Monday, January 30, 2012

Latest eBay purchase

I'm very fortunate that my dear husband sometimes buys things at my request on his eBay account. In May I'm mounting another exhibition at Hambledon Cottage Museum and Gallery in Parramatta NSW and this time my theme is Victorian / Edwardian children's wear. Hopefully by then I'll have invented a snappy title and added more items to my collection. I've been gradually finding some gems on eBay including this latest purchase which was advertised as an insect cover for a baby carriage. I actually think it's a netted coverlet for a cot or baby carriage and is in pretty good condition with just a few breaks in the netting background by the look of the detailed photos. Filet embroidery was popular in the late 19th and early 20th century and I'm sure this dates from the Edwardian period (prior to WWI in 1914) Can't wait for the parcel to arrive from the USA, any day now.
Here is a closer look at the first 2 letters of the alphabet, looks like some crochet detail as well as filet embroidery on the netted background. Wish it could tell me its story though !

Counted band finished

Can't believe I have FINALLY finished my section of Margaret's counted thread band round robin which was started on its journey way back in 2007 ! This is one of 6 remaining bands by 6 different stitchers which are being mailed progressively around the world, with the completion date originally of early 2008. As you know we crafting ladies tend to take on too many projects at once, creating UFO's (Unfinished Objects) and WISPS (Works in Slow Progress) but I think these bands certainly qualify as E-WISPS (EXTREME works in slow progress) There were extenuating circumstances of course, including loss of spouses, loss of homes and natural disasters which all contributed to the slow progress of each band. However now the end for some of them is in sight, and I hope my own efforts are worth the wait. One more stitcher in Canada to go and then I think this band will be ready to head home to the USA.
My section is the bottom one in burgundy and yellow pearl 12 thread, a traditional blackwork design illustrated in "Double Running Stitch" by Luisa F Pesel published in 1931 and taken from the Victoria and Albert Museum London collection of a 1631 Elizabethan sampler. I drew up the chart from the drawing which was very helpful to study the detail of the design. I chose to use 2 colours where the original had 3, and I think the design suits the feel of Margaret's sampler quite well. This band has travelled with me to Norfolk Island, Canberra (twice) Araluen in southern inland NSW while on holidays and has visited meetings of the Embroiderers' Guild NSW and the Lace Guild NSW Branch and been much admired everywhere it travels. I have another girl's band still waiting for stitching but I seem to have my embroidery mojo working at the moment so will tackle that next.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The "alien" invasion continues

Here are the three largest stinkhorns of the 9 new ones which appeared beside the mail box garden this morning. These three are all about 5 inches (13 cm)long and look spongey although I won't be testing that theory ! All the heat of yesterday has certainly produced a great crop of these smelly fungi. I'm just sorry I had to get so close to macro them, they are REALLY smelly en masse like this. You may even be able to see a visiting fly if you enbiggen (sp?) the photo They only last a day or two, then shrivel up and fade away. Very curious indeed.

Introducing baby Seth

Baby Seth Enrique arrived a little earlier than expected on 30th December 2011, yet another Capricorn to add to our little family. We are very proud of our daughter Dianne who delivered him naturally after an emergency Caesarian section last pregnancy. It was a hard and fast labour after an induction 12 days early, but she is very grateful to the support of her doula (birth coach) Tricia and student midwife Zoe who agreed with her that the offered C section was not needed despite some horrific tales from the OB. No wonder the Australian C section rate is steadily climbing if this experience is the norm, he wanted to deliver the baby because they thought he was very small. Well, he surprised us all weighing 3.03kg (6lbs 11 oz) and measuring 45 cm long. They only stayed 24 hours in hospital after his birth as dad Steve has a month off to help with big sister Amelie (nearly 3) and baby Seth. I love this photo of the kids so much.
We are all very relieved that Seth arrived safely and mum and bub are continuing to do well at home. Now I can concentrate on getting organised for the year to come, more in another post.