Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A New Year

Wishing all of my readers a happy, healthy and safe 2019!

I am glad to say 2018 is behind me and that 2019 is offering things to look forward to, that sometimes seemed  too far away when I was undergoing treatment. But all things are improving. I even sold my block of land and shed in Gellibrand, and  we have spent the time since radiotherapy finished getting the block and shed ready for hand over. The weather was hot and thank goodness my daughters were there to help- I could not have done it on my own. The forecast fatigue after radiotherapy did set in, so there was only so much I could do. I was too late to organise removalists, so we had to hire a truck and paid two  men to come and help. But in the end it all got done to my great relief! It does mean I have to find another place to live once I come back from Europe in June and at the moment I am thinking Gippsland, around Morwell/Churchill as my budget is extremely modest. if anyone has any views about those areas would love to hear them! So goodbye Gellibrand- I will miss the birdsong, the pristine air and the environment, but it was also a place of broken and smashed dreams- and that I won't miss!

Goodbye shed and block!

So now it is back to work, I am slowly regaining energy and feeling able to tackle things again and I have some  lovely things to look forward to .

Next Monday I fly to Dili, East Timor, and then onto Atauro Island to help the Boneca de Atauro ladies prepare for AQC in Melbourne in mid April. Until this week ( and after moving all my things) I could not really envisage myself being there, but as energy has returned  I am so looking forward to it, and remembered to buy lino and  printing ink so they can print up fabric with their fabulous designs. I will also be starting a Kickstarter Fundraiser to help fund  airfares for these delightful women to show their abilities and goods in the very near future. However if you feel inclined to contribute to their airfares ( and travel insurance) let me know. I am hoping we can bring three women ,maybe four to  show what they do in April at AQC. Their story is pretty uplifting and I am in awe of what they have managed to achieve on a very isolated  island  25  kms off shore from Dili. They do everything they do on treadle machines ( there is no power during the day) and through sheer hard work in less than ideal  conditions- but they make up for that with spirit and laughter and song- they are amazing! Any support would be greatly appreciated!

Then after three weeks with the Boneca ladies I will come back to Australia for a week and then head off to Europe for teaching in Belgium, and then onto ChARTres Croisement des Arts to exhibit some of my work again. Always  happy and delighted to be a part of this multi arts event in Chartres and I feel fortunate to call Chartres home for 2 weeks of the year. There are many different arts on display as well as music and lectures- it truly is a multi arts affair!

I have been busy preparing samples, as of course it is impossible to teach the whole travellers blanket style of stitching and story telling in a day long class, so I have tried to show some variations for circles  in the sample piece in the photo- the effects of light and dark thread, the texture of the stitches, and the effect of embroidery as opposed to  applique and embroidery , the use of patterned and unpatterned fabric.

I must admit I love circles and I am always surprised at how different they look depending on thread, stitches and pattern, and then there is the whole thing of adding a story to the whole.

And I did start working in a hand made paper journal that I got last year from the Stitching Project, but unfortunately moving all my belongings has impeded progress. But the idea was to stitch something, anything really and then see what thoughts it brought forth, or visa versa, sometimes you have thoughts but are uncertain how to express them and then you just start stitching and see what happens. I must admit it combines my love of words and mark making and stitching and I can see myself doing more of this.