I am still knitting like a madwoman. My mind is quiet while I make stitches, but the moment I stop it goes into overdrive, like letting the Tasmanian Devil loose to whirl about ricocheting off the inside of my skull. I can't settle to anything else, except making my drawing a day. There are a number of abandoned and half-finished projects littered about the dining table.
On the other hand, not settling has seen me wander outside at intervals to haul a few weeds out and shift pot plants. The small bursts of gardening are beginning to make a difference to the wilderness.
For the first time in a very long while. I used to write poetry often, enraptured with the sounds words make against each other in verse (be it blank, or rhyming), and then I just...didn't.
My love of words didn't go away, I remain the pedantic perfectionist when it comes to words and meaning, spelling and grammar. I still wrote/write prose, short stories, a novel, began two other novels ('began' is misleading, perhaps. Each is thousands of words, loosely organised, but nowhere near finished). I'm re-editing the novel, for what seems the forty-lebbenth time.
But the urge for creating poetry went into abeyance. Not sure why. I don't even remember exactly when. Five years ago? Probably closer to ten.
This morning a phrase popped into my head. Followed by another. As I wrote them down, my hand remembered the joy of that, the sheer pleasure of word after word, not telling a story, but capturing (or attempting to capture) a fleeting moment or thought. A flavour, if you will.
Yeah, yeah, I always say I don't paint. I colour in. I like colouring. This is from one of my drawings, transferred to a re-purposed book cover (The Northumbrian Gentleman), 30cm x 21.5cm (11.5in x 8.5in). Next time I use a book cover I'll try using ink, perhaps white ink on a dark cover. The dark background makes a good contrast.
I'm still not fond of paint, but our relationship is improving.
Just occasionally though, mine could do with a pause button.
A couple of days ago, I was searching for - actually, I'm not sure of the name of the thing. It's like an embroidery hoop, but has a solid insert. It came with a kit when I was into Hobbytex about a million years ago, and is useful when fabric painting. Let's call it the hoopish whatchamacallit (huh! spellcheck doesn't like "hoopish", but is just fine with "whatchamacallit"!). So, the whatchamacallit wasn't in the craft half of the wardrobe, or in the project pile. Hmmm, don't think I tossed it out. Scratched my head, got distracted by something else, wandered off.
Cut to 3 a.m. the following morning. I jolted wide awake with this thought in the front of my mind: "The whatchamacallit is in the white chest of drawers in the spare room, third drawer down on the left hand side, with the fabric paint."
The search mode had evidently been ticking away in my subconscious for more than half a day, had located the requisite memory, and dropkicked it into my conscious mind, waking me from a lovely sleep in the process.
Thank you, brain, that was useful information (and yes, it was right, the whatchamacallit was exactly where it said), but I could have waited till morning for that little bulletin.
I ventured to a slightly different suburb this week on an errand and decided to check out some new-to-me ops. This painted metal tray is from an op shop in Sandringham, opposite the pub. The back says: "Chatsworth, Derbyshire. Home of the Dukes of Devonshire". A bargain at $1, and the kind lady behind the counter threw in a pair of green knitting needles for free. I was going to use it as a painting surface, but I may keep it as is - it's growing on me.
A round batik table cloth, $4 from an op shop near Moorabbin station. Destined to be refashioned into a full circle skirt.
Background is a black and white sarong, $3 from the op shop in Bay Road, Sandringham (to be refashioned into a skirt or possibly a tunic). Purple flats with gold bows, $2, same shop. The book is Arthur Mee's Book of One Thousand Beautiful Things, $1, same shop (will become an altered book, I think). Black leather handbag, lable inside says Made In Italy, $3, same shop. Two leather belts, $2 each, from the Moorabbin op shop (for an art project/experiment).
Egyptian Mythology, $2 from Vinnies in Crewe St, Oakleigh. Sculpture book, $3.99; Old Macdonald, 99 cents (love the illustrations, I may adapt some for applique); The Wonder Book of Kittens, 99 cents (too cute to leave behind) - all from the Salvos in Atherton Road, Oakleigh.
Free knitting needles from Sandringham op shop, resting on folded Liz Claibourne skirt - a linen/cotton mix, feels lovely and soft - $3, from op shop in Bay Road, Sandringham (destined for embellishing/upcycling with pen, fabric paint and thread). Barbie clock, $1.99 from Salvos in Oakleigh. The lady behind the counter suggested that some lucky little girl would be thrilled to have a Barbie clock - I thought, but refrained from voicing, "Not when I've finished with it!". The clock is intended for, um, refashioning of a sort...
Quite a lovely haul! I did hit another Salvos and a fabric store (no purchases to report), after which I was pretty much op shopped-out. I must make an effort to range a little bit wider than my local oppies in future, that trip was fun.
I've been tackling a reupholstery job for a friend's outdoor furniture. Don't know who last recovered these cushions, but they had an, hmmm, interesting technique! Basically, they made a gigantic bag, tacked and pleated at strategic points to make it fit, sewing it very securely to the underlying structure in the process. It took me three quarters of an hour to de-upholster two of the cushions in order to make a pattern.
Three chairs of cushions looked rather intimidating, but once I got going it was fairly straightforward. I was rather impressed with myself (and my, as I usually claim, sub-standard maths skills) that the first fitted cover on the seat was close to spot-on first time. It could've done with being perhaps a tad tighter but for ease of getting the things on, looser probably worked better. As it was, I had a major wrestling bout to get the large semicircular cover onto its base (much swearing ensued) - its sheer size and weight meant it fought back. Ain't no pillow gettin' the best o' me!
I'm 48, female, just finished a two year course in Visual Arts, and am now back in the market for a job (boo!). I worked in the library field for the better part of three decades and two years ago took the plunge from a job that made me unhappy to go back to school. I've loved every moment of it and as soon as I have enough money to tide me over being a poverty stricken student I'm going back for more!