Friday, 4 November 2011

Chasing My Tail.

Quite often on this blog I get comments of the "You are so amazing, you do so much" or "You must have more hours in the day than the rest of us" variety... and they make me smile. They make me smile because they are kind but mostly they make me smile because in my head the reality is so different. I seem to spend most of my life barely one step ahead of myself, rushing from one thing to another and never really achieving half of what I want to do. Take yesterday for example...

It was my weekly machine embroidery class at the Settlement. I planned the programme for the term during the summer so I knew what I was going to do. For the classes up until half term I had all my samples made. The plan was I would make all the samples for this half of the term during the break... but for one reason or another it didn't happen. This week as usual has whizzed by and so I woke up on Thursday morning with no sample. Fortunately it's an afternoon class!

So I put on the radio, made a pot of tea and got to work making this little embroidered envelope from transfer printed fabric, adapting a pattern by Jill Kennedy in Stitch magazine.

A little envelope designed to hold the little hand made books we've been making in the previous three lessons. (samples made during the summer!)

Tiny books just 4" square made from appliqued tissuetex and filled with coloured pages.

Which was all well and good until half way through I remembered it was my turn to make the cake (to be cut into 12 portions) for the over 60's club meeting this afternoon. A rather rapid all in one fruit loaf... complete with sunken fruit... was delivered just in time and still warm!

Which of course meant I then rushed out leaving the ironing board up looking like this...

And my sewing table strewn with mess looking like this... not having eaten any lunch and forgetting my sister-in-law's birthday card... which is already late. (Happy birthday Anne! Sorry!)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining... I love what I do... and I like to be busy.
In fact, I get restless and irritable if I haven't got anything to do.
And when the ladies in the classes I teach produce fabulous things like these books...

it makes me really happy... because they are so beautiful!

and I learn different ways of doing things from them too.

But sometimes I wish it would all slow down just a little bit.... because I'm tired...very, very tired!
And it doesn't make for very interesting blog reading if I tell you about how I collapsed in a comotose lump on the sofa last night and instead of doing the academic reading I needed to do for a tutorial today... I fell asleep! Rather dispels that wonderwoman myth!


  1. Well I still think you pack an amazing amount into your day and I'm very envious of your time management. Great cake, makes me feel hungry :-)

  2. That cake will have tasted fine, everyone will have thought your work highly professional, your sister in law knows how busy you are and nobody else (apart from all of us) knows that your desk is untidy. (It's all relative, you should SEE mine!!!). It's who you are and what defines you. Today you will get up and be exactly the same and I am sure you would rather be creative than not.

    Changing the subject, I am rather enamoured by those circular bobbin holders, where did you get them from? And changing it again....... I missed the Bridget Riley post somehow. I have always loved the graphic black and white works.

  3. Wow, you do manage to pack a lot into a day. Love your samples. Your ladies have made some wonderful books as well. Might have had piece of that cake yesterday,as I was at that meeting. :) Hope you find time to rest this weekend. Anesha

  4. Im not surprised you collapsed! You certainly pack a lot in one day! Xxxx

  5. On the contrary Gina - you are a human wonderwoman! Everyone needs a nap on the sofa at some time or other but I do envy you your energy and I know that I couldn't cope with half the things you tackle.
    The little books and envelopes are delightful. Clever ladies and clever tutor.

  6. I was thinking how useful those ring-sahped bobbin holders look... then I thought 'the domestic goddesses will all have them and I'll sound like a dawk never having seen them before!' ... but then Menopausalmusing asked, so I will too :-)

    What a whirl of activity! No wonder you fell asleep.


  7. We all have a bit of wonderwoman about us, but we often overstep the mark and need a nap to put it all back into perspective.
    Love all you do, been there, done that I am now a lot older, but not really any wiser!

  8. Don't feel guilty about taking a nap. The work you do and inspire your students to do is amazing. Those envelopes are just so perfect for the little books. A lovely way to keep them safe.

  9. Well, I think you are amazing anyway!

    Changing the subject completely, I noticed in one of your pics, some nifty little bobbin holders, blue circles. Where can I get some from?
    I'm going to the N.E.C in Birmingham, perhaps I might get them from there?

    Have a great weekend,

    Sandie xx

  10. It's so reassuring to know that your work room does sometimes look a mess. Almost like mine,except that mine looks like that all the time.
    The books are lovely.

  11. looks to me like you use your time wisely. it's good to stay busy.

  12. Gina, your students are a credit to you--wonderful little books! And your book cover--delightful.
    I think every woman is a wonderwoman.
    I wonder how you get so much accomplished in one day. I think I might have been on that couch half-way through your morning!
    Love seeing your wonderful work.

  13. nah.. you're still wonderwoman Gina - you just need a wonderwoman nap lol.
    beautiful books that your ladies created. I love detail on a small area.

  14. I love warm cake! :)
    Have a very restful weekend Gina!
    Vivienne x
    P.S. All the little books are gorgeous.

  15. I have done more chasing my tail than I would like this year and I don't like it, in fact I don't like being busy unless I know they have a defined boundary. I like time to reflect, digest and ponder and I don't do well rushing from one thing to another. Hopefully winter will be a time to sit back a little and digest this last year. Hope you find time to kick back Gina and just relax.

  16. Sorry, but did you break in and use my desk and ironing board to make your samples yesterday? Looks identical! What I find frustrating is when I do get a few days off, I then can't think of anything to do...I'm either flat out ridiculous or nothing. All those books and the cake look fab though, so you must be doing something right!

  17. Those little books and envelopes are such an amazing project- just perfect.
    Now, go kick back with some tea.:0)

  18. Ha you are just so like me. I'd love to do your classes - the books are just lovely - how about an online tutorial??? Xxx

  19. Gina, may I thank you for revealing a little bit about the actual woman behind the myth! Hey, that's you, I mean. I still think you are a wonder, and believe that we do draw lots of energy from somewhere when we need to. (I can also finally realize how tired I am!)

    The embroidered envelope bags are wonderful designs, and could surely have unlimited variations in various materials. Note to self...remember this idea, and try it "sometime."

    I am very envious of your having been able to hear B Riley speak. I sort of came upon her paintings by chance, because she regularly exhibited at the Pace Gallery on E 57th St here in NYC, a place where many fine print makers show their work.

    I was absolutely dazzled by the color paintings, which I saw long before any of the black and white earlier works. A artist who was a former neighbor of mine made paintings in a similar way, but seemed to experiment endlessly with the various color choices (which he tried out on masking tape) before he actually got the acrylic paint on the canvas. His paintings were beautiful, but Ms Riley's are in another league altogether.

    Best wishes!

  20. As one of those people who wonder if you ever sleep it's good to know you can crash out like the rest of us but I'm afraid all this activity did nothing but reinforce my opinion of you - that you are one heck of a 'can do' woman. Those books are so delightful. Your girls have done some fantastic work there. Just lovely.

  21. I know how hard you work - your productivity does astound me but I do realise it doesn't happen by itself!

    I've been a rotten correspondent recently, and I am sorry. There's a fab new cake shop opened just across the A10 from me - any chance of a quick catch up cuppa one day soon?


Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!