Recently, I have accidentally taken a break from all things social media and struggled to keep on top of emails. However, this evening I am feeling better than I have for weeks.
Following the Handmade Fair in May I rather crashed. A combination of exhaustion and some vile viral English bug I brought back with me. Total wipe out. The wind taken out of my sails, the stuffing knocked out of me, the voice from my throat and it felt as though I had been stampeded by a herd of hippos. I had no concentration and no energy, just a sore chest and a head full of cotton wool.
Eventually, I allowed myself to switch off for a while, and whilst worrying about what I wasn’t doing and that the to do list was growing longer by the day, I gave in and did nothing that required thinking about. Since I got back we’ve been having really lovely weather, but I haven’t felt like enjoying it, such a waste as we so rarely get such unbroken stretches of sunshine. Its hard to remember getting any at all last year, I don’t suppose it was 12 months of rain but looking back it does feel like it. We had a bad winter, for the west coast, though nowhere near as bd as some folk, maybe we will have a ‘good’ summer.…
This week has seen an improvement and I have started to clear out and tidy up my studio. It’s been wonderful being able to drag everything out on to the decking (yes my studio has decking, a balcony space big enough for a ceilidh actually!) and sort through it. The clear out count so far is 11 black plastic sacks of scraps and unusable fabric, 6 boxes of clothes/curtains/fabric pieces to the charity shop, 2 bags and a box to go to a friend. There is still more to go but with a rearrangement of furniture I can at least turn around in the sitting room end of the studio now, there’s space to swing a Rosie-dog should I wish to. I have reduced my cardboard box collection to 2 large boxes, but my vintage blanket collection still numbers 6, well stuffed, Ikea bags full. I have cleared out/sorted/put way the content of four bakers trays, 6 supermarket vegetable boxes (not entirely sure where I got these!) excavated the contents of several boxes and many bags. I haven’t started on the room I mostly sew in but there isn’t much to be cleared out, though much to be cleared up and put away properly. It would be good to see the surface of my desk again!
This is still 'during' as I haven't finished and there's still quite a lot of soting to go, but it's getting there. I didn't dare take a real 'before' picture, it was too embarrasing!
We – being me and my M&D – had some unexpected visitor’s up the hill on Thursday evening . Dad & I were just about to go to our creative writing class when a car with 4 adults and 2 children bumped their way up the track. They had visited the Studio Barn gallery last year and even though there wasn’t a sign this year they thought they would chance a return visit. It was lovely to have such friendly, enthusiastic, and complimentary visitors even if we aren’t open for business yet this year. It is a spur to get us going again. No-one will see my lampshades if they lurk in boxes in the corner! Time to get them out and set up and to take photos for the website. What could be seen was admired and the two boys who had been ‘treated’ to a visit in dads workshop last year were eager for a return look see. The smiles on those lads faces stretched from ear to ear, a suppression of joy and awe at their treasures: a couple of roe deer skulls dad had lying around, and a parcel of deer & sheep jaw bones, oh and now one is hankering after his own band saw….. inspiring stuff and a delight to behold. They couldn’t say thank you enough and left full of talk and excitement.
Motivated by this visit I had thought to make a start on setting up the Studio Barn today, but after a late start, getting up is still a struggle, and a holiday cottage changeover, in the end I had a late lunch sitting in the garden and finished a book – I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. A young adult sci-fi/fantasy type thing. Dad & I share a love of well written YA fantasy fiction and it makes a change to my usual diet of murder/drama and occasional ‘aga saga’. Then I decided that I should mow the grass (I would hesitate to call it lawn, too many buttercups, too much sorrel) front & back, strim some edges, do some general tidying up & process laundry – I love this current weather and being able to hang washing outside, I think I managed it twice last year. Then in to finish off dinner and get B onto his machine.
Now I am sitting, faintly glowing from the sun and following a long soak in a tepid bath (to cool the midge bites and nettle stings), itchy bits have been antihistamine-d for the umpteenth time, the first tiny tick of the season has been removed from my thigh, my feet are up and I’m coolly dressed in my favourite pink & white gingham pyjamas. With my hair down & slightly damp, and a sun-freckled nose, I feel like I’m in a Cath Kidston or Country Living magazine summer photo shoot! I had a sudden desire to write to say hello to the world again. A mug of slightly sweetened tea – which I crave when I’m not feeling well – beside me and the dog dozing on the sofa, I realise I am starting to find myself again. I will sort the barn tomorrow, or maybe Monday, so that we can open for any passing visitors. Then I will allow myself to sit and write lists, get organised, write proper, coherent, overdue emails, and start on the commissions I have waiting, and also some ideas for the Scottish Countryside & Game show which is coming up at the end of the month.
Maybe I’ll take some photographs for Instagram, say hello to friends on Facebook … tomorrow … as the rest of this evening will be spent browsing a couple of months’ worth of unread magazines!
Hello, it’s lovely to be back
Author - Me!
I am a ‘Creative’ - designer/maker/teacher/writer, Art/Homewares/Creativitea Craft Kits/The Needlesmith.