Monday, 27 January 2014

No time… no time...

In my last blog I said that I was reluctant to make New Year Resolutions, but I did say to myself that I would try to write a blog more frequently, but I have failed at the first hurdle. However in my journal I did write a list of all the things that have happened so far this year, and it is no wonder I've had no time. Some are rather mundane but, all of them time consuming. Visits to elderly parents, hairdressers', doctor's and more excitingly knitters, embroiderers, textile groups and friends. There have been visits from my sister and nephew too.  I bought myself a smart phone - just because… and that seem to take up a day swapping numbers and logging on and so on. Some of the photos I took with it popped up on the TV. Mr T cried out  that there was a picture of Marvin on the screen while he was  watching the snooker and then  I did it again when he was watching the bowls! The only way to get rid of them was the TV off and on again! I thought I'd turned off the bluetooth which I thought was responsible.  When I've got time I'll fiddle about and try and work out what happened. 
Also my GP wants me to monitor my blood pressure and I've had to buy myself a machine. I have 'white coat syndrome" and my doctor always takes my BP at least three times and usually says it is falling to an acceptable level, but this time it didn't. I have been practising before starting to record the results and the same thing is happening at home - sky high first take, and then dropping. I could get a bit obsessive and keep on doing it; I try a bit of meditation in between takes, which definitely seems to work if I can be mindful enough!  The very act of strapping that thing round my arm winds me up, and I hate the feel of it gripping tightly. Hopeful at the end of the fortnight I will be so laissez faire with the procedure I will get a true picture, which I may have to accept as high. I'm also trying to walk more, lose weight and cut out even more salt, it's no wonder my blood pressure is up! High BP is very common I know, but not something one wants to have to accept.

I have managed to keep some creativity going, that's what keeps me sane. At our first Spectrum meet of the year Gina encouraged us to have a think about what we wanted to achieve in our textile work, so I applied some of the criteria we talked about to a new long term project. I have a new sketchbook and wanted to devote it to one subject - gardens and plants that are significant to me. I started with a mind map or spider chart as we used to call them donkey's years ago when planning school topics.

I want to produce a book that expresses my feelings on one subject rather than a random collection of ideas which is what happens in my other books.  My aim is to produce a beautiful book with now time limit to get it finished. I started with a collage of some of the pictures I have of my sister and I at home in the garden, and chose one to enlarge. Just a bit of fun to break in the new book. Hopefully it will also spark off some textile work.

One subject for the new book is this Amaryllis that friends gave us for Christmas.

It is now on its second spike of flowers.  When the first flower head died off I tried a bit of dyeing, wrapping the flowers up in a tight cotton bundle.

 It looks as if it could be a severed finger (or worse!!!)

The colour isn't as deep as this, but it was my first attempt.
While I was at it I also tried a bit of tie and bleach. I tied some buttons in a piece of black cotton I knew would bleach to yellow.  What a shame it didn't keep the bright orange.

I'm aiming a bit of stitch on my yellow daisies. Rather pleased as it was the effect I was aiming for.

Finally I have managed to finish the first poppy cushion.

This will be shown at the Spectrum exhibition at Art Van Go in March. More details to follow.

I seem to have gained and lost one or two followers, so hello to anyone new and thanks for sharing my journey. Have a good week.


marigold jam said...

No wonder you haven't had time to blog! I had one of those machines when in France and I must admit I got a bit obsessive over it trying to as it were creep up on my blood pressure without it noticing I was coming and thus get a low reading. I gave up on it in the end though and since I have been back in UK my BP seems to be on the top edge of OK! I chucked the machine out in myu recent clear out - what a pity I didn't know you wanted one!!!

Love the idea of bleaching black fabric rather than dyeing white - must try it and had to laugh at what might have been severed and wrapped in the fabric!

Gald you have found time for some creativity and love what you are doing.

ju-north said...

Love reading what you are up to! Just life-a real mixture of good and hopefully getting-there good. (Re blood pressure). Love your art work as always. I feel I don't do anything much these days except some photography although when you belong to a camera club there are a lot of disappointments to cope with!

vintagerockchick said...

The cushion looks beautifully finished Jill, you must be delighted. Any well done on your Amaryllis- I had one for Christmas too, but it's still at the bulb stage and hasn't shifted one iota.

Clare Wassermann said...

Jill you must look at India Flints new book. Search for it at Blurb. It looks amazing xxx great post xxx keep it up! Xxx

Joanna said...

Learning how to master a Smartphone is enough to give anyone high blood pressure!

Love that picture of you and your sister. Your dyeing results are really interesting.

In the words of Michael Winner RIP "Keep calm, dear!" When Grant says that to me I want to kill him so I don't think it necessarily has the desired effect!

menopausalmusing said...

Maybe it wasn't YOU causing the problem re pictures of Marv appearing on your TV.

Maybe, just maybe, it was Marv using your phone in secret....

Gina said...

I bought myself a smartphone this week... it's enough to raise anyone's blood pressure. Your cushion is stunning.

Julie said...

Your poppy cushion is beautiful. I hope you get your blood pressure sorted. It's a pain when it's high, especially if it's a sort-of false reading due to white coat syndrome. I have been on meds for high BP for years and it took them ages to get it controlled (no idea why it was high). A friend of mine managed to get hers down without meds by walking every day.

Anna said...

Hi Jill, hope the high bp sorts itself out - keep come with the new phone while you learn about it!!
Your new book will surely inspire you - a great idea. Love your dyeing and cushion.

Printed Material said...

Jill, you embrace those new technologies with such gusto and I laughed at the surprise Mr T must have got when Marvin turned up on the tv. Fantastic link from Cathy who has not lost her ability to find something funny to link situations too. All the creative stuff is fab too especially that cushion. Shame about the photo that looks like body parts.... I scrolled through that pretty quick!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Love your Amaryllis artwork Jill and smiled at the smart phone capers (pics appearing on tv) lol. Hope the BP is under control now. Lesley x