Leaf me alone…

Time for a bad pun – actually did manage to get in the studio today.  Rattled away on the sewing machine, and made some progress.  Five leaves painted and preliminary layer of stitching.


Machine stitching is all fun and games. Focus, focus.  Invite to pub. Resist. Run out of thread.  Toddle to our brilliant Fabric Shop and buy more, stopping en route for various natters. Invite to pub. Resist. Start sewing again.  Bobbin runs out.  Refuel bobbin, start again.  Invite to pub.  Resist.  Continue sewing, bobbins and threads and suchlike.  Friends leave pub and invite to bbq in their garden.

Well, what would you do?


The Eleventh Hour

The clock is bonging away the hour.  Eleven.  How can it be eleven already.  Even the Cat That Isn’t Ours has toddled off out into the sunshine…. oh no – speak of the Devil, here he is!

There is a theory I have read, and I quite forget in which book, that the balance of the world is actually dependent upon the amount of cats sleeping at any one time.  You or I may think they are just sleeping; the ‘just’ is the important word here.  Yes, sleeping, but doing important work.


He’s gone off to look out of the back bedroom window, to survey his kingdom.  We went out last night whilst the Cat That Isn’t Ours sat in our front window, watching us go.  I’m beginning to realise that the Cat That Isn’t Ours actually thinks this is his house, his bed, his windows to view from.  I wonder what he thinks we are? “The People”, or whatever cats consider us to be (do they even consider us?) The People That Are Not Mine?  Entertainment? Incidental?

The Cat That Isn’t Ours is asleep.  Balance restored.  And I am relieved to have had, for the first time in a week, time to contemplate what might or might not be going on in that furry brain. The Engineer and I are also discussing the contents of our fridge, which as he says ‘has become anomolous’.  Before I go up into my studio today, I shall clear out the things that are green that shouldn’t be, and the things that used to be green but are not; and go and find us some proper food. Yesterday I only ate biscuits. Not good.  Especially as the only reason the biscuits were there to be eaten was that they were not very nice ones in the first place.  Biscuits in general have a very short lifespan around here.

All of which means that I am of course avoiding the inevitable of ‘getting on with it’, ie getting back in the studio. Random thoughts are go, but creativity not awake yet. Might go and mow the lawn.

Never mind the saved nine, one stitch would be a good start

And that’s it in a nutshell. That sort of a week.  Here there and everywhere, apart from in my studio.  A few stitches were managed last night whilst glued to Black Mirror, but it is not ideal viewing for stitching as you do really need to pay attention, and I’m stitching the words on the Sleepy Princess’s story, so I have to pay attention to that too. And yes I know I should have been up in the studio focusing, not watching the box, but the focus just wasn’t there.  It isn’t here either. Too much time on the laptop doing admin; too much thinking about what needs to be done; no free space in the mind.


Which makes it sound as though I have been doing nothing – I haven’t, honest.  I have been very busy. And that is the problem, right there.  But hey, we have to eat.

Talking of eating, The Engineer has just volunteered to go out for chocolate biscuits. Can’t sew with chocolatey fingers either.  It really is just one of those weeks. Oh yes, my printed fabric arrived, and it looks great.  Just rather a lot of other stitching before I can start on that… and definitely not with biscuity fingers.

Gone to pot*

This here blogging challenge I went and set myself has, instead of being a creative stimulus, become a bit of a bother.  Yesterday I managing to find neither time nor laptop acquisition in which to post, and then struggled to think what on earth to write.  This will not do.

I’m also starting to panic just thinking about where the time will come from to magic my Assembly piece into reality.  It is still very much in early stages, and the sewing machine is involved. The machine is rather noisy and therefore working in the middle of the night, which is my usual working process when push comes to shove, is not really an option. Not in the loft of a terraced house with single brick walls; not if I still want my neighbours to like us.  Consulting my diary for the next few days, it would appear that I’d better rethink what I’m trying to do – cos the middle of the night is the only free time.



Well, I shall rethink whilst I attack brambles and bindweed and buddleia today.  Actually, the buddleia is off today’s list – my client has decided her neighbour is a moany old nosey, and has declared that the bush can grow as high as the house.  My garden ladies (most not terribly ‘ladylike I’m glad to say) do tend to be quite feisty, with a particular glint in their eyes. Best not crossed when it comes to large shrubs.

Cat That Isn’t Ours has just yowled a ‘what ARE you doing?’ stretching his legs and yawning having crawled out of bed to go home for breakfast. The sparrows busy playing with the string on the runner bean tripod have now sensibly left the garden as the big black cat meanders down the path. If I don’t give the sparrows some new string, the beans will have nothing but sunflowers to grow up, and it could get to be too much of a forest to actually find the beans.  This happens more often than I would like to admit. And I need to stop staring out the window and get on my bike…

The Cat That Isn’t Ours is back, belly fully round.  I really must go. Oh is that rain? is gardening cancelled? now, that would be handy.

*’Gone to pot’: heading one way, quite quickly, with no return; from the 15th Century and referring to inferior ingredients being chopped up and thrown in the cooking pot. Also in terms of smelting – anything inferior gets thrown back in the pot to start again. See also ‘gone to the dogs’ which originates in China, where the dogs were not allowed in the city, but roamed around outside the walls with the rubbish.


Postage and Packing Flapping

Trips of the tongue, doesn’t it? In the space of a second.  A snap of the fingers.

P&P – abracadabra! Click.

No. Blood sweat and tears go into those three little words.  And now I’m trying not to think about it until I hear they, for it is the Circus Freak Sisters that are the object of this particular P&P escapade, are safely arrived in their new home, across the pond.

double headed art doll with blue hair and jet trim

Tizzy and organising are not two words you really want next to each other.  Thanks to top tips from a couple of far more sensible friends, all was finally was done. Flapping ceased.  And I sat down with a nice cup of tea thinking “well, what was all that fuss about”.

The logical friend I bumped into in the packaging section of our local mini market suggested that I think about shipping when I make things. As in, if the Circus Freak Sisters were ooh, a hand width shorter, they would have fitted in the commercially available packaging without all the fuss.  Such good advice, I may actually listen to it. But then again, I know what I’m doing now….. don’t I? And my dolls just won’t do ‘sensible’.


Grandmother’s Footsteps

pen and ink drawing digitally reworked, a mermaid under water

Do you remember the playground game of Grandmother’s footsteps? Where one person stands facing the wall, and way across the playground, all the other children line up, waiting to race across and tap the one by the wall on their shoulder and replace them.  When the kid turns round, all the runners must freeze – if they wobble or fall, they must go back to the beginning.

Deadlines play their own version of this; without the wobbling or falling over they just run straight and silent right across the playground and tap you on the shoulder, jumping up and down ‘cos they’ve won.

This time however, there was a little trip up, a heavy shoe possibly adorned with Blakeys scraped the asphalt with enough of a thump that I sat to attention just slightly before the last of the last moments.  Which means I have reworked an existing piece which I’m having printed on to cotton, so that I can stitch and add to her.  I’m looking forward to this.




Empty Head

How strange.  Nothing.  Today I have nothing to say.  It is Sunday.  I have done various things, some constructive, but nothing creative.  Most unusual. Then I have vegged on the sofa this evening, with the Engineer and the Cat That Isn’t Ours, in front of the tv watching several episodes of a Box Set. Sewing on the floor, untouched.

two sleepy princesses hand painted and stitched

And yes, it probably has something to do  with yesterday’s socialising.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I shall be up with the lark, do my arm exercises (my latent RSI is stirring) and have the brain back in functioning order.  Really, if I am to make use of my thirty days of blogging exercise, I have to do better than this!