Usually, an ikky start to my day means treading barefoot in a freshly regurgitated fur ball (thank you, Flossie) or being pooped on by a chicken when I pick her up for an affectionate 'Good Morning!' squeeze (thank you, Primrose). Or finding a particularly large and orange slug in the greenhouse. Bleuch!
But yesterday, my ikky start began with me waking with a slight headache, feeling nauseous and peculiar, flopping back on the bed after Andy went to work, waking again at 10, shivering and thinking,'I think I'm going to be sick,' and getting to the bathroom just in time to actually be, well, you know...sick.
Well. That was unpleasant. But I felt immediately better. No idea what brought that on, as Heather and Andy were both fine so it couldn't have been food poisoning. Anyway, I didn't feel like eating - you know, that feeling you get when you say to your body, 'Flapjack?' And your body says, 'Are you MAD?? Peppermint tea only for you, my girl' - so I dragged myself, in the style of a consumptive Romantic poet, into my arty-crafty writing room and set to completing two articles for my new writing job. And yes, you did read me right - TWO!! One on conveyor systems and one on the Kent County Show.
And I can tell you that writing on a recently emptied stomach is very productive for the meeting a deadline process! Within two hours, both articles were complete and emailed to the magazine. Kaa-bam!! On a writing roll!
I was feeling better by this time (writing is also very distracting of physical ills) so I offered myself some Marmite and toast, which was gratefully accepted, received and retained.
And then I started what I have been putting off for ages (fear of ridicule, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, possibly all of these) and that is my Adventure Into Seeing If I Could Be A Textile Artist.
In my mind I know I can do it. In my heart I want to do it. However, my brain will often distract me into displacement activities, but yesterday I said, 'Back off, Brain! I need to do this!'
You see, I've spent a lot of time reading textile art books and blogs and chatting to other textile artists. I have explored various on-line courses - City and Guilds, OCA degree, and other certificated routes - but I cannot, at this moment in time, justify the expense. Maybe later in time but not just now. So my plan is to go it alone and be guided by this book...
I am going to work my way through it step-by-step. And so, with a cup of tea to hand and Marmite and toast firmly in place, I began...I read...I made notes...I deliberated over my project theme and focus...I found myself in the back garden taking many photographs of flowers and leaves and seed pods (and chickens!) and then snipping a selection of greenery into a colander...
As you can see, Flora was insistent on being my Under Gardener. And Chief Consumer of Bugs.
Then I got some very heavy books and some cartridge paper. And did something that I haven't done since I was 10 years old. I pressed some flowers and leaves! Here they are...
And then I thought, 'Good grief! What are you doing?? Faffing about like a...well...a waste of space.' Seriously, I am nearly 50 and I'm tiddling about in the garden taking photos, clipping samples and pressing flowers.
'STOP!' shouted my brain. 'Are you enjoying yourself? Are you feeling calm and peaceful? Is this process already bringing you much joy and excitement?'
I had to admit it was.
'Well, shut your face, then, you child,' said Brain.
Back to business. I began the next step - Create a mind map. Now, I am well versed with mind maps. They are used a lot in teaching. Get your ideas down on paper. All of them. Whatever is inside your head, get it written down. Actually, I use mind maps alot when I'm writing, too. This should be easy, I thought.
It wasn't. It involved pens and crayons and scissors and glue, and cutting and sticking and drawing and fending cats away from my workspace.
By the time it came to cooking dinner I'd got this far...
...and decided to let it settle for the rest of the day.
I was up at 5.45 this morning, feeling fine. I went and did a spot of gardening whilst all was quiet outside, then I completed my project mind map. Here it is...
...and I have stuck it onto the wall in my arty-crafty writing room for constant reference and to add to, because I don't think it is complete.
I am ready to move on to Part 2. But not before I have made some bunting. Had a sudden urge to make some bunting. It is raining and therefore perfect weather for bunting making. And this has just arrived for me in the post...
It's a bumblebee brooch! How lovely is that? It was made by a textile artist I follow on Twitter. Perhaps, one day, I shall have a little textile business just like her!