As I Was Saying


So I managed a shop update today and listed the handkerchief wall hanging (amongst other things) you see at the top of the post. Really it is my favourite so far and I would love to keep it for myself. My Nanny (by Nanny I mean ‘Grandmother’, not the Mary Poppins kind) was fond of the old adage ‘cold hands, warm heart’, she used this expression often, whenever we complained that our digits were freezing, she also had a store of more acerbic sayings in her verbal arsenal, my favourite being “mutton dressed as lamb!”. Nanny would use this phrase to describe women, usually just a little younger than herself, who had obviously made a bit of an effort with their appearance. The last thing my Nanny would do before leaving the house was look in the mirror, pat her hair, dab her face with a little powder (I distinctly remember the smell of her powder puff) and apply lipstick, she had a wicked ‘mirror face’. I am cast in a similar mould to Hilda May Tulett, you wouldn’t catch me out and about without my slap & I suck my cheeks in when I check my reflection! Inspiration for another wall hanging, oh for sure- thank you Nanny.

It would have been nice to insert a picture of my Nanny and Grandad here. When I left my mother’s house under a big black cloud 22 years ago I took very few family photos with me. I have one photograph of myself as a baby, one as a toddler, one of my mother when she was much younger and a wonderful image of my Grandparents looking super sharp in the 1960s. A couple of my brother and sister too. These precious images have disappeared somewhere inside this house. I have looked but to no avail, I am hoping that they will turn up in the huge spring clean I have planned for next month. Sigh.


I have been doing a lot of thinking this week, really I owe the thanks for this synaptic kick start to another, you know who you are! Not *over* thinking which has so often in the past lead to inertia, the beginnings of an awareness, increased consciousness, less lazy work, maybe a story. I have been learning in public this past year, unaware that this is what I have been doing, there will be developments I know.


And, compromising all of the above, I lazily listed some lavender sachets today too, they are nice and pretty, smell good, keep the moths away, that’s it! A question of economics, another path of obsessive rumination, related of course to the above. Yes, they had to go, destined as gifts I think.

To take the taste away, below is a clip from Béla Tarr’s film Werckmeister Harmonies (Ishi was almost named Béla, I confess for Lugosi as well as Tarr!). If you haven’t seen this film rush to do so, it is one of my favourites, it repays the viewer a thousand times, the antithesis of lazy, a dialogue, an engagement. Be patient and you will see, I hope.

Oh, and I am behind with emails again, that old tune I’m afraid. Coming soon good people, you also know who you are!

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8 Responses to As I Was Saying

  1. alyssa says:

    my grandmother also said “cold hands, warm heart” as a person with bad blood circulation i often cling to that saying. my heart is very warm to say the least

    i always enjoy your work! best wishes, alyssa

  2. i think my mom and your grandmother may have been cut from the same piece of cloth
    i love your polar bear hankie
    it warms my heart
    my favorite saying of my mom’s was “if you can’t say something nice about someone , don’t say anything at all”
    but to my great aunt Cornelius I owe the following imprinted in my brain for all eternity:
    “don’t wear patent leather shoes on a date because the boys can look up your skirt”
    “always wear clean underwear because you never know when you might end up in an accident and be transfered to the hospital”
    “don’t keep houseplants in your bedroom they will rob you of oxygen, and the bugs will crawl out of the pots and into your ears at night”
    You might gather she was not my favorite aunt.

  3. I love Béla for a boy !
    I love Ishi, too !

    Wonderful shop update, dear.
    *cold nose, warm hugs*
    x x x

  4. Olly says:

    My mum says “mutton dressed as lamb” too! It’s to describe older ladies who try to look young right?
    I’d never heard of the cold hands, warm heart saying but I like it too since people are always telling me I have cold hands!!!
    And margaret, just to reassure you, I have tons of plants in my bedroom right now and I’m pretty sure no bugs have crawled into my ears yet (although I have been hearing a buzzing sound alot lately hehe) Xx

  5. nath says:

    hello Lisa,

    i have come a-visiting from Resurrection Fern and have spent (rather too much of) my morning rootling through your archives. it’s lovely here.

    i love your work! i used to be a textile designer and i love stitching and embroidery. we also share a love of the work of Elisabeth Dunker and Jackie Bos. anyway, i just wanted to say hello and tell you how much i admire your work and aesthetics.


  6. Phyllis says:

    The quotes we carry in our minds and memories have so many stories attached don’t they? Such a lovely piece. Hope you are enjoying the beginnings of 2010.

  7. so lovely lisa! my grandmother is ‘nanny’ as well. just love the delicate text you’ve stitched up and will put that film on my list too.

  8. Melissa says:

    your embroideries are wonderful.

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