Well now, hello to you all. You doing OK today? Good, good, me too. This morning I was casting around for something to post about today, umming and ahhing over subject matter. I pondered chatting more about housework and my recent discovery of the FLY lady (thanks Amanda), or perhaps I could talk Soup Recipes? Or possibly I could get away with bombarding you with more crochet hexagons which I cannot stop photographing? Or maybe even show you my new fabric stash which arrived through the post a few weeks ago?
But then I suddenly remembered The TWIGS. Remember way-back-when in the depths of the Summer holidays, I took the Little People out in the rain to gather soggy twigs from the woods?
Do you recall me talking about the Mysterious Twig Project I was working on??
Wanna see it?
Oh, well go on then, let me tell you the story of the DAMNED HARDEST PROJECT EVER INVENTED.
Here is my small, ancient fabric stash, well the patterned bit of it anyhow :: I also have a box of blindingly coloured plain cottons. Back in my dim distant past pre-Little-People, I was a working textile artist and amongst other things, I used to make a lot of hand made greetings cards. And when I say a lot, I do mean thousands. The above fabrics used to be cut into tiny pieces to make miniature appliqued and embroidered motifs for my cards, and this collection is what I have left. Once I reached eight months pregnant and could no longer sit my huuuuge belly in front of a sewing machine to fulfil orders, I wound down my little business, packed up all my materials into a cupboard and my work room was hurriedly transformed into a baby's room.
That was in 2002 and I since then I have done very little in the way of sewing. Every so often, I get inspired to stitch, get the urge to have a play with fabric, ribbons, buttons. I've stitched the odd gift, and made a few bits and pieces. I wait for Inspiration to strike. Inspiration needs to strike me pretty damn hard these days, and back in August there it suddenly was :: Bang! The most perfect little decorative sewing project!
One of the many things I love about visiting Blogland and Flickrville, is the thing I call the Chain-of-Influence. You know when you see something creative that someone else has done, and you follow a link to a pattern or website, and then you get all excited for giving it a go yourself. And you discover that quite a few others are also doing the very same thing, and then lots of different variations of the same project all get created and shared, and then they in turn inspire more people to give it a go. A chain of creativity and linked ideas. It's great isn't it?
So this is how the Chain of Inspiration went ::
The Yvestown Blog :: Spool Sewing :: Flickr :: Attic 24
I could not wait to do this project, I was so excited for it. A bird mobile! How delightful! How beautifully simple! How Creative! And Decorative!
I made four birdies in one afternoon.
Cut them out in a frenzy of activity, stitched them as fast as I could because I could not wait to stuff them and see them all sitting prettily in a row.
The Little People adored these birds. I had to snatch them back on numerous occasions, especially from Little Lady who wanted to take them to bed with her. All four of them.
I declare they are not toys and must remain in the Attic to be Attached to Twigs and made into the perfect mobile. Just like the clever people at Spool Sewing had done.
And here my friends is where it starts to go pear shaped.
I paint the twigs white.
I try to do as the Spool People said and stitch the birds to the twigs.
It is devilishly difficult and I decide they must be glued on instead.
But how to position them so they balance?
How to get the twigs to all stay horizontal and provide a series of perfectly balanced perches for my birds?
It is IMPOSSIBLY HARD to make a well balanced mobile.
There is lots of cursing.
A fairly major hissy fit.
The birds will not sit properly, they keep spinning upsidedown and hang moodily underneath the perch instead of jauntily on top.
Eventually, I manage to get three birds to remain upright, and the twig to remain straight(ish).
I hang the mobile from my bedroom light and I do enjoy it very much.
But it doesn't last long.
J keeps knocking it when he is taking his clothes off.
I keep knocking it when I am making the bed.
And because it is so delicately balanced, it's hard to put it right once it's been knocked off kilter.
Then one day last week, the Kaffe Fassett fabric bird fell off completely, so I took it as a sign that the Twig Project had had it's day.
But I do still love the birds, and they have now flown around the house to perch.
They are happier this way.
And so am I.
Edited to add :: please don't let my own crappy mobile-making skills put you off this project! The free bird pattern is there in the sidebar of the Spool Sewing blog, and the birds are FABULous to make, so do give them a go. I am fully intending to give the mobile thing another try too (because I do still LOVE the idea of it). Only I think I need to use more twigs in a configuration because I suddenly realised maybe this is where I went wrong, trying to balance just one twig? Any advice or mobile-making experience welcome!