Saturday, October 20, 2007


Today is Olive Riley's 108th Birthday. Ollie is probably the world's oldest blogger, thanks to her friend Mike who types it for her as she tells it. Ollie lives in Woy Woy, New South Wales in an aged facility, you can read her blog here I'd like to wish Olive MANY HAPPY RETURNS and a big hug from me and my family. I hope I can be as bright and witty as Ollie well into my own senior years. The generation who lived through the world wars and the Great Depression certainly have an inner strength that I don't think we will ever truly understand. Olive was on the news this week, and had a lovely party with local children singing to her and helping her with her gifts. I found this elegant late Victorian lady with a large hat and thought it rather appropriate for Olive. I hope she likes it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Embroiderers' Guild NSW 50th Anniversary Exhibition

These photos show the work on display from my 2 year old local Group. Most of the members are returning to embroidery after many years absence, or have never stitched before. I think they did rather well.

After all the excitement and anticipation, and all the hard work put in by all the organisers from each Group and the Committee, the 5 day Exhibition is finished, taken down and the work returned to the owners all over New South Wales. How can I describe it? I'll do my best to paint a few "word pictures" because we were only allowed to photograph our own work, or if the owner was present and gave permission for a photograph to be taken.
- Fabulous stumpwork examples, including butterflies and moths and traditional fruit and flower arrangements under glass in subtle frames
- Exquisite hardanger mats and runners, and fabulous tablecloths, some in coloured linen
- Banners made by nearly every Group and Newcastle Branch, the requested size of 40 cm wide by 150 cm long, but with so many different techniques used it was hard to pick a favourite. Must mention a special interpretation though, made for a major exhibition in Gunndedah, a triptych of scenes from the (rural) district with stumpwork trees crossing the joins between the panels. Exquisite details !
- Stunning needlelace collar and antique parasol re-covered with needlelace worked panels, both won prizes for their well known maker
- Patchwork, cross stitch, gold work, creative embroidery, 3D objects, thread painted pictures, clothing, every technique imagineable using a needle and thread
- Postcard challenge by members, some 300 sent in, displayed on mini washing lines attached to large frames scattered around the venue
- Workshops and lectures by visiting international tutors, as well as our own tutors, well attended and appreciated by all
- Young Textile and Fibre Group work from children 5 - 18 years (including my kids' group)
- And lets not forget the Gift Boutique and the outside traders who enticed us with their embroidery "goodies" for sale.

I'm hoping we will get some "official" photos up on the Guild website (see my sidebar) in the future, but I think we'll have to wait till we all catch our breath, this was our BIGGEST exhibition so far I think, definately befitting a Golden Anniversary celebration.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Finger Knitting Part 2

Childrens' class went exceptionally well today, the finger knitting was a HUGE success. I only had 4 students as it was the middle weekend of 2 weeks of school holidays, but they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were so enthusiastic that they all made several pieces, which included belts, necklaces, head bands, bracelets and scarves. Sorry about the blank faces on the photos, but I forgot to get written permission to post the photos on the web, so thought it wiser to blank them out. Their ages range from 6 to 11 years old, and only one has been stitching for more than 12 months. Didn't they do well?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Finger Knitting

This week Sharon B. linked to a video tutorial by Jess on YouTube (see sidebar for link to Sharon B.'s blog) featuring finger knitting. I had intended to teach scrumbling to my YTFG children's class tomorrow, but think I'd like to give a few basic lessons on crochet first. Finger knitting seems like a great alternative and Jess's tutorial was very helpful, so here are the results. The first picture shows the hand position with the yarn wound around the fingers and the end held down by the thumb, the second the work in progress, and then the finished items. The neck scarf uses 2 novelty yarns, one very hairy and the other "eyelash" style worked together. The necklace uses a metalic tubular crochet yarn and closes with a metal hook and thread loop. The bracelet is another novelty yarn and closes with a button and loop. I'm sure the kids will enjoy this one, it's quite liberating producing this with only your fingers and no other introduced tools. Thanks so much Jess and Sharon.