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Keen as mustard!

It started off so windy that things were blowing off my stall and bowling down the road! Things have calmed down a bit and there’s even a patch of blue sky. There’s a busker playing gypsy style violin so it’s a great atmosphere.

A young lad came to my stall to buy yarn. He was around 11-12 but having said that I’m not that hot at guessing ages. Anyway, he was so keen. He crochets so I was no help to him at all. Crochet is like voodoo to me. He was inspiring in his energy and enthusiasm for his craft. BRILLIANT!

He wanted to crochet a blanket and said he’d send a picture of the result. How exciting!

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A family affair ❤️❤️

Well Christmas is the season for giving and I’m working on some free patterns for glorious little festive decorations. Some might say it’s too early but I like to take the stress out of things and anyway they make nice little gifts. You can’t have too many decorations at Christmas.

Anyway I was drawing them and my gorgeous girl came over. “Can I design one mummy?” Of course. “Can I use your special pen?” Yes. And here it is, a parcel. She’s 5. I’m one of those super proud mums and I don’t care! I’m starting this one first!

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The Other M of Makery

img_1417.jpgI wasn’t going to write anything today but then my little girl asked me to make her a bee puppet and I agreed.

I started on the head this morning and then went swimming and then to the park with a friend. Back home I started to cook soup for the fireworks party tomorrow.  And then I’m hit by the other M of Makery…. Manic.

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It’s like I’ve been possessed. So in between chopping vegetables and stirring (that’s not the time btw, we never set the cooker clock) , I’ve made this… a paper pattern than could be a bee. I won’t know til I try it in foam. And it’s like I can’t wait. It’s a wonderful energy. Watch this space. 🙏❤️

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Nothing is wasted … ever.

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Today the house is quiet except for the gentle hum of the fish tank. I’m beginning to feel calm after a number of days feeling a bit ‘stabby’; I’m starting Beaky, a puppet; a beautiful birdy-style puppet.

I’ve made the foam head. I’ve burned myself on the hot glue more times than I can count. I’m smiling  I’m making first pattern for the covering out of carrier bags, and I’m smiling. Let me tell you why.

When I was 14 I found out that a friend’s brother was going to Falmouth School of Art and Design…. the most interesting fact was that in those days you got a grant to live away from home.  Yep the local authority gave 16 year olds money to go study art…. CRAZY!!!! Anyway, I wanted to leave home, at the earliest opportunity and so a plan was made.  I could draw, the deal was sealed.  Fast forward on a couple of years and there I was, living away from home at the tax payers expense doing a BTEC ND in Fashion Design.

I didn’t pass the course. None of my work satisfied the ‘commercially viable’ component and I didn’t have any money to put on a final show. I didn’t really care.  I was my own (utterly irresponsible) person, living on my own I had loved every minute of the life drawing and finding out about different media and I had learnt about pattern cutting. So, what! I didn’t pass!  move on to Plan B .  Not that I had a Plan B… Let’s be honest, I hadn’t really thought Plan A through that well!

So many years went by during which I developed a CV that looked like a Yellow pages. I mistook being good at something as a reason to try and make it a career … including jobs that involved wearing suits and taking responsibility for stuff I wasn’t interested in (not my happiest epoch), I enrolled on a music degree course only once again to run out of money, I applied for jobs for which I was totally under qualified and gained them due to my creative writing skills on the applications.  All the while I felt like a failure.  I felt like I never knew enough, like I had achieved nothing and would never amount to anything. However, I realised during many dark nights of the soul that in each of my incarnations, I learned something, I gained skills. That I was luckier than most in that I had experienced so much and had so many opportunities to learn new things.

Fast forward loads more years.  My baby girl loved the muppets… ok I loved the muppets and it was a good reason to watch them again.  She loved puppets.  I decided to have a go at making them.  ‘How hard can it be?’ I thought – it was this thought that was behind many of my creative job applications.  And it was hard but I didn’t care because when you want to do something you don’t mind, and I started to remember my pattern cutting and I smiled. It was a light bulb moment.  Truly, nothing is wasted.  Everything I have done or not done has taught me something. Sometimes the lessons are harder to spot than others.

So anyway I have no qualifications in making puppets other than I make puppets. I use skills that I have learned my whole life. Surely that’s the most important thing.  The Doing Something Because You Love It.

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Gentleness and Balance

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I wanted to work on puppets today… but I didn’t sleep.  Well that’s not true, I slept with my little girl which amounts to the same thing really. And that’s on the back of several really rubbish nights sleep.  Anyway, I felt pretty rough… so after teaching Pilates this morning I took a nap and I felt a bit better but not for long. It’s frustrating.

Time was I would have ploughed on regardless.  Thinking maybe I have some sort of magic energy pot. I don’t. No one does.  There’s only so much gas in the can and I’ve got three classes to teach tonight.  So a day of fairly easy admin. Trying to decide on colours (ok not so easy).  Working out how many 10mm needles I’ll need etc.  So no puppets today.

The world won’t notice if the puppets aren’t started today but I will and it will cost me in energy and imbalance.  And chances are I’ll make a right cods of it and burn myself no end with the hot glue etc etc.  Today is about being gentle with myself.  After all, I was a friend of mine and I came over all tired, I wouldn’t start cracking the whip yelling ‘come on get some work done’.  I’d make coffee and hunt round for some cake.  I’m kind like that.  Be kind to everyone, but most of all yourself.

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Measuring-The Many M’s of Makery

Yesterday I made a beret; people have been asking for them on the stall and I thought I’d have a go. I was too in the moment to write the pattern down as I knitted. That and I was waiting to busk when I started it; standing around waiting for more than more than half a dozen people to be in town! I get impatient and am liable to start to early if I don’t have knitting with me.  Later I was just enjoying the knitting and taking a break from an Aran Cape-u-chino I’m working on

So now is the business of measuring.  How much yarn, how many rows, what EXACTLY did I do and do I want to change anything?  How could it be better… you know that sort of stuff.  And this design is probably going to be in the ‘Home Spun’ range I’m working on – so it’ll probably need reworking in that yarn but this is a good start.

Thats all going to have to wait until later. This is the last weekend of half term and it’s going to be a lovely lazy day.  Lots of making probably involving glitter and pipe cleaners and maybe some baking and definitely some pumpkin carving.  Oh and the clocks change tonight, not that that’s going to make any difference to us as a family, but it definitely feels like winter.  We like winter…

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