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.