I 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.
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. 🙏❤️
Today had an appointment first thing and then was going busking in town. Later on I had intended to do some weights after the little one was in bed. That was before I woke in the middle of the night from a weird dream with such a jolt that something went twang by my shoulder blade. It’s happened once before so this time I didn’t think I was having a heart attack, I just hobbled downstairs, took the last dose of cocodamol and tried to get some sleep. Luckily for me I am blessed with friends who will take the little one to school as I can’t drive the heavy old van like this and also that our village, however tiny has a pharmacy.
I got overtaken on my way to the pharmacy by a gentleman in a mobility scooter. I bought coffee and a newspaper from the Spar Shop…. Today my body is less like a temple and more like a Dystopian theme park. When it hurts less to breathe I will do some gentle stretching and if I can find a tennis ball anywhere I’ll do some rolling against a door frame as I can feel a knot as hard and bumpy as a walnut by my shoulder blade. In the mean time, the best policy is to keep moving and keep busy as what I really want to do is just moan a lot and maybe cry a bit …. neither of which will help as much keeping mobile and anyway there’s no point moaning if there’s no one to hear you do it!!!!
Onwards and upwards. I now have the day to finish off Beaky. My shoulder means that any proper housework is out of the question but a bit of cutting and sewing, a bit of knitting maybe later or maybe even starting to make Bo, the basic head puppet will keep me busy and be food for the soul….. I’ll see how I get on.
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.
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.