Wednesday, 19 August 2009

This latest trend called SIY, books and sew on, do fish have ears, and a bit of poetry.

Apparently, the latest in thing is SIY, Sew It Yourself. A resurgence of interest in the idea of 'make do and mend', an upsurge of interest in buying clothes from charity shops and making changes to turn it into a unique item, or dressmaking from scratch. Stores report incredible increases in the sales of sewing machines, 500% in one case, and apparently Tesco sell one particular machine every two minutes, if you can believe the figures. All to do with the economy of course; it couldn't just be that this is the latest in a long line of fads and crazes, there has to be a reason for it apparently. Of course, there are those amongst you who have been creative with fabric for years and don't see what all the fuss is about. Then there are those of us with big ideas but pretty useless when it comes to the practical. My problem, and of course I meant me with that last statement, is that I tend to rush at things. I am not known for my patience, for taking time... I put it down to wanting to get as much done as I can, from having the attention span of a gnat, and a head bursting with ideas, colours, fabrics, wools all of which need to be turned into something Wonderful! But one accepts ones limitations... wonderful we don't do. Passable at a distance is nearer the mark. But none of the sewing things I make are fancy or original, I just do it because I like doing it. And have been every morning this week for some reason. Out comes the machine, which I only use for the long boring bits, preferring, really, to handsew as much as I can... I find it very relaxing. The Ashes on the radio, and sewing in hand. Or a story tape in the stereo and sewing in hand. Some of the things are good enough to go to a charity shop, or a friend who is involved with a small, local cat rescue operation constantly needing things to sell at fundraisers, more so than ever these days. (And who hasn't gone AAH! at the kittens at Battersea and elsewhere, featured on the news this week because there has been a dramatic decrease in the numbers of people wanting to take a kitty home. I find my resolve not to have another cat weakening at such times!) But mostly, they are for me, for the house...

This is a patchwork tote I made this morning, with one blue side and the other yellow, though the colours on the latter don't show up too well. Lined, one side with a purple to match the blue, and the other a sort of maroon picked out from the pansies, a piece of wadding between the layers, and with two-colour handles. It is at the finishing off stage now, a job for this afternoon, along with finishing off the second of the two envelope cushions for the outside dining chairs.

These are two little tote bags I made with a hexagon patchwork flower on the front. One of them I am going to add an appliqued 'S' on the reverse, a gift for my granddaughter when she starts nursery. Now I have no idea whether handsewn is going to be treated with the same lack of interest, disdain almost, as handknitted, but I shall send it all the same, and what I don't know won't harm me. I shall hope though, that it gets used, sometimes.

This is obviously not sewn but crocheted. I found the pattern in a magazine, it is meant to be a door curtain. Hanging off the heart bit are crocheted strands turning it into a posh, cottony version of one of those awful plastic strip curtains meant to keep out flies presumably. I don't like them at all, but thought this would be a nice alternative. Well, when I had done the two hearts bit, I rather liked the look of it as a shelf edging, so that is what it is. Never fancied the idea of a door curtain to be honest with you, much prefer it as it is. Crochet seems to be the big thing as well lately, certainly amongst PC-ers, some of you doing gorgeous things... isn't it addictive, but do you think that's true of all crafts? I know that sewing seems to be the big thing with me at the moment, but then in the evenings I happily get out my knitting or crochet instead... I like variety.

Normally by now I am doing my reviewing for the RNA, but the books seem to be rather late in being sent out this year, or at least neither myself nor a good friend who also does it have received that tantalising parcel of books waiting for us to read and either sing the praises of or pick to pieces! So, every day I listen out hopefully for the ring of the doorbell to announce the arrival of parcel postie... every day I am disappointed... such is life!
My own reading has been from the library this last week. The Meg Rossoff book, 'What I was', is one of those strange but good books, set in East Anglia, about a boy sent to his third boarding school on a part of the Suffolk coast that has, over the years, vanished into the sea. On the beach one day he discovers a hut, being lived in by a boy of his own age, called Finn. Finn claims to have no family, earns a meagre living helping in the local market, and lives in this cosy shack. It is very basic, but so described you almost wish you could live there, even with the ever present threat of the sea coming in your front door. But Finn isn't what he seems to be at all, as we find out near the end of the book.
The book by Julia Glass is one of those books I find myself reading sometimes, rather against my will in a way. I haven't really got thoroughly immersed in it, yet it compels me to carry one. I can't put it aside to return to the library unread, it somehow demands I read it, and properly, no skipping the odd page here and there. Well, maybe the odd paragraph, but read it I must. About two sisters, Clem and Louisa and their very different lives, and told alternately by each of them, and is essentially a story of sisterhood.
William Nicholson's 'The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life' I got because of the title and a review, which said it was about what goes on behind the facade of normal, everyday lives. Laura is the main character, and we are introduced to her on the morning that she receives a letter from an old lover in the mail. She is happy enough with her married life, her children, husband and little job she has, but this letter brings back memories of what it felt like to be younger, freer, and when life seemed to be, on reflection at least, more exciting. This book is next to be read.
These are some of the little fish in our pond, and what I want to know is.. how can they hear me rattling their food container from the conservatory door? Or hear my footsteps as I approach the pond from any direction? They always assume I am going to give them food, often they are disappointed if it's not the right time of the day, but still they live in hopes. But the rattle of the food container means their hopes are not in vain on that particular occasion, but how do they hear it?
And seeing as there are no garden photos this time, I thought I would end with a bit of poetry about a rose, written by the wonderful Dorothy Parker, and called One Perfect Rose.
"A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose.
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -
One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;
'My fragile leaves' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.
Why is it no-one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose."


Rob-bear said...

Gracious; you are one busy person! And creative. From sewing, to book reviews, to poetry.

Thanks for sharing all this.

BTW -- what's the latest from the Ashes?

pinkfairygran said...

RB... still no definite news on whether Flintoff will bowl, but Andrew Strauss reckons this has the potential to be THE best Ashes match ever.... time will tell.. our lot seem very hyped-up and positive.

Quilting Cat said...

Glad I am trendy at last then with the sewing, you sound well fired up there Pfg with your creative juices, as for the Ashes, we're going to stuff them arn't we?

seashell cosmos said...

Oh, help me if I see someone outside a store with little teeny cute kittens. Very hard for me to resist. Likewise with puppies as I do miss having a doggie here!!

Lovely patchwork totes! And of course, I always love the teddy bears!! I have to be careful whenever I visit Michael's Crafts or Jo-Ann fabrics not to go overboard. Now there is real temptation!! I could spend hours just walking around in those stores. One of my favorite places even if it is very tempting.

Okay that fish pond is amazing!! Lucky you!! :)

Pondside said...

I love Dorothy Parker - the wit!

ChrisH said...

You've been very busy again, and for someone who claims to rush at projects they look wonderful to me. How exciting to have a pile of RNA books about to arrive, lovely, lovely.

Celtic Heart said...

Thank you for letting me know that I am not the only person with the attention span of a gnat!

Treasure is peeking over my shoulder as I read, and asks me to tell you he loves the hats and scarves on the bears peeking from under the shelf lace. We both agree, that is what it is. Me, I love your red and white hexagons.

Calico Kate said...

You have been a very busy little bee, Bags are fab - esp the hexagon ones. But it is the crochet hearts that I truely love and one day will crochet some myself some day (over the rainbow)

Sandi McBride said...

My Dear Pink! I never have to many comments to respond to! I enjoy reading them to much to neglect one fan of my work, lol...I enjoyed visiting quite a bit!

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