Pattern and process; making and meditation.

My very earliest memory is fleeting and hazy like a dream…. I was stood by a front door and my big brother was turning to walk away down the hall…. but the most vivid part of the memory is as clear as day, the pattern on his little sleeveless jumper…. it was navy blue with pinkish purple vertical rectangles that kind of over lapped and blended in together (a bit like the upholstery on old-school bus seats)…. I must have been two or three and thirty odd years on I can picture it like it was here in front of me.

Over the years I can remember lots of patterns that have stuck firmly in my mind…. clothes I had as a child, my turquoise, insanely intricate¬†childhood bedroom carpet, my therapist’s carpet,…. in fact a heck of a lot of carpets! and remembering these patterns takes me briefly into emotions that I experienced at the time…. and it seems the more complex or difficult the emotions, the more vivid and detailed the memory of the pattern.

I’ve often wondered if that’s what draws people to retro and vintage objects… that they evoke emotions experienced in times past…. sometimes comforting, sometimes painful, but all part of our personal process.

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Buddhist mandalas are used as a way of meditating and focusing the mind…. either in creating them or looking at them…. and I wonder if we use other patterns in the same way without ever realising it….. the lines and colours, the shapes and repetition give our senses something to focus on and some grounding that allows our emotions to wander contained.

Who’d have thought that a bit of Hornsea pottery on your kitchen table would help you manage your feelings whilst being told off for not eating your greens!? But I think it probably did…..

Recently I bought a job lot of old Swedish tapestries…. I know the old lady that I bought them from had a huge collection, but I don’t know if she made them all herself or for how long she had them….. her daughter was selling them for her as she was moving into a care home…. and when I look at them I wonder what the daughter’s relationship to them was…. were they like familiar old friends that had been there as she had grown up…..

and when I think about all the work that went into each one (I bought five,,, but there were many more) I wonder what processes each tapestry saw through with their maker…. what feelings were given a space a wander while each stitch came together and what comfort was drawn from the repetition of the stitch, of the pattern and in the final sigh when the piece was finished.

I hope that I can give these tapestries the home they deserve and I wonder what processes they will see me through when my eyes rest on them hanging there.

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Fogcutter

Thinking more about the future of my little kitchen, I came across these beauties

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and was reminded of my old friend D who has been making furniture and things out of reclaimed wood and fixtures for years…

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…. gorgeous!

He has recently started taking commissions and has even made a beautiful little timber birthday card

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I just love it!

Known as Fogcutter, you can find out more about him on his website
Maybe I can incorporate some of this beautiful reclaimed style into my little kitchen…

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or imagine a whole kitchen…. Ooooh!

Making time for making

Gosh, I feel like I’m on constant catch up with myself recently…. time is precious and I’m definitely someone who needs a whole lot of ‘downtime’ ‘me time’… whatever you choose to call the time that you reset your levels and remember who you are…
For me that time pretty much has to be solitary and I’m increasingly realising how much I NEED to make stuff and learn stuff… Like the grown up, bill paying version of playtime :)
For weeks I’ve been wanting to make something with some antique silver Berber beads that I got…. they’ve been sitting patiently in an old bowl on the table and reminding me daily that I need to make time to buy some bead thread and fasteners….
this weekend I made time and came up with this

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unlike the hands on, hammering, sawing type jewellery making that I’m learning about at the mo; this type of jewellery making is much more sedate and living room friendly :)
I got the antique beads online and strung them with semi-precious aquamarine beads from an old bracelet and some tiny silver spacer beads that I bought along with thread and silver fasteners from YumYum Beads in Leeds.

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I think perhaps the aquamarine is a bit too washed out and tiny to do the big silver Berber beads justice… but I’ve got some left and will see what I come up with…. that’s the nice thing about playing, it’s about the doing not the final thing really… and I loved playing with these beads :)

Flossing my bling

Today was my second lesson in jewellery making and I made these….

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little teeny tiny copper domes! …. I love them!!
And I LOVE the classes…. we will have three weeks of learning techniques and then we can make our own piece of jewellery… ooooh!
I’m thinking about making a pendant out of a cluster of those little domes, perhaps with different textures and finishes on each dome… maybe different metals? We’ll see how it goes… but I never knew how much I flippin’ love to hammer stuff! Especially metal… in fact I would just love to make a big hammered copper bowl…. so exciting!

summer crochet

with the sun blazing and every window in the place open, the last thing I want to be doing is working with wool, as much as I do love my chunky, handspuns.

As I’m working in a new city I’ve been seeking out new places to buy yarn and I’ve found two amazing places. One sells gorgeous cream Yorkshire wool that I’m looking forward to getting when the leaves start to fall… but for now I’m using a cotton yarn (that coincidently was spun in my hometown.)

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Ivory lace squares with very pale grey edges and when it’s done a grey lace border….
I’m crocheting on the commute every day, so I’m trying for a square a day that makes a row a week…. and working on squares means I don’t have to carry an ever increasing blanket around with me :)
I’ll show you when it’s finally done…. what’s your summer project?

The bestest bestie

Last week lovely bestie C came back after a long trip in the US…. I was very pleased to catch up over a gorgeous Indian meal to celebrate my new job… Yums!
And he brought presents too!
A gorgeous bunny tile (that’s been added to the group of lovely things on the lounge wall), a letter press card of an heirloom tomato soup recipe (to be framed and hung in the kitchen) and this gorgeous handspun alpaca yarn

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And I decided to make myself a special bear :)

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I love that bear! I can’t decide what to call him though…. Any suggestions?
How lovely?! I really do have the bestest bestie :)