Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Excuse Me While I Squee A Little

I've been made a featured project on Craftster
Well, not me, but a thing I made. I'm hugely excited, there are so many uber-talented folk at Craftster so to be picked out is a real honour.
My project is the Hands Around Your Heart cushion, a kind of family portrait I made for lil' sister's 18th last month. I'm not really convinced that it's worthy to be considered next to some of the other featured projects (Check out the Wizard of Oz yarn, and the Gizmo hoop. And the Beetlejuice costumes. And the Snow White Dress...), but I'm thrilled to be there anyway.
Today; featured project, next week; the world...

The project was a gift for Charlotte's 18th; I was really struggling to think what to make her as she only really appreciates gifts purchased from Tiffany's or bearing an Abercrombie & Fitch label, but I knew I wanted to craft something... And let's face it, crafted presents are much more about the desire to craft that the recipients desire to receive another set of embroidered lavender bags. Anyway,  I was thrilled when I came across the concept of embroidering handprints, I mooched over the idea, did some sketches and decided to make this cushion, with all of our families' hands around a heart.

I wanted to include all the immediate family, and there are a lot of us - 4 generations (Nan, Dad, Mum, 2 brothers, 2 sister-in-laws, me & my partner, niece and nephew) plus a cat (who ended up on the back), and trying to fit everyone on without it looking squished is basically where the design came from. I live far away from all the rest (at a carefully calculated 'not to far in an emergency, way too far for unexpected visits' distance), so I got them to draw around their hands on paper and post them to me for me to use as templates. Of course I couldn't ask my sister without giving the game away, so that is where the 'around your heart' idea came from

There's 6 weeks worth of chain, back, and running stitch, plus my first ever hand-sewn buttonholes, a smidge of reverse appliqué and a sprinkling of french knots on that thing (apparently, I sew slooooow, but I was being really picky about even stitch length and tiny turning, which isn't easy when you're not working on even weave! I think I used my unpicker more than my needle)

The inscription on the inside is a bastardised lyric from the musical Wicked, in a desperate attempt to demonstrate how deep and meaningful I am, and what fantastic taste in music I have.
I'm gonna go listen to some Alice In Chains while I pretend that I'm cool, ok?
Noods x

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Night Sky

Sitting, again on a night train, reflection as always - fringe insisting on parting in the middle and curling up at one edge. Too pensive to read, thoughts bringing an inexplicable lump to my throat. I try not to think - of pink elephants or anything else, but the space must be filled. Not sure why I want to cry.
Tonight someone I have avoided eye contact with for months (after a drunken argument we are both to proud to resolve sober) tried to hug me - I tensed and said 'Sure, it's fine,' and she disappeared back into the crowd. I want to hug her back,  said 'Sure, it's fine' and mean it. I want to yell at her for somehow making me feel to blame when I'm no worse than her. I want to look in her eye and laugh, have her laugh with me and know we are both so stupid. But I can't - she will shrug, forget it - we were not close friends, really nothing more than fag-break buddies, and it is my own guilt that leaves me feeling unresolved, not some residual pining for what used to be. Her guilt is absolved by a one sided hug - attempting absolves her.
I won't forget; why do I remember the worst of myself so readily?
I am a good person - not easy, I know, but worthwhile.
Tonight, as the train pulls into my stop, I cannot quite seem to grasp that, but it is still true.
Tomorrow will be full of hellos, errands and cups of tea, tarnishing the blues that bother me now. I know that, too.
Walking now, surrounded by dirty empty streets, I fill my ears then my head with music. I clean my thoughts, step down the middle of the road - parked cars either side hold me and direct my gaze forward to the dark sky. I unfold my arms and smile sheepishly, not quite brave enough to sing along except inside my head, while my feet free-wheel me to bed.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

No Kidding

I don't want kids.
Those of you who know me well will not be surprised about this, as I have been saying the same thing since I was about 9 years old (at which point little sister was 1, and I'd come to realise how utterly disinterested in babies I am). 
In return for your lack of surprise at my non-maternal revelation, I will not be surprised when you say 'Oh, you'll see, you'll change your mind when your older' or 'I said that at your age too! But my darling(s) are the light of my life' or somesuch twaddle. I've also been hearing that since I was about 9, so I'm not jolted by it. But I am annoyed. It's pretty rude for you to assume that you have a better understanding of my life and what I value in it than I do. It's pretty short-sighted of you to assume that everyone wants the same things you do and will make the same choices.
There are a number of reasons I don't want kids - firstly because I don't like kids very much. They are okay for a couple of hours but the best bit is giving them back to their owners. Secondly, I don't want the responsibility - I am a very selfish person, and I like living my life for me. Thirdly, this planet is fast running out of space, food, and clean air, and contributing to the spiralling population rise is not something I feel comfortable doing.
Admittedly, I may well become hostage to hormones on my 35th Birthday and suddenly decide to become a baby machine. But I know myself well enough to place bets against it, since the idea of pregnancy is revolting - like having a parasitic growth in you for 9 months.
So please, next time someone tells you they don't want to breed, assume that it's a life choice that they have given some thought, and do not dismiss their ideas about their future out of hand.

All that being said, I am lead to believe that some people want babies very much, and are willing to go to great lengths to obtain them. I am therefore very pleased for them when this process is successful and they are left with a stupid grin plastered on their faces holding a bawling bundle of red. When these people are friends, they let me express my pleasure  on their behalf by making stuff for the new arrival (and they do not expect me to gush. They know that if they make me gush, I will be lying). And thusly, I congratulate Luan on the arrival of two tiny male versions of her. I'm sure they are lovely but please don't bring them too close
Auntie Noods