"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Embroidered baskets of flowers and other nice items.

Pam K. recently featured a basket of flowers that she had stitched from an old pattern. I offered to scan some of my collection and she said yes please! So here they are - not all of them by any means! Just the ones I could fit on my scanner. While I was sifting through my collection for baskets of flowers, I pulled out a couple of other designs that I thought would appeal to some of my regulars. Seeing I had the scanner on, I thought I may as well make use of it.

Not a basket of flowers, but a lovely example of needlework. One end of a traycloth.
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Bluebirds, or blue doves! for certain bloggers who like these!
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Stunning piece of stitching - I think this must have been done for a competition. The reverse side is equally as good.
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One end of a traycloth - I love the way the handle of the basket is stitched to resemble cane. Lovely work here.
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Hanging basket of flowers?
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Not really a basket at second glance, but what the heck - I have it out, so I may as well include it!
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One of many doilies.
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...and only discovered tonight that I had this one! Same design, different colours.
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I bought this at an opshop yesterday.
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Friday, June 24, 2005

Calligraphy - another one of my hobbies.

I sometimes click on the "interests" links of other bloggers, and find ever more like-minded souls, and so it was when I clicked on the subject of Calligraphy. I discovered Medieval Lady and Scribe With Gold - both hosted by Patty. I promised I would put a sample of my efforts at calligraphy, so here it is - a menu for a dinner party we hosted for friends one Christmas. I have taken two short courses in the art of beautiful writing, and I have several pens and other implements, but to do it properly, one needs to practice regularly and I never seem to have the time to do it. The story of my life...so much to do and so little time to do it!

One of my first calligraphy efforts.
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A recent eBay win...cute transfers!
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Love those Opportunity/Secondhand/Thrift Shops!

Whatever you call them in your country, they can be full of junk, or full of treasures, and a great resource for the crafty people. I was in luck this week. If you have read The Blank Page this week, you will see that S and I went opshopping, and I found a few treasures. A lovely tablecloth, some nice doilies and an apron - orange gingham with Chicken Scratch stitching! Then, on Thursday I popped into Savers, one of our largest thrift emporiums (doesn't that sound grand!) and lo and behold, tucked away among the mundane printed and plain tablecloths, I found a light purple gingham cloth...you guessed it - Chicken Scratch again!
S of The Blank Page and Linda at Chloe's Place wondered if the three of us could set up a blog for Opshoppers. We could source the various opshops we know of, give them a write-up, and wait for others around Melbourne (or Victoria - or anywhere in Oz for that matter) to put their twopenneth in with info. about their favourite spots. Linda has suggested to me that it might be better to do a Website, but I am not that technically advanced, so if it comes to doing that, I would hand the project over to someone who knows a lot more than me about such things!
And for something a little different...there are a few blogging friends around who love old embroidery transfers. Well, have a look at my latest eBay win!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

For all the Pussy lovers...

On a lighter note, I know that many of my new Blogging friends are CAT lovers, so I decided to post a recent photo of our pussycat Topsy. She is about 18 months old, and is like a small black panther! Naughty as can be, when she is clawing the leather couch, but at other times so cute when she is playing with her toys!!

Our Topsy, in her nest.
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Father's Day coming up...

Meggiecat and her Dad have put lovely items on their respective Blogs, relating to Fathers Day, and it got me thinking. My Dad died a couple of years ago, aged 94. He was an exceptional person - a wonderful father, and a faithful husband. My Mum was in and out of hospitals for the last 20 years of her life, so Dad was 'Mum and Dad' to my brothers and I. He worked full time, then came home and ran the house, never complaining, nor did he smoke or drink. This photo has always been a favorite of mine - just the two of us in a local park, where we spent many happy hours. He always had time to play with me when I was little, and talk to me as I got older. I will always have beautiful memories, and I hope we meet again in future incarnations.

Gina and her Dad, about 1950.
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Friday, June 17, 2005

My treasures from Hobart in beautiful Tasmania

Here are three of the items I found in the Rubbish Tip Shop while we were in Tassie. The other two were too large to scan, so they will have to wait until I can photograph them. I have put a brief description with each picture, but if anyone reading this wants to ask me something about them, just put a comment and I will follow it up.

I don't usually buy whitework, crochet, or anything lacey, as I have quite a lot of that kind of embroidery from my family linen. But I couldn't leave this behind...probably hard to tell from the scan, but the work is simply beautiful...how on earth anyone could throw this into a rubbish skip is beyond me. No appreciation of handmade craft obviously.
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This doiley or centrepiece of violets is exquisitely stitched. I already had one the same, but not in as good condition as this.
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This is part of the apron. It doesn't all fit on the scanner of course, but until I get friendly with my digital camera, this will have to do. Notice the bullion roses climbing the door. Fancy putting all that work into an apron! I had to have this, it is so cute, one little dog inviting the other inside for a cuppa!! (or a dog biscuit)
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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Grandfather's miniature art.
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Two more pages from Autograph book

I have scanned some more pages from this lovely family heirloom. My grandfather was apparently quite a talented artist in his time, although I doubt if he was well-known, even locally in Hobart where he lived the last years of his life. I never met him, as in my lifetime he didn't come to Melbourne and I didn't get to Tassie while he was alive. He did the two little landscapes here, and there are a few more which I will scan later on. Someone else did the cartoon on marriage. The lettering may not come up very clearly on the screen - the title under the couple on the spoon is 'before marriage' and under the fork 'after marriage'. Somewhat cynical, don't you think?!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

A nice lot of linen, thank to my eBay friends!

I posted a message on eBay's Collectables Chat board a few weeks ago, saying I was going to Tassie, and asking if anyone could supply information on where I might find old linen. There were half a dozen replies, providing useful information and addresses for me to visit. A couple of people mentioned a place called The Tip Shop, which is where saleable stuff has been rescued from the city rubbish tip (sounds disgusting, but not as bad as you might think!), and is put out for sale...I think the proceeds go to charity, not sure about that. Well, it was easy to find - right in one of the main city streets, so I dragged unwilling hubby in to fossick. We went up and down the aisles among all kinds of amazing junk, and just before we reached the exit, I discovered two baskets on the floor, full of old linen - damask, crocheted, embroidered, etc. Ken rolled his eyes and prepared to wait...I pulled everything out very carefully and found a gorgeous APRON! No, not chicken scratch - sorry girls! This was my kind of apron - embroidered with a tacky but cute design. I also found some small cloths and centrepieces which were all beautifully stitched, so I added them to my pile. I noticed the prices were between $2 and $10, but didn't stop to add them up. At the checkout, the girl added everything up and it came to $40 - and I had $25 in my purse...and they didn't accept credit cards - bleah! So I had a quick look through my selection, found a cloth that was priced at $15, and decided I could live without that one. When we got to my friend's home where we were staying, I was bursting with excitement and dying to show it off, but my friend doesn't have any interest in this kind of thing, so she was politely pleased for me and that was it! So I called S from A Blank Page, but she was in bed asleep, and E promised to pass on my message. It is just as well E has met me often enough to know that I do go quite spare about old linen, and she was tolerant of my squeals of delight over the phone! Aforementioned linen is presently soaking in Napisan, so as soon as it is clean and pressed, I will scan it and put it on here for those who are interested.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Up, Up and Away!

Time has flown by since February, when hubby and I decided we would attend the Federation Military Tattoo in Hobart, Tas. on the June Long weekend. I booked the tickets over the Internet back in Feb, but waited until last month before I booked our flights, as I was watching for the cheap airfares. And all of a sudden, we are nearly there! As I type, it is just after midnight on Tuesday (really Wednesday morning I guess), so tomorrow will be busy** with last minute things to do. We leave Melb. on Thursday at 8.30 am and will arrive in Hobart about 10 am. We have booked a hire car so we can be independant, although we are staying with friends in Hobart. Our friends don't have a computer, so I won't be blogging or ebaying or anything else until we get back on Sunday night. Although we are only staying four days, we are looking forward to the break from home. A friend will be house sitting to mind the animals, which is one less thing to worry about. **As well as packing etc. tomorrow (today!) I am presenting a talk about my linen collection to the ladies at a local VIEW club (Voice, Interests & Education of Women). I am told they have about 30 - 40 people at their meetings, so it should be a nice group.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Attention Pam Kellogg!

Pam, here are the other telephone book covers I promised to scan for you. The one with the red flowers sits on our telephone table, under the phone itself and gets a few comments from the more observant visitors to our house. All three of these covers would only fit over an ordinary exercise book, which indicates they would have been made well over 50 years ago, as the earliest phone books (Melbourne) I can remember were more than an inch thick, and that was in the fifties.

The other phone book cover.
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Another phone book cover. One of my UFOs really, but it won't take long to finish that bit of lettering....one day!
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Sunday, June 05, 2005

My grandmother's autograph book.

After perusing Meggiecat's blog and clicking on many of the links she provides, I decided to add some variations to my blog (I really will have to change the description soon!). One of her postings was from a website that shows pages from a very old autograph book, and it immediately reminded me of my maternal grandmother's book that I am in possession of. So I have scanned some of the pages and put them here, and in due course will be adding more. This book is now 100 years old; funny to think it has been in my possession for about 30 years and as much as I loved it, I never stopped to think of how old it was, up until now. Things were so different then, weren't they...a much more genteel lifestyle, and so many artistic, articulate and talented people around. Let me know what you think of these scans, and if you would like to see more.

And a third page. There are many more, and I will get around to scanning them bit by bit.
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And here is another page from the autograph book. This one wasn't dated.
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This is a page from my maternal grandmother's autograph book. This page is dated Feb 19, 1923.
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Saturday, June 04, 2005

New computer..

No, not for me - well, not yet anyway! Hubby had a phone call tonight from his mate at Megamart, to say the stocktake sale had started, and the laptop Ken was after had been reduced down to cost price (about A$800 off the original retail price). So we high-tailed it over there right after tea, and gave the poor old credit card a real beating:( When we got it home, Ken set it up immediately and started playing with it, calling out to me every five minutes to help him out. He worked out how to play a DVD (his primary reason for getting it), but he is not sufficiently computer literate to able to connect to the Internet tonight. Eventually we will be networking it to my computer so we can share the Broadband cable connection. As far as I am concerned the best thing about this purchase is that if/when my desktop computer crashes, at least I can jump on to the laptop and continue blogging etc. without being severely traumatised!!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dolly Varden has universal appeal!

I wonder how many of you know what I mean by Dolly Varden? Most of the ahem - "older" ladies would know! There was a lively discussion on the Collectables Message board of eBay.com.au recently on the subject. Somebody asked if anyone else had ever heard of crinoline ladies being called Dolly Varden, and there were around 50 replies after a week or so. Some people hadn't heard the term at all, and others asked their Mums and Grandmums about it, and came back with some details. One person claimed that the difference between a Dolly Varden and a Crinoline Lady was that you never see the face on a D.V. design...that one had me tossed! Today I visited an elderly friend - a Japanese lady who I visit once a month. She used to do tapestry when she was younger and has some beautiful works on her walls. I often take some of my stitching to show her, and last month one of them happened to be something with the crinoline lady. She expressed great interest in it and when I said I had quite a collection of them (understatement of the year), she indicated she would love to see them. So I took along half a dozen aprons and about 20 doilies. She was really delighted, and spent a long time over each item, examining the stitching and commenting on the colours. You wouldn't think those designs would hold much appeal for someone from an Asian background, but again, I love many kinds of Asian art and craft work, so I guess it is the same principle.