It’s been a hard week over here to be honest. Both Fella and I have had some upsetting news about family members, and it has been a strange, quiet, sad and stressful time. We are both trying to be positive however; as with anything unexpected like this is has taken it’s toll and I have found myself unable to write, create or do much other than read or be still. It is at times like this that I am least able to take control of my m.e. and depression so I have been sleeping a lot which I actually find to be very depressing in itself.
Last night I didn’t sleep, I read until it was light then napped for a while before Fella made me some tea (he selflessly used the last of the sugar on me, aw!), and I rushed off to work. Today I taught a Beginners Sewing Class where we made Christmas Stockings, Patchwork Cushions and Door Stops, then a Children’s Tea Party where I helped seven nine year olds make delightful appliqué Owl Cushions. It was also the West Bristol Arts Trail today, and Cordial & Grace, where I was teaching, were hosting a gorgeous Artists’ work which meant a lot of foot fall, with people popping down to the Sewing Parlour to take a quick peek at what we were so feverishly working in. In all of this I simply forgot to be sad, contemplative or even quiet. I wrapped myself up in my days sewing and assisted, chatted, stitched and laughed with everyone, and I think it has broken the spell. I am still contemplative, and sitting here at my work table I find I am still unable to concentrate for very long, but I am writing and that is a true pleasure.
My heart goes out to my wonderful auntie Karen, who is possibly the rudest of all of my aunts!, and to my Fella’s Mum. Nothing like this could ever beat us but it has made us all pause, reflect and will take some time to process.
So, I though I would share some photographs I have been snapping of work in my studio over the last month or so, just little snippets really, but flicking back through them today made me happy so I am going to share them with you.
This is me a couple days ago. I had wanted a small, black button. That was all however; my button collection- which contains anything from Victorian Green Painted Wooden Boot Buttons, to Art Deco Mother of Pearl gorgeousness- was strewn between a Vintage Sewing Box, my Vintage Kilner Jar collection and various zip-lock bags. So I quietly sorted through them for nearly a whole day. I love that my view now includes all these Vintage jars and buttons, and I am finding them endlessly fascinating.
Also, there is a sneak peek in to one of the tutorials I will be hosting for Christmas Month in the 2nd picture…
I shipped so many orders a couple weeks ago, I had to snap the process. As I was just finishing packing them all up another one came through, for a couple of my Zines. I received a wonderful message from Joan, the buyer, about them yesterday…
Just received the Zine, and I love it. I am an avid sewer, and have been all my life. I read in the Zine a few things I didn’t know and learned from it. I attended fashion school fresh out of high school. I had a partial scholarship to attend (FIT) The Fashion Institute of Technology here in NY/USA. Unfortunately, the scholarship was for only 5 months. My parents could not afford the tuition, so I had to leave. In those short 5 months I learned a lot. How to work on a mannequin, pattern making, etc. Thanks for sharing your little booklets. I have lately given much thought to writing my own zines. I use to publish newsletters, and have thought about doing again, but online.
Joan, I say go for it! Making up those little Zines made me unspeakably happy, and the return has been enormous. I didn’t really ever study Fashion somewhere glam like FIT, and I am envious even of the few months Joan spent there! Sewing, I have discovered, is a living, breathing thing with a life all its own. You can always learn something new, or a new way to do something. I am so pleased my Zines were received so well, and I a very much looking forward to releasing the next batch.
The first of the Sewing Tidys’ is winging its way across the Pond as we speak, to the last competition winner of Pattern Month, and I have been hard at work manufacturing more for my Christmas Markets Stalls. They’ll also be for sale in my Etsy shop so look out for this wonderful Christmas present idea. The picture shows a small selection of the many patterns I am making them from- my favourite is the Eiffel Tower blue and yellow print.
Finally, I made up some great Pattern Weights- the eco friendly pin!- and there will be a tutorial soon for these little darlings. Although these match, I am looking forward to making many, many more from the scraps of extravagant fabric I have stashed away over the years. I love the idea of having a Silk Shantung pattern weight, next to a Liberty print one, next to one made from fabric salvaged from a Vintage hanky. I may even decorate them…
I think this is the first glimpse I have given in to Midnight Heights. It is a cosy,ramshackle place but full of love, too many DVDs and lots and lots of fabric! I think I may have mentioned that I intend to move in to a dedicated Studio space in the next few months however; after a long time working from home, and despite having dreams of large open spaces with proper Pattern Tables at the right height, I am sure I shall miss it.
I’d love to hear others tales of working from home, and I sincerely hope everyone reading this is happy, healthy and creating like billy-o.