Friday, December 23, 2005
May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year!!!!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
You are the Justice card. Justice preserves the
harmony of the world. Working with opposite
forces, Justice does not seek to criticize or
condemn but rather to accept. The idea behind
the card justice is that opposite forces are
complementary; you could not have good without
evil or light without darkness. Justice's
position is to make sure that if a thing is out
of balance, the weight of its energy is
realigned with its opposite force. This card is
also a card of humour, for it is in pointing
out contrary positions that humour is often
found. The attitude that is found in the
humourous person, being able to shift
perspective and flow with an instinct, is
important in the maintenance of good balance.
Image from The Blue Moon Tarot Deck.
Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by
This time next week we should be just about up to the pudding and presents stage of the day... Me - I would like to treat myself to something small for Christmas - but I am not sure what...
LOL - I don't think there is going to be enough hours in the day this week... I don't think there will be any blogging time either :((
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Now this one is DEFINITELY on my stitching list - 'Brer Rabbit'- another one from the William Morris book. I really like the gradual colour change and the design is well balanced. I can see this one hanging on my wall already. Perhaps like a few of the other stitchers whose blogs I browse, I might have to start a stitching rotation.
These designs from this book really appeal to me. They give me a sense of balance and order. They 'speak' to me and touch some inner space that feels replenished when I look at them. Strange reasons I guess...
Interesting enough another of my 'must does' came from an old magazine I found recently in my stash is also a William Morris influence...
This design was stitched by Peg Fraser who recreated it from a screen panel which was stitched by Hilda Leviny whose family owned Buda in Castlemaine.
Hilda Leviny 's screen - this photo does not do it justice - but does give some indication to the size of the panels. The hours of stitching which must have gone into them 'boggles' my mind.
I was flicking through another unrelated English stitching magazine from my stash which is years old and I happened to see in its table of contents an article about William Morris. And as I seem to be having a 'William Morris moment' I turned to the page and saw this... For a moment I looked at it and for the life of me couldn't think why it seemed so familiar - then it dawned on me. The caption beside the photo read - "Morris's youngest daughter, Mary, worked this Flower Pot Embroidered Cushion Cover design of her father's in silk and gold thread"
Now, here if you like, is evidence how one design has influenced so many people - obviously Hilda Leviny saw the William Morris design and used the basis of it for her screen. And in recent times Peg Fraser saw Hilda's screen and she adapted the design using cross stitch as her medium...
When I first saw Peg Fraser's cross stitch I was into decorative painting and I thought how well it would lend itself to a paint medium... And on it goes...
Funnily enough I am not a big eater of Christmas cake but I do enjoy the smells associated with the preparing and cooking of it... Again much the same as the pudding - I look forward to the first piece and then I save a piece for Boxing Day then I am done for another year...
Boxing Day has always been my day... I figure if the hoards can't find their own fodder on that day then they starve... I wake up on Boxing Day - greeting the day with a smile - knowing that it is all over for another year. I then settle down with my new book - a treat for myself- and let the day unwind as it does... A curl up on the bed and little read, perhaps a stroll around the block, a little nibble... Maybe a watch of a movie... Nothing too strenuous mind... Yep, Box Day is ALL mine and I love it!!!!! If people drop in - it is at their own risk and it is a very casual affair...
I have never been one to go to the Boxing Day sales - not the kinda sport I am in to - although my eldest daughter loves them - I do sometimes wonder where she came from... Perhaps genes from my mother - who could see the 'bargain' in anything... Me - if given a choice - I go as far from the maddening crowd as possible...
This year may be a little different though as I am in retail - not sure if I am working or not...
This weekend the Christmas tree will go up and the house will transform... We are late this year as normally P has it all in hand... P loves Christmas - the whole putting the tree up and decorating the house thing... He gets a smile which he can't contain- I only know one other bloke who enjoys Christmas like he does - my friend in Perth... J is like a dog with two tails come the first of Dec. This year will be extra special as there is now the first grand child on the scene... There is lots of love in J & P's house - one feels it as you walk through the front door... What ever they have they share with you - their home is your home for as long as you are there... Every time I have to leave after a visit I cry at the airport - then P (friend) starts as well... We are hopeless...
I have made some decisions regarding my stitching for next year... Two things I have wanted to stitch for ages are in my 'to do' basket... I have also found a band sampler in a magazine which I already had - I would also love to have a go at stitching it...
I thought that I would 'kit them up' so that they will ready to go... Dream on S - dream on!!!! I have already made one New Year resolution - that I will stitch more next year... Unfortunately my reading list is also growing... My two loves...
Ok- time for me to 'go and grow ' and turn into the Christmas fairy... Have a good day and I hope what ever you are doing or planning to do turns out just as you want it to...Stay safe, well and calm over these next hectic days... And if you plan to have a drink - please don't drive - take a taxi - stay with a friend -but just don't drive!!!!!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
I cook it in my crockpot ( slow cooker) so it is just a matter putting one cup of water in the bottom of the crockpot popping in the covered pudding basin - set and forget... I have cooked it this way for years - it is almost a fool's way as very little can go wrong...
On Christmas day I re-heat using the same method - it is great as most years kitchen space is at a premium so I usually put the crockpot in the laundry on the washing machine - again putting it on about two to four hours (depending on size of pudding) ahead of serving time- and by the time we get to pudding time it is nice and hot...
Yesterday I prepared the fruit for the Christmas cake - another favorite of mine as it is a traditional fruit mix - however it is a boiled fruit cake... It always has a nice texture and is moist... I know I am running behind with these as really they are at their best done at least six weeks ahead - but 'them are the breaks' - so to speak...
I hope to make some almond crescents - these are my all time favorite. My introduction to these was when I was about ten and I went to visit my friend's grandfather, a fine old Austrian gentleman, who lived in Portsea. He had a wood fire stove and made the most delicious things - almond crescents being one of them... They had a taste that I still remember... Mine aren't quite as nice as his - the wood fire stove having something to do with it - but they are still pretty good...
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
However Fate it seems was to play a hand and in my widening quest looking on the Net for quilting and Crazy quilting sites it led me to sharonb - who of course as we all know has a blog. And like curiosity leading the cat down the well - so did clicking on side bars do for me - which of course led me to other blogs...
Damn this was all TOO interesting... " Look, look, look," I would say pointing to the monitor, "here's another one." I felt like I had found a 'hidden kingdom- my bemused family looked fondly on thinking "here she goes again - another fad"
This blog travelling not only whetted my appetite for crazy quilting, but to learn more about blogging... Up until just before that I had 'shared' comps so I had no real chance to 'play on my own' for any amount of unrestricted time unless I wanted to get up in the twee smalls - which I have been known too!!!!
Now about this time my daughter got a new, faster, all singing, lights, bells and whistles comp and I was bequeathed her old 'T model Ford' - well for me it was heaven and freedom all rolled into one... I could go and turn on the 'beastie' and roam the world visiting all the wonderful sites at will... But I digress - as I am known to do...
I decided to start a blog, 'just to see if I could' mind you - nothing too fancy -just somewhere to record this idea of 'a creative journey'... The Blank Page was born and for a while I was happy - then I saw that others did ' all manner of other things' to their blogs and so, like Oliver, I wanted more... P, my ever suffering mate who had by this time started his own blog began to teach me basic HTML...
LOL and I thought my creative journey was going to be about fabric... I would say to P that such and such a blog had this, that and something else - how could I do that BUT with a difference... P would look then go away and play on his comp then come back again with the answers and guide me through the steps to accomplish it. Some interesting moments were to be had I might add...
I am also a nit picky Virgo with very definite ideas how I want something to look - the banner heading took a lot of P's patience as I kept saying "yes, sort of like that - BUT..." He would just take a deep breath in and go back to the template...
While I still have a basic blog and ironically, it is P who has gone on to greater things, I have learnt heaps. Yesterday was probably my biggest nemesis as I wanted to change the link to the comments - other people had these nifty little sayings and I wanted that too... Well after much fiddling and nearly a major disaster I accomplished it all on my own plus taught myself to post a picture in my profile - not a big deal for those who can do it without as much as a second glance - but for me, an Everest climb... I think it was more the near disaster that taught me the most - normally I would fling my arms up in frustration and mutter deep dark oaths - but yesterday I persisted with patience and perserverence - and deep dark oaths...
It is amazing how one learns so much about themselves in the most lateral ways... At the beginning of the year I knew nothing about blogging or HTML - today not only do I know more - but in way, better than that - I know that I can... "One small step for" - well, you know how the rest goes...
So... look out 2006 - I am ready for you... LOL- sharonb if you get to read this - my hand is up for your classes too!!!!!
You reflect the wisdom of the spirit. You shine as
a wise and anicent sage who values intellect
among the most. Your spirit brings guidence to
those around you. You have accomplished your
strength with age and time. Don't let your wise
advice go to waste. Share it with all who are
willing to listen.
Reflections of the Spirit?
brought to you by
Monday, December 05, 2005
I particularly like the last sentence - isn't that true for all of us. If we are that determined and focus intently to the task at hand we can achieve almost anything...
Here is another one. This one really appeals to me too but whether I will ever stitch it is another matter. Of late I seem to be drawn to the more timeless designs in embroidery and cross stitch...
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Perhaps I has some insight into myself this morning when I was talking to P about my utter revulsion of Huntsman spiders - we have had a couple in the house over the last two weeks - I may dislike what they are and even more what they stand for - big, furry, eight legged, fast moving - but I cannot kill them... In fact when others of the family reach for the insect spray and/or a heavy object to splatter them - I defend them working out ways to move them out of the house unharmed. I may not like them and I may be bigger than they are - but that is not a good enough reason for me to destroy them. Yes - I am well aware that real life is more complex than huntsman spiders - but killing one huntsman or maybe even 400 does not solve the problem. Nor does it offer a deterent for next one coming through the window if it is so determined. I will say no more...
On a brighter note I spent Thursday with G and her friend H... We had a morning coffee which stretched into lunch... H and I share similar interests of books, reading and writing. H went home after lunch so G and I settled down to an afternoon of stitching and chat... It was a lovely peaceful few hours... I worked on C's sampler and G worked on a Christmas RR she is currently a part of. C's sampler is coming along nicely and I am enjoying stitching and watching it unfold. There is something about stitching this one that makes me feel peaceful - perhaps it is its theme - Love - or the colourways which are shades of pink - not a colour I work with much - but what ever it is I feel very content when I finally put it down...
I went to the library and of course it was my duty to leave with a armful of books...
* The Art of William Morris in Cross Stitch
* The Sampler Collection (this book was produced by 'Just CrossStitch magazine in 1989 - cannot find links to it)
*Painting with a Needle - learning the art of silk embroidery with YOUNG YANG CHUNG (keep scrolling down for the English translation)
* I Believe This - 100 Eminent Australian's Face Life's Biggest Question
* A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
* Ghostwritten - David Mitchell
* Painted Woman - Sue Woolfe
Some to read and some to simply look at the pictures and dream...
Enough of my ramblings... Enjoy the weekend...
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
I am not sure what the next step is other than to wait for the 'next time round'. I keep getting the feeling that I am 'missing something' with this nasal condition. The best way I can describe it is like when you are trying to think of a word and it eludes you - I just can't seem to 'catch it' if that makes any sense. A friend once said to me when I had a similar problem - "Don't chase it - sit very still in silence and allow it to come to you" And to his credit I have found it works in most cases. Perhaps if I sat still long enough this might work!!!!
I feel restless and I am wanting to do something but not sure what...
Now my comp is playing up... So once again I am on E's - her monitor was returned a week ago so everyone has their original bits - I think my comp is just so old it simply has given up the ghost... It is ok with little things but give it something too large and it just refuses... Even posting photos it carries on lately... E is going to teach me how to use her scanner so I can post from her comp...
Yesterday was not entirely lost as I finished another book... A few weeks ago this woman and her grand daughters came into the store enquiring after an author Robert Corbet - she told me that he was her son and the girls with her were his daughters... Unfortunately we had none of his work on the shelves - but it sparked my interest to borrow two of his books from the library 'The Passenger Seat' and 'Fifteen Love'. Robert writes for young adults (14- 19 age group approx.) I quite enjoyed both of the titles but I would think that the first 'The Passenger Seat' was directed at the older end of the market. This one particularly got me in as it was set in Melbourne. I am now after his third book called 'Shelf Life'... I enjoy children's' literature - I think it is in some cases better than adults - although in saying that it can't really be compared. I think writing for children is a very exacting process - not as some people tend to think - that it is a way of 'practicing' until you write an adult novel. One of the hardest to write are children's picture books - to write a balance of words which then allows an illustrator to complete with pictures - is an art form which very few writers find hard to achieve...
Well, enough of my ramblings... Take care all and have a great weekend... :-))
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
You are an Iris:
You are logical, analytical, dignified, and wise.
You are studious by nature and may prefer books
to people. You tend to be a serious person but
are capable of making others laugh with your
dry sense of humor. Friends always benefit from
Symbolism: Over the centuries the iris has come to
symbolize faith, wisdom, hope, and promise in
Which Flower are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Monday, November 14, 2005
The Fairy Princess
You are youthful, cheery, and exuberant with a
sunny disposition and a mischievous sense of
humor. You are very lively and are always up
for a good bit of fun. You have a deep love of
nature and animals.
Role Model: Titania
You are most likely to: Convert a pumpkin into a
useful mode of transportation.
What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
I am full of inspiration today - or is it just nerves about next week... But whatever it is I am firing on all jets!!!! I was sent this image and I thought that it would be a great model for Assisi work. He would make a great 'companion' to my Indian silhouette (see Indian - Completed Works sidebar). I could use the same colour thread which I stitched my Indian to stitch this image but in reverse.
Here is the picture that I promised you. This is the design which I am stitching for my friend C. Remember I said that I had decided to stitch it on 18 ct pale pink aida instead of the 22 ct black linen which the model is stitched on. The photo doesn't really do the design justice as there is some wonderful curly backstitching at the bottom and again at the top where there looks to be empty spaces...
This is what I have stitched so far. Compare it to the top photo and you will see what I have done. Again, that pink blob in the middle is the vertical stroke of the 'L'. So far it has been an easy and enjoyable stitch and very much a 'palette cleanser' while I have been battling with M's mermaid. Hopefully I will get some more done when I am at home after my little hospital bout next week. I was concerned that some of the stitching would 'fade' into the pale pink aida but after seeing the photo model and comparing it to the actual pattern I think that the 'fade' ratio will be much the same. I had wanted a softer look for the design and I think the colour change will offer that - it has been interesting to 'stitch blind' so to speak as when I started I didn't have the colour photo as a comparison so I just had to go with the black and white chart which I had had for some time. I was glad to find the book again at the library and now I have some idea where I am going with it. LOL - I wasn't even sure what the book looked like so I was pleased to find it on the shelf.
I think that is why I was/am not very good at diary writing... I immediately feel guilty if I don't fill in all the pages... I am far better off using a blank page and calling it journaling(or blogging) rather than have a state of the art lined and dated diary.... Although in saying that I have promised myself a moleskin journal when I become a little more financial... Whether I would ever actually do anything in it would be another thing - however my heart desires one of these beautifully bound journals... Just having one of these would fill me full of inspiration - I jest!!!!!
Why do I like it? I think it is to do with the 'mirror image' and the colours - and of course, it 'spoke' to me... I can see this design would 'lend' itself in other applications of stitching as well... While trying to find this to show you I found another box of stitching magazines -'must keeps' in the wardrobe... I am hopeless!!!!
Monday, November 07, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
|Your Element is Water|
Your energy: deep
Your season: winter
Like the ocean, you evoke deep feelings and passion.You have an emotional, sensitive, and spiritual soul.A bit mysterious, you tend to be quiet when you are working out a problem.You need your alone time, so that you can think and dream.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Now to the really important stuff... My stitching came to a halt with the heat yesterday... A very, very hot day here in Melbourne - but I did get to read more of my book which I have slowly been making progress with... 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' by Susanna Clarke is quite a different book - but one that once I got into I couldn't not finish... There is something that has drawn me into the plot and I perhaps could suggest it has the makings for one of those obscure novels that has a following in its own right... Its pages tally at nearly 800 so apart from its sheer size both literally and laterally it is a big book. Its plot and cast of characters are also huge. The writing style is at times difficult going - I am not sure whether it is the precision or the slow ambling pace it takes... But what ever it is I feel like I have had some magic cast over me and I won't be done with it until I have turned the last page.What is it about? It is a book about magic - but definitely not Harry Potter style... Rather about the re-introduction of 'respectable' magic into Britain in the nineteeth century... It has been described as 'compelling' and I would agree with that. It was also suggested that there isn't anything else like that and I would (even with my limited reading) agree with that as well... What made me read it? There was just something about it that intrigued me from the moment I heard about it... Would I buy it? Probably, this is one of those books I would like to have on my shelf - but the hardcover version - not the soft cover... It would be something I would put on my re read list - only because like a 'huge' movie I am sure that on the 're-run' it would yield more which I may have missed from its first reading... It was also a nominee for the Booker Prize this year... I am starting to compile a list of books I want to read - a bit like my stitching I will have to live a thousand life times to get it all read- because of course I am always adding to it :-)).
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Today I really 'slothed out' and watched 'The Book Group' a TV series which I borrowed from the local library... It is a bit of a 'black' comedy... But it appealed to my sense of humor. The series deals with an American girl newly arrived in Scotland who forms a book group as an attempt to meet and make new friends... Of course nothing goes to plan and quite often the books are the last things to be discussed... The human relationships are quite well played out... It has been on the ABC and I missed it so I was happy when I saw it in the library... E says that it had a couple of series...
I am really getting close to finishing the stitching on M's and I have decided to start something else - this one I have had for quite a few years... The project is at the top of the page - it is called 'Heavenly Grace' and is part of the 'Gold Collection' by Dimension. It is stitched on 18 ct ivory aida - and is quite small. So as soon as M's is completed 'Heavenly Grace' is going to be added to the fray... Something has made me decide to get on with some of these things I have and give them 'life'... :-)) I am just about all mermaid(ed) out and I will look forward to feeling the caress of angel wings...
And so, with the threading of a needle I will be travelling from the depths of the ocean kingdom to the heavenly realms... Now who says Life is boring...
Saturday, October 29, 2005
My thoughts have turned to what I would like to achieve next year... This year I have struggled to even get to where I have now... So I am considering what I would like to see myself having accomplished by this time next year and I am considering making a list of goals - perhaps then I shall see some inroads with my UFO's and my reading...
My intention in setting up this blog was to partly get involved with writing again and whilst I have to some degree written it is not quite what I thought I would write... I think that I have become bogged down in what I thought I should be writing - not writing what I wanted to write... I even started the other blog but lost interest very quickly in it... Then a few days ago I had this bizarre thought - what if I kept a journal type thing - well not a journal as such - more just a place where I could continually write - perhaps a visual diary of sorts... And what if it wasn't here - but in a real book with real paper and a real pen - now that is a lateral thought... See what a few days away from a comp will do...
Hopefully when all systems are up and running I can show your some progress on both M's mermaid and the other sampler which I had just started - I now have a photo of what the finished piece should look like given that I have changed the colour and type of cloth... Until then...
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I have made a start on C's cross stitch. I have decided to keep some sort of log as I go on this one. In my mind I think that there is less of a chance it been put away and also I am curious to see how many hours it will take to complete. You wouldn't think however, to look at it, that this it is the best part of three and a half hours work. The section I am working on has been nearly all pink of one shade or another - I am looking forward to introducing more colours in the section which has the 'turned corner' - the pink 'blob' in the centre is part of the vertical stroke of the letter 'L' which is a capital. I will perhaps have to change the shade of pink at its top section as it is nearly the same shade as the aida - but I will make that decision further along. So far I have enjoyed the stitching and have developed a slow, but steady rhythm - almost to a meditative state. I have been stitching after P goes to work and the house is quiet - the birds in the park across the road add just the right accompainment to this hour or so of 'me time'. Morning it seems, is when I stitch best - my head is clear and I feel peaceful. A nice way to begin the day. I can 'see' one or two little gold butterflies 'fluttering' somewhere across this piece - they are not included on the original pattern - but it just feels right to include them. I am looking forward to seeing this piece develop...
Sunday, October 16, 2005
This is my next cross stitch project... It has been tucked away for the best part of three years. I saw the design in a library book and thought how nice it was. The original design was stitched on black linen. I knew my eyesight would not withstand black - let alone linen so I opted for the palest of pink 18ct aida. I may have to play around with some of the threads as I can see already that one of the pinks fades into the background - although I do like that idea of it been 'barely there'. A 'surprise' for the eye to discover
Friday, October 14, 2005
This is the FQ my swap partner sent to me from over in a craft forum. Each month we have the opportunity to do a themed swap. For the month of October it was the first inital of either our real or on-line name. Mine of course is 'S'. We then had to suggest what that inital stood for. I thought of surprise, snow and sunflowers. My swap partner then had the task of finding a FQ to do with any of those... I was happy with a surprise and L my swap partner came up with this lovely fabric which is a welcome addition to my stash. These swaps are no pressure 'feel -good' type of activities - and for the moment this is how invloved I want to be. It is a nice way of increasing your stash - perhaps receiving fabric you wouldn't pick yourself and receiving something nice in the post...
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
My bout of spring cleaning has certainly unleashed some interesting thoughts and ideas. I have begun a 'clearing out' process in more than one area of my life. The quote I have used as a sub-heading expresses more adequately than I can how I feel at the moment...
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
The strange looking structure in the background of my butterfly heart is the gate which I mentioned a entry or so ago. All of a sudden this piece has come together - although it looks far from finished - but in actual fact it is well within sight of the final stitch. While I have been 'playing' around with this heart there has been an elusive 'something' buzzing around in my brain which I couldn't quite catch it was always just out of reach. Then last night it 'happened' - my daughters were looking through photos from a few years ago - when out from one I saw myself and a very dear friend who has since passed away. It was one of those moments that one can't predict and I felt my breath catch in my throat and tears not far from the surface. While K has been gone now for over four years the grief was just as sharp seeing her smiling out from that photo. She was a beautiful person who whose warmth and generosity of spirit made you feel blessed to have her as a friend. I had also mentioned that this piece had made me think of the word 'freedom' and there had been another word which I think had been prompted by my 'leafy' thing in the foreground. It was the word 'remembrance' which I think had come to me as had been watering my rosemary plant the other afternoon and I was looking at its foliage - rosemary for remembrance. I couldn't for the life of me think why I kept putting the two words 'freedom' and 'remembrance' together but after last night it became clear. I had always seen K as free - like a butterfly and that I remembered her as that beautiful person whose life I had the priviledge of being a part of. And yes, she has gone through a gate I haven't come to yet. I know that she would be more than happy to see where I have come to in my life - we had shared many things in the eight years I knew her - and had planned to share many, many more. I have always seen the butterfly as a symbol of 'transistion' and of the soul - so perhaps it is fitting that is how I chose to remember my very dear friend.
As I write this I feel a sense of wonder - that stitch by stitch this piece has come to life and by its creation I have come to make something that has meaning for me and in its own way been part of a grieving process which I have been able to 'ground'.
As I began the gate I felt that I wanted to add some little bees buzzing overhead - perhaps to symbolise 'that life goes' on and also the word 'remembrance' to indicate that one doesn't 'just forget' no matter how much time passes. My heart will be complete then...