xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Manna and Spanners

Friday, October 09, 2009

Manna and Spanners

Well, marriage is a funny old thing. There comes a time when you know the really outstanding things about your other arf, and also the things they just ain't all that, you know, let's say strong on.
I mortified the Husb the other day in one swishing movement.
It was a Saturday morning, and the Husb had been next door, which is currently a building site for a self-build property. He'd popped in to have a chinwag with the Foreman after his run up the hill and round the environs for 5 miles. Good and sweaty, there he was putting the world to rights, arms crossed, poking around in the foundations, a bit of 2-by-4 there is it, bricks and mortar how's the cavity wall insulation coming on, yeah, lovely bit o' brickwork that, good lads are they lintels scaffolding joists concrete mixer nice bit of bitumen. Don't suppose you'd have a little look at me tile there would yer - seems to be coming orff...
So in he comes, looking very pleased with himself, saying "Right, Bill says he'll fix in a new tile for me. I just need to get an adjustable spanner coz he hasn't his toolbox in the van today..."
My brother, who was staying with us at the time, went for a rummage in the toolbox in the garage.
"That toolbox? Oh for Heaven's Sake," I say officiously "You'll never find one in there." and off I go to my Sewing Room, wherein sits my girlie toolbox. I locate the required tool, and swan out in my indigo and pink swirly kaftan dressing gown and flip-flops and hand Bill a pink adjustable spanner.
Mortified, the Husb.
"I can't believe I've just been out there manning up for half an hour only to find you've gone and given him a bloody pink tool! Christ, I'm never going to live it down."
The poor Husb, his wife giving the builder next door a pink tool. Quite emasculated, he felt.
But I made up for it this week by going really quite girly and saying "Like, oh my god, you're just soooo clever!"
I actually said that. Like a teenager.
As you may remember, we are in the process of launching OriginalStitch, our business selling fabric goods. There will be a super swanky fancy dan website, and rather sensibly, the designer wants to see a business plan so he can plan the website functionality in line with our business goals.
Now, remember, I am a person who can spend literally hours trying to find the best way to illustrate in diagramatic form the pinning of three layers of fabric...[yes, I have been fabric recipe designing this week, artist pens and everything, ooh...]
So a business plan is enough to send me into paroxysms of anxiety. Weeks of headscratching and pen organising, deciding which font to use, spending 1 whole hour trying to figure out how to merge cells in Excel, and you might, if you squint a bit, get a business plan out of me. I find it so difficult to pin down all the operational and conceptual areas in a business into one heading, and work out how that will gradually change over each quarter year, which is effectively what you have to do - you know, like, - suppliers, delivery, product lines etc. But I will get horrifically bogged down in the detail, agonising over how to plan the big picture when I don't even have my products down pat yet. How on earth do I know how many stitchers I'll have by July 2010? Oh malordy.
I said to the Husb one evening, "Could you help me with it? I really must get a plan over to them, it's been two weeks since we spoke now." And off he goes. He rattles it all out and I'm nodding like a nutter jack-in-the-box going "Oh! Yes! Yes! Exactly what I was thinking! Yes, brilliant!" and then I interrupt myself, pointing manically at him, and say "Right, hold that thought - I've got to get the chops out the oven..." and off I dash. I whip the garlic and sage covered chops out of the oven, stir the pea and tomato rice, plop it on to the plate, add the cauliflower, bung onto trays, knives, forks, drink, and in I go with the trays of dinner.
And there it is.
A business plan.
He has managed to write a business plan on one sheet of paper in 4 columns, in 4 phases with 10 points in each with bullet points underneath, covering all the areas we need to achieve in Year 1.
In the time it took me to get two chops out the oven.
I was agog. I was all "Oh my god, you're so clever! I can't believe you've just done that! That's amazing! God I could never do that, that's genius! Oh my god!"
"Bloody hell, woman" he said, "It's not that amazing." He actually nearly blushed I was going on so much.

That was the second time in a week I had nearly hyperventilated with excitement and astonishment. The first time was when I went to pick up some fabric from a fellow freecycler, who has shared with me a stash she has acquired. She is a crafter too, but with vastly more talent than me. Start using the words mixed media and I'm a bit scared, but she's a very talented lady into all sorts of clever craftiness - have a look at her postcards and other amazing stuff here...
I could not believe my luck when I unloaded the big fat bag of fabrics on to the kitchen table - all cottons, in all manna of colours, designs, and sizes, and almost every single one perfect for the OriginalStitch aesthetic, such as it is yet. I was going "Ooooh look at this!" trying to engage the daughters in my rummaging, which they dutifully did, running off with some scraps to wrap birthday presents in, for their very complicated birthday party games. In these games one daughter is called Min, and the other Africa or Bella. I have no idea who these alter-egos are, but they often speak in American accents, or like teenagers, with the upwards inflection at the end of the sentence already finely honed. Hm. Where do they get that from I wonder, because I was still "Oh my god this is amaaaaaaazing? Oh wow, look at this, ooh that's gorgeous. Oh my god, that's like, amazing! Ooh look at this one with little rabbits on? Oh hello, what a gorgeous floral!"
There were so many exclamation marks flying round the room it was all getting a bit sick-making. To say I was gushing is an understatement. I had to have a cup of tea and a little calm down. But seriously though - just look at 'em!
What a stash!
Look at all the colours and patterns!
And there I go again!
Somebody gather up all those exclamation marks, quick, before we run out!


Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!! GORGEOUS stash...and all for free?
It doesn't get any better than that!!!! (I'm giving you lots of !!!!! so you can catch up with me on my motherlode post!!!!!!!
I love our freecycle site and have gotten some lovely items on it. Recycle, repurpose, reuse....that's my motto!!! there's a few more for ya'!!!!!!!!!!!!!! love Pam (drooling at your stash)

Kath said...

Hello Catherine, so happy you are pleased with the fabric and blocks. I spoke to Silve today and she said it was nice to know the material is being shared around and she'd love to see what you make from your share of the collection of bits and pieces.
Kath x