Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just January

Goodness, how I dislike January! This year has been a particularly bad one as I have had an awful bout of neuralgia (something I am prone to) which took ages – and lots of painkillers – to shift. I hate taking tablets of any kind and the painkillers seemed to ‘fog’ my brain.

However, that’s all gone now but the state of ‘hibernation’ didn’t completely disappear either. I have had to sit down and really try to work out why I have felt so slow and lethargic – and not at all creative.

I have finally worked it out … I was invited to join an embroidery group which exhibits and, whilst I was pleased and flattered, (it is a group I have long admired) I have also allowed myself to become totally ‘spooked’ by being in the company of artists who seem so secure in their own ‘areas’ – and totally comfortable with the design process. (I hasten to add that I could not have been made more welcome by these lovely people).

So I have given myself a really good talking to and sat down with paper and pencil. I ‘brainstormed’ around the theme and have eventually decided on something that I feel (reasonably) comfortable with. Better to start somewhere – and within my comfort zone - than not at all? I will report on progress.

Anyway, January will soon be over and February is such a short month - and a very busy one (I really am not wishing my time away!) and it will soon be March. March is when I get to return to Marrakesh, which is one of my favourite cities. This time I am going with a small group of ‘similar souls’, mostly artists, and hope to see the place through ‘new’ eyes. There will hopefully be time to pause amidst the hustle and bustle and sketch as well as take photographs. My drawing skills are rusty and I find it so hard to do something that I don’t feel pleased with – that pesky little perfectionist that sits on my shoulder and laughs at my efforts!

My photograph today is of a box I made inspired by a visit to the Bahia Palace in Marrakesh last year. Sultan Ba Ahmed – ‘The Brilliant’, the son of the Grand Vizier, built the palace in the nineteenth century to house his 4 wives and 24 concubines. My daughter and I continued a discussion that we started when we visited the Harem in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul – what was it like to be a concubine?

We were told that the women prepared themselves in all their finery (a good thing?) before promenading in the courtyard garden. Ba Ahmed (in what way was he ‘brilliant’?) would view the gathering through a screen (sounds like a bad thing?) and make his choice from among the girls. Was it like getting ready for a Saturday night ‘hop’ and hoping to catch his eye, or did one take to lurking behind the jacaranda trees?

We couldn’t decide but, whatever the thoughts and feelings of the women involved, it was still like being in a ‘box’.

(I've quite forgotten how to use 'Blogger' so the images have come in the wrong place - it's 'Just January'!)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Happy New Year

Well, I bet you can’t guess what my New Year’s Resolution is? Got it in one – to pick up my blogging where I left off.

I hope everyone out there in blogland has had a lovely Christmas and is looking forward to 2009? It’s a bit scary at the moment with all the talk of recession, etc. but I’ve been reflecting on how much of one’s ‘happiness’ doesn’t actually depend on money. OK, things like clothes and holidays are likely to be thinner on the ground but they’re not really the things that make us content.

Family, friends and being creative are the things that push all the right buttons, aren’t they?

There are lots more NYRs, of course – the usual ones that I make every year (and never manage to keep) like lose weight, walk more, be more organised, get enough sleep, and learn to say ‘No’ occasionally – but they’ll probably hit the dust before the end of January? But – I have been for a walk and cleared out two drawers today!

I’m posting a picture of the thing that gave me a great deal of pleasure over the holiday period – a jigsaw! (Not in the right place or the right order - need to get to grips with Blogger all over again?) Not so much the ‘doing’ of it but the fact that, for a little while, there were no ‘deadlines’ to meet. A lot of sneaky pleasure in being lazy just once in a while?

However, I’ve got something to do for Embroiderer’s Guild and I have a drawing to do and a little boy has just rung up and said “I’ll see you at the ‘White Pub’, Grandma” so it looks like I’ve got a ‘date’?

Off we go again …