Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Australia Day!!

On New Years day I was reflecting on how lucky my life has been so far and wondered how much of my luck was connected to being born in Australia, which has long been considered the 'lucky country'. I always feel patriotic in January due to our Australia Day celebrations, but given all ups and downs of 2009 I can't help but feel more connected to my family, my friends and my country this year. 

It has been XX years since I was in school learning Australian history but all this nostalgia made me realise I had forgotten a lot of what I had been taught about our flag.  I remembered that our flag was chosen through a national competition and that it was first raised on 3 September 1901, also it features the five stars of the Southern Cross, the Commonwealth Star, and the union of crosses (Union Jack) which represents Australia's early settlers. The Commonwealth Star with its seven points represents the unity of the six Australian states and the seventh point stands for all Australian Territories.

So off to the internet  I went...   Now these are the things I did not know...
  1. The flag contest attracted 32,823 entries from men, women and children 
  2.  A sum of £40 was paid to each of the 5 designers who had all submitted similar entries

  3. THE CROSSES – THE SAINTS: The three crosses, St George, St Andrew and St Patrick (all components of the Union Jack) serve to represent the principles and ideals on which our nation was founded and is based on today; including parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the rights and responsibilities of citizens
  4. THE STARS – THE SOUTHERN CROSS: The constellation of the Southern Cross indicates our geographical location in the southern hemisphere. This constellation of stars relate to the various indigenous legends and remind us of our rich and precious Aboriginal and Torres Strait heritage
  5. THE COMMONWEALTH STAR – NATIONAL FEDERATION: The large seven pointed star is the emblem of Australian Federation. Six points represent the states and the seventh all the federal territories which together constitute the nation, the Commonwealth of Australia
Well you might ask why the history lesson?  Well ....Why not.. anyway who knows when you might be glad you learned this information.

One of my resolutions was to work on my long to do list of temari patterns... and while my first temari of 2010 was not on the list it did use some of the stitch elements I am hoping to incorporate into my stitching this year.

So in time for our National day here is my first temari for 2010 sitting atop a jar of our nations favourite sandwich spread.  Yep most people the world over hate Vegemite... I joke that it is the Aussie version of Japanese Natto... but you can't call yourself a dinky di Aussie unless you love it.

I marked this ball with a removable thread as a S4. On one half is the Union Jack and Commonwealth Star then on the other half I placed the Southern Cross. I made the stars with Sakasa Uwagake Kagari. The Union Jack was created by stitching woven bands then placing a box of base wrap thread around the perimeter to keep it all neatly squared off.  I stitched the temari from memory and after it was done I found a flag from last Australia Day.  I noticed that my design was a little off (but this was my first attempt at placing a flat design on an orb) and I am letting myself off. I really love the deep blue and they way it makes the white stars pop. I want to make a bunch more temari using this blue as the base colour... I just have to remember where I purchased it because I only have a teeny bit left.

I hope we get see our flag fly at least once or twice next month at the winter olympic games in Canada.  We don't get much snow here but hey if Jamaica could have a bobsled team.....

Happy Australia Day!!!

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