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So on my first day in London I went to the very good Shirley Baker exhibition at The Photographers Gallery then set out to find the fabric shops of Soho. This is after buying an umbrella at M&S as it was monsooning it down. I chanced on The Cloth House and stepped in. I had peaked in the window before but didn’t realise there was another room at the back and a basement. I was in search of black linen to copy a beloved but worth through skirt I got from Hobbs some years back. I’m tired of traipsing around shops being faced with horrible fabrics and even worse designs. So am opting out of it all my making my own. This means reacquainting myself with my hand sewing machine. I’ll keep you updated.  The assistant was very helpful and I bought some black cotton for lining as well. It was beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and in a cloth bag, then a plastic bag to protect it from the rain. Just as well as it was quite pricey.

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Posting has been light recently despite being off work from last Friday. I was in full DIY mode when I stopped. Painting spare bedroom. Preparing for guest from Brooklyn. Then on Monday went to my craft group where a lovely lovely person brought a bucket of flowers she had cut from her garden and distributed amongst us lucky people. I put mine in the spare room to welcome guest. In the meanwhile I’ve been going to the festival – mainly Summerhall and last night to the Harmonium Project. Catching up with people by sitting out on Leith Walk (in the SUN!). I went to the farmers market this morning. On the bus I realised how lovely it was to feel unhurried. I normally feel I’m packing in quite a lot on a Saturday. As it happens I am going to a show at 5pm but there still feels like enough time for a leisurely lunch from my farmers market haul and time to get on with some dyeing experiments with yarn. Oh may this feeling last!

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Two kinds of Enough. One is Enough Stuff the other is Enough Doing.  And today I was planning to get rid of lots of Stuff. And do the washing up backlog and make the house a minimalist paradise. Instead… well I’ve gone two loads of washing up and I’ve surfed a LOT.  The shouty voices of beration are well very SHOUTY.

But is that true? It is true that I did not turn the house into a spick and span minimalist paradise but I did 1. dash up town to go to demo outside the City Chambers for a planning committee meeting 2 return home and listen to a live feed of it 3. develop apoplexy 4. speak to a friend who’s dog was in for an op. 5. Listen to an edited version of my talk at the (un) productivity  conference to ok it before it goes out this weekend (sign up here to hear my dulcet duchess like tones). 6. write a fairly long email to a friend in the north 7. move a light bulb from one room to another (long story) 8. cook twice 9. get another phonecall update on dog op 10.  make a mini banana loaf 11 finish a square for an orphan. 12 throw out one bag of rubbish and 13 put out and bring in a load of washing.

Humm… yes I did spend WAY too much time online… and have that itchy unsatisfied feeling as a result but it wasn’t a total washout of a day – just not the one I was planning.

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A grey wind has come up. it was lovely when I left work and I thought about going to the beach for a walk but made the mistake of hangng about at home. So now its an unattractive prospect. However… am toying with trying to make a lemon buckwheat cake, listening to The Archers and making lots of crochet squares.

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The day after the night before. I decided to post some real pictures of life online! Why is it that if you ever so see pictures of washing up the dishes look clean they are artfully placed in a bowl of sudsy water on their own – with the sunlight sparking off them? This is the day after I had 6 people to dinner as part of our Cook Book Club. We meet every two months roughly alternating venues. If you host you get to choose. I choose Georgian food (the place not the era). This website was a fund of fabulous recipes but be warned they seem to be sized for Village quantities.  We started doing this nearly two years ago and it has become a wonderful culinary adventure. A geekier member set up a wiki page so we don’t end up with 6 desserts. Food quantities are vast so the left overs are delicious!

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Granny Square Baby Blankets Holga

It’s Friday night and I’m about to settle down to a rocking evening of crochet + something undemanding on the iplayer. I’ve spent a day wrestling with gatekeepers in the accounts / finance departments  of UK industry and a server which kept on conveniently breaking down (Crochet break yay!) So tonight I’m aiming for the Joy of Completion. Many years ago I was hell bent on becoming the most awesome filmmaker in the history of film and spent years writing scripts, proposals, going to beg for funding! occasionally making a film! (working for free on other people’s films! ) but only probably twice and occasionally had fleeting experience of the Joy of Completion. The first time I had it after an edit at STV studios in Cowcaddens Glasgow I walked down to Sauchiehall Street and had what I can only say was a mystical experience. Seriously. I looked at all the rag tag of people walking down that road and felt  complete, whole and totally at one with the world. Of course I then fought like hell to replicate that amazing feeling with little success. It is only now as I have become a MAKER I realise I can now access that feeling on a regular basis. Instead of waiting for someone to allow me to make something or wait for permission I just go right ahead and do it. All I need is to regularly turn up ( or in my case lie down as a huge percentage of my making is done in bed) and do the next stitch. I’ve completed  7 blankets this year, contributed to 2 collaborative blankets, I scarf  and made 10 textile art works and its only half way through the year. (I cannot help but wonder if it is precisely that craft has few gatekeepers is why it is so despised? )

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