Wednesday, 27 February 2013

to cut a long story short (or, revised colour palette # 52)

Of course that number 52 above is just a random figure that came to my mind... But the truth is that during the last few weeks of not very good health I tried many different purples, oranges and greys in different combinations, and all of them had the same effect: a sorry sight that looked dull, sad and sallow. They looked elegant and cool when laid over the cloth, but once I tried out stitching it was a different story. The scrolls on the centre of my sampler were actually embroidered 3 times (!), and only by the third I found I had achieved what I had  foreseen with my mind's eye: a joyful match of purples and oranges offset by the neutral grey.

'Electric', 'neon-like', 'synthetic', 'artificial', 'man-made'... In my personal vocabulary all of these words have connotations that are not exactly positive, and all of these adjective apply to the colours I finally settled on. Yes, I only use chemically died floss, but never before had I used such bright shades! I'm curious to see what the effect will be once I introduce the purples on the sampler...

Choosing colours is still a very intuitive affair for me. But I wish it were otherwise so that I wouldn't waste so much time. But maybe in the future I should try out using the chosen colours on a small piece of the chosen fabric first. I wonder if this would work as a short-cut...

Monday, 4 February 2013

bad decision #1

After my usual visit to the farmer's market Saturday morning, I headed to a very bumpy road high up in the valley which has amazing views. I had to take some pictures to use in a 'for sale' sign. The more beautiful the background the better, for the very old and unattractive item I have to sell really needs some loaned beauty to add some glamour to it.
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The 'bad decision' of the post heading plus these pictures tell part of my story. This car is 18 years old, strong and sturdy, not a spot of rust, and perfect for some of the roads around here. But I think I've been badly misled. Three weeks into my ownership and it needed expensive repairs. Immediately after this there was the yearly inspection, which it didn't pass, and which required another batch of repairs - and very expensive ones. Well, now I feel it's not for me - even though I've grown fond of it.

Being misled and losing money aren't nice experiences. But the beauty of this place has healing powers which have made the upset much easier to bear. So when I wake up in the morning, open the shutters of my bedroom window and see this:

Or step out onto the balcony and gaze at the ever-changing appearance of the mighty peak:

Or face north to get a full view of the valley:

I can't help thinking that overall I'm fortunate to be able to be here living out my dream.

Yes, the times we live in are not meant to be easy, and there's no escaping it. So maybe experiencing this loss is a kind of compensation that I have to go through for just being in the place I want to be. The problem is that this bad decision wasn't the only one I made since I arrived here - but maybe I'll come back to this another day...