Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Take 5

1) I bought Venetia some Clover Wonder Clips for Christmas (pretty rainbow ones!), pinning is something she finds quite tricky so they seemed like they might be a good idea for her. And, since I'd never used them before, just to check if they were any good (!), I gave them a little trial run before Christmas! And I did quite like them. I do try and avoid using pins at all wherever possible, but the clips were very handy with a few things -  particularly sewing the soles on to slippers and hemming some napkins, with lovely, mitred corners.

I'm ashamed to say these are the napkins I started to give as a present last year - I'd got all the snowflakes embroidered in reasonably good time and then just put off the more boring job of hemming them for that little bit too long. But they finally got finished and gifted this year with the help of the clips. I imagine the clips would also be very handy for some paper piecing projects and for binding quilts. And definitely if you have a young sewer who finds pins fiddly then clips could be the answer.

2) After finishing the scarf from my little patchwork squares before Christmas, I was quite keen to start a new little, patchwork squares project.

I'm thinking cushion for these, and I might be just over half way with them...

Not sure they're working exactly as I want yet, I may need to add a bit more variation on the squares to come I think.

3) It's been quite a good month for beach walks (less muddy than other walks!), and pretty good sea glass finds on those walks.

And I think this one is my favourite find of our walks. Nothing big or dramatic, but incredibly smooth and completely pebble like in shape.

It just feels perfect to hold in your hand.

4) I still haven't got into any groove with having a regular photo spot here. You'd think the start of a new year would be a good time for putting plans into place with something like that, but no! However, here are a few 'boy' photos, to redress the usual girl imbalance.


5) On one of our beach walks, whilst looking out for sea glass, I was struck by the variety of coloured stones on the beach, and had the urge to turn a handful into some land art. Looking at the colours I decided I wanted to make something with graduated tones. I was just wandering around collecting those which most appealed to me, with no particular plan in mind, when I saw a couple of stones which reminded me of clock hands. And so my little collection became a quick clock.

As I'd been walking I had been thinking about my Mum, and thinking about what we were going through this time last year. It's just coming up to a year since she died, at the end of this week. And in the few seconds between finishing my clock and an extra strong wave coming in to wash it away, I thought about how it could symbolise a year after losing someone close. How the year starts off at its darkest, how you just have to keep on going through that darkness, how gradually some lightness creeps in again, and time begins to heal - or at least with time passing you get used to the loss.

But then again, it was just a pebble clock in the sand. Created on a whim after seeing some appropriately shaped stones. I have often wondered whether we sometimes read too much into paintings or poetry or other works, sometimes even song lyrics. Did the creator intend all the imagery or symbolism which we later perceive? Or perhaps something in their sub conscious was prompting their creative choices? Or was it complete chance, no deep messages or hidden nuances at all? And maybe our subsequent interpretations would baffle and amuse them.

Possibly my subconscious somehow was prompting me to make a clock, or at least something connected to my thoughts of my Mum. Or perhaps whatever I made I would have then found a way to connect it - a snail? Not sure how that would have played out. Whichever way it was, it kind of became a small moment of remembrance, and the clock will keep ticking round again.



  1. "How the year starts off at its darkest, how you just have to keep on going through that darkness, how gradually some lightness creeps in again, and time begins to heal - or at least with time passing you get used to the loss." I needed these words this evening my friend. Thank you.

    I am thinking of you, and all that must be moving through you as the one year mark approaches. Sending love and hugs. xo

    PS That sea glass, amazing!!!!

  2. Clover clips are pretty fantastic. I love using them for binding - I find I don't bleed on my quilts as much when I am hand stitching the binding on when I use them. I can still prick myself with the stitching needle, though!

    Do you collect up the sea glass and take it home, or just find and organize it on the beach? There are some really lovely pieces in the grouping you showed!

    I think your color graduated clock was beautiful, and your thoughts about time and loss are very powerful. I think that whatever the spark, the remembrance of your mom is lovely. *hugs*

  3. I recently read a description of grief as being like being buffetted by waves - they keep coming but after a while they don't knock you over, you can contemplate them and let them recede. It seemed to go with your pictures. Sending you good thoughts.

    I love your new round of squares and look forward to seeing what they turn into.

  4. I think the clock and its symbolism (intentional or not at the time of its creation) is beautiful and perfect. There have been a few times I have made/noticed things that have a resonance with me about my mum - usually not intentionally. But i feel like they provide a lovely connection or moments pause.
    I absolutely love that sea glass too ... have you tried making jewellery with it with soft wire? Might be a fun experiment on a wet day?

  5. That first year of grieving is like no other, I think the analogy of the clock is so powerful. Like the sea glass too, it starts as sharp and cutting and through the slow passage of time becomes a thing we can bear to hold, in our heart, rather than in our hands, and the sadness can even be beautiful, when it is worn smooth with our thoughts of loved ones gone, like the beautiful pebble in your photograph. Wishing you healing times Sally X

  6. I wouldn't be without my wonder clips - use them all the time. Many years into the future, something out of the blue will still cause you to reflect on your Mum as you have to day. Time does heal and it gets easier, leastwise it did for me with losing my Dad.

  7. Wonder clips are a godsend. I liked your clock and yes, I think the subconscious is enormously powerful and plays us more than we ever guess.

    I like the above comment about the waves. Grief, remembrance and loss do like to hit you, sometimes when you least expect it. But the mind gets more and more used to the wave of emotion.

    Thank you for sharing, I'm jealous of you seaglass.

  8. Ah, a sad anniversary, to be sure. Your beach art was a beautiful way to express your thoughts in the physical world. For me, the moment in which the clock was washed away was very powerful. I'm so glad you captured that moment and thought to share it.


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