A project always come alive for me when I can equate it to something - feel it's warmth through it's colour, feel its song and dance through the movement of coloured shades twisting before me. The colour laid before me is really hard to photograph. It's subtle, and deep, and intense, and alive in the best way muted colours can be. It's purple and grey mixed with tinges of burnt browns - smoky, and fresh, and warm, and, as it's colour name suggests, the colour of thunderous skies across parched landscapes. It is whisper soft. Cashmere lace which drifts as I turn it around for a new row, which will softly encase when it is finished. Like a cloud. Like a storm cloud.
Last week I drove to pick up my children. I drove through bushland, and detoured off the main highway to go a back route. I had intended to stop and take photographs, but a wrong turn and a storm coming through meant I kept driving. But for about half an hour I was accompanied by the most intense storm clouds - deep and full, bursting with life and wetness. Brooding. Dark. On the other side was a setting sun - brilliant and golden in it's final throws of light. The combination of the two was quite stunning [and yes I am kicking myself that I didn't stop]. Intense saturated light, stark bare trees against dark skies lit brilliantly with golden sun. I love that light - touched by the hand of God light. Everything comes alive.
As I sat and thought about this post this afternoon, and the colours of the knitting - the softness of it's breathe within my fingers - a shadowy remnant of a faded memory in colour, I was also reminded of the past. And I realise once more why I love this colour and this piece [featherweight cardigan]. When I was in first year Architecture we did an excercise with colour - we went into the bush, picked native leaves and flowers, bark, grasses etc, and we matched paint colours to them all by mixing our own paints then and there. These sorts of excercises I love - I love the fact colour is made up of so many different other colours. And the australian bush is so full of rich murky colours with depth and layering which we rarely stop to really look at, that I really fell in love with the colour schemes I came up with that day. I can still remember the deep purples and greys that made up gum leaves, the lavender and silvers of bark, and the grey greens of leaves and grasses. The purple.grey.silver undertones have stayed with me in all my projects, and I never render tree canopies now without a good deal of purple and silver thrown in.
So this is my landscape project - a piece for chasing clouds across bush farming land, outrunning storms, accepting the vastness of the land which spreads before me with each drive to my parents house and looking at it with fresh eyes each time I drive [and maybe one day I will stop and photograph it], and that the landscape changes as the light and weather pass over it.
An unintentional blog break...lack of energy, creativity, enthusiasm, time, place and before you know it weeks have sped past. At the moment we lurch - from day to day, from hour to hour, from crisis to crisis, from phone call to phone call, tantrum to tantrum, activity to activity, one city to another - it's barely wonder we have any sense of composure, or sense of balance.
With the children away for school holidays with grandparents, I have a small chance to regroup my thoughts. I was going to say find some new energy....but I'm just going to leave it as regrouping thoughts. I've caught up on some emails, caught up on some design magazine reading, and I've bought some cookbooks.
Cooking is my salve - my way of reconnecting, something I've said many times before. It's been really missing in the last few weeks as I've just been too tired to even think about cooking something different each night. The amount of thinking that happens through the day to just get us through, isn't enough to extend to fancy - or even good basic - meals. And it grates with me. We should be eating great food every night. I'm home, it should be the one basic good thing we do each day. And often it's not. And I always know when it's time to regroup when the food thing starts going amiss.
New cookbooks though, completely enthuse.
So tonight we are saying thankyou to a close friend of my husband's brother - someone who has often been our lifeline and communication with a constantly changing battleground. Someone Paul communicates with when he's not communicating with anyone else. And someone who's good fun to be around despite everything. A thankyou dinner for her time and effort in clearing houses and cleaning houses. And a small conference on how we approach things in the future, how we might serve each other and Paul to the best of our ability, and how we can act as a family team, filling in gaps, and finding some balance which at the moment is disparate and lacking.
I love to say thankyou with food. Given from the heart, made from the heart. A conversation about the changing time and seasons, deliberated over as I sit in the sun which is streaming through the house, and I look and see buds on trees, waiting to burst forth with glorious magnolia bloom and scent. And there in the corner, I noticed this morning, a native orchid about the flower - the second time only in 6 years of being here. And I am once again reminded there is beauty of we take the time to look.
oh! and before I forget....the pyjama pants were found....tucked inside the doona cover....the shoelaces were found....tucked in the back pocket of Max's school pants [along with some pieces of chalk, some pieces of concrete, some twigs, and some dirt]
A few weeks ago I sat and made, very quickly, two pairs of pyjama pants - one for Pia and one for Max. Many years ago I bought fabric for just such occasions, and had some fabric given to me by Kelly, which I have had neatly tucked away....You know that kind of fabric. It was special. For no particular reason it was special. It was for something, no matter how far into the future that something might have been, and even if the something happened to be pyjama pants. Some of the fabric is discontinued, and by default it becomes even more special because of it's rarity now. Some of it I went out of my way to get - those special internet purchases which seem to carry far more weight than something purchased at the local fabric shop. I wavered before cutting into the fabric. I had so little....just enough. And true to form, I did mess up one cut and only just squeezed an extra piece out of it. The perils of cutting and planning at night when you're tired because you're being pestered by children for pyjama pants now. They love them. I would dearly love to photograph them. Max's I can. But haven't yet. Pia's....a wonderful Aronzi Aronzo fabric of little pastel cat illustrations....were very cute.
Except I can't for the life of me find them.
Nowhere in the house can I find them.
Nowhere in the laundry can I find them.
They have disappeared.
So I made another pair.
And if the story of the fabric on the first pairs was emotively driven, the story of this fabric almost made me weep when I cut into it. Part of a selection of fabrics by the now defunct Cotton Bow Wow in Japan, this was purchased well before I even considered having a second child. It was the beginning of my love affair with Nani Iro fabrics, having seen an amazing quilt made by Hillary. This beautiful elyisum field of soft coral flowers fabric has sat neatly folded and pressed in the box reserved for 'good' fabrics. Occasionally I would pull it out and try to imagine using it, but would quickly put it back, fearing to even cut it would be sacreligious. Such weight and emotional enormity we place on static inanimate objects in our lives...it's totally wrong. This fabric represented desire - for another child in the future who might be a girl. It came to represent the lightness of mothering, the joy of having a small version of myself running around, that airy fairy concept we sometimes have of sweetness and purity of small children. Their smiles, their curls. Their laughter. Yes, I think this fabric was about laughter. Lots of it. Pia and I haven't had much laughter recently. We have moments. But it sometimes doesn't feel like enough. We're both struggling with each other. A symptom of her age and our situation, and an interim period of time which will pass as she gets older and more independant and we once again find a new groove to live with. So to manufacture some laughter is something I do wholeheartedly, we'll take what we can get.
I wanted to make her simple pants to run and laugh in. For us to snuggle on the couch and read books in. That would have brightness and imagination poured into them. Something to capture her dreams each night in. My hands trembled a little at the point of cutting...such lovely soft fabric in such a beautiful design. But they're done. She's wearing them. She gasped [she's easily pleased at least!]. They are so adorable. The lost ones can miraculously turn up now [please?].