Tidy Plans

As with many people the end of a holiday, year or season can be a time of retrospection. I enjoy mulling over the memories made during the year and I can only say that 2016 was good to me and to my family.

We were blessed with a new grandchild, a little boy who is doted on by his parents, grandparents and the rest of the family. His cousins and nana enjoy baby sitting and at 6 months he is a real treasure. Our granddaughters like to spend time with us and as I write they are chatting in the background planning our day. Our last jaunt was on the hop-on-hop off bus from Rosebank to Constitution Hill which was a great way to get to know our 'home-town'. But it's raining now so we think we might hunker down and read our new books for the rest of the day.

The studio is dusted, cleared and rearranged for classes starting in January. My yarn stash is tidy and I look forward to completing some WIPs by mid January so that I am 'ready to go' with new projects through 2017.

One of the ideas is to pick up my needlework and work on the 1 Stitch a day for a Year project. This will re-connect me to one of my favourite creative outlets using fine embroidery silks and beautiful linen. My 'ouma' taught me the basic skills when I was a little girl and I remember tucking my embroidery ring and threads into my bag ready for the wait for children to amble out of class.

My love for fibre crafts has enhanced my enjoyment of calligraphy. The sheer precision and creativity it allows me in a very different way is a delight. I bought a fine nibbed Platinum pen and Goulet ink (great because it dries and one can paint over it without smudging). I plan to do a small 'once-a- week-gem' in a beautiful book throughout the year. I think this will also balance the 'yarn/thread' work I spend so much time on and while it is also creative, the fine lines and joy of using inks and paint offer a different reward.

John has a large space studio and will be teaching in 2017. One evening a week and a Saturday. He will be presenting drawing and various print making techniques.

Penfriends students enjoyed a wonderful morning watching John etch and print. The techniques he uses are centuries old and students were fascinated by the yet another way of creating art. No doubt we will plan another visit to his studio in 2017.

My various crafts projects progress slowly but with great enjoyment. Elizabeth brought me some wool from Ireland and I am knitting her a cowl for winter. (With about 7 months before it needs to be completed there's hope yet). I will be marking my journey with pen and ink and thread through the year and I shall be interested to see the progress.

As 2016 ends I wish you many creative and silent moments during 2017. May your pen be filled with enough ink to make beautiful swashes, your yarn stash be colourful enough to startle you into finding a new pattern and may your coffee mug always be filled to the brim with strong Kenyan coffee.

Wishing you a wonderfully creative 2017.