Each one is a book

One of the larger lampshades I’ve made flew to America recently escorted by the lady who bought it as a present for her sister. Made out of a very elegant cream fabric with champagne and pewter coloured flowers. I’m sure it’s found a lovely home.

When talking about kimonos I often get carried away out of excitement. They really seem to me more celestial than earthy. But talking to a friend recently I have realised I’m not the only one. Heading up for coffee we were talking about the kimono wearers – and the occasions. Here I am holding in my hands something commissioned for a wedding 30 years ago. How did the couple meet? Was the marriage happy? How many earthquakes has this piece survived? Aga said each fabric is a story, a book material. And I was jealous I didn’t think this thought first!

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Same time year ago

Took these yesterday at our friends’ home – probably the most beautiful house in the county. Newly built and they’ve put their heart into every detail. And after the shoot we were served some delicious creamy cake by the lady of the house! The weather was perfect – really springlike and my little son was outside playing and eating stones amazed by the group of cows nearby curious to the sight of him – a mini person! – while his dad tried to introduce him to soccer – unsuccessfully!

Today marks exactly one year since the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the north-eastern coast of Japan, leaving 20,000 dead or missing – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17326084 – I remember hearing about it on the radio with a newborn screaming in the house and thought about the people I met in Japan. Were they safe? Luckily they were.

Sewing machine

Last Saturday my Scottish friend Hazel came by bringing fresh doughnuts and teaching me a new skill – operating the sewing machine. And here I am practicing! It feels so familiar. And why shouldn’t it be? – It featured prominently in our home when growing up and its caution-fast-train-approaching like sound went long into the night. I watched my mother who in her childhood watched her mother, who in turn watched and learned from her father who was an actual tailor. Stories survived of his wife going silently ballistic when he took measurements of the commissioning ladies behind the closed door. That was then and these days I had to step out of my laptop to learn this new skill which was in the family for at least three generations. Does it mean the lamp shades will be all machine sewn from now on? Nothing of the kind. The machine will speed up making the silk form but that form will still have to be hand stitched to the wire frame. Just working on one featuring a gorgeous wedding kimono fabric with folding fans – visible in the background.