labour of love

modflowers: labour of loveSometimes, making things comes easy. And sometimes they are a labour of love.

It’s all about that “flow” that comes upon you, the feeling that the right thing is right there; that every piece of fabric you pick up is the right bit of fabric for what you need it for; that stuff just falls into place and the right thing results.

And sometimes… it doesn’t.

I sometimes think I suffer from a disproportionate amount of the latter. I’m not quite sure why.

I’m also a terrble procrastinator.

I put this down to when you spend much of your day sitting alone in your kitchen stitching, it becomes too, too easy to get sucked far too far into social media.

Even though it does sometimes make me feel like a minority of one in my thoughts, tastes and opinions, most of the time it beats not having anyone to talk to.

Well, it’s either that, or I have no self-discipline. Ahem.

modflowers: labour of loveThis little rodent was made in between projects for other people, as a bit of creative light relief.

Not that the other projects are heavy or difficult, but they are other people’s visions. I find I like to have something on the go that is entirely my own to work on – it helps to keep the creative muse fed, don’t you know.

Anyway, although I love making stuff up, without any rules, this time even this wasn’t an easy process. Everything mouse is wearing is the end result of several discarded previous choices: the frock, the hat, the scarf – all of it.

The rejects are currently sitting in my “work in progress” box (and will no doubt re-emerge to adorn some another small creature at some point in the future.)

Anyway, at least I love how she turned out in the end. She really is a proper labour of love.

Sometimes things don’t just flow. But it still pays to push things along and keep them moving, because that’s how the dam gets worn down and the blockage, eventually, gets washed away. ♥

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stuck

modflowers: recent work So, the dog is gone.

We all cried. We still feel sad. Both for her, and for ourselves. We wanted a dog, but after our experience with Lupin… it is not to be.

There will not be another dog. I think that ship, the one with our dog on it, has sailed.

It’s been just over a week now, since we took her back.

During that week I discovered that three of the seven pups in her litter have been returned to the rescue, because of similarly difficult-to-live-with traits. So Lupin is currently living with one of her brothers, which is a nice thought in a way, but sad for both dogs in reality.

modflowers: recent workI also discovered that the rescue are already advertising her for adoption, describing her as “good with other dogs and children over twelve”. Lad is thirteen. When we took Lupin back, I gave them two sides of A4 listing all of her problems. Right at the top was the problem of her ongoing aggression towards lad.

So I called to tell them, again, that she wasn’t good with children over twelve. Or men. Or strangers generally. But it seems that their one-day assessment of Lupin’s character trumps our nearly-six-months of living with her. They say they have seen no evidence of aggression. So that’s that.

The thought that another family may go through the same painful experience as us upsets me greatly, as does the thought of Lupin facing a third rejection, but having handed her back it seems there is nothing more I can do about it. And so I have had to breathe deeply and let go.

modflowers: recent workA week later, and I am still hoovering up dog hair and wondering what to do with the packets of dog treats in the cupboard.

I should be getting on with work, I have lots to do, but I seem to be stuck.

Inspiration is always sparse at this time of year, but it’s worse than that. I feel a bit panicky when I try to start work. Some of the work I have done has not, to my eye at least, been my best.

Our new neighbours are knocking through their kitchen at the moment and it is very noisy. The builders have managed to dislodge the plaster on our adjoining kitchen wall – chunks and dust come cascading down. But that’s no excuse.

I clean the house as displacement activity. I try to drag up some creativity from somewhere, but it appears to have gone into hibernation for the duration.

It’s not because of the dog, I think. It’s just the winter, dragging on. It seems, like me, to be stuck. It afflicts me every year, this dark period after Christmas. I need to get stuck in, but instead I get stuck in a time warp.

Roll on spring. ♥

small comforts

modflowers: small comfortsI am quite a political person.

Not that you would generally know this from my blog. I normally steer clear of politics here, because my blog’s not about that.

Also, I don’t like those online arguments that seem to blow up out of nowhere once people start discussing politics online. I may be political, but I am not argumentative. At least, not online I’m not.

So please forgive me for bringing politics into things today. It’s not meant to upset anyone.

Like most of my creative friends, I am reeling at the outcome of the referendum. Absolutely knocked for six. Upset in a way I can’t quite yet deal with, in fact.

It wasn’t planned as a post-referendum distraction, but I was very, very glad that I happened to have booked onto a Sherwood Art Week workshop.

If ever I needed a distraction, it was yesterday morning, post Brexit. I dried my eyes and went to make dolls’ house accessories.

Fiddling with tiny pieces of paper and little dobs of glue was the perfect thing.

Some people made Shakespeare-related items – tiddly-tiny books, quill pens and paperweights. But I, given the choice, made flowers.

Of course I did.

The first thing I made was a little wreath, using tiny paper punches and a pipe cleaner …

modflowers: small comfortsAnd then some paper roses…

modflowers: small comfortsWhich brings to mind the Marie Osmond song of the same name.

The workshop was held at The Post Office Garden, a lovely crowd-funded community venue, just around the corner from me in Nottingham. I donated to the project last year (when it was still semi-derelict) and so was keen to see how it had progressed.

And it is so lovely….

modflowers: small comfortsIt houses a community kitchen, for catering, courses and anyone who wants to rent health inspector-approved premises for food-related activities. There are plants for sale, a workshop / studio space, and, of course, the garden itself…

modflowers: small comfortsAnna and Toby, whose brainchild the place is, were a bit flustered. They were having a big launch event and open day on Saturday, and Anna was stressing over the amount of work still to do in preparation.

So I offered to help.

I wanted to spend more time in that beautiful garden, tucked away just off the main road. I wanted to distract myself from brooding on things. But most of all, I wanted to contribute something positive. To counterbalance the negativity that seemed about to engulf everything.

I spent the afternoon clearing pathways of dandelions and tying back floppity plants.

I went home dirty of hand, scratched of arm, and a little happier of heart.

modflowers: small comfortsTo find distraction in creativity; to give help when it is needed; to spend time in nature – these may be small comforts in the big scheme of things.

But sometimes, small comforts are all we have.

And, for now, they’ll just have to do. ♥

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