'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Tuesday 19 February 2008

I am officially hassled - but it is still more fun than going to work.

When I was teaching psychology, I used to talk about two measures of stress [just don’t expect me to remember their names]. The best known measure lists a range of life events which can cause stress and rates them in order of seriousness – so you can tot up which ones you have experienced recently and work out how stressed you are. Death of a partner or divorce are high up on the list – but so are moving house and Christmas.

But someone else had the bright idea that most of us experience those sort of events no more than once a year [usually much less often] and yet we feel stressed. So their scale lists hassles – more minor but more frequent events, like things breaking down or dental appointments. The more of these everyday events you are experiencing the more stressed you feel.

So why am I officially stressed?

First, Adobe started playing up. I tried to download a pdf and got all sorts of strange error messages. This has happened before and usually sorts itself out in a few days – but not this time. So I tried deleting Adobe Reader and reinstalling it. No luck. The computer told me that ‘Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access this item.’ Cheek!

I have e-mailed the computer doctor but so far no reply. Nothing new there. I do not understand why he can’t drop everything and rush round to sort out his old mum. Just because he has to go to work …

So that was the first hassle.

I promised my teacher that I would try to finish my history of British embroidery, which is the major piece of written work for C&G. I have been working on it on and off throughout the course and it was pretty well finished – or so I thought.

I started to print it out and realised two things:

  1. The borders I put round some of the pages weren’t going to work when I bound the book. Anyone know how to indent borders about 3 cm from the left?
  2. The whole work is …far…too…long. The section on the 20th century alone runs to 24 pages. I wouldn’t like to mark it, so I can’t expect A to. Which means I will have to cut some of my deathless prose.

So that was the second hassle.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to make a bowl to put my manipulated fabric samples in. [They are a bit lumpy to go in a book, unfortunately.] I chose a pattern from Linda Johansen’s ‘Fast, Fun and Easy Fabric Bowls’ because it seemed to suit manipulated fabric samples.

The samples are turquoise so I wanted a turquoise bowl. I have a walk in cupboard full of fabric of every type and colour – but none that was right for my bowl. If it was the right colour the piece wasn’t big enough. If it was big enough it was too fine / slippery/ nasty. I spent all yesterday afternoon going through every piece of blue/turquoise/green fabric I own. I finally decided on some hand dyed silk noil that was supposed to be black but turned out a greeny grey – but by then It was time to stop for the day. So this bowl wasn’t ‘Fast’.

That was the third hassle.

This morning I started making the bowl. And found that every thread I tried shredded. There was something about the combination of silk, Bondaweb and canvas that threads did not like. The only solution I found was to change the needle every time the breakage got too bad. It didn’t matter what type of needle – embroidery, top stitch, jeans – they would work for a while and the shredding would start again. I must have used half a dozen needles. I have made bowls before and never had problems. So not ‘Fun’.

And that was the fourth hassle.

But – the bowl is finished – and it was easy.

Here it is empty - interesting shape, isn't it?

And here with its contents.

I sometimes think I worry more about the presentation of my C&G stuff than the stuff itself!

1 comment:

Guzzisue said...

History of embroidery, I remember that, ran to two full A4 ring binders, took me ages but boy did I learn a lot whilst compiling it!! Good luck with your C&G