Jaqui's Daily Blog

Coming, Going and My Quill Skills

Today's date - 6.10.16 - is special in that it reads the same backwards as forwards. This is probably why I have spent the day not knowing whether I am coming or going. Indeed, traveling back home on the Pulse bus an hour ago for the second time in the day, I almost came across myself travelling in the opposite direction.

This state of mind is not necessarily unusual in my case - but it's comforting in the extreme to be able to quote the date-line as an excuse.

Yesterday I carried home with pride my latest Crafty Endeavour to show Mr B. What did he think it was? I asked hopefully. He looked at the decoration on the white card I had handed him and stated, with complete conviction, that it represented a Christmas tree. Right first time! I crowed triumphantly. Mr B responded, tartly, that there was a massive clue in the fact that the card was headed up "Happy Christmas" in gold lettering, it was, indeed, a bit of a giveaway.

I had spent an afternoon with four other Crafty Types, learning the art of quilling from the Lovely Linda. Yes, indeed, the same Lovely Linda who leads our Birdwatching Group. Versatility is Linda's middle name. No, not really, don't be silly - honestly, sometimes...

Have you ever tried your hand at quilling? You take a narrow strip of paper, insert one end into the slot in a special quilling tool and wind it round and round until you have created a coil. If you want a looser coil, then you leave it to relax before gluing the end. We were all supplied with a plastic lid and some glue between two of us, together with a handy cocktail stick with which to transfer glue from the plastic lid onto the end of the coil. Unfortunately I kept accidentally dipping the end of my quilling tool into the glue instead of the cocktail stick. I am thinking I may be a bit of a liability where Crafty Business is concerned. It is possible I may be banned from future sessions for Blatant Misuse of Tools.

In previous craft sessions I have been far too quick to jump into a project without really thinking through the end result for which I was aiming. Now, at the start of a new term, I am determined to plan each project more carefully. You could say it is my New Term Resolution. I therefore studied the page of possible examples we could endeavour to reproduce which Linda had thoughtfully provided for us and opted for a Christmas tree. Jill, sitting to the left of me, had the same idea. We did a quick totting up and reckoned we would need between thirty and forty coils (both relaxed and uptight) for each tree.

The first problem which I failed to foresee was the lack of variety, colour-wise. I do like a bit of variety, as you know. Perhaps I should have opted, as Carol did, for a string of balloons, each of a different colour? Oh, the red! The yellow! The orange! The blue! But, no, I was making a tree and trees, especially of the Christmas variety, are green,all green. At least until all the needles drop off onto the carpet, the day after Boxing Day (if you are lucky to have them stay on the tree that long) and the tree turns a dirty shade of brown. So - green coil after green coil piled up on the table in front of me, to be glued and pinched into tear drop shapes until I was confident I had sufficient to build a tree. Or plant one, maybe?

Jill was going great guns by my side. Her tree looked like, well, the tree it was supposed to resemble. I chose a classy plain white card on which to glue my coils - relaxed at the bottom, uptight at the top - and made several attempts to fashion my tree into something arboreal. Under my breath, by way of exhortation, I sang: "Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches!" Except that they weren't. Lovely, don't you know. Kind Jill reminded me that this was my first attempt at the Art of Quilling, while she had had plenty of experience. No wonder her tree looked a million times better (as in, more tree-like) than mine.

Still, all that practice with the strips of green paper, the quilling tool, the glue and the plastic lid - not to mention the cocktail stick - means I know how to fashion a quill. I now need to hone my Quill Skills and, thanks to my BFF, Google, I have found the perfect Making Christmas With A Couple Of Quills project. I am hoping that all my Christmas presents this year will come with a personal, home-made tag. Complete with heart shaped quills. It's the thought that counts.

Meanwhile my Christmas card is displayed on the windowsill for all to see and wonder at. My quill tree looks as if it has been de-constructed, like a pudding on Masterchef Australia, and put back together again so that it still has all its branches, but not necessarily in the right order.

Like today's date, it doesn't know whether it's coming or going...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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