I broke not one, but two domestic machines today. My fault, entirely. I asked them for more than they had to give.
And I did this, quite simply, because I am Mortally Afraid of industrial sewing machines. Or, to be even more precise, I am shit scared of hand injuries. The likelihood of me sewing my own hands to the table with an industrial is approaching probability one.
Meaning the prospect thrills me not.
But be that as it may, the time has come.
I must dig the Big Sewing Machine out from it's current position (hiding in the far corner, disguised as a Really Handy Thing to Pile the Stuff You Don't Know What To Do With On Top Of),
Remember how to thread the bobbin winder (could be a problem...)
And face my demons.
Because bear-making is not for the Faint of Heart,
Or domestic machines, it would seem...
scene fades slowly to black as Shula stands alone, looking nervous, though humming bravely...
Okay, so I have this Big Bear to make, see? A Really Big Bear. As big as I am. And I am not short.
Trouble is, my studio is designed for making smallish things. Not enough surfaces, darling. Which left me with something of a problem.
Enter Miss Pen, aka the Queen of Durstonia, who waves her magic wand, and LO! in my hands are a set of KEYS.
Keys to the most wonderful, most funnest studio, like, ever. Like a kid let loose in a lolly shop, under stern instructions to eat everything they see. I haven't enjoyed myself this much since The Fairies defrocked and we left our beloved studio in the Nicholas Building (signalling the end of an era that I have never entirely recovered from). In fact, the resemblance between the two studios is extraordinary. The indirect light, the heart-of-groovy location. The smell is the same - that irresistable mixture of maturing fabric and machine oil that never fails to rev me up - and the neighbours, amazingly, are the same ones we used to have. Only the music has changed, the Fairies dancing in my (notoriously unreliable) memory to an eternal soundtrack of Goldfrapp and Pet Shop Boys. In Durstonia, one is more likely to experience an acid flashback in the form of a Jethro Tull CD.
You heard right, dudes. The Tull. Pen is so my New Best Friend.
Of course, she may yet live to regret her decision to let me in, and she has been Formally Warned. I may be Very Hard to Get Rid Of.
So, in tribute to Pene's astonishing generosity, in celebration of the glorious outrage that was 1970s folk rock, and in the absence of any other interesting images, I bring you the 10 minute live version of The Tull's performance at Madison Square Gardens from 1978, missing only a 2 ' papier mache Stonehenge and a couple of dancing dwarves to make it an Ultimate Folk Rock Experience (though not the only one).
Because it's my blog and you can't stop me.
And because I never could resist a man in tights. It's no accident that I became a yogi. That Ian Anderson, I've wanted to blow his flute since I was too young to understand what that even meant.
Shula back in the studio, suggesting that her wits just might be in the process of gathering.
It struck me, some time close to dawn this morning, as I sewed up bear tummies, that the stitches looked like surgical sutures. By lamplight, this gave them a spookily post-operative, Frankensteinian appearance. I wondered, vaguely, if this process might be hurting the bears at all.
And it's at this point, when you find yourself considering the best way to administer sedatives to a stuffed toy, that you very quietly down tools, slowly back away from the work table,