Monday, April 26, 2010
Every day I go outside and collect the ripe feijoas that have fallen from the neighbour's tree onto this side of the fence. The feijoa tree happens to overhang the swan plants which have been nursery for many new butterflies this week.
One morning I spent nearly an hour watching the first one stretch itself out into autumn air. I love watching their wings go from crumpled to smooth as their bodies shrink proportionally.
Today I found a butterfly upside down on the concrete below. I think it was knocked off of its perch by a falling feijoa. I righted the butterfly, so it could crawl away, but its wings were bruised and bent, so it will never fly.
I started working on the final contour of My Antarctica this afternoon. It's a little nerve-wracking and I've been putting off starting it for a few days. To begin with, I'm unpicking a bunch of islands that I chain stitched about five months ago, when I had only cut out this first contour, and didn't have my now-singular vision of an entire continent of blanket stitch.
Unpicking involves first basting around the outline so that I know where to put the new stitching afterwards. Then I carefully snip the top of each stitch and pull the threads out very gently with long surgical tweezers. This particular blanket is a bit thin and loose, and unpicking with less than absolute attention leaves a slightly threadbare patch which doesn't have enough substance to carry the replacement stitching. So it's anxious work.
My Antarctica is currently occupying most of my tiny studio/home. I won't attach the sea level contour to the rest of it until I have taken care of all the islands, so there are two huge pieces of blanket which need to sit flat and separate. Everything else in my life is kind of scrunched up around the edges of the work. I'm used to living so tightly that every object has to be tidied away as soon as I've finished using it, but now every activity (eg going to bed or getting dressed) involves rubic-cube like rearrangement to achieve.
I think maybe, after I finish with My Antarctica, I'll make some small embroideries: lap-sized, hoop-sized, brooch-sized.... I have lots of ideas for what to do next, but no one of them can become compelling while Antarctica is occupying all available space.