Thursday, 20 October 2016

Let It Be: Part of a Process

I had grand plans for this post. I had all sorts of things I had been considering saying about what has turned out to be a favourite page:

I was going to tell you all about the photo, which is the one I thought of instantly when Get It Scrapped asked for Ideas For Revealing Setting With Colour, Shape and Texture. It was taken in Prague, by a clever friend of the girl who posed perfectly against the graffitti of the John Lennon Wall.

I was going to tell you how I decided to try to recreate something of the look of that wall on my page

and how I began by laying down a layer of gesso and then blending gelatos in the colours I picked from the picture. And how I stamped in black, then, with any little phrases I could find which might echo the words of the Beatles songs we all know

And then I was going to tell you about the flowers and butterflies I hand cut from artwork by Wilna Furstenberg. I always have a few of these sitting on my desk, because I enjoy the cutting out and, of course, the end result.

And how when I started to lay everything out I discovered I was going to have to cover up quite a lot of my background, but that I decided to take a deep breath and go with it rather than re-design. Because, after all, the story of this wall is one of covering and re-covering, paint over paint, layer upon layer. So that would be just right.

And then I thought I'd mention the title, which took three or four tries before I got something I liked. I pulled out several alphabets and they all took attention away from the photo, so in the end, I smeared a little black ink over some white letters, just so you could make them out among everything else. The Lennon song title leads into the journaling, about the wall being painted over at one point in its history.

But, much as I love what I ended up with, I'm not in a hugely talkative frame of mind just at the minute, so I'll just leave you with the pictures..

Monday, 17 October 2016

Memorandum Monday: You Need a Bigger Stick

Monday: you've brought us some bright sky here. At last. It has been a watery kind of a weekend; but as the patient here at last has a diagnosis, we were happy to splash through a few puddles.

The Aftur Sweater, from a free pattern by Vedis Jonsdottir, on Ravelry and the Istex Lopi wool site

Took a call from Little E, early Saturday morning. I say early: clearly Little E had been up for hours. We, on the other hand were still in our pyjamas. I hit the button quick smart and his grinning, wide awake face appeared.

"Come see my fish tank!" he said.

And then the screen went blank. His uncle and I looked at each other.

"He's dropped the phone into the fish tank, hasn't he?" we both said at once.

But we were both wrong. The screen flickered back to life.

"Ta - Da!" said Little E

(he's such a showman) and he revealed a brand new model bridge, freshly installed in his fish tank, so that now his fish can get from one side of the tank to the other without getting their feet wet.

At lunchtime the phone rang again. Not my phone, this time, so I didn't take much notice until I heard the words ...

"...just what exactly are you bailing with?"

purposefully followed by

" need a bigger stick.."

Flood in Studentland! The extremely heavy rain which had been falling into the little back yard for the previous twelve hours was lying because the drain was blocked. It's hard for a Dad to resist a call like that. 

"Didn't the doctor specifically say NO Landlording" I asked.

"That was a joke. Honestly. I won't be long," he replied, heading off with his wellies. And a bigger stick. 

He was indeed back soon; and he fell back into bed, to sleep for most of the rest of the weekend. Which is why I have another completed woollen to show you. I have never knitted a sweater in two weeks before. And I learned a new stretch bind off (to ensure maximum pull-over-the-head-ability). Oh, and a bought a rice cooker. That's my memo!

So, how about you? Anything new? Anything you learned that you didn't know before? Maybe a memo is in order? We'd love to hear it! Last week Alexandra, Deb, Helena, Linda, Mitra, Mary-Lou, Karen, Maggie, Alexa, Ladkyis, Fiona, Jane, Barbara and Susanne made their notes and were kind enough to share. Go on: give 'em a wave. There's some sad news in among the fun in there: Ladkyis, we're thinking about you.

The best of weeks to you. I'll be back soon.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Slow Fashion October: Revisiting the Cool White Jacket

Didn't I mention, the other day, that I'd been following along over at The Fringe Association, with #slowfashionoctober? I think I did. The theme this week is "long worn". I haven't had time to write a post about it, what with things being the way they are round here right now; but it's been in my head.

I've always believed in the notion of "slow fashion", since the day I first laid a pair of sharp scissors to the liberty print cotton which would become my school needlework project smock. It was slow, that's for sure: it took months for me to piece it together,  in an hour a week. But when it was done, I had learned a lot: not even so much about sewing, for the teacher was no stitcher, but about putting care into something I was going to enjoy, about choices, about reward. And the thing is, I remember that still, now, and the remembering has become a part of that reward, even decades later. 

The smock had a story and it's for the pleasure of remembering just that kind of experience that I became a scrapbooker. Over the years I've been telling my story, I've recorded memories about many favourrite outfits. That's my kind of slow fashion. If I can hold a treasured item in my hands, pull it out of the wardrobe after years of its hanging there..that's good. If I can wear it again, or pass it on, bring it back to life..that's better. If I can tell its story and then step back and watch a new story emerge..well, that's as good as it gets. Four years ago now, I wrote about my Cool White Jacket and how I had bought it when I was a teenager, and how my just turned teenager daughter had spotted its potential. Now this week, and last, and over the summer and forward now to winter, she has been wearing the jacket on evenings out. And she's wearing it to the places it has seen before, in its first life. She wears it as she walks up the same road I walked on the night I met her father; and, yes, I was wearing it that night too. I can't show you a photo, because the jacket isn't here with me now. It's in Studentland, where it belongs. But I can reprint my original story, which I like even more now that I now it has a proper second chapter. Any bets for a third?

Cool White Jacket

A while ago now I made a page about Marie Antoinette. You might remember it. I liked it and I blogged it and I thought that was that. Until a couple of days later.

The (Not So) Small One and I were lying side by side on the bed, staring at the ceiling and talking about clothes. She wanted to know if I had "any vintage" she could borrow - you know, old stuff from when you were young. And suddenly I made one of those strange connections, when something you've just done leads you to something you didn't know you were about to do. Scrapbooking is useful in all sorts of ways.

did have a bit of vintage, but without that Marie Antoinette page I might never have remembered. The story goes like this:

When I was in France on that exchange trip I've told you about, one of our excursions was to Versailles. We saw the gorgeous rooms and the gardens where Marie Antoinette used to play at farming; but we also had a bit of time to wander round the town. We stared in the window of a second hand clothes shop and my friend Judith spotted a white denim jacket she desperately needed to have. Her Mum was a French teacher, and maybe that was what gave her enough swagger to march in there and buy it. The rest of us couldn't have managed it..

My friend in her jacket, in my scrapbook from the time

I loved her jacket. I wanted her jacket. Every day for about three years until I finally found one I could afford in a shop closer to home. I paid £5 for it; and, every time I put it on, I thought about the lazy, low sunshine that day in Versailles and the dusty shop window and my crazy, headstrong friend. (Who, coincidentally by this time, had moved seventy miles away to the city to board at the very school The Not So Small One goes to now.)

I still have my piece of white denim history and I told The (Not So Small) One the story and she got it and I pulled the jacket out of the wardrobe and she slipped it on and she was beautiful. So I let her keep it. She says she'll guard it with her life and I think she probably should. That jacket has stories of its own to tell. And I thought of the 80's with a smile. And she thought of the 80's and laughed. And we were both agreed that we each had it Just. Exactly. Right.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Memorandum Monday: Marvellous Medicine

So, Monday, won't you bring us what we're waiting for? A call from the doctor, a course of treatment..

Things are much the same here at High in the Sky, so it was another quiet weekend. Here we are:

on the front of a couple of notebooks sent by Little E.

I did read and I scrapbooked and I knitted, grateful for hobbies which keep me happily and quietly occupied when my other half is sleeping. I put to very good use the new word I happened upon on Instagram (as you do): knitflixing, which, of course, is the act of knitting furiously for hours on end while enjoying a series of something on Netflix or Amazon. We've been watching the Manhattan Project. You?

There were a couple of firsts. Our student appeared because she had thought it was high time she bought an ironing board. So we went shopping and, yes, we were the two women wrestling the said ironing board into a short car in a busy car park. It's a good thing ironing boards aren't the kind of accessory you buy too many of in a lifetime. 

Later last night I watched Little E fall off a horse for the first time. No, that's not right. He may well have fallen off before; but I was seeing video evidence for the first time. He called to show me his rosette. It's big and red and ruffle-y, and very encouraging. He wants to go back.

And that's about it. Thank you so much everyone who has sent best wishes. We really apprciate it. Here's hoping for a good week!

Last week Alexandra, Deb, Helena, KraftyKaren, Mitra, Mary-Lou, Ladkyis, Maggie and Alexa made a memo. Go on: give 'em a wave! And maybe think about joining us?

Friday, 7 October 2016

Taking It From the Top..A Few Cards

It's my turn on the Gossamer Blue blog today. I have a new

set of cards to share. These were a lot of fun to make!

And you can read more about them right here at Let's Take It From the Top

Just one thing, though: after I had finished up making and writing we heard that the Amy Tangerine tiny puffy stickers I had used (in the Project Life kit)  had been substituted with an equally cute set by Dear Lizzy. 

Keep an eye out, though. I think they'll be back.

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