Saturday, 30 September 2006

You know you've got it Bad when ......

You know you've got it Bad, when .......

(An Occasional Series)

....when you are pulling threads to make a fringe on some chenille upholstery fabric, and you find yourself saving the threads:


Well - they will make really lovely moth and butterfly bodies. And it is really strong and, well, nice!

Thursday, 28 September 2006

More on Sewing Machines

Just sometimes, things are meant to happen.

I have been very busy with my museum cataloguing work. Yesterday Cheral and I were in the general store, talking to Trevor and Doreen. (We were talking about irons, actually). And we spotted this piece of wood:


Doreen knew it was something to do with machines - but she wasn't sure what. But this little plaque on the base confirmed it for us:


So - all we needed to do was find the machine to match the base.

And there it was, in Sarah Carter's, the Dressmaker's shop. The four bolts sticking up on the base exactly matched the holes in the feet on the machine. But not only was the machine there. Once we had the base, we were able to match an orphan cover to it as well.


The machine is an 1888 Jones "Hand" from England. It is pretty special on its own, but to find its base and cover is just wonderful.

Monday, 25 September 2006

Steps for the Week

Really quick post as I skim through - no sewing at the minute due to work commitments. Which is a pity, as I really want to get beads on that Fairy, and I have an idea fermenting in the back of my mind. Stay tuned.

Steps for the week 48,451. Would have been more except for two days of rain. Lovely rain - further north there are bushfires. And yesterday's storm was quite wild.

And I have worked out why last week was so low. My pedometer sometimes gets caught on things, and falls open. And I haven't been over careful when I close it - and obviously hit the reset when I closed it. That was on a really long day. I started with about 3,000 clocked up before that day, and only ended the day with 6,000, and couldn't work out why. That was why. I started again from zero some time during the day. Grrrrrrr!

This time I knew I had 4,000 on there when I started the day, and all of a sudden, when I looked, there were only 360. So I thought about it very carefully, and realised what had happened.

No time to look for the calculator. So just under 7,000 steps a day, average. I'm happy with that!

Monday, 18 September 2006

Steps for the Week

Steps for the week - 41,316 - not good, and only slightly better than last week.

That makes it almost 6,000 steps a day. Think I will calculate it that way - at the end of each day, my average should be higher than the average for last week. I only beat last week by getting a solid run on the mowing!

And one day, when I walked my feet off at work, it was only 2,000 steps - I am beginning to wonder about my freebie pedometer.

But still, it all keeps me walking more, having a target, and others walking along with me.

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Resisting Beading

I am resisting beading still - have nothing ready to bead on, and better get this Heart finished. And haven't had a lot of stitching time anyways.

So I decided once again to try for a Chicory Flower (she is the Chicory Fairy) at top right. It needed something solid on that pattern, and they are fun to do. You can see one top right on the second Heart down HERE.

I do these a lot - here is another from my block in the last class with Sharon:


and here is where I am with the current one:


Now - this is obviously much bigger than in real life, but I wanted to give you a look. Because, part way through, I decided to start turning the petals in on themselves, rather than just ending them in the usual way, where the weaving thread is carried through to the back of the fabric.

And if I push them in towards the centre a little with the tip of the needle, the whole petal stands up quite well - a bit more like a Chrysanthemum, than a Chicory, but who cares. The easiest one to see is immediately below the threads on the paper clip.

Also, in the past I have started at one spot and just worked my way around. Which is what I did at the top of this one. Next one, I think I will work the four points of the compass first, and then in between them, as I think this will produce a better flower.

These are two-thread weaves - so they have to be anchored down at the points. In the middle I might do a couple of short three-thread weaves, so they stand up.

I like working the same thing over and over again - they get adapted a little more each time.

Friday, 15 September 2006

New Beading Book

Bead book

I have just bought myself a copy of the A-Z of Bead Embroidery. I think it must be new, isn't it??? I haven't seen it around, and all the other A-Z book lately haven't appeared to me. But this one sure does.

There are lovely and usable fringes (that could double as seams, just anchor them down a bit), and some wonderful idea for beaded motifs - if you want a closer look at that one on the cover, it is HERE.

Or you can go to the "turn the page preview" HERE.

Too busy to talk - I am off looking. Don't have anything handy to do a motif on.

Although, when I think of it, if I work a motif on just a piece of fabric, I can piece it into something later ...... Now, which one???? Better work one from here first, then maybe look at some of Marsha Michler's motifs - I think they are made for this.

Monday, 11 September 2006

Steps for the Week

Steps for the Week - 38,588, which is AWFUL.

But there are reasons - one of which is lovely - in that it has been raining. So I can't even mow the lawn, which is horribly long.

And, even when I went out to walk the dog - she is getting old, and cannot do the distance any more, so it is short cut home.

So I tried a few steps on my step-up, but couldn't catch up.

But this week will be better - for the next six months I am doing two days a week at Old Gippstown, where I will be walking fast from one end of the big park to the other, all the time. It is usually worth 10,000 steps a day.

And even if that step total is poor - I do feel fitter.

Sunday, 10 September 2006

Highlighting the Fairy

I have been highlighting the Chicory Fairy in Heart 19.


I decided to try this, but knew it would have to be with a very light hand. Now she has a lovely, soft glitter to her, and at the end I will add a few tiny seed (or Delicia) beads, but not yet.

The wings were worked with Madiera Metallic silver, in tiny stitches with a small needle, along the edges. Then I got game and added some Feather Stitch in the middle, trying to mimic the lines on the wings when I could.

I wanted to use some blue, but all I had was Krenik Blending Filament, so I tried mixing it with the Madiera silver, and worked tiny stitches on the skirt, again with the small needle (threading it was a challenge). That worked, but wasn't blue enough for me. Like all the others, I just used tiny straighht stitches and tried to mimic the lines that were there.

The Krenik Blending Filament is one of my favourites, but can be a bit of a challenge alone in fine needles, as it tends to shred on me - sometimes depending on the fabric I am pulling it through, too. So I threaded this alone in a chenille needle, and it came through the larger hole in the fabric fine. That is on the flower the Fairy is holding, plus on her cap.

She is very delicately shimmery in real life, which doesn't quite show up in the scan.

Saturday, 9 September 2006

Fairy Hearts

Now, I knew I had worked a Heart similar to my current one before, but I didn't realise there were two.

When I was swapping Hearts, I made this one for Rosemary in Tasmania:


and this one for Julia in England:


The first was "Fairies in Conversation", the second was "Fairy in Conversation with Butterfly".

It is good to look back on things - I had forgotten the Forget-me-Knots in French Knots.

Here is where I am up to with the current Heart. I am not sure what will happen to this one - I have not been swapping of late. I may even keep this one of mine for myself. I have lovely Hearts from other people, and good pictures of the ones I have sent off - but never any of my own.


A slightly bigger one is HERE.

Thursday, 7 September 2006

Heart #19 progresses


Heart #19 is progressing slowly. I have finished the vine, which I used to break the seam lines and take away from the "always has a centre" style of CQ, by extending that line left of the fairy down.

I decided that she needed some form of "stairs" to climb, so have started on that. The breakthrough is that I think I am ready to allow myself to use seed beads now - I can see pearls in the centre of those flowers.

There needs to be something strong on that busy Liberty print that she is climbing towards, so I think that is going to have to be something important there, which may well be a solid object. Not sure what.

And I have started to work on the blue poppy on the left. Not sure what I will do top left and bottom right yet. But this is part of the joy - working slowly and thinking carefully. It is a little like painting in miniature.

For those not used to this format, it is a six-inch Heart, and I am not sure what is going to happen to it yet. The largest version is HERE.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Heart #19


Have just found this unfinished Heart languishing in a pile of things I was sorting. So I need a little bit of quiet stitching at the minute, so have dragged it out and started stitching. While looking at my current blocks, like samplers, for ideas.

Not sure what is going to happen to it, or where it will go. I have this strange reluctance now to do anything except stitching. No buttons etc sewn on. Maybe.

But it is also interesting to trace my stitch development since I started making Hearts - they are all over HERE.

Monday, 4 September 2006

Steps for the week Wk 5 (I think)

Steps for this week 49,420. Yesterday I actually almost got the 10,000 - running around cemeteries photographing headstones for someone, and gardening.

And I have tested the pedometer in my car (I claim it is not as bumpy as his), and when I am wearing it, in the car, it doesn't seem to clock up the steps the same.

Actually, I think it was to do with the angle I was holding it, too.

So look out next week - the lawns are growing. I will get plenty of steps up.

Sunday, 3 September 2006

Found in a Sewing Basket 4

Here are a few more pictures from the old needlework baskets - this is a little more from the Fretwork "basket" with the photograph (scroll through recent posts for the story).

This is looking straight down on the cover:


Here are some of the items inside - the three and a half pencils in the first ones are slate pencils, from before 1950.



Above - although a couple of the buckles look shell, all are an early plastic.


Above - these two button seem to be pressed metal on wood.

If you would like to see the various baskets with their contents grouped with them, check out my set for Sarah Carter's shop.

I still have two unposted baskets up my sleeve - although the two I have posted are the best. One may appear tomorrow, although I am off for a couple of busy days.

Saturday, 2 September 2006

Found in a Sewing Basket III

Now, this is getting really interesting. Yesterday's photograph has been confirmed as the 10th Light Horse (a Militia at that stage) in camp at Kilmany, in Gippsland, Victoria. The story starts HERE and finishes HERE.

And I have been working me way onwards through the sewing boxes. This one is rather nice.


It is beautifully made from cane, I thin commercially, and extensively padded inside:


Amongst the interesting threads are some Swiss rayon:


and some Mount Mellick thread that is obviously Australian, given the Kangaroo, but no other branding.


But the piece that interests me most, that others might discard, is this:


I want to find out if this is netting cord from WWII - women around here sat making camouflage nets during WWII.

Can you imagine the stories that could be woven around these needlework boxes. The boys in the photos from the first needlework box went off to WWI. The next generation of women sat making the nets.

There is a sewing machine in the Stratford museum which belonged to Alice Mitchell. She was the local dressmaker, and lost three brothers and her fiancee in WWI. She sat at home making hundreds of shirts for soldiers at The Front on that machine.

Imagine the stories that could be written with these artifacts as jumping-off points.

Friday, 1 September 2006

Found in a Sewing Basket II

I now have to admit I have found out more about the photograph I posted this morning, and I want to say a couple of things in my defence before I post it.

The photo was taken as part of documentation of the contents of a needlework basket. I knew it was a photo of people, but I was working so quickly that it was only when I got home I realised they were in military uniform. Or I may have taken more notice at the time.

Then, it was only late last night I got to the sheet compiled by the cataloguer, for checking. And found the notation "explanation on the other side". By that time I was kicking myself for not unwrapping the lace, but thought it would be just foreground and more boots. Although that black line up the middle was there .....

So I have been for a drive this morning, and looked at it again. And unwrapped the lace.

keep scrolling down

bit more


Yep, it is men cooking!!!

The full-sized one is HERE.

The note on the back gives a location (near here) and a date - 1908 - so these are the local Light Horse Militia.

We are discussing how to deal with it as an object now - it is quite a challenge, as the fact it has been used like this is more important, in a way, than the original photograph, in museum speak.

So we think what we will do it make a reproduction of it, and wrap the lace around the reproduction, and carefully archive the original. We then note on the catalogue record that this is what we have done. And display it prominently in the basket with the story.

Speculation is fun. I like the idea that this is a way to keep taking a surreptitious peep at someone that maybe a photograph should not have been kept of .....

Any other suggestions????