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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fragments of Me

Rather than explaining this picture all over again, this is the artist statement I wrote to go with it:


The original collage for this work consists of childhood photos, photos of my own daughter and niece and nephews, street maps of two of the most significant places I have lived, and the (present day) board outside the hospital where I was born.

Although I was reasonably happy with this collage and played around with some stitching ideas to use with it, I then decided that the composition was too static. While playing around with photo-editing software I attempted distorting the picture several times, and chose these three distortions to place side-by-side in a triptych.

It shows how our perceptions of ourselves as children are distorted in the real world, and those perceptions distort further as we get older and become parents ourselves. Different aspects of our lives take precedence at different times.

For me, family is a constant theme that informs how I live my life. The stitched border represents the gardens of all the places I have lived in and the domesticity that forms the bedrock of my life and relationships with others.

My grandmother’s charm bracelet completes the picture. Two of the charms (the sheep which she hung the wrong way round, and the flat iron) were makeweights that she put on to balance it out. The other charms are a St Christopher medal that belonged to one of her sons whose plane was shot down during WW2; a silver threepenny piece; and the navy badge worn by the other of her sons who was killed during the war, in the Battle of Crete.

Folder Cover

This is my final folder cover for the year. The beaded pear is the same one that I have already posted a better picture of, so I concentrated on the machine emrboidery instead. I am qutie pleased with this is as I do not consider myself to be a machine embroiderer at all and this worked out fairly well, all things considered. Posted by Picasa

Series of Three (T is for Three)

These were hard to photograph. They are fragments inspired by the watercolour paintings of several entries ago. Each one is painted on watercolour paper and then machine stitched. It was a technique that I had wantd to try out though I don't know that it will do it too frequently - I quite liked the effect but I don't think it is destined to become a favorite. Posted by Picasa

Edited much later to add that I am going to try some layering with organza and more stitching and embellishment to soften these pictures up - next year sometime!

S is for Sand

And what do you do with sand? You bury yourself up to your neck in it, of course!

As did three other children. I'm sure the mother of the other two was as pleased as I was with the quantity of sand that came out of those clothes! It amuses me that even thirteen year olds consider burying themselves in sand to be wonderfukl fun. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 26, 2006

R is for Rose

Not many of our roses are out yet but this one is putting up a nice show. I can't remember if it is a Tequila Sunrise or a Whiskey Mac, they are similar and I love them both.

It's two weeks now since my op and I am much recovered. I am losing weight (yeh!!), and feeling much more energetic. I have become friends with my CPAP machine and I'm sleeping really well. It was a bit hard to judge the energy levels for a while because of the results of the anaesthetic, but now I would definitely have to say that it has made a big difference. And I saw my sleep physician today and she checked the readings on the machine and said that losing the weight I have already lost has made a big difference to the pressures needed, and hopefully in a few months I won't need to use it at all!

It is just a bit early to state that my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was actually caused by sleep apnoea, but certainly I am feeling better every day.

I survived two weeks of a liquid diet after the op, to help my stomach heal, and now I;m on two weeks of 'mushies' during which I have to 'transition' to solid food. I had some mashed up fish last night, mashed apple this morning and scrambled eggs for lunch. I am amazed that what to me looks like a minisicule quantity (about half a cup) of food actually makes me feel full and satisfied. I have my first fill in four weeks time. I really do think I have found a method of weight loss that will work, for the first time ever. I always ate healthy food, just far too much of it, and this so far seems to be helping me cut down on quantities very helpfully indeed. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 23, 2006

My first forays into watercolours

We had to do collages and then turn them into watercolours in class recently. I can't paint, and I had never used watercolours before. The collaging process was fun though. I ended up doing two.

Just for fun, I collaged them together on Picasa. I like the result. (It's the top picture).

There will be three small stitched pieces coming from this - we had to choose three postcard sized sections to turn into stitch. I haven't finished mine yet but had better get a move in as everything is due in on November 3rd!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday Sky

It was chilly this morning (for Melbourne in October) and there were some tiny sprinkles of rain, but nothing like enough. (We are in sustained and serious drought). Lots of clouds during the day, some of them quite darkish, but nothing that even registered in the rain gauge. This is the view over the fence into next door, they are a lovely Sri Lankan couple with a little boy of about twelve months who is so cuddleable and cute that you just want to eat him up! Posted by Picasa

Q is for Quite the Young Athenian

This is Wombat playing a young Athenian (i.e.) crowd member and chorus) is the school production of A Kidsummer Night's Dream. I've already blogged about how proud we were that he was able to take part in this production after he had solidly refused to be involved the previous two times (it happens every second year). This year he followed direction, was co-operative, and loved the whole thing. It's a big thing for an autistic kid to cope with, no matter how high-functioning, so I thought he deserved to be immortalised here. The toy dog, Pep, goes to school every day and most of the kids are good enough to accept that and not tease him for it, bless them. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday Sky

Baby Bear took these photos for me yesterday while I was still in hospital - isn't she a good girl! There was a working bee at the primary school which kept everyone busy.

I am home, feeling as weak as a kitten, but largely pain free (except for a persistent sore neck and headache which I think came from the hospital bed!).

I now have to live on liquids for the next three weeks. So far I have only managed water and fruit juice with a couple of mouthfuls of chicken broth, but intend moving up to more broth and possibly even a cup of tea today. I am still bloated from all the gas they pump inot you during the op - though that has improved a lot.

It hurts to sit at the computer for any length of time - I am fine lying down, walking for short periods, of sitting in an armchair. So not much blogging today. But thanks so much for all your kind words, I probably won't get back to all of you individually so I hope you are reading this and acccept my heartfelt thanks for your kind thoughts and words. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tomorrow is B Day

TOmorrow I go into hospital to have gastric lap banding. I am alternating between being excited and terrified. It's a bit like having a baby - you know it's going to hurt and be undignified, but you want to get it over and done with so you get on with your life again.

I haven't blogged recently because I have had my head down doing schoolwork. Only four weeks left till the end of the academic year, and I have to miss this week, so I am working hard to get myself into a position where I can comfortable manage to allow myself some 'sick leave'. That is what I am aiming for by the end of today and things are looking good at the moment.

I have had to spend the last two weeks on a strict diet using Optifast. I am cross with my surgeon for putting every patient on this beofre the op without any examination of individual circumstances - a strict diet makes sense, because most people who need this op have a fatty liver, and it's a good idea to shrink it a bit - but I am lactose intolerant and no mention was made of the fact that Optifast is, on the whoole, pure milk products with vitamins and minerals thrown in. There is a soup, but it tastes like dog vomit and I threw it away. I managed three of the shakes before I was sick. I have been managing with the chocolate mousses and chocolate bars three times a day (how does this teach you good eating habits, BTW? And I don't even have a sweet tooth) plus the allowance of fruit and veges (the easy bit) plus all the water (also the easy bit). But I have been having such bad stomach pains and other nasty intestinal symtpoms (won't go into details but let's just say that last night I only just got to the bathroom in time) that this morning (after puking up my Optifast breakfast) I have thrown it all out and I;m spending my last day before banding eating sensibly. Two weeks of this have turned me from someone who ate sensible foods, albeit in enormous quantities, to a buleimic eating 'chocolate' three times a day. At least after the op , although I have to live on liquids for a while and then purees, they can be actual food. I have written lactose intolerance on my hospital admission forms because if anyone offers me a nourishing milky drink in hospital I will get violent with my IV stand!!!

I will politely point out to my surgeon, when I see him, that it would be a good idea to check with his patients rather than just having a blanket policy of putting them all onto Optifast!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Saturday Sky

This is my first Saturday Sky entry - a typical Melbourne spring day. The big eucalpyt is ours, in our front garden, and the other trees are on the other side of the road. Posted by Picasa