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Saturday, March 30, 2013


I often mention in this blog the term 'indigenous colours' when referring to certain knitted items that members of Knitting for Brisbane's Needy provide for distribution. But not all readers would know what I'm referring to. Australians who are referred to as Indigenous Australians, are Aboriginals, the people who had populated the country before it became a British colony in 1788. ( to be correct, the east coast of the country had been claimed as British territory in 1770 by Cook)

I won't go into all the details here in this post, but these indigenous Aussies were to suffer greatly from this colonisation. Then in the early 1970s a flag was designed specifically as the icon to represent the indigenous community. Over the years it has come to mean a great deal to them. Read about the history and meaning of the 3 colours in this flag here.

  K4BN can just never get enough items in these colours to hand out... rugs, beanies, jumpers, scarves, gloves...all get snapped up very quickly! Often, agencies involved in helping indigenous clients 'put in orders'  for items to Karen which she endeavours to fill. For the next few months the group has a challenge going to build up supplies of items in indigenous colours...all ready for when the cooler/cold weather comes. Last Tuesday at the Zillmere K&N, one of the members brought in a bag of items that she has been making for this challenge. The items are gorgeous !! Here's some photos of Pat's work...

Football shaped toy...

Aren't these elephants cute?

More toys; Blogger insists that this photo is on its side...

Some lovely beanies...

One blue teddy...

One cute red and white teddy with a tartan bow...
Now for a while I've been crocheting 15 row squares in indigenous colours...but I have only been working on them every now and then. Last weekend I had finished crocheting a deep border around the edge but still had neatening off of the 'ends' to do. So I took a photo on Monday...

On Tuesday, at the Zillmere K&N I finally finished weaving in the last of the ends...and at the urging of the other members there, I took some more photos. It was then suggested that I be in one of the photos...but to wrap myself in the throw, just like the recipients usually do when they receive these items. So that's how this photo came about...:-)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another lovely surprise in the mail today!

I posted photos of my Easter display a little bit too early...because today I received a parcel from Lynne who is my swap buddy in the 'Mrs Martin's Let's Celebrate Swap'.
I love the wrapping...wonder what is inside?...

Firstly there was a gorgeous zippered bag ...look at those colourful's beautiful!

 Look what else was in the parcel...such beautiful stitching! They are so cute!

Now I knew straight away where these two were

they joined the other items in the hutch...

The finishing touches, so many thanks to Lynne :-)

All ready for Easter! Have a wonderful Easter everyone!

One last thing... Cheryll over at Gone stitchin' is organising the Mothers' Day Mini Quilt Swap...registration closes April 1. If you sew, why not go over and read all about this swap. I signed up, as, since joining in with a number of swaps last year, (and this year too) I've got a lot more confidence and have rediscovered my love of stitching. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Time for a change on the shelves...

Finally this week, I've got around to changing the display in my buffet-hutch. It was long overdue as I'd promised myself I would change it every month! Oh well, you know what they say...better late than never! I decided to go with an Easter theme and tried to use what I had at hand...

 I used a dinner set (Summer Breeze) that I bought as a 24 piece about 6 years ago. I bought other pieces gradually from the Outlet shop at Harbourtown (Gold Coast), saving quite a bit that  way. Then it was discontinued and the prices were really low then! But I decided not to buy all the extra pieces as I had so much china already! But I have enough of the basic pieces for a 10 person setting, which is great when the family gathers here for a meal. (ha ha! looking at the photo, I realise that I haven't put out the covered vegetable dish yet!)

I have a little collection of old Easter egg cups that I've brought out of storage...

Here's 2 more! These would come with a small chocolate egg and were very popular when i was a little girl.

I've added a doily from my collection of vintage linen, as well as some odd cups which have lots of yellow in them. There's a few items from the variety discount store in my local shopping centre to finish off my Easter display.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What's on at the local library...

Last Tuesday I went to a workshop at the local library. It was an 'Introduction to downloadable books from the library'. The workshop promised, 'Take a guided tour on how to borrow and download free digital books from the library catalogue. Discover where to find help when downloading these digital books at home'.
So it was, that clutching my iPad, I turned up at 10.30 to meet Bronwyn, the librarian running the workshop. There was only one other student.

Here's Bronwyn, just starting the workshop...

I've copied the list of items/services that are available through Brisbane City Council when you click on 'eBooks and downloads'...quite a lot eh!

  eBooks & Downloads
1. Bolinda Digital eAudiobooks
2. OverDrive Download
3. OneClickdigital eAudiobooks
4. Freegal Music Downloads
5. EBSCOhost Clipper DL eBooks
6. Good Reading Magazine Online
7. in2Era (Interactive Children's books)
1. International Children's Digital Library
2. RealTime Health
3. Safari Books Online
4. AudioBookCloud (formerly Tumble Talking Books)
5. TumbleBooks - eBooks for eKids
6. beamafilm

Here is the same list as you would see it on the computer screen when you access the library on the internet.

Now this workshop concentrated on #2,  OverDrive Download. We learned how to install the  OverDrive Media Console on a device (IOS,PC, eReader etc).  OverDrive is American, but a consortium of Australian libraries has been formed so that members can access the thousands of e Books that are available.  We were told that 3 of the world's 6 major publishers have joined OverDrive so there is a wide variety of literary genres available for loan.

A Kobe eReader, Sony eReader and an iPad. But if you don't have an eReader device you can install an app to a PC or Mac which will allow you to upload digital books :-) and read them on the computer

You use your library ID to access this and it's free! You can borrow these eBooks for 7, 14 or 21 day select the time period you want. When the time is up...the book disappears from your device...and as Bronwyn the librarian said, the days of overdue books are over! (my '1950s model' brain , found this part difficult to comprehend, lol )

Now I would suspect that if Brisbane City Council libraries offer this eBooks' loan service, other public libraries would too. Here in Brisbane, local libraries run these workshops on a regular basis, so you just need to enquire. It's worth it.

 Bronwyn also  drew our attention to #4 on the list...Freegal Music downloads. Library patrons are able to download 3 music tracks per week, absolutely free. The amount of music available through Freegal to choose from is quite large. I would not have known about that if I hadn't attended the workshop. I think our local library staff should become everyone's best friends!

I have installed the appropriate software on my iPad but have not as yet, borrowed an eBook because I have 3 'real' library books that I'm still reading. But I've surfed through the titles and have my eye on a couple of craft books on quilting and some mystery genre novels as well.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jimmy Hans...

DH and I are babysitting DD2's little dog while she is in Thailand for 16 days. He's visited quite often and always overwhelmed us with his energy. But with him staying with us, he's been a beautifully behaved little darling. He's also very intelligent and extremely affectionate.

DD2 brought over some food for him...a big 'sausage' (and he was to have a slice 2cm thick each evening), some bones for his morning snack, and dry food which was to be served with the slice of sausage. Well that's what was supposed to happen...Jimmy Hans had other ideas...he wouldn't eat that food!!
Luckily I had some chopped lamb in the freezer because that is what he has been eating. 
Eduardo, the cat, now has to eat his breakfast and dinner on the small table on the veranda, because the second night Jimmy was with us, he stole  ate about half the serving as Ed had walked away leaving a half-ful dish ready to come back to later :-/

Jimmy goes for long walks each day with DD2 and now he's been exploring the local bike paths with me. One day we went on the path through Teralba Park...I discovered that it's very difficult to use a camera while hanging on to a dog and just about impossible to take a photo of the dog as well...

 This area was market gardens many years ago...

Jimmy and DD2 live in a townhouse, which has a small paved courtyard, but no real lawn area. He's loving having the run of our backyard...

I'm smitten with this little fellow...he's my shadow throughout the day. DH and I used to have a very much loved dog but she died 4 years ago. I'd forgotten how lovely it is to have a dog around. Also when you take the dog for a walk, people always stop to say hello and ask what sort of dog it is. (Jimmy came from a pet shop and he's a cross between a miniature Doberman Pinscher and a Jack Russell terrier). 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My former student and friend, Olga...

Last year I wrote about Olga and her battle with ovarian cancer. Since early last year she has endured 3 different courses of chemo treatments and surgery, always maintaining such a positive attitude. Last year I wrote a post about Olga and how I had knitted her a lightweight throw out of soft mohair, which was my way of saying, 'my thoughts and prayers are with you as you travel on this journey'.

When Olga was well enough, she organised a 'photo shoot' to show her with the throw. (near Devonport)

The treatments appeared to work and later in the year, Olga travelled from her home in Tasmania to Queensland to stay with family for a short holiday and to catch up with old friends.  DH and I met her at her brother's house at Maroochydore and took her to lunch. DH had never met her before and he was very impressed with her calm dignity and positiveness as we discussed her illness and her plans for the future. It was a wonderful few hours that we spent with her.

With the beautiful Maroochydore Beach in the background; Olga is wearing her chemo beanie  which had been an essential wardrobe item last winter in Tassie.

I treasure these photos

Olga maintains a Facebook Page to keep friends and family informed of her progress, treatments and thoughts and dreams and I was saddened to read this post last week.. I've used the colour teal for the font. This is the 'colour that has been allocated' to Ovarian cancer.

'This is probably the hardest post I have had to write so far, but I have come this far, and I need to see this through to the end. I saw the oncologist today and the news was bad. This chemo is not working. There is no new cancer, but what was there is growing and I have been taken off the chemo. I have no options left in Tasmania and Victoria. The oncologist has hooked me up with an oncologist in Queensland and they are looking into a clinical trial for me. I need to get up there as soon as possible because they wont look at me if I start to get too sick. We hope to leave Tasmania Easter Monday or as soon as possible after that. The oncologist has no idea how long I have left, but I am still going to fight this, and hope to be around for a long time. I know some of you wont have words for this, and I totally understand. Sometimes I think I have the easy job. I get to say what is happening. I doubt I would know what to say if it was happening to someone else. I bought a bottle of champagne today, and we are going to sit back and drink that tonight, and talk. Will keep you all posted. Have a great night everyone. Take care. Xx'

We don't know yet whether Olga will be accepted into the program here in Queensland, we can but hope. I have a request...please keep Olga in your thoughts and prayers.  

Friday Night Sew In...

Last night I joined in with people from all around the world in Heidi and Bobbi's FNSI. Thanks for organising this event each month ladies :-)

So last night I finished the binding on my little Easter mini quilt for the Mrs Martin Quilt Shop Swap. Karen (Mrs Martin) and I had finally sorted out the problem that I'd been having getting the details of my swap partner. Because I still did not have an address, I'd slowed right down in the finishing of this first swap item, but it's on the way to Lynne in Olinda, Victoria now, so all is good!

A little knitted bunny, an egg ( decorative not edible!) and a cute card complete the Easter swap parcel

And you'll never guess! This week, I've started another knitting project...the one which I do when I'm deciding on what will be the next big project...yep! that's right...the old garter stitch chevron! lol  'Easy peasy' knitting project and the chance to use all those odd balls of yarn including those 'special ones'. It's like 'putting on a pair of super comfortable slippers' when I start another one of these. So last night I did a few inches on this new project. And I'm using my favourite colours, yet again. :-/

Why not take a visit over to Heidi's blog and use the links to visit some other FNSI ers.

Friday, March 22, 2013

And I thought that I'd seen everything!

On the first and third Monday nights of the month, I go to a 'Sit and Stitch' session at my local yarn shop. (It's the same shop where I also attend a K4BN  Knit and Natter on the 3rd Saturday of the month) Because it is of an evening, most of my fellow knitters/crocheters are in the workforce.

There's time for coffee/ tea and often there are goodies to share...

The patterns used at these night time sessions are usually more intricate than usual...and Gabby (the shop owner) is always willing to lend a hand in deciphering a pattern.
Last Monday night, Pauline who knits the most beautiful toys and baby blankets and matinee jackets, pulled out a ball of wool...I asked her if I could take a photo of it. I mean, I buy some large balls of wool, but this one was massive! lol

It weighs 500 grams!  Pauline, who emigrated to Australia bought 20 of these before she left England! They were excellent value, each  being less than GBP6. I imagined a suitcase stuffed with them but Pauline assured us that the yarn was packed in the shipping container with all the other possessions that she brought with her.

The lady sitting on the sofa next to Pauline is Denise, also from the UK. Now I mentioned before that quite a bit of intricate knitting goes on in this group and Denise's work is superb. Here's a link to her Etsy shop; it's worth a look. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A delightful surprise in the post...

Yesterday I got 2 beautiful mug rugs in the post. They came all the way from Norway! You might remember my post about making mug rugs for this swap and the ones I made, went to Canada.

I took this photo today after I'd opened the parcel so that explains that hole :-). I just had to show the paper that my the mug rugs were wrapped in. You see my swap buddy Marit, had checked out my blog and discovered that I rather love knitting, as she also does :-) I was rapt in this paper...(no pun intended)

Now Marit also used some fabric that was printed as though it was stocking stitch fabric...there were 2 sections of one mat that had this lovely's one section...

And now, here are the lovely mug rugs...

Blogger 'insists' that this photo below, be rotated 90 degrees despite my best efforts...

Thank you very much Marit, I love my mug rugs and will use them with much pleasure.

Now I'm also in a year- long swap and for Easter, we were to make a candle mat or a gift bag...I've made a mug rug but I'm calling it a candle mat...I still have to put the binding on and then it's into the post for an Australian address.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I feel very blessed today...

It's been a busy day today and a very good day too! Firstly this morning I went to a Knit and Natter at Albany Creek. Two ladies there are working on  throws using the chevron pattern that has become almost like my signature pattern (there's one in my banner) , and today 2 other ladies indicated that they are going to start one in the next day or so.  One lady, Helen, is going to post a photo of hers on Ravelry when her rug is finished. It looks great by the way!

Now just have a look at the lovely Easter surprises I got at the Albany Creek K&N... isn't this so cute! And no sugar! 

I put her in my little blue willow egg cup :-)

Look at her cute hat!

Then look what Karen's husband Peter, got especially for me because, as he said, he didn't want me to feel left out when he gave out chocolate Easter eggs. This was just such a lovely gesture and I really appreciate Peter's thoughtfulness.

I headed for home then, where I quickly put on some beef to roast in the slow cooker because my DD2 and her housemate were coming for dinner. (These two, along with another friend are off to Thailand for 16 days on Friday and DH and I are minding Jimmy Hans, DD2's pup, my furry grandson :-). So he arrived tonight along with his bed, toys, treats and food. ) 

Then this afternoon I headed off to Sisters of Stitch and had a lovely time...stitching, oh and some knitting too!! I took along some fabrics to give to a young friend there who belongs to the Sunshine Linus group. Last SOS gathering Nicky had told me that the group needed fabrics so that they could continue to make quilts for children in hospitals awaiting treatment especially young cancer patients. So I went through my stash, took photos of the fabrics and emailed  these to Nicky to see if they were suitable...they were, so I took those in today. 

This panel I had bought at a market in the UK...
 The rest of the pieces that I've given to Sunshine Linus are mostly from 'scrapbags' that I bought from eQuilter. I might have used them one day but it's much better to have these bits and pieces used up now and making quilts to provide comfort to sick children here in Queensland hospitals.

This cot sized panel was in one scrapbag...
 Now this next one...I bought this in the late 1990s to make a cot quilt for a friend's baby...hmmm I think I ended up buying a gift that out it goes!

 These fairy/elves/pixie panels were also in a scrapbag...

This is a cloth book panel length...also in a scrapbag...Paddington him!

These are just scraps but both Nicky and Judie assured me they will be useful!

Just a narrow strip of Paddington

Now I wonder what the ladies can do with this panel length...all the days of the week!

So instead of these taking up space here at my place waiting for 'one day', the clever ladies of Sunshine Linus will turn them into something good is that???
Now today I also got a parcel from Norway...from my swap buddy in the Mug Rug these are  special so I'm going to write about them in the next post...showcase them on their own :-)