The Englishman’s scepticism is palpable as I get my camera out. In front of us, framed by the hawthorn hedge, balances a precariuosly but hopefully photogenicly stacked pile of fabrics on a kitchen stool. It’s unclear wether the eye roll is aimed at the structural soundness of my arrangement, why I had to haul it up here to the allotment for a picture or the entire endeavour that drives this photoshoot.
Whichever, I can’t say I haven’t earned it. The pile itself is a physical testimony to my track record of unfinished, failed or forgotten projects. It consist of about four baskets and two bags of textiles. Scraps, remnants of past sewing projects, never-attempted clothes repairs and fruitless intentions manifested in over 20m of yet to be used bought or gifted fabric.
Thankfully despite all the visual evidence of my lack of success, my enthusiasm for new projects never seems to seize. Which brings us here to the hawthorn hedge. Where me and this pile of fabric are about to embark on a journey together. A voyage of making and writing; and I’ve lugged the boxes and bags up here to take a final picture before our departure.
Our destination is not quite clear yet. There is no map to guide us. Just a few travel rules and a vivid picture in my imagination of a clear home studio space and a blog full of words.
It’s a sunny place in my mind. Freed from all the fabric that has accumulated around me over the past 10 years and freed from the mental shackles that keep me tied to my past ideas.
I’ve often longed for a life where I make meaningful things and write meaningful words for a living. It is the very reason why this blog was originally created in 2016 and why time and again I bought fabric and accepted donations that might one day become something. Everything was always driven by a desire to somehow earn a small living with my words and hands from the comfort of my own home.
This time, however, I’ve taken money out of the equation. Neither the pile of fabric nor the blog will be about making a living anymore. They will be about the way I live. The rules for this project, therefore, are simple: Make and write about it.
Yet, in some respect it’ll be much harder than that. For one year, starting from today, I challenge myself to prioritise something that won’t potentially earn money yet will take time away from my responsibilities as a mother and home keeper.
Using my resources for other things than the immediate comfort of my family has seemed utterly indulgent for the past years. Hence the Maker’s Journey is quite the daring invititation to myself to become an intentional maker and storyteller simply because I long to be (although it undoubetly will benefit my family as it asks me to make beautiful and useful things for our lives with the materials at hand, practicing creativity and frugality).
So, while that pile might stand for my past failures it also proves that if nothing else, I do dare. And so accompanied by a last shoulder shrug from the Englishman, I hunch down, the camera shutter clicks and the journey begins.