Sunday, April 26, 2015

cushion mend

We have a couple of gorgeous Maiike cushions made from up cycled materials, given to us as a wedding gift from this fellow and his lovely wife. We had a bit of a moth problem last year and I keep discovering holes in woolly objects. I don't mind though... I like practising my darning and grafting and giving the cushions ongoing care through making. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

cardi mend

It's a long time since I wore my once favourite cardigan ... the one that I mended with granny squares a few years back. When I pulled it out of the cupboard to wear last week I discovered a big moth hole on the front.

We were crafternooning at our place on the weekend so I did some mending with the latest sock yarn leftovers.

I wore it today and noticed another little hole on the sleeve ... back to the darning needle!

Friday, April 17, 2015

nest making

Back when I had not long completed and handed in my dissertation last year, I was getting back into the garden after it had suffered through a year of neglect. One of the projects, which ended up as an exercise in therapeutic making, was to create a fence around the sewer manhole in the back corner of the yard. It was accessed by the water board a couple of times in the last few years when they were relining the network of pipes, but had been covered by at least a couple of feet of soil and mulch. I hadn't even realised it was there! We considered different approaches to keep the manhole clear - we were thinking a brick wall at one stage. However, for a long time I have wanted to try Tino's technique for building a herb bed, and it suddenly occurred to me that this could be a great solution.

I had some hardwood stakes leftover from edging the veggie garden beds so I started by hammering these in around the manhole after clearing off the thick covering of rapidly gathered debris. Nearby is a big, old, and very rampant buddleia bush that needed hacking back - again. The long canes were perfect for weaving around the stakes to create the basket-like wall.

This is a beautiful, engrossing, process - I feel the quality of the material (the buddleia canes) as I bend it them the required shape. I listen to its feedback as it responds to my hand. I'm being 'taught' by the material, as it tells me the way it wants to go. I don't always get it right - bits break and pieces need repositioning - but the made form is forgiving and it accepts the messiness of added and re-layered pieces. I thought I was making a giant basket, but as variable making pervades, the more tousled form is unmistakably nest-like, and I realise, I am making a lovely human-sized nest!

More on how this nest has been going later... there have been other nests in the meantime. I've always viewed plant material as valuable - my dad always said to never let anything organic leave your property - but this value goes beyond just chopping up the prunings to become mulch.

A couple of weeks ago at Easter time I made some nests to house eggs for the nieces...

And for the more eggs for the in-laws...

A nest for us with Easter offerings, now nicely mounted on our front door...

And this week, a nest for our gorgeous neighbours to pop their business cards in. This weekend they are embarking on an amazing new business venture - 'pressing provenance' - serving up stylish toasties at local farmer's markets. Best of luck for the opening at Substation Farmer's Market, Newport and looking forward to enjoying a delicious toastie!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

laptop jumper mend

My laptop cover has been in constant use since May 2011 when this happened ...
Funny that the jumper I never wore has become so 'well worn' now. This is the 4th round of mending that it has needed - applying a combo of swiss darning and grafting, using the yarn that I also use for this, and this ongoing project (cardis or socks always on the go now). The material flows across and through various making and objects, linking these things forever.

The mend prior to this was a rather desperate, post PhD, 'plug all the holes that I hadn't attended to in a long time' affair. This time there were only a couple of little holes developing, and this time attended to in good time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

dr now!

It's been quite a while since I've been about here properly... so many things, like this little 'bloggy' project, were put on back burners while the PhD got done. And done it did get!

It has been a roller coaster of milestones. The dissertation was handed in on August 15th 2014 ... my exam presentation and exhibition was on October 24th 2014 ...

I received the results (passed, no revisions!) on December 8th 2014 ... and given the word that I may now adopt the title 'Doctor' on February 11th 2015.

The desire to celebrate with rounds of drinks dried up by the end ... I just wanted to rest and it's taken until now to feel something like being more relaxed and a bit more 'normal'.

Now I'm feeling the things that are 'next' are piling up. There seems to be some space now for the 'next piles' to accumulate ... but ... what do I keep? what do I let go?