as I don't like to leave my husband alone.  So my goals here are modest.

 Go to the Wool Festival in Bendigo, Victoria, in 2023.  (The pandemic has made this impossible over the last few years.)

I will visit my quilting friends in Toowoomba at some of their retreats.

I will attend at least one retreat with my Maberly quilting group.

I will attend two meetings a month at the Embroiderers Guild.

I haven't looked at what I want to do around the house or how I will incorporate family into all of this but it is a good starting point and gives me a sense of direction and if you can't change your mind along the way about what your goals are it isn't a workable plan to start with!

(I found this article  very informative when coming up with my plan.)

So, "girding up her loins" she launches into 2023!!

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The count down to Xmas

Well here we are again, just a few days before Xmas.  It comes around so quickly each year.

I thought I was having a day making  a gingerbread house with the girls but they remembered that I said I would take them to Ikea to buy desks for their new rooms.  I am still recovering, all that walking.  I'm not nearly as young as I used to be.  I hadn't realised what I had started.  They have been researching what they wanted for weeks and Monique had her list and knew exactly what she wanted to buy, Jasmine knew, but wanted to look at everything to be sure she had picked the right things.  Once around Ikea wears me out, three times destroys me.  So instead of going to inspect my daughter and son-in-law's new farm (they are going to run cattle) I stayed home to recover and sent my husband on his own.

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I have now just about finished with Xmas lunches, only one more to go and most of my friends have flown out of Australia to all points of the globe.  The USA, UK, the middle east and South America and now I am sitting looking at a mug I was given as a gift. 

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It needs a bag.  I have another mug in a beautiful bag but I have put it somewhere SAFE.  Heaven knows where SAFE is, I don't, so, I need to make a new mug bag.  (You can not go to patchwork meetings without a mug bag.)   I think I will make a mock-up for this one so that I can make adjustments.  (Tutorial to follow.)

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I still have that gingerbread house to finish, that will be Friday.  ( If you want a good laugh have a look at Arne and Carlos decorating their Gingerbread House.  )

Because of the high humidity here our gingerbread houses only last 1 day, sometimes less.  I think waiting for the collapse of the house is part of the attraction to the girls.  And on the above show, which is set in Norway, they demolish their houses, which are filled with lollies, with a hammer on Xmas Eve to get to the sweets.  I won't tell the girls about that.

The past week has been super busy

I have had to stop and rest after a super busy week.  I'm not as young as I used to be and I have been burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, so then I went crash and had to stop. 

I had two days driving, for 4 hours plus on each. To meet a friend and to take my husband out.  Not only is there the driving there is walking to and from the ferry, 1 km each way and then walking too and from the car once I get to the main land.  That all adds up but sitting by the water watching old men fishing, admiring the view and the wildlife makes the trips worth while.

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Then I had a birthday.  Lots of messages and phone calls, more morning teas and a lovely day.  I felt so good I mowed my own and a neighbours lawns, (I got bitten by something again,) plus walking to visit a friend.  Then that evening we went back to the mainland to have dinner by the lake at sunset.

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The reflections in the water was beautiful.

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I then turned around and went into town to stay overnight.  Next morning I had breakfast with my daughter at a popular garden centre.  This place had a huge bamboo hedge,

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and this little one just loved these rabbits. He was deep in conversation with them.

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And I found a succulent that had grown it's flowers in the shape of a heart.  (This might make a good embroidery design.)

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I didn't know it but apparently I had said I would take my daughter to the fabric store in the valley.  There I did some serious damage to the credit card buying fabric.

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Then onto to teach and embroidery class.  No wonder I slept most of the next day!

But with all that fabric it is time to start sewing, so I am in dressmaking mode.  Good thing too.  The Xmas parties start this week and I need to make my Xmas dress.  I have the pattern pieces cut out but of course I'm going to change the style of the pattern.  (I couldn't just follow the pattern.)

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The only bad thing is I'm going to have to change the thread in the over locker.  I HATE doing that.

No wonder I just feel like sleeping!!



Morning Tea with a friend

I have coffee with a friend every couple of weeks, that was before home schooling, now after homeschooling we are able to meet again.  She has recently moved house and is not native to Brisbane so I thought it would be a good idea to show her some of my favourite places that are near her new home.  We started last week with fish and chips at Morgan's at Scarborough.  You can sit on the harbour and watch the boats as they bring their catch in.

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And what a catch!  Everything is so fresh.

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This week we went to Sandgate and bought a coffee from the Fish and Chip shop there, then, sat in the park by the water.  This is another favourite spot of mine.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 3.03.22 pmIt is an old shop that started life as an oyster bar way back before WW1.

The park in on the inlet and old Moreton Bay Fig trees offer shade.

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They are just beautiful to sit under.

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All the seats were full and other people had brought their own chairs. (This is mid week, it's not so peaceful on the weekend.)   People chatting, playing Scrabble and Cards with a soft breeze blowing to keep us cool.

We were amused by the sea birds that were on the sand flats.  As the tide rose they didn't move but stood in the water catching fish that came in on the tide.

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I was sure they would move but they stayed put until they had to swim.  There were no screaming gulls in the park they had all fed well on fresh fish and sat around quite content.

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As an adult I learnt to paddle at the club on the inlet.

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And as this is an family friendly place you can see old boats that have been lovingly looked after still in use.

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Nothing really outstanding, but, oh so special.

Out of touch

The past few years have been difficult for most of the world I think.  Covid saw us all locked away and it has been relatively safe in isolation here on the island.  But life has moved on and change has kept happening, even if we hadn't noticed. ( I had homeschooling of my grand daughter that kept me away from the world as well.)   Then last week I had a day out with a friend, I haven't done that since before Covid struck and boy did I notice how things had changed.

We drove out to Samford to buy some plants and have lunch.  As we drove to our destination we past through Ferny Grove, which is the end of the rail line and I saw a multi story building under construction.  This should have warned me that things had changed in this neck of the woods,  It is only a short drive through a narrow gully to Samford township and the country backwater is a backwater no more.  That came as a bit of a shock.

There was a huge Harry Potter shop, complete with the flying car.

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A wonderful Bakery within a Craft Beer bar, "little tree bake and beer house".  Lovely view over the creek and some stunning Bonsai.

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Then I found a craft/gift shop, Makers on Main, which had Tilda fabrics and others from Indi designers.  (I will be going back here.)

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We had a delicious lunch at the Lifestyle centre

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and then wandered into a book shop where the owner knew all about the books she had in the shop, so I bought a couple for my grand daughters.

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Then following the path that wound up the hill there was a yarn shop.  Yarns I have never seen before and owners who are passionate about yarns and had commissioned local dyers to come up with colours that reflected the local environment. I bought the hank below which was developed from a photo of the view from the shop.

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And they had lots of good quality needles and even blocks for socks,

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not to mention some beautiful buttons.

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I have missed so much and have so much to catch up on.  I'm off to meet another friend tomorrow.  I wonder what I will find there?

Some old work

As I am spending so much time at my son's home I thought I would do some tidying up for them.  They are due to move into their new home in a few weeks time and have stuff everywhere.  Amongst this stuff was a quilt I made for him when he first left home.  I was into dying at the time and this was made from the samples that I had made.

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Now this was over 20 years ago but the dyes still look good I'm pleased to say.  I knew I had put a label on the quilt with the date etc on it but...

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Shows I need to sew the details on labels not just write them in fabric pen.

The next thing I found was an old knitted rug I made him.  The colours are really dated but the knitting is good.

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I must say I was very chuffed to think that he had held onto these pieces for so long.

And while I was doing this Nugget gave me the  sweetest look.

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Silly dog.

Life has changed again

Well school didn't work out for my grand daughter and we are back to home schooling.  (She was targeted by bullies in the first few days and just freaked out and is now totally traumatized.)  The change this time is that I will have to travel to their home, which will see me having to catch the 5:30am ferry to get there in time.  I don't think I will come home and travel back again the next day, rather, I will stay over night.  It looks as though I will only be needed a couple of days each week as her other grandparents will return in a couple of weeks time and my daughter will join us on the roster.  There is only another 6 weeks in this term before the Xmas break, so it isn't forever.  I'm not sure what the arrangements will be for 2023.  By that time the family will be in their new home which is only 20 minutes from the island.  The last 3 years have been lessons in have to be flexible and be able to adapt the change.  I will just keep this image of my beautiful island at the front of my mind all the time and "roll with the punches"'

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