idol number one

I spent a wonderful weekend all by myself, as the husband was away on a three day Tai Chi bonanza course!  
I was not completely alone as Django stayed home with me. No humans then is what I meant. Although friend A. did pop round for a visit late Friday afternoon and another friend J. plus husband B. joined me for a delightful, sunny walk on Sunday, but apart from that I slept alone, woke up alone, cooked meals for myself, did lots of yoga exercise and guided meditations, worked away the hours in the studio.....After the emotional roller-coaster and having been cooped up with my siblings and dad for two weeks, I had a feeling being on my own might prove to be beneficial and healthy. It was, and very productive too ánd I got the remote-control all to myself. During stitching I watched endless Jude tutorials on You-Tube and new episodes of His Dark Materials, with a couple of the older ones to boot.

the black&white binding thread is a gentle nod to Jude, echoing her kind of magic and The Dwellers have that in bundles


First finished home-made copy of The Dwelling; after countless mis-prints, several re-writes, two awkward attempts at binding,  I finally managed this so-called Dutch binding [page 53 in Esther K. Smith's How to Make Books book], or slack stab-stitched binding to finish it off. This relaxed binding allows the book to be opened flat, in an ideal world that is. I made the mistake of drilling the holes before choosing this particular binding, thinking it would not matter! As the pages are not even in size, I opted for the far edges, i.e furthest from the binding, to be as squarely lined up as possible. I thought that would help make it look a little neater. As it turns out I should have chosen the exact opposite. The slackness enables the book to lie almost flat, but as the edges to the left of the binding are different in width, there is a nudging tightness and the pages tend to rub against each and learn! However, now that I have this book as an example and the images and chapters aligned to my liking, it will make having it printed a lot easier!

moving on 

idol number one and idol number two

small enough to be held in your hand

I used red thread for several reasons: feels symbolic for blood, it was my mama's favourite colour, contrasts nicely with the white; there are different shades as I ran out of the bright one I started out with, the spermatozoa and eyes are a darker shade and the egg cell red isn't even embroidery floss but a remnant from a stray thread that somehow ended up in my thread basket

 written in February 2020:

'Last weekend I went to visit my parents as our mother had taken a turn for the worse. She is in pain. It is truly horrible to see a loved one in pain. I stayed the night, trying to take care of them both and reorganise yet again their daily routine. I am not alone in this, fortunately. Together with my younger sister and brother we look after them as much as we can, none of us live close by, and have organised more care in the home.

After I had my evening shower and just as I was walking to my bedroom I overheard my dad talking to my mother as he went to wish her a good night (they sleep in separate bedrooms as she is very ill and easily disturbed in her sleep by any noise or muttering my father might produce during the night)

‘We have shared so many good moments together and of course a couple of difficult ones, but the majority were good ones. We have shared so many good moments, Liesje’

 I was and am moved to tears each and every time I think of these words. I am grateful he feels this way and is able to share this with her. In this phase of his life he has difficulty talking, finding the right words does not come easily. This time he was spot on.'

I loosely used the quote in a previous post up close and personal

Why am I adding such a personal moment, you might ask. Because of the white fabric used here for my idols. It's from a duvet-cover that once belonged to my parents when they were still sleeping in the same bed, sharing a large duvet, as they had done for their entire marriage. They stopped sleeping under a large one over two years ago, after my dad's heart attack. My mother was a poor sleeper by then and once he had returned home from hospital, she couldn't tolerate his tossing and turning during the night. Although they at that time continued to sleep next to each other, they each had their own single duvet. My nephew got the large one, I got the lovely cover and matching pillow cases. Turned out me and my husband sleep together under a much smaller duvet and so I had to trim it back to size, leaving me several strips of fabric, with an assortment of motifs: flowers, birds, butterflies and grasses. 

Return to the idols, I used the duvet fabric for both of them. On the back of Idol number two I wanted a butterfly. Thinking of the Chaos Theory, I like to imagine how the fluttering of a butterfly's wings might - in a round-about-way - have led to my birth from my mama's womb. I know it's a bit far-fetched and I have probably misinterpreted the theory, but that's all okay, because my making sense of what's nonsensical is what art, to me at least, is basically about.

I feel much lighter now having produced something tangible and because I have not turned away from my emotions for fear of being overtaken by them, I know by now they never last and there are only moments...of sadness as well as joy.



Mo Crow said…
(((Saskia))) so good that you have had some time out just for yourself to honour your grieving with these memories and making
Nancy said…
Saskia~ Oh the book! Noticed Jude's 'magic thread' right off and oh the remote-control...oh yes. But more importantly, your time to be, to heal & remember, to wonderful. I love seeing where your heart, where your creativity takes you. xo
Saskia said…
it's really rather wonderful how time spent on my own can be fun Mo; I would encourage anyone to give it a go;-)

Saskia said…
Nancy, I have just been over to your blog, catching up with your latest exploits and I must say I love where your creative and ever curious mind takes yourself and us! I'm always learning about new stuff whilst reading your posts xx
deemallon said…
How nice that you got some solitude at what sounds like a very good time! I’m always so impressed by your work but what really moves me today is the story behind the duvet scrap. Lovely!
the Book...o, the Book.
Liz A said…
married while still in college, I have never lived alone ... so I find the thought of solitude very appealing, even as much as I value togetherness ... it's a paradox

I love the way your book lies open ... learning by doing is so much more satisfying in the end than simply following a "recipe" for making ...

and your idol-making ... what a deep going that is
Saskia said…
absolutely Dee, the stories behind some of the almost overlooked stuff never ceases to amaze me, and in our cloth-circle it's an added bonus when those memories are held in fabric, literally...which we can then continue to re-use

I guess I can count on you as my first first-book buyer Grace;-)

paradoxes are what keep our minds in shape Liz, hihi.....I am a very poor recipe-follower, I don't know quite what it is but I seem to overlook the most important information given, ending up with what I like to call 'bold, interesting experiments, humph!' and also, re the idol-making, I would never, ever have thought it would be so restorative, serves me right for thinking 'thinking' works better than doing!!
Dana said…
Oh yes, the need for solitude after an interlude of enforced community, seasoned with high emotion....I'm so glad you had some time to yourself. Also, it looks like the fallow time yielded some beautiful and intriguing results.
Saskia said…
had to google 'fallow' Dana, I do so love the English language [as did my mother] hopefully I will remember it and be able to use it someday soon....
Patty said…
Creation is sometimes shy. I love time on my own to make things. No
meal making, cleaning, phone off, music on. I do love your results!
Saskia said…
'Creation is sometimes shy' well said Patty, this for me holds many truths
buysse maria said…
dag Saskia , nu we de laatste dagen van 2020 beleven , met 3 planeten op één rij , in deze bijzondere stille dagen .... heb ik even tijd voor jou gemaakt en je blog gelezen ( vertaald dan zodat geen woord verloren gaat ) ontroerend mooi wat je doet en beschrijft
Warme hartelijke omhelzing maria
Saskia said…
dag Maria, dank voor je lieve woorden....t was in allerlei opzicht een raar jaar, ik ben benieuwd wat t nieuwe jaar ons brengen zal, warme groet



Popular Posts