High and dry

giant moth rises over Tipperary Waters

Started the morning with this Radiohead song, apt for the weather we’ve been getting lately. 20°C in Darwin this morning…although on the water it is probably a couple of degrees lower, in this gusting south-easterly wind. It’s not painfully cold or anything, but it certainly is a chilly morning—my fingers couldn’t properly feel the needle I was stitching with—and the May we’ve just had has been the coldest on record since 1960.

I found this furry little wedge of gold pressed to the outside of our window, peering in with those beady eyes as though wanting to come in and get warm. It’s the same color as my marigolds, and I wonder whether this is the culprit who seeded my plants with voracious caterpillars, two weeks ago. My poor marigolds had gone from being lush and green, to looking like naked umbrella skeletons, in a matter of days. I had to inspect them with a torch every night for nearly a week, and pull the tenacious little buggers off the leaves…

wing for a wren

I started stitching the wings for Nutmeg The Wren after breakfast, and finished one by noon. *sigh* It seems to go so slowly, sometimes, all this hand-embroidery…sometimes I just want it to be over and done, so that I can move on to another thing on my To Do list, which is growing exponentially every week. The To Do list gets me every time: I am chronically worried that people, or the situation, will give up on me or pass me by before I can do all the things I am supposed to do. How do you speed up something like an embroidered bird’s wing, without abandoning the idea to embroider it at all? Craft is such a slow process: building the design up with lines of thread…a stab down, a stab up…the minutes and hours vanishing at an alarming rate. Even stitching two-handed, it took me half a day…and for what? One little golden brown wing.

It’s pretty...

At least it’s pretty. 🙂 “Rearranging the deck chairs aboard the Titanic,” Kris would call this. There are major deadlines and big scary projects bellowing like the monsters in Tartarus for my attention, and I chose to finish a little bird’s wing, instead. Avoidance tactics, of course. I employ them brilliantly.
wing for a wren


Scribbled a short letter to a friend last night,  and when I went to dig up her postal address I found the little packet of googly eyes that I bought a week ago at the dollar shop…my first-ever googly eyes! Can you believe that I’ve never played with these things before? I stuck some on the envelope, and it magically turned into Mr. Letter. I just love his expectant, guileless expression. It’s so true, everything looks better with googly eyes stuck on.

Mr. Letter


7 thoughts on “High and dry

  1. The only way to speed it up is to embrace how slow it is and love it for its slowness. Embroidery must take time, and I think the bird wing is oh so beautiful, worth at least a couple of more days of your time procrastinating/creating more! Magically beautiful. If I could make something like that I would just sing songs and dance from joy! 🙂


    1. Yes, yes, and YES, Hanna! Thinking guiltily of all the other obligations while performing one task actually diffuses the energy needed to make the work go…if not faster, then at least more efficiently. You are so right. The paradox of time…works that endure time take time to produce, and in order to get all things done, you must forget about all those things.
      Just like studies are starting to reveal that the famous multi-tasking that had become so popular in the last decade actually produces poorer end results across all tasks. Focusing on one thing for a good amount of time is a way to not only get the thing done, but to lock quality into the work. Cohesion.
      Things that one KNOWS, but does not necessarily apply very successfully to everyday life! The Thai have a saying: “Life is so short, you must move verrry slooowly…”


  2. If I had deadlines and a mountain of things to do and all I’d produced was a single ‘golden’ wing such as that I’d show it off proudly! Who would dare say their petty expectations were more important.
    It is beautiful!


    1. *laughing* Stop indulging and spoiling rotten my already selfish creative urges! I’m trying to strike a balance between artistic, impoverished, immature madness…and being a responsible adult who meets deadlines and sometimes has money to buy food with.
      I’m happy you like it so much, David…thanks for stopping by to comment!


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