Thursday, February 16, 2006


Be warned, world’s most boring post coming up because it’s all about me.
I spent yesterday taking a trip down memory lane, nothing to do with the Blight or Valentine’s Day. I’ve been looking through my craft books for a friend who’s making a patchwork quilt and realizing that with everything that I’ve done over the years, I haven’t kept one item for myself.

A while ago I managed to get the contents of an entire room down to one small cupboard, one bookcase, 3 boxes and two larges containers on wheels. I gave away a twenty year collection of craft books and materials to a community craft group. I think it was the first time in years that I could see the carpet in my sewing room.

I am amazed at the amount of work I did in those early days but it was a buzz to know how fast my things could sell. My own designs too because I could never and still can’t read instructions, as everyone knows who’s tried to help me post a picture in my profile on this blog.

Someone told me once that crafty people don’t have tidy houses and looking through photos, I can say that was true about me. I must have stopped at some stage to feed the mob since no-one starved to death but even the pantry wasn’t spared craft. It was the perfect drying spot for Elizabethan orange pomanders, lavender, rose petals and rosemary, all hanging from the ceiling. There wasn’t a rose bush within miles that was safe from my after dark raids and even now there is a basket of dried petals on the kitchen table. Old habits die hard so the glass jar of pomander mixture is still sitting on the kitchen bench ready for drying orange and mandarin peel for spice potpourri.

Craft work, like any other work, has its fads and things go quickly out of fashion but I always managed to be just that little bit ahead. But when a fashion died, it died quickly. An article I sold fifty of in a month would drop to nothing. For example, the embroidered picture frames, which no-one else at a market was making, disappeared overnight when pre-cut cardboard for fabric frames became available. Anybody who could fold and glue suddenly became an expert craftsperson.

Back then I never thought that my fingers would nearly drop off every time I picked up a needle or that my thumbs would pack up after all those years of pleating lace by hand. Hence the hunt for photographs of anything I made and sold. I still have all the templates though so I’ve decided to make at least one of everything, just for me.

I am going to mum’s today to make ribbon roses for her in return for which she will put the V neck in my dress which I have unpicked four times already. My hands will hurt and she’ll yell at me for using contrasting cotton to the dress but considering how many times I’ve had to unpick the rotten thing, I needed to. I am taking my camera to start making a record of the gifts I’ve made my sister and photograph the finished roses. She’s still waiting for this year’s Christmas presents but they’re coming along nicely and should be finished by the end of whenever. Shameless self promotion of past genius will be appearing here soon.


Link said...

Ah, you're a woman of many unseen talents, so I'm looking forward to seeing the things you've made. Promote away, those gifts,its inspiring for those of us who would if we could.

outofctrl said...

Can't wait to see those pics.

JahTeh said...

Link, are you sure you couldn't zip down for the grogblog, Barista's coming.

outofctrl, Nudes, I'm waiting for the nudes.

Link said...

Jahteh, are we talking the groggy blog in Sydney at Bar Italia, or another one in Melburn.Either way I'm a bit of a homebody and don't care much for groups of more than three or four, unless I'm expected to sing and dance! Which is fairly rare! I have very preconceived notions of what David looks like, which is exactly like a wonderful friend of mine Laurence, who speaks beautifully, regales one for hours with marvellous stories and uses the Queens English perfectly and precisely. I"m happy with that and I imagine David would be too! But when I do happen down that way, possibly later in the year I'll let youse all know and we'll have a clandestine picnic in a park or summit. First trip away will be in Ron and Gerry's direction.

JahTeh said...

Link, love to join you in seeing Ron and Gerry but it's in Melbourne I live.

You must let us know when you're coming to Melbourne but these bloggers don't do clandestine anything.