About Me

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My name is Kaye and I am 57 years old. I love to cross stitch and quilt, especially with my kittens, Furio and Milo "helping" me. I also love to read, I have a passion for history and I have been cooking since I was about 12 - move over Junior Masterchef! So, this blog, which started out as a cross stitch blog sometimes morphs into a reading journal or a history lesson (sorry, I used to be a secondary teacher before I became a publisher) or a post about my cooking mojo. Whatever it is, this blog is alway about me, my family and my life here in Eaglemont, Victoria. I have been happily married for over 30 years to the most wonderful man and we are blessed with three beautiful grown up children.

My fellow stitching kittens

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Friday Frolics update ...

My dear friend, Jo, from Serendipitous Stitching, introduced me to a new acronym the other day - OAAT (One At A Time) stitching, when she commented on my last FF post about my new start "Too cold to go out".

Well, this Friday Frolics (yesterday) I actually did TAAT (Two At A Time) stitching.  During the day, when the light was better, I stitched on "Too cold to go out" and then in the evening (when I had less good light), I stitched on a new Christmas design from Rico Designs, which happened to take my fancy.

Now, enough chat, let's get to the nitty gritty - the pics!!!!!

Too cold to go out

This is where I got up to after last week's FF...


... and after some stitching during the week, I was up to here....


and then yesterday I managed only a bit of progress, as I had to frog the dark grey for Milo twice!  Aaagghh!



Christmas Design

 I had a bit more success with my Christmas stitch from the Rico Design book.



 This is what I had accomplished during the week.



... and this is my progress after FF (the fabric colour is truer in the pic above)


Now, this piece has no name.  It is rather prosaically called Design 77796.  However, I am calling it "Snowy Russian village"
 The reason for this is two fold.

One, the onion dome on the top of the tower reminds me of Russian churches.


Two, you may remember last week that I posted this pic of Furio reading my gripping thriller ...


I think that Brigitte, you asked the name of the novel, well, it was called Moskva and I found it to be a compelling thriller and can highly recommend it.



So, that is all for me for now,




hugs, Kaye

Friday, 27 May 2016

FNSI, Friday Frolics and IHSW update....

Well, I said last Friday that normal transmission would be resumed shortly but it has taken me a week days to do so as it is now Friday again!

So sorry, but as usual, I seem to have been super busy but there has been stitching happening, I promise.

Anyway, here is my FNSI/Friday Frolics for last Friday.....

I picked up this lovely design.




Bet you can't guess why I love this piece????? Silly me, of course you can because there are my two kitty cats, Milo and Furio in the window! How could I resist?

This is a design which I bought on eBay, it is a Bayview Publication but no indication of the designer.

I continued on this piece for IHSW and then kept stitching it for the rest of the week.

So, it is now looking like this....


The grey stitching in the bottom right hand corner is the start of the grey tabby, Milo of course!

I think that I will keep working on this today for this week's Friday Frolics - I am enjoying watching this piece grow so much.

Have a great day, hugs

Friday, 20 May 2016

Normal Transmission will resume very soon.....



So sorry that I have been in absentia from my blog and yours for over ten days now but I have been immersed in some rather intensive freelance work for a publisher that has absorbed all of my time for the past week and a half!


However, it is all done for now, so I am back to visit and read all of your blogs and update all of my blogsm my stitching goals and my SALs  (although it might take me a few days to get myself fully organised!)

So, see you all soon!

hugs, 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

For want of a better title... A stitchy update....

I have quite a few different projects on the go, as I am sure you all well know by now.  So, I thought it was time for an update....

Let's start with my Mystery SAL ... as usual, and as I love to do, I am drawing a bit of a long bow with my next Tudor Tuesdays SAL project.

I have chosen to stitch the wonderful Nora Corbett Mystery SAL, "Wherefore art thou".


Now, the logic goes like this....

The design for "Wherefore art thou" is Romeo and Juliet, written by Shakespeare, who was an Elizabethan, Elizabeth I was a Tudor monarch - so voila! Tudor Tuesdays!


This is my before pic ...



and my progress pic...


The fabric colour is truer in the second pic.

The colours in this design are truly stunning, so I am really looking forward to working on this one ... and today is Tuesday again, so time to stitch on this again! Look out for an update tomorrow on my Tudor Tuesdays SAL blog.

Next up is my map of Westeros, which is what I am stitching on when I watch Game of Thrones Series 6 (which I first wrote about in this post, here). Each picture represents an episode from the current series.  As you can see, not a lot of progress each viewing - probably because each episode is so gripping that I get too engrossed to stitch - lol!




Still, it is all good fun to stitch on whilst I watch.

Speaking of watching TV my other TV related project is the Outlander Sampler, which you can read about in the same post as above. I am stitching on this as I watch Season 2.

Ist episode:


2nd episode:


I am collecting episodes, so that one of these nights I can have a marathon Outlander stitching session.


... and my last stitchy update for now, is my progress on my UFO, Thirteen Colonies (which I picked up again last Friday after four years!

It is moving along nicely now, I even have a couple of sheep!


So, that is all from me today.

hugs, 







Monday, 9 May 2016

It was a lovely Mothers' Day indeed...

... as DD came over specially to cook me ricotta and blueberry pancakes and bring me a lovely bunch of flowers from her and her brothers (who both live interstate).










We then played Scrabble and she beat me soundly (I have taught her well).  Then she shouted TraderVic and I to movie tickets to see "Captain America: Civil War" as it happened to be our 34th Wedding anniversary, as well!


(Enjoyed the movie but probably not as much as the first two.)

So, in all another great day in Living in Eaglemont!

I hope that all of the other mothers out there were spoilt rotten, too!

hugs, 


Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Alphabet Club - Saturday detention for J .....


is for 

Jika Jika


Now, this is not going to be a particularly happy post and it does not show we Victorians in a particularly good light but sometimes the truth does need to be told.



Jika Jika or H division was a high security prison within a prison - it was part of HM (Her Majesty's) Prison Pentridge which was first built in 1850 and closed in 1997.



Jika Jika was built in 1980. Here are some details about it:

"Jika Jika, opened in 1980 at a cost of 7 million Australian dollars, was a 'gaol within a gaol' maximum security section, designed to house Victoria's hardest and longest serving prisoners. It was awarded the 'Excellence in Concrete Award' by the Concrete Institute of Australia  [what?????]  before being closed, 8 years later, amidst controversy after the deaths of five prisoners in 1987.
The design of Jika Jika was based on the idea of six separate units at the end of radiating spines. The unit comprised electronic doors, closed-circuit TV and remote locking, designed to keep staff costs to a minimum and security to a maximum. The furnishings were sparse and prisoners exercised in aviary-like escape proof yards.
In 1983 four prisoners escaped from ‘escape proof’ Jika Jika. When two prison officers were disciplined in relation to the Jika Jika escape a week-long strike occurred."
After Pentridge was closed in 1997, for several months it was open to school visits - for students to see what the inside of a prison was like - and as I was still teaching then, I was lucky (?) enough to take a group of students on an excursion there.  I can tell you, it was chilling.



The two most chilling facts that I remember are these:

1. It was designed so that there was little or no direct human contact between guards and prisoners and prisoners and prisoners.  The prison guards remained in the central command centre and gave commands over the PA and opened and closed doors from there, as well.  Some prisoners were only allowed out of their cells for an hour a day.

2.  The complex was always kept at a high temperature (except for the command centre which was airconditioned), this was to keep the prisoners lethargic and thus easier to control.

To give you more of an idea of the inhumane conditions, here is an excerpt from an article in The Age containing an interview with an ex-prison chaplain.

"Hardened criminals were either broken, or made bitter and more dangerous, in the cells and labour yards of H-Division at Pentridge Prison. No one ever knew what the outcome would be. That's the way it is with our complex human nature.
I once described the place as made up of "dungeons of brutality and degradation". An exaggeration? Not from my experience of visiting that place from 1976 through to 1992, four years before it finally closed in 1996. Right throughout that time it was infamous for "the reception biff", handed out to every inmate received into the division from other parts of the prison system.
Upon being frogmarched down the ramp to H-Division, each inmate was stripped naked for a security search. Surrounded by several prison guards armed with batons, he was beaten repeatedly until he fell to the ground."You're in H-Division now, the rules outside don't apply here. Now you know who is in charge," the representatives of Her Majesty's Prison Service would say.
If the inmate responded with verbal or physical defence he would be kicked repeatedly until he looked like a broken man. But what was going on inside? Often, we did not find out until he was released back onto the streets of Melbourne.My predecessor as chaplain at Pentridge, John Brosnan, often said that the regime there "turned bike thieves into murderers". That reception biff only partly explained the conclusion he had drawn "after 30 years in the nick".
Prisoners were generally separated from one another. Certainly all were held in individual cells for most of the day. Some were only allowed one hour's exercise, others went to the labour yards from 8am until 4pm most days where, until 1976, their job was to break bluestone slabs into small stones the size of marbles.
In later years, the yards were rearranged into common areas where contact between inmates was common and the solitary isolation regime broke down. Several times, wardens turned a blind eye to extreme violence as avowed enemies were allowed to come face to face with one another - in a corridor, in a labour yard, or through the delivery of meals. Some died, others carried the scars into the later years of their lives."


As I said, not a happy post and Jika Jika division is certainly not a part of our history of which we should be proud.  But it should be acknowledged (hence this post) and hopefully, we can all learn from our past mistakes in our treatment of our fellow human beings, even those who are criminals.  Yes, they do need to face justice for their crimes but they do not need to be treated as less than human nor incarcerated like animals..

So, that is all from me this month.





If you want to learn more about The Alphabet Club please follow this link and to  see what everyone else got up to for Saturday detention this month, please follow this link.

hugs, 



Saturday, 7 May 2016

FNwF and May TUSAL update....

Last night was both FNwF and Friday Frolics, so here is what I got up to ....

I knitted some more of my ombre baby blanket for my friend's son's baby to come...

Just a few rows but the blanket is growing, it went from this ...


to this...


I am now well on my way on my third colour - only two to go after I finish this lighter blue.

Stitchingwise, I randomly chose this UFO,  the gorgeous Thirteen Colonies by LHN.  Now, I last stitched on this way back in January, 2012!!!!!! You can read all about it here.


Now, when I picked it up last night, the stitching was like this....


Yay! I finished the little grey house - although you may notice that I am frogging the browny colour on the right - I realised that I had used the wrong floss colour, all those years ago - aagghh!


I am certain that Thirteen Colonies was a gift from dear Gracie from Needles, pins and dragonflies and she generous gifted me not only the pattern but the fabric and the floss as well - thank you, dear Gracie.  So sorry to have neglected it for so long but it is back in the rotation now - please look for another update post on this next week for Gifted Gorgeousness and I am going to add it to my 'Merica Monday rotation for the Americana SAL to make sure that it does not get forgotten again.


You can see what everyone else was doing for FNwF by clicking this link and check out the Friday Frolickers here.


... The other update I wish to give you is my May TUSAL update...

Home ORTs on the left, Travel ORTs on the right

The year's ORTs so far.


Well, that is all for me for now, look out for my next Alphabet Club post, which should be up later today.

hugs, 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Stash empire building ...

... yes, I am at it again!  I just cannot help myself but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do when she sees some lovely crafty things!!!!!

On Saturday, the little Eaglemont Village where I live had its first monthly Saturday market for the year - it is just a small craft market but well worth a visit.

So, I bought these gorgeous chutneys and Quince jam from one stall ...


... and then I went back and bought a jar of Raspberry and plum jam, too (I am a sucker for homemade jams).

From another stall I bought these great quilting fabrics ...


I think that they will be perfect for finishing my Smalls as cushions and pincushions. I especially love the carrot fabbies and the strawberry fabbies and altogether they only cost me $8.00.


Then, today, I had to go into the city for a meeting with the publishing house that I am doing some freelance work for (more work = more stash! lol!), so I went in a little early so that I could visit the gorgeous vintage haberdashery shop, 

l'uccello.

... it is full of so much crafty goodness but I managed to sort of restrain myself to just buying this ...


... an antique pincushion design, just right for using up some of my civil war stash ...


... a vintage French seed packet needle keep - you embroider the flower panel - they had so many designs it was so hard to make a choice but I finally did.


... and lastly some gorgeous Spanish floss packs - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter colourways - I can't wait to use these!  I am going to start with stitching with them on the Vintage French seed packet above.


... and to finish up, here is a cute Furio pic.  This is on Anzac Day, when the family came over for lunch (that is my dear nephew on the left), we were sitting there having lunch and TraderVic left the table to go get something and when we looked up, there was Furio sitting in his place - what a wag!


Well, that is all from me for now, 

hugs, 



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