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

Friday, September 30, 2005

I just love the sketch on this page of the lady stitching her lingerie!
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Another page in my vintage needlework book.
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Indian motifs on supper cloth.
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Assissi style supper cloth.
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Today's eBay wins in the mail!

Today I received two lovely suppercloths in the mail, that I have just won on eBay. What did I ever do without eBay? Saved a heck of a lotta money, that's what! But I wouldn't have such a fantastic collection of linen either. One cloth is a very unusual design in blue cross stitch and stem stitch - it is very close to the Assissi style of work. (Not sure if I put too many Ss in there..) I have several cloths in this style of embroidery, but nothing else like this design.
The other cloth was possibly a Semco design, and again I have heaps of these kind of cloths, but not this pattern. I have only shown one corner, but the whole cloth has Indian motifs around it - wigwams, Indian paddling a canoe, etc. And with a hand-crocheted edge, no less - most unusual for these, as they usually came in a kit with a length of machine-made crochet edging to use.
And just to finish off tonight's scanning exercise, I have put on two more pages from my old Needlework book on as well. If you are interested in Australian wildlife, go to Patra's Other Place to see some photos of one of our most beautiful native birds. I know some of my American friends like to see these.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Christmas Round Robin in progress.
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And the next two...
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The first and second books in the Malory Towers series.
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Too much reading, not enough sleep (or stitching)

I love to read. I don't read anywhere near as much as most of the people who read this blog; I just don't seem to find enough time. Oh I know - it is a matter of priorities, isn't it. If I really wanted to read more, I would just do less of other things. Well dang me! There is just not enough hours in the day to do ALL the things I want to do! Blowed if I know how people can be bored. I once heard an apt saying on that subject:
Bored people are boring people
Isn't that so true? Oh hark at me - done it again...gone off on another tangent.
What I actually started out to say, was that most of my reading is done when something is worrying me. That is my way of coping I guess - losing myself in fiction or fantasy. With the state of Ken's health at the moment, I have been literally burying my head in books. I whipped through the Harry Potter books that Sharlee lent me, and turned to my bulging bookshelves for further inspiration. Now, I should add here that of all the several thousand books I own, I have probably read less than half of them. I have browsed through them, certainly, and look forward to reading them in full, but...So what do I read to escape my problems? My childhood books!!! At Ms. Robyn's blog, she often discusses the books we read as kids, and Enid Blyton's name crops up regularly. Someone recently mentioned the Malory Towers books, and I felt all warm and fuzzy immediately! So last Friday night at around 11 pm, unable to sleep, and knowing I could sleep in the next day, I pulled out the first of the Malory Towers series and began to read....I got to bed at 4 am. And yes, I slept! Since then, I have been steadily reading through the series, and am about to start the sixth and final book. I chanced to look inside the cover of one of them and found it was published in 1947...if you care to go back nearly 60 years in time to an English girls boarding school, have a look at these dust jackets!
In the meantime, trying to keeping Patra's Place for stitching pix - here is a scan of one of the Xmas Round Robin samplers I am working on. My bit isn't here yet - it will be in between these two Snowmen - one done by a German girl and the other by an American. It is on 14ct Silver lurex Aida. Very pretty.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Still finding things to post!

Ten minutes to midnight...once I get going it is hard to stop. I am enjoying having my scanner back in use again, as well as the computer not freezing up any more! These two pictures are from my new French Mail Art book which I mentioned a few days ago. Mail art is something that I believe is relatively unknown in Australia, but is more common in Europe. During WW1, French ladies embroidered postcards and envelopes to sell to the Allied soldiers, to send to their loved ones back home. I first saw them on eBay, and the last picture in this series is the only one I was able to purchase. Danielle, who wrote about this book on her blog - has stitched many mail art envelopes herself, and has promised to do one for me. I can hardly wait to receive it! When I do, and see how she has done it, I hope to stitch a few of my own to send off to special friends.

The only original Mail art in my own collection.
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Christmas Mail Art envelopes
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Mail art with close up detail.
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Well it's Saturday night and I just got paid...

Well, yes it is Saturday night, but I haven't just got paid! (Just love that Elvis song.) Having nothing better to do at the moment, I decided to scan a few items that have been lying around and add to my blogs. Amy has invited me to put my aprons and apron patterns on her Flicker site at Tie One On, but I have had a look at it, and just can't be bothered fiddling around becoming a member of yet another site on the Internet. So, if she is reading this, and would like to 'lift' my pics from here, I am happy for her to do so.
Maggie Ann recently posted some pics of handkies made by her Mum, and Linda also had some on her blog that she found recently, so I decided to add my two little finds. I don't active collect handkies, but I do have a few pretty ones tucked away, that I was going to get rid of - until I noticed on eBay that they were very collectable all of a sudden!
On Patra's Other Place, I have posted a little tribute to 'Scotty' - Patty's beloved cat that died recently.

Did anyone actually wear aprons that look like these??
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Old apron pattern from op shop.
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Some old handkies I found at an op shop.
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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Some more "Eye Candy"!

Here we are as promised: pics of my latest linen finds. All but the cameo doiley were from one opshop, and were the most ridiculous prices. That is, ridiculously low! The suppercloth was $6.50, the whitework runner $5.50, and the three centrepieces $4.50 each. They are all absolutely beautiful, done by an expert stitcher, whose heart would break I am sure, to think her hard work had ended up in an opportunity shop for a few dollars.
The cameo doiley of the crinoline lady was an eBay win - $10. It is impossible to see on here just how fine the embroidery on this little doiley is - I doubt if I could do as good, even with my magnifying glass!
I scanned my new mousemat tonight too, but have put that pic on Patra's Other Place, as it is a bit risque, so rather than offend the nice ladies who frequent this blog, you can choose whether or not to pop over and have a look...got you curious? Go on, it's not really THAT bad... ;-)

Supper cloth - only one corner of it of course. Darn it, I really should have ironed all these things before scanning them - I had the iron out earlier, but forgot about these!
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Whitework table runner. This piece is pristine; I doubt if it has ever been used. It will go under the glass on my coffee table shortly, to be shown off to its full advantage!
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The third centrepiece in this lot. I have a few pieces in my collection on this brown coloured material. Not sure if it is linen or cotton of some kind.
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Another centrepiece - different design, but equally beautifully embroidered.
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One side of this beautiful centrepiece.
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This delightful little doiley has the most exquisite stitching, using only one strand of floss, I am sure. It is as good on the back as on the front; I suspect it might have been done to put in an exhibition, it is so perfect!
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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A good day today, to make up for the bad ones...

Yesterday was not a good day...but in keeping with my resolution to keep this site just for my linen collection and stitching, I posted my woes on Patra's Other Place. Today was a beaut day! It started well when I arrived at the post office to collect my mail and found several items I had been expecting. I was excited to receive the package that Pam had sent, in return for some laces etc. I had sent her. Pam sent me a dozen packs of Aunt Martha's transfers and a lovely assortment of metallic embroidery thread. SOOO much to play with - lol!
The next item was a Round Robin from an MSN Group I am in. It is a Christmas theme, and for her sampler, Marisa has used the Aida with silver lurex thread running through it; it looks absolutely stunning! I am spitting chips that I hadn't thought to use some for my RR, as I do have some in my stash. You will see it when I have added my piece to Marisa's RR.
The third parcel was from Amazon.com in Canada. It is a French book about mail-art. I first heard of it on Danielle's blog, and was immediately interested, as I have a few mail art envelopes dating back to WW1. This book is full of the most beautiful illustrations of mail art, and although it is all written in French (and I don't understand a word!) the pictures alone are worth the price of the book. It had taken so long to arrive, I was worrying that it had 'gone astray' (read stolen), but no, here it is, safely in my hands.
After I had collected my mail and had a quick gloat over it, I drove over to visit S, and from there we went to the Embroiderers' Guild exhibition. It was well worth the visit - sensational work as usual from the members, which made S and I alternately ooh and aah over everything, then despair of ever being able to achieve similar results. After that we joined E for lunch, then drove around checking out some op-shops in the area, at which each of us scored a few wins. I will scan my goodies within the next day or so for you to admire!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Good news on all fronts!

Patty left a message on my post about S and her woes, asking me how she is now. I went over to see S today, armed with a few goodies - homemade teacake, a couple of large pieces of staghorn fern, and a birthday card. We had a lovely afternoon, lots of laughs, a few D. & M.s and a cup of tea. Hopefully I cheered her up some!
The other good news is that my PC seems to be okay now. Last night out of desperation, I found Spybot through a link supplied to me on a computer-help site, and was able to run a thorough scan. I also ran similar scans using other anti-spyware sites, just to make sure I was going to get 'em all! They all found hundreds of nasties lurking inside my PC, and got rid of them, I presume. I finally turned everything off, and got to bed sometime after 2 am. Tonight, the MOTH unplugged everything, untangled all the cords, set up his own new toys, and replugged them all. We crossed fingers and legs etc. and turned it all on. Voila! Everything works! And not only that, my PC has not frozen ALL NIGHT. So, touch wood, that Spybot thingy has worked a miracle. MOTH says it was him untangling all the cords, so I won't bother arguing, but PC and Me know better...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Phew! Success at last!

Well, that worked without any hiccups. Three pages from my old needlework book that many of you have been waiting for, a newly finished cross stitch and the Chicken Scratch tea cosy. I have a few more nice items to scan, but I didn't want to push my luck, as this thing is bound to stop at any time without warning. I have some lovely origami paper, and managed to scan two pieces and put them on Patra's Other Place. If you go over there, I have put a little Tiger at the bottom of the page to play with - have fun!

This will be inserted into a card for one of my oldies who has been in hospital and will need cheering up when she comes home.
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And another...couldn't resist putting this on here - I know how many American ladies will love this little Person!
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Another page from the Needlework book.
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Inside the cover of my old needlework book. This is the best I could get it; I don't know if you will be able to read the writing if you enlarge it on your screen. I haven't tried.
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This a teacosy, adorned with chicken scratch. Goes well with my red gingham apron and table cloth!
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Finally! Some new pictures.

The computer is getting increasingly bad tempered (its owner even more so), but I had a friend around tonight who managed to get the scanner and PC talking again. So I scanned a few items hurriedly while everything was still working, and will attempt to download them on to here. But, I think I will have to give in to those who are trying to talk me into (a) a new computer and/or (b) going to XP (I am using ME at the moment), as this constant freezing is driving me nuts, and the repeated re-booting at the on-off switch is probably causing even more damage inside the hard drive. MOTH is jealously guarding his laptop, so I doubt if I would be allowed to spend hours on that like I do on this one...We had a large desk and another office-style chair delivered today, so our little spare bedroom is now officially "The Computer Room"!, with our computers side by side, along with scanner, printer, CD burner, modems, etc. It all looks very busy!

Pillowcase embroidered with peacock, from USA. One of a pair.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Please forward hugs and nice thoughts to our friend.

My friend S over at The Blank Page is having a hard time of things lately. She is due to have an operation shortly, which is hard enough to deal with on its own. But I was talking to her yesterday, and it has just been one thing on top of another - their car 'died', her daughter's computer crashed, and S was verbally abused by an irate customer in the shop where she works.
I'm not sure how many of my blogging friends are popping into Patra's Place these days, but those of you that do will probably know of S, so please take a few minutes to click on the link above, and say hi to her. She needs some hugs! Oh, and it is her birthday on Friday....sssshh - I didn't tell anyone that!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Photos of some of my early stitchings.

My scanner still isn't working...well it is, but not with the computer, so I can't put any new stuff on here...bleah! And I have so many goodies to scan: The Needlework Book, my new peacock pillowcases, and today I found two quirky items at Savers - a red gingham teacosy with a neat little piece of chicken scratch! and a rather old pattern for aprons. Well, they will just have to wait until some kindhearted computer nerd takes pity on me and sorts out my scanner.
So just to make Patra's Place a tad more picturesque, I decided to download some photos of items that I stitched around 20 years ago - these were already on my hard drive, so the scanner wasn't involved. I haven't checked to see if I put these on when I first started my blog....hope not. Hopefully nobody will go back and check up on me - lol!

Yellow Roses cross stitch cushion. I must have gone through a phase where all I stitched was cushion covers! This sits on the spare bed along with the Blue Delft one.
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Another crewel cushion - done for Ken's mum. Unfortunately she had it out in their sun room for years, and it was nearly ruined when it got left outside in the rain and went mouldy. I rescued it and cleaned it up as best I could, but it wasn't the same, so I just put it away in a drawer and didn't say anything..:o(
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Another crewel embroidery - Australian aborigines. I did this for Ken for Xmas one year - took me all year, and he didn't notice what I was doing! When I gave it to him on Xmas Day, framed of course, he wanted to know when I stitched it!
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Blue Delft cushion. Crewel embroidery. I started this while we were on our honeymoon, 26 years ago. We were travelling long distances, and as I didn't drive, I stitched while Ken drove.
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Kitten and Rose. This is one of those kits where the picture is printed on the fabric, and you only stitch where the design indicates. I did this for my Japanese penpal after her cat died. She was so sad about it, so I did this to cheer her up a bit. She loved it! Oh, and yes I did frame it before I sent it!
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Saturday, September 10, 2005


"The Embroidered Garden" is the title of this year's Embroidery Guild of Victoria annual exhibition of traditional and contemporary embroidery. The exhibition runs from Saturday Sept. 10th to Sunday Sept. 25th and is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is $5 ($4 Pensioners Concession). They also have a gift shop where they sell small embroidered treasures, and many of the original exhibits are also for sale. The Guild is located at 170 Wattletree Road, Malvern (just up from Glenferrie Road). Obviously this information will only be relevant to people living in Victoria, but as I know that many Patra's Place readers are also stitchers, I thought it was worth my while putting in a little plug for the Guild, of which I am a member.

Come and play with Topsy - right here!

Until I find someone who can persuade my PC to talk to my scanner again, I am stuck for pictures. Not only do I have pages from the Needlework book below to scan and post, I received a magnificent pair of embroidered pillowcases from the USA today - peacocks of course. Didn't you know the finest peacocks come from there? The embroidered variety, that is. Can't wait to show you! Somebody had some Japanese origami paper on their blog the other day and it reminded me that I had a stack of similar paper somewhere, so I hunted it out, and it is also waiting to be scanned. In the meantime, I found the cutest little animated graphic on another blog, so I copied the link (Linda and Sharlee, you would be proud of me!) and produced Topsy - go and play with her at the foot of my sidebar! If you click on the link you can create your own little animated animals to play with on your blog too.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

This is a lovely old book that I found on eBay. There is no date of publication printed, but somebody has left a magazine page tucked inside the cover, and that is dated 1948, so I can only assume the book would be more than 50 years old. The illustrations inside the book would date it even earlier. Anybody want to see more?
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Sunday, September 04, 2005

This the larger doiley in the set of three peacocks I recently received from the USA via Ebay.
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This charming little tray cloth has the same design at each end, but the dress is stitched in pink at the other end. When I first posted this pic a few minutes ago, it was on its side, because I still hadn't worked out how to rotate photos round to the right way up. I have just realised that it has to be done on the hard drive, not on the blogsite! Phew....learn something new every day.
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And this is one of the two smaller ones in the set of three peacocks.
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Exquisitely stitched doiley, not quite finished. I just need to do the bonnet and the flowers around the edge. Only hope I can do it as neatly as the original stitcher!
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Gingham apron with crochet sunbonnet Sue along the bottom. I have a couple like this, but I couldn' t resist another, in this lovely sunny colour. And it was only 30 cents!
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Pretty little doiley, lovely stitching.
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Time to get on with my life...

The situation in the USA seems to be starting to improve, so I am feeling a bit happier now. Still watching Fox News and seeing how hard people are working to help the less fortunate. Texas have got big hearts along with their biggest state - God bless them all. Of course other states have been just as kind and generous - all typically American. I often think it is a shame that some of their tv programs that are shown here are such trash; they give other countries a bad impression of themselves. Completely unrealistic; I have nothing but good memories of my experiences over there - kindness and generosity in abundance, once they heard our Aussie accents! But I am digressing yet again. I only wanted to mention that I have scanned some of my latest linen, and here it is - enjoy! Oh, and by the way, in keeping with my pledge to keep this Blog more for my linen and stitching, I have put some more photos on Patra's Other Place too - from my grandmother's photo album, and some French postcards I found while cleaning out a cupboard. NOT the naughty kind!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I am sad and depressed...

I have already posted my feelings on Patra's Other Place, but decided to make a comment here as well. The situation in the Gulf states of the USA is getting worse by the minute, particularly in New Orleans. I visited that city with my first husband, about 30 years ago, and the memories I have will remain with me forever. Extraordinary, unique, there were not enough words to describe such a place. The people, the music, the food, the history...And now it's gone. If it is ever rebuilt, it will not be the same. The newspeople on Fox News are interviewing everybody and anybody for their opinions, and they are saying it will take months to rebuild. I reckon they are over-optimistic; I think it will take years. One far sighted politician said this was a wake-up call to the USA - that the city should never have been allowed to get so big in that area, and that they should pay more attention to the ecosystem when planning cities. It was built below sea level and relied on levees to hold the water back. Well, we all know what Mother Nature does to the human race when we make drastic changes to Her great plan! Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes/cyclones, tornadoes, floods, and fire.
One of the Fox News team posed a question about help from the rest of the world. He said that everybody sees the USA as rich, a bottomless pit of money to share with other countries when they are devastated by natural disasters. So will anybody outside of the USA offer any help to the Richest country on earth? He said "I don't think so". This was echoed by one of my husband's workmates, who said to Ken "Ah well, they deserve it. They've got enough money to start again, they don't need anyone to help them". Now I know there is a lot of anti-American sentiment out there, for any number of reasons (which I don't necessarily concur with). But if you visited that part of the USA, you would know that it is one of the poorest areas in the country. If you cared enough to look at the news videos, you would see that the vast majority of people affected are the negro population, many of whom live in sub-standard conditions in poor health. Don't give me any crap about their government spending more on NASA than the people - it doesn't matter. What matters is that these people are suffering terribly, through no fault of their own, and I am sad and depressed because I feel utterly and completely helpless, thousands of miles away in the Lucky Country. I wish I could be there to do something.

Amendment to my sign-on name.

If you see Gina E. popping up with comments on your blogs, it's only me - not more spam!! I have found a few other Gina's commenting on blogs that I visit, and have made contact with them. One of them suggested adding another letter to our name to make it easier to identify ourselves and each other, so I have tacked an E on to mine - E stands for Elizabeth, my second name.