Pincushions and Bookbinding

Time seems to go so quickly recently. I can hardly believe that a week on Saturday and I will be locking up my little library on the hill for the last time for ten months. On a happier note, I can hardly believe that I have been going to the Cross Stitch Show at Olympia in London for over ten years now, with my lovely friend Apryl from work. (I say work..I mean the library I used to work in, really).

We start the day by buying a cup of tea to drink on the train, and take part in a workshop or two at the show before looking round the stalls to choose some craft projects to take home. I can’t believe how much our lives have changed since we started going all those years ago. I can remember having conversations about a man I had met, and then conversations about how we were looking for somewhere to live together, and then buying the materials to make my wedding invitations. Even that was six years ago! So lots of happy memories to look back on!

Today we took a different route than usual to get there, and it was a real delight. Usually we go to Liverpool Street and then go on the underground tubes, but today we went on an overground line instead. We saw lots of allotments and the Olympic site and so many roof tops and chimneys and houses. Much more fun and interesting than the inside of tube tunnels!

When we get the list of workshops through, we tend to choose them on the basis of time, to make sure that we can get there without having to rush, and if they happen to catch our eye. To be honest, we are happy to have a go at anything really! An hours lesson with a little kit with all the materials you need for around £5 is just perfect. On the whole we have had really good experiences so far, although there was of course the memorable time I walked out of one, but today was the best yet.

We started by making mini cupcake pincushions…a simple but really effective idea, and the lady running the class was just lovely. We started with a square of dupion from which we cut a circle upon which we did a little silk ribbon embroidery for the ‘icing’ and decorations. Then we did a simple running stitch round the edge to gather it in, stuffing with wadding to make a rough ball shape. Then we stitched it into a little silicone cupcake case. I took some photos, which I will get onto the computer at the weekend. I will definitely be making more of these for gifts!

The next workshop was even better, and it has really captured my imagination. We did bookbinding, and made four books! The materials were lovely, creamy heavy cartridge paper, and your choice of cream or red linen thread. I used cream on my pamphlet bound book, and red on my Japanese Stab Stitch bound book. The last two books we made were really simple, where you fold one sheet of paper, make one cut, and have an eight page book at the end of it! We then made a miniature version. One of my favourite things about this workshop was that we got lots of ideas for other things we can do, other materials we can use, decorative ideas, so much more. I am going to be buying myself an awl and some cartridge paper at some point over the next few weeks!

One thing we did notice was that there were fewer stalls and people there this year. I suspect it is this wretched ‘economic climate’ that is to blame. One thing that was nice was that where the stalls were spaced out a bit more, we didn’t get as crushed and buffeted about as usual! I spent very little…I really wanted a Diamond Jubilee Sampler to stitch, but there was not a single pattern there. Oh well! I bought Carl a bag of rum truffles from a delightful chocolatier, and a packet of brooch pin backs for me, which came to less than £5! Not a single ball of wool or cross stitch kit appealed enough to make me open my purse. I am not really worried about that, as I have plenty of things at home, but it is definitely unusual not to buy more! I got lots of ideas for things to do as well, including a button necklace that I would like to try.

So lots going on on the crafty front, and lots on the home and work fronts too. I have started in my new job…which I think I am going to like. It is really strange though, after nearly twelve years in libraries, I know them inside out. Here, I am unsure of myself and find myself asking a lot of questions. I went into my first meeting to take the minutes and found myself in a room with a lot of important people. I know we are all people and all important, but it was slightly intimidating. I am working three jobs at the moment….I am winding up at my little library while starting my new job, and I am still doing some evenings for the enquiry service too. Because of that it feels like I have very little time at home right now, which I find slightly stressful because I love home. I really need some time to myself so I can get the house straightened up a bit, and put some good routines in place to make it so I can take care of our home and put healthy tasty food on the table without too much stress. The last few evenings I have been in bed before nine though, which rather cuts down on the time available. I am not complaining though, as I am very, very lucky to have a job at all.

It’s quarter past nine, and my eyes are feeling heavy and gritty with tiredness. I was planning to do a little craft this evening, perhaps watch a film, but I think the thing I really want to do is take a hot cup of tea to bed, and read before falling asleep.

I wonder what I will dream of? I have been having very vivid dreams recently. I have been thinking a lot abotu different things. I can’t believe that two weeks and a day I will leave my twenties behind me and be in my thirties. I am not really hung up on the number, but it is a strange thought, to leave something behind and move forward. I feel like I really got to know myself in my twenties. I discovered red lipstick and craft and vintage and homemaking and really branched out in my crafting, of course I met my husband, got married, moved out of home, moved again. I wonder what is next for me? I don’t like finding threads of silver in my hair, or that there are lines forming around my eyes, but over all, ageing is a privilege, and the alternative is death, really! So I am not gloomy, but perhaps a little philosophical. Looking back at things I wish I had done, things I want to do, to be. there seems so much to do, so much.

Wherever you are, sleep well, dream well, and may tomorrow bring you everything you could wish for.

Love
Mimi
xxx

Ps Dear Moey, hopefully you will have received my comment on your blog….

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3 thoughts on “Pincushions and Bookbinding

  1. Don't worry about not being familiar with a new and different job. I went from working for a company that made shoe polish to aerospace. I didn't have a clue at first, but it all comes in time. You'll be fine.

  2. Mimi, I love cross stitch as well and agree it's hard to find patterns that are to my taste. I have so many so I'm pretty picky mow.I too will be having a birthday on March 30 and I think birthdays always make you think about your life and what you want to do with it. It's always good for the major part. Have a great day!

  3. I am trying to envision the cupcake pin cushion…stitching to the silicone?…hmmmm…I wouldn't have thought that of that working…Interesting…it sounds darling…will look forward to seeing it…Such a nice tradition you have with your friend…I love the idea of a make and take.I like making books and especially anything miniature…I've made those one page books you mention…they are fun…I'm not familiar with cartridge paper though…on the Hero Arts site they have some videos…one showed how to make a Lucky Fortunes book…a small book to store your Chinese fortune cookie fortunes…it was stitched…I made one up and it is fun to glue my collected fortunes into the book..I enjoy making small notebooks to carry in my purse..you can often use scraps of paper for the pages and the cartons from cereal or candy for the covers, incorporating the images from the boxes strategically–they are quite clever.What a fun day for both of you…and lucky Carl, geting truffles.I'm glad to hear you are enjoying your new job…having 3 jobs and trying to keep things at home running smoothly will take some adjusting…in time it will all smooth out and you will get in a routine.I think we might share the same birth month if my addition is correct. And you have plenty of time to do the things you desire. It is good you have desires and plans –without them you'd stagnate. Many people do and that is sad, a waste of life and breath. It looks to me like you are doing a great job of living. And you have many wonderful years ahead , because you are still very young.

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