Monday, April 27, 2020


I  take the isolation and social distancing very seriously and  have avoided all human contact so my mother is not inadvertantly exposed- though it seems some folk  do not think things are as serious as they are, or because they live in a rural area they are not at risk. The hoons in Morwell also seem to need to hoon around as much as ever and well and truly into the small hours of the morning. At least most people are doing the right thing. I don't actually need to go out to shop in the fortnight that I isolate. I visit my mother and then stay the night and then the following day do her shopping. I must admit though these times seem to  bring about strange cravings in people including my mother. My cupboard is always stocked with strange stuff according to some but because of the fresh produce in my garden seems to be mostly a mediterranean diet.

I have been doing some work. Made some small commissions for friends. In slowly ( very slowly) tidying my workspace I found one of the old sentinelle panels- I must have held onto it as the printing was not very even, but that is easily fixed with stitching and I finally found a use for some lovely wooden beads I bought at a Perth Craft Fair quite some moons ago.

It felt lovely to work on one of these sentinelles at times like this- she is so much a reflection of our need to take greater care for earth and each other.

I had made a small banksia commission for a friends mother for mothers day- and then my mother wanted one I made this little piece up with one of my babbling banksia  prints.

I just have to finish the binding which I think I will make satin stitch. I used up  bits of fabric from my stash- it's amazing what I have been finding now that I actually have a dedicated workspace again. I just need to tidy it more- and find a better way to store things and it doesn't help that I have many books, but can never find the one I am looking for. At one stage I had books arranged in sections or areas of interest- but with moving etc that order went by the way side. 

I have been stitching on my "One World" Traveller's Blanket. It is taking a long time because this piece is big to stitch by hand. The colour of the back ground looks more orange that it is. Each circle takes about 3 hours to stitch so it is definitely not a speedy project. I know a lot of people talk about slow stitch as a thing- but in all reality stitching by hand is of its very nature slow- so I prefer to call it hand stitch and as such it has a real rhythm , that can make time pass like no other thing. The rhythm also determines the shapes of your stitches just like the rhythm of writing determines the shape of your writing. Each stitch is imbued with an energy that you the stitcher give it. Is it any wonder that so many of us are mesmerised by stitching itself? I have stitched on this piece most days and have found it soothing. 

On-line Traveller's Blanket Class
There is still time to enroll for the Traveller's Blanket class starting on 5 May ( see the paypal button on my previous post) or message me. You can use any shape you want it need not be a circle- these ones are because I like circles and well our world is a circle- which is a thought- so many things are considered in a linear fashion and exponential but the very shape of earth is round- something that we seem to forget- it always comes back on itself. I have also been making videos which i share in the group.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Back in Self Isolation

Last week I came out of isolation to go visit my mother, take her to the doctor, and make sure she had enough supplies and medication. Thankfully one of her neighbours I very helpful as well. Anyway I did the necessary shopping for her- keeping distances and asking her to keep the  bought things sitting under her verandah for at least a day- except perishables which I washed.. Then I came home and did some of my own shopping and some posting out of things that had been ordered before going back into isolation. I am not  going outside the boundaries of my property ( though I did mow the nature strip today) and am avoiding all human contact so I can  go and see my mother again next week- as it looks like the need for isolation will continue for some time yet. So please stay home and stay safe.

I am extremely grateful for my small vegetable garden, most of which I have cleared up to grow winter vegetables. I had purchased some seeds back in January- just as well I did as it is difficult to get seeds or seedlings at present. So winter vegies have been sewn- and I made sure to have extra so I can put some in my mother's garden as she has great soil. Have been processing the last of the vegetables and also been baking bread ( as it is possible to buy flour and yeast in Morwell- unlike Melbourne).
  Tomatoes ready to be slow roasted using the recipe from the Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells. These are so good but also freeze really well. Unfortuately I did not have masses of tomatoes but have managed to freeze a few small containers of these slow roasted tomatoes, whose flavour intensifies because of the slow roasting.

 I have also been sprouting alfalfa seeds. I used to do this years ago, also mung beans, but then stopped doing it for no apparent reason. Anyway it  is easy enough to do and it's not high tech- just have to remember to rinse them every day, but as I am not going anywhere , that is easy enough to do!

  The last of the produce from my garden. Two different kind of chillies and green tomatoes ( I do have a green heirloom tomato planted as well which does not seem to realise that tomato season is ending. It is still full of flowers and none of  the leaf growth has died back). And my mandarin tree  is producing  some mandarins which are sweet and juicy, and the lemon tree is also loaded with fruit, but I feel there is only so much lemon cyrry pickle and salted lemons I am likely to eat in a year.

And bread baking. This is a low yeast no knead recipe which gives a very good result. You  have to prove it for 12-18 hours and then you actually bake it in a dutch oven.

I thought I would get lots of stitching done but the reality is a little different. Getting bits and bobs done but nowhere near as much as I though I would.. I have been working on my One World Traveller's Blanket, and I planned to get lots done every day- but that is not happening. Still it is growing. And I am reworking my Florence Traveller's Blanket by adding more stitching to the  angel panel, which makes me feel much happier.

The angels always  looked sort of unfinished because the rest of the piece is so densely stitched.

I have also been teaching the on-line Traveller's Blanket class- and have to say this group is really using the time to make great progress. The stitching takes long time but it is so worth taking the time- as each one is so individual and unique. I have had quite a few enquiries  whether people can still join- but in all reality we are well and truly started  and then it will seem like you are a long way behind.

On-Line Traveller's Blanket Class May 5
So I have decided to offer the class again starting Tuesday May 5. The cost of the course is $75AUS and  you work at your own pace. I set up a private FB group for sharing photos answering questions and sharing the stories you are encapsulating. I also send out pdf notes which are quite substantial. I realise many people are offering free content all over the internet but the reality is ,that this kind of work is my livelihood and has been for 25 years this year and I do not have a significant other to help with support. So work continues as it always does except I cannot post items to many countries overseas and like many people  quite a lot of work has been cancelled or postponed until  somehow we come out the other side of this. I am also adding video content to the class as visual  explanation  is as important as notes- I just needed to come up to speed with some of my videoing skills- and have now found a way to trap my small camera tripod in my top so I can film from the same viewpoint from which I stitch- it is taking a bit of practise to be able to hold the camera still enough whilst I stitch. Email me if you would like more information.