Now that Christmas is over and the new year well and truly begun I can show you the journal I made for my daughter. For obvious reasons I couldn’t show it before but now . . . here it is! And very pleased with it I was too as I entrusted it to the New Zealand and Australian postal services.
Paint applied to calico with a roller, embellished with stitching, washers and beads. Bound with waxed hemp thread.
Interior page with commercial paper strip sewn on.
Interior pockets with tags and single page signature sewn on
Small page insert with tab.
I really enjoyed making the cover, just stitching, embellishing and letting one addition dictate what would happen next. And while my bullion stitch bridges are a little wonky . . . I’m rather pleased with them. No doubt I shall improve with practise now that Karen Ruane‘s course Swathed in Stitch has begun . . . I would imagine it isn’t too late to join in and I heartily recommend it.
Most importantly, my daughter was impressed with her present!
That straight down, slightly chilling, but not enough to light the fire kind of summer rain. The rain that quenches the garden, that makes you want to curl up with a good book (I have one), the rain you don’t want when you’re on holiday and camping under canvas but are tents ever made of canvas these days?
On Saturday at the beach, a dog that my grandhearts had thrown sticks for on a pervious occasion, walked past and the youngest threw her plastic spade into the stream and yelled ‘Fetch!” Unfortunately the dog didn’t have its scent and perhaps didn’t even see it being thrown such is the pace and attention of a dog enjoying the beach. A 6 year-old with a good arm can throw quite a distance so it ended up in an inaccessible part of the stream . . . inaccessible because the water is still very cold and the far side of the stream a tad swampy.
Three days later the spade was still there but I’m afraid this rain will wash it out to sea where it will join all the other bits of plastic . . . and I’m feeling guilty because I didn’t want to get cold and muddy.
When I explained that dogs need to be forewarned about sticks (and spades being thrown) my grandheart said no-one tells her these things and cried . . . and I’m feeling guilty.
Tomorrow, or when the weather has cleared, I will go on a spade hunt but I think I have left it too late . . . the opportunity, and the spade will have gone for good.
There is a lesson in this for me . . .
Sometimes you have to make an effort to go through a doorway. Rombuk, Tibet, June 2007.
I’m fed up with being asked, have you retired? I’m not sure how to respond . . . it’s easier to say yes but that’s far from true. If I say no, I have to explain and I have an intense dislike for explaining or justifying myself.
When you check the definition of retirement the meanings are all basically the same . . . no longer being involved. Whether it’s going to bed, retreating from a battle, leaving your job or withdrawing for rest and seclusion it’s all so, so similar . . . so no, I haven’t and won’t be retiring any time soon even though I have chosen not to work at the job that gave me so much satisfaction for most of my working life.
Just because I decided to become gainfully unemployed for the time being does not mean I am retired. In fact I’m not withdrawing from anything, rather I am propelling myself toward so many new adventures, some of which may yield income and some not, that I’m spoiled for choice! I still have an interest in education (my former profession) but my focus is now, quite simply, elsewhere. I am not financially rich neither nor financially poor . . . I’m somewhere in the middle I guess but I am richer now in ways that I never have been before in my life.
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” This wonderful quote by Dorothy Parker seems to indicate I have a condition for life . . . no retirement for me! So no, I have not retired and while my brain functions, my heart beats and a desire to be creative and curious continues to be part of who I am, I never will be.
When I no longer act or think creatively . . . perhaps I will have retired . . . and perhaps not. We will just have to wait and see, you and I.
I finally got out the paints . . .
Grumpy Mud Men
And then a needle and threads, some unbleached calico, a few washers and, most important, a paint stained baby-wipe. It all just started from there really.
Once there was a baby-wipe that had aspirations of being on the cover of a journal . . . her dreams are coming true.