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Where I live and planning some more knitting

I am a bit stiff and sore after digging a new flower bed but it is spring and time to get things in the ground to grow. 

My 'feral flowers' this week are all from the bush with the exception of a few lavender flowers I put it for their perfume and a couple of azalea flowers for colour. The rest are considered weeds.   The crucifix orchid also come in a pink, purple and yellow but it is the orange ones that have gone wild.

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It has been a sad week with the death of a childhood friend across the border.  There was no opportunity to see her again or talk to her but that is COVID.  My cousin, who is also across the border has cancer, caused by the drugs she was given when she was treated for breast cancer a number of years ago.  Our mothers where first cousins who were brought up as sisters and my mother died from breast cancer and her mother survived.  We know that we carry the gene and Beverly has been the unfortunate one who got the very aggressive form.

Her daughter so wanted children but after years of IVF treatment finally gave up.  Now at 44 years of age she finds herself pregnant.  I just gave away all my baby wool stash thinking I would never need it again.  I should have known something like this would happen.  I can order more wool on-line to knit her a hap.

A Hap is a Scottish shawl that can be used for a babe or an adult.

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This pattern is from Shetland Traders.

The Danish Royals left hospital with their twins wrapped in haps.

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This pattern is an old Paton's one that I have used before.  You can still get it on-line.

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But we know the new baby is going to be a boy so perhaps a blue hap would be better?

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The baby is due in January so I might look at knitting it in 1ply yarn?   I can get that from Bendigo Woollen Mills or from Scotland.Screen Shot 2021-09-05 at 11.51.02 am

J & S knitting mills have a good article about haps.

And as an extra I see that Julie Williams from Little Cotton Rabbits is going to put out a koala pattern.  I must get that.

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I need to get my current knitting finished so I can get started.


Some flowers from my garden and some to stitch

Blooms are just busting out all over the place.  The weather has been so pleasant and I was able to pick some flowers to decorate the house.

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My collegues gave me the Royal Doulton ornament when I retired.  It is a gift that keeps on giving.  I planted the Freesia bulbs over 20 years ago in the banks at the back of the beach at the front of the island.  Now they just spring up every year for everyone to enjoy and the perfume is beautiful as is that of the lavender.

I have been busy drawing flowers as well, inspired by that Japanese fabric.  I think these would work a number of ways.  Enlarged, to make an applique or stitched in wool or this size or smaller in regular stranded cotton.   I have enclosed a free downloadable PDF.Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 3.52.13 pm Download Japanese fabric designs - large flowers


Home Again

Well I took that trip to Toowoomba.  I drove up on the Saturday after staying the night at the city town house.  That gave me the opportunity to have dinner with my son at “Place of Stones”.  They make great pizza’s.

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There seemed to be a lot of traffic on the road but everything moved along at a good pace.  I stopped at a country market for breakfast and arrived with 10 mins to spare.  That drive is always pleasant when there are no big trucks to monster you.

The weather was cool and crisp.  Clear bright sky’s and cold nights.

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 I stayed with my friend and was glad that I put in my thermals to put under my night clothes.  All the deciduous trees were just about to shake off the last of their leaves and embrace winter. 

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The cool weather encourages some of the flowers and the camellias were beautiful.

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I didn’t have any time for shopping but got a good part of my donation quilt finished.    The thing with using left overs and not having a set pattern is that you have to be prepared for twists and turns and quite a bit of reverse sewing.  Those printed blocks are never quite square but that is what catches the eye first, so, you have to adjust the sashing to accommodate this.

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I drew that last graffiti panel for the other quilt and was able to get advice from my friends about just what was needed to finish it.  This quilt has sat in the draw unfinished for ages but I can now see a way forward and actually think I will finish it!

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I left in the early afternoon and had an uneventful drive home.  My husband rang to say hurry as we were going out to dinner for my grand daughter, Jasmine’s birthday.  More driving to get back to the city but it was a nice night and we brought the other grand daughter home with us for home schooling this week.  I then  fell into bed and slept.  I left all the washing until the next day and did this between supervising lessons.  I need to set aside another day to go back and hit the shops.  Trouble is I don’t really need anything at the moment but I do love spending time with my friends up there.

The Easter Visit

Unfortunately my Easter visitors brought a flu like virus to the island when they came and I am now in bed, and could be for a week or so more.  I thought it might be something worse but I read on one of my embroidery sites that this was going around Brisbane.  So here I lay, or sit, or just mope around.  I have picked up my knitting again to fill in the time, (when I'm not sleeping). 

When I knitted by guage square I found I needed a larger set of needles, which I didn't have, but I did find some needles I had put aside for the grand daughters for them to learn to knit.  The happy (grumpy) faces of these little dogs brighten my day.

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I might have to get some more!


I have just accepted all the lock-downs and restrictions of COVID but in the last few days have come to understand just how heartbreaking this can be for families.  The separation, the inability to touch on another, the lack of being able to to there.

My neighbours, Simon and Jane have become good friends since we moved to the island.  Simon was a retired academic from Oxford University in England and he and Jane married after they had nursed their former partners until they passed.  Both had had long and difficult illnesses and both had grown children from their previous marriages.  Simon and I would have long discussions on literature, music, life in Norfolk and other shared interests.  They would host music concerts in the breeze way of their house which were lively and enjoyable.

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Even the bird-life would turn up to take part.

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At the gate of their house they have a seagull sitting on the fence to welcome you.

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At the beginning of 2020 Simon was diagnosed with a terminal illness and as the borders were closed he was unable to travel back home and his children could not come here.  We still kept up our conversations as I have watched his health deteriorate.  He had been a man who was involved in life.  When our friend published a children's story book he dressed up as a wizard and had the children enchanted with his reading.  He really looked the part with his long white hair.

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All those little faces, spellbound.

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Even the statues seemed to be listening.

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Yesterday he died.  He was unable to return home, unable to see his family, unable to get a zoom connection to see and talk to them.   He was able to get a phone connection so did get to say good bye at least, but my heart aches for him and his daughters, not being able to return home and see and touch them.

I will always see him playing his banjo, with his cap that he always wore.

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Now the seagull at the gate wears the cap.

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R.I.P. my friend.

In bed again

I am having a flair-up of my condition again so have been laid low.  But in the middle of this I had some good news.  My grand niece, my sister’s grand daughter, came to Q’ld.  to compete in the National SURF life saving championships. Skye is in an Olympic training development squad for NSW’s and is a excellent competitor,  she also has her sights set on becoming an iron woman.

She is also now the Junior Surf Swimming Champion of Australia.

Had herself interviewed for the national news.

‘And her family are super proud of her.

It will be interesting to see how she progresses.  Two of my children were national junior champions in their sports but neither wanted to carry on with competing.

I nice touch was that the whole street where the family lives turned out to congratulate her when they got home.

Update on Bear

It has been 6 months since I adopted Bear.  He had been badly neglected and then ceased by the RSPCA.  I had no idea what breed he was only that he was a scruffy little thing, he had been shaved right down to remove his whole coat.

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It has taken some time for him to regain his confidence but now he runs the house.  Other people and dogs are greeted by a very loud bark for such a little dog, 6.5kg.  This house is his as are all the beaches around the island.  He makes sure everyone knows this. 

He can still be hesitant.

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But he is the most adorable companion.  He sleeps on the bed and is up on my lap as soon as I sit down.  And now that his coat has grown back, is the most handsome little fellow.

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As he is 12 going on 13 years old I'm not too sure how long I will have him.  But as of now he is active, walking 3 times a day, jumps up and down from the bed and on and off furniture.  He has taken a shine to my neighbour which means I have a sitter if I have to go out.  He becomes very anxious if left alone.

I often wonder about his previous owners.  He was awarded to one party in a divorce settlement through the court.  I think the person who got him only wanted to hurt their partner or else he wouldn't have been taken by the RSPCA. 

We have bonded together and I never thought that would happen when Charlie died.  I count him as a blessing in my life.

Catching Up

All the visitors have departed and thanks to my wonderful daughter-in-law most of the cleaning and washing has been finished.   I am so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter-in-law.  We ended up with far more people staying than I had first expected but everyone helped with cooking, cleaning and all the other chores.

When my children where young I always allowed them to bring a friend with them on our holidays to the island.  My son offered this to his children, but forgot to tell me.  Good thing I have a supply of blow up matresses.  I don't know how, but, I did manage to finish my portrait of Jasmine as well.  She was chuffed to see it.  This exercise asked us to incorporate applique and colour.  I am very familiar with applique so I didn't have an problems doing this, but there was still a lot of stitching involved. 

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I think I got a fairly good likeness but it could be better.  This is photograph that I based my design on.

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In the next exercise I have to use paint and pencil.  I have no idea how I will handle that.

The family arrives today

I am being descended upon today so all my time is going to be spent looking after guests.  Lots of cooking, playing board games and doing things with the kids. I have got out the things to sew with the girls. 

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They will have to be quick and do-able as there are so many other distractions.  Dogs, beach, new bikes, tennis, mud and other kids. 

I bought these little mice from Odile some years ago, I think the girls are the right age now to stitch them.

(This is a link to her new web-page.)

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Hope I survive!!

Juvenile Behavour

I know it is juvenile behavour but it is just how I feel at the moment. 

It has been 6 months now of home-schooling my grand daughter and there have been so many highs but her ADHD behavours have worn me down.  She is on the move all the time, she has "ants and her pants."  She touches everything without even realising that she is doing it.  I think that I have put things out of reach and then I find she has pulled them out of the draws and they are on the floor.

Added to this I have had to give up my space in my workroom to give her somewhere to learn, she also sleeps in this room at night because she is afraid in the downstairs bedrooms and I am not prepared to give up my bedroom for her.  Whilst she is here I can only do hand sewing and sewing at night is no longer possible.  That is so limiting.  I was looking forward to some time over Easter on my own but my husband has invited the family to stay.

I found her turning the pages of my diary and although it is only a record of appointments, IT IS MINE.  Added to this the covers I have for the diary are too small and I have to secure them with elastic.  Solution, make a new cover using some recycled fabrics.

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I wanted to write "DON'T TOUCH" all over it.  Instead I took a photo of myself and the word "MINE"

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.48.59 amI then embroidered this, making the expression on my face a bit hard, and put it on the front cover.  (Gee it is hard to stitch small faces.)  I made the lining the same colour as my ear-rings, you can see it peeping out at the bottom.

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Such juvenile behavour, but I enjoyed it.  I hope it keeps her away from it.