Wednesday, September 12, 2018


I want to thank each and everyone for your kind, heartfelt and supportive comments and in taking the time to send them to me. I had intended to reply individually, but I have been trying to keep busy and spend time with my  daughters as this has been a bit of a shock for all of us. Yesterday I attended the oncology unit at the Women's Hospital where they updated what they know diagnostically and what the plan is from here. So there is kind of good news, if there can be good news if you have cancer, and that is that the cancer is  early and is confined to one area , so no spreading- so that is a relief. Given this, a hysterectomy will take place and I am on the wait list for that. Radiotherapy will in all likelihood occur- it depends a little on what is found at the time of the operation, and if what they find is the way it looks on the MRI I may not need  chemo therapy- but again it depends. This will all happen at the Women's Hospital, so I feel I am in good hands.

One thing I did want to say is please don't ignore when your body speaks to you. The type of cancer I have is most unlikely to be picked up with a pap smear in the early stages, unlike the more common cervical cancer. I displayed only one symptom and otherwise have felt well. However the one symptom started to worry me and so I went to my gp, well a gp as I am doctor phobic. If you have any concerns about something different happening to your body please don't wait to have it checked out.

 So meanwhile life goes on, and I have been trying to keep as busy.

On Sunday and Monday I gave Tal Fitzpatrick who is one of the co-ordinators of the UDHR Project ( United Declaration of Human Rights) a hand piecing  the quilts together. Last year a call was put out for embroiderers to embroider each article of the Declaration to be put together as a quilt as a kind of protest about the continued abuse of human rights around the world. I worked on article 6 last year. All in all they received 120 contributions from around the world - enough to make four quilts  and they had to close the call for embroideries after three days. It was special to spend some time with some of these pieces and help put them together.  I felt reassured that here were 120 people, who all delivered their promised pieces, from around the world who felt as strongly as I do about human rights, and  I am sure there are many more people who feel the same. Somehow these embroideries , all so individual but strong and full of emotion, and handling them to put them together in a larger piece was very rewarding. There will be a public outcome for these quilts but for the time being the organisers cannot divulge exactly what. If anyone with a long arm has any spare time to quilt these quilts at all (nothing too complicated) please let me know and I will pass it on to Tal.

We ( my daughters and I) have also been cooking, seems at this time we feel the need for home and hearth kind of  things. I have also done a little stitching on  little phrases to focus my thoughts. I am not sure what I will do with them, maybe I will just put them all in a basket or  some kind of bag. I am also compiling a  list of books for reading as I recover from the hysterectomy and am pleased I had nothing much planned for the last months of this year so I can concentrate on healing, and doing some stitching once I work out what I want to do.

I will be teaching at the Misty Mountain Getaway from 5-11 October (I have double checked with the hospital that my surgery will not take place before or during this time) up at Dorrigo and really looking forward to it. The class for linocutting and embellishing is full but there are still some spaces for the Tifaifai class and the machine embroidery working with solufix class , in which you will work with one of your photos and create a machine embroidery. There is more information on the linked website.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Health Issues

This last week has been a bit of a blur and one that I would not wish on anyone. I have debated whether to blog about it or not, but ultimately decided that I would simply because I need to call on all my friends to be my support and to give me hugs. I have been diagnosed with a fairly rare form of cervical cancer. Last week Friday I went to my Gp and since then have undergone ultrasounds, CT Scan and this morning an MRI and X-rays and blood test, and a discussion will be held next Tuesday as to what will happen next. There is no doubt I will need an hysterectomy and  be blasted by everything that 21st century medicine can offer- in that regard I am in  good hands with either the Women's hospital or Peter Mac performing the surgery and further treatment and I will be guided by their expertise  with this type of cancer.

These rather sinister matrons greet you as you walk into the Women's Hospital. I know what it is meant to represent but I did not find it very cheerful at all.

So why do I need you, my friends? As many of you know I am not married and do not have a partner and as a migrant from a small family do not have much family in Australia. My parents are elderly with their own ailments ( they are also separated and live in different areas) and have other issues, and my daughters are just beginning on their journey in workplaces and study so I feel I cannot lean too heavily on them though of course they are supportive. I am lucky I have many friends here in Australia and overseas, and I would like to ask you to continue to contact me as you always do, that you send me a hug from time to time, that you not shy away from what is happening- it happens to many women and men. If I need help I will ask . I will  mention what is going on from time to time, but do not intend to talk of things too much.

I will continue to sell my hand printed fabrics and of course my book, which is still available. And of course some of my quilts are for sale. As I am self employed I am reliant on this income to keep me going and hope you will continue to provide your support as you have so generously done in the past. The next six months will be rocky and hopefully also full of recovery and healing, and I will try my best to keep up with things. But obviously  there will be things that have to go by the wayside.

The Traveller's Blankets are going to be exhibited at Pour L'Amour du Fil in Nantes in April next year so the goal is to be well by then, well actually earlier than that as I have other commitments which I  can't drop as they are part of my income stream but that is not until next year late February. Meanwhile I intend to focus on getting well and small things like hand made books which is something I have always wanted to do, and no doubt some hand stitching and maybe a new linocut or two. I am not expecting too much but do want to have some thing to do in case I feel well enough to do them.
This quilt is sold.
This is a fully hand stitched piece form 2002, a proto type of Traveller's Blanket. It measures around 110-120 cms squarish and is for sale for $3250. It is entirely hand stitched. I ummed and ahhed about whether to include it with my current exhibition of Traveller's Blankets but decided not to, as it did not really fit in as a journey or something to do about travel. Email me if you are interested in purchasing it, my contact is in my bio.

And a small hand made book I have been working on incorporating an early linocut print of pine trees and my fascination of trees. I intend to make a whole tree book as I seem to have made quite a few linocuts incorporating trees.