dealing with disappointments and 'discharge'

Only 5 more to go and then I would be done, twenty face masks for my hairdresser, so she could get going as soon as the ban, otherwise known as ‘intelligent lockdown’ was lifted (which btw it is not). As I didn’t have enough shop-bought binding to make the stringy things, I made my own which I thought were a lot more fun than the originals. Into the washing machine and out they came…..what a disappointment: the purple ties had unravelled completely and some light blues as well, the odd white one, including several greens….what the f***! All that work and effort, for what? This was a disaster. Can’t I do anything right? Why did I say yes to making them in the first place? I did notice the home-made ones had survived the machine onslaught, so there was a way forward, only not just now….first I had to walk briskly and get rid of some of that negativity, followed by quite a lot of not-so-nice mutterings in the privacy of my studio, harrrumpf.
A day later I decided to look again and see what could be salvaged: 11 were fine, so that meant 9 needed attention. A couple needed only one or two ties replaced. Was there a lesson to be learned here as well, as I have a tendency to move way too fast and not get lost in details like learning from my mistakes…….The purple was definitely of inferior quality as all those had come undone, but the others: maybe I was a bit lacking in precision and oh, to be honest I don’t really know what went wrong there.
So having had a short moment to reflect I began making the new binding once more and now have 17 finished. I texted my hairdresser and told her of my misadventure, and her reaction shows she’s a real sweetie. When I mentioned that some of the ties might become frayed after a couple of washes, comparing this to my life in general, her reply was: ‘hey but that’s okay Saskia, so’s mine.’

Now this red-white tie (what dó you call them?) accidentally dropped onto this Small Allotment piece and I thought those reds definitely lighten up the cloth. Making smaller versions hopefully to sell as the large one is gonna be expensive if I do decide to sell. More on that below.

Also continuing with the fabric strips for the Allotment Quilt.

Warning: this is not for the fainthearted

Meanwhile, in the house, the entrance hall to be precise. (That makes it sound much grander than it is, as it measures appr. 2 x 3 meters, we live in a small house 84m²) There was a problem.  Of the olfactory kind.  In short it stank as soon as you entered the house and it was getting worse…….this is where I get to ‘the discharge’ part mentioned in the post title. It’s a euphemism for rats and mice excrement, poo and pee to you and me. My husband bravely went where I dared not venture. First he emptied the hall of all of its contents. Then, up the ladder he climbed, armed with a screwdriver he removed the ceiling boards and with the vacuum cleaner, rake, broom he got rid of the insulation and literally thousands of droppings. All of which he stuffed into bin bags. It was a dirty job and he did it. Today I drove the bags to the municipal dump, where I had to wait an hour as everybody's tidying up these days with the lockdown, ha.

I like to observe rats out in the open, mice too. But indoors and the's just too much to bear.

I remained outdoors tackling the wild clematis growing on the east-terrace up along the rain pipe onto the roof. I know it looked very romantic, lush and green. It was in fact the rat highway to heaven and, as it turned out, their route into our house…….It had to go. That is why there is now an empty white corner to the house in the photo. Reminding me I must finish the mural, haha. I added an extra shelf made from reclaimed zinc gutter and have bought an evergreen climber: Tuscan Jasmin, which will not grow as high or as abundantly as the other one! We will have sweet scents once more.

Whilst typing I noticed how much I liked the silk flower (Jude) and then saw all those tiny stitches on the next photo and did not like that at all. Second-guessing what I do is my second nature. But seeing what I had done so clearly I knew what I had to do: cut them all away; now all that’s left is the almost invisible basting. I pressed both sides and although there’s still a faint imprint left I much prefer it like this. 

I will end with Nature’s inimitable majesty, namasté


Nancy said…
Aw, as long as they tie, as long as they work...who cares? We are all frazzled these days! You are such a dear to make these for her.I hope your brave guy was wearing one of your masks...those droppings and urine can be toxic! When we had a rat in the house years back, J insisted on doing a live trap. Boy was that an adventure!
I don't know why I have so much trouble seeing the differences in your stitches, but perhaps it is because I like everything you do!
Take care.
Dana said…
Aargh! Mice! So cute individually and so horrid en masse. My husband has also done the gross job of cleaning out infested insulation, earning intense gratitude from me. He and your husband are stalwart companions. Good luck in your eradication efforts.

The red and white tie is a bit of a spark for the allotment quilt. I'll be interested to see how and where you incorporate it.
Liz A said…
I could cover multiple blankets with all the unstitching I've done over the years ... I guess I just have to see the reality it to know it isn't right, but it would be ever so much easier if I could see into my stitching future ... for what it's worth, the end result was certainly a reward for your efforts!

And I love that strip of patches in the process of becoming ...
deemallon said…
Mask making has pushed a few of my buttons, too, so I could relate to your frustrations. You seemed much too hard on yourself about it all. And a big ick to the rodents. We live in an old house and mice are a fact of life. We don’t start killing them though until they come upstairs. I joke that all it takes is seeing tiny teeth marks in the butter. I don’t have a visceral response to mice. I always think they’re kinda cute. But rats? My next door neighbors had a major infestation in the fall and I was running around spraying something or other all along our foundations exterior on that side of the house. I love your cloth work, as always.
buysse maria said…
fine work , i have made somme for the hole family
beautyfull the Hawthorn , i love there fine smell and love most the pink one's .big hug to you
Saskia said…
he's my champion Mo, hawthorn btw

we are all frazzled Nancy, love that word!

well, we sure are lucky with our men Dana; I can forgive him almost anything now....;-)

so true Liz, seeing how it actually looks rather than how I imagined it would turn out; countless stitches undone, all over the world I that's a thing to ponder

I don't even mind the critters that much Dee, the mice were definitely here in the house before we arrived, but the stench was just too much to bear, plus I do not want to become known as the RatLady here in the neighbourhood, hihi

that is great Maria, I don't think I've ever seen a pink hawthorn, not around here anyway



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