craft weekend like no other

It's a funny thing that you can keep going to the same place, with the same people plus a few newies and it will always be different. It will always be good, because how could the combination of wonderful company, absence of domestic drudgery and uninterrupted craft and sleep time in beautiful surrounds not be good? But sometimes there are things from outside the craft weekend cocoon that alter the experience. Not always for the better.

This time, the issue was driving related. I keep thinking that I'm done telling the story of how I nearly lost my life to an idiot driver, but clearly I'm not. It's better than it was and I'm still driving because obviously you still have to live your life and all. Anyhow on Friday morning, I left home a bit later than planned but was well on time to pick Kim up from the airport. It was fabulous to meet her and it was like we'd know each other for ages, which I guess we have. The drive to Lancefield was lovely and as we were so early, we hung around opshopping and having lunch. As you do. Then as I went to turn right into Sewjourn (which is a short, short distance from the centre of town), an old school ute with a mattress standing in the back swerved around me on the right. He missed hitting me on the drivers side door, but only just.  He skidded back onto the road and fishtailed for another 300 metres, nearly colliding head on with a car coming the other way. A car that was a long way in the distance when I went to make the turn. The whole thing was so fast, so unexpected, there was no time to react. He must have been going well over 100K in a 60K zone. It is luck that we are all OK. Or he was playing some sort of dumbarsed joke. In which case it is still luck that no-one was hurt.
 The woman in the other car, who had her gorgeous nineteen month old daughter with her, stopped and had a cup of tea with us. She was pretty shaky too. Everyone said it wasn't my fault but I kept wondering whether I had checked my rear view mirror before stopping to turn. Had I been aware enough of what was going on around me? Because I was the driver, and as far as I'm concerned, that means I was responsible for the safety of everyone in the car. And then of course, I kept hearing Grace's words before I left, Mummy, please don't go, I will miss you.*  Later after a debrief, after calling Gerard and some tears, I became "normal" again and slipped into craft weekend mode. And pretty much it was great, expecially when I was occupied and engaging in talking and crafting. But in those dreamlike times between waking and sleeping, thoughts about what could have happened, including all the possible scenarios and consequences played through my mind, reminding me of some of the disturbing thoughts I have had when I majorly depressed. Ick. So this week, although I have thought about it less and less, my general level of anxiety has been pretty high. And I haven't been sleeping as well as I would like. Still as Gerard said, the worst didn't happen and for that I am extremely grateful. And in writing this, ready to move on. Sorry if you just came here for the craft.
Anyway. Let's talk about some of the good part of craft weekend shall we? It was great to see Suzie, Di, Ellen, Sandra and Suse again. And to meet Kim and Angela. I love those moments when people arrive. It's so exciting and the weekend is all ahead of us and full of possibility. On the first afternoon, in between telling everyone about our close shave, I worked on refashioning this hideous shirt I bought at an opshop a while back. It's taken me ages to unpick, but as it's Liberty Lawn, it's worth it I think. It is now a hot day top with tied straps and I'm pleased with how it turned out. Pictures to come.

On Saturday, I launched into my main project - The Poppy Doll from Hop Skip Jump. First up, I just have to say what a great pattern this is. Well worth buying if you want to make a doll for dressing. I did toy with the idea of making a doll without a pattern, but I'm glad I didn't as it's a Christmas present for Grace.  I used linen instead of doctor's flannel. Partly because I liked the idea of linen and partly because there's nowhere around here to buy doctor's flannel and I ran out of time to get some online. As it turned out, I couldn't find a good linen either and ended up buying a dress from Saver's to cut up and that worked perfectly. The linen is a close weave and has been washed enough to give it a nice soft feel.  Pictures are on Flickr - but no more until Christmas because I don't want Grace to see. I'm pretty sure she'll like this doll, she's seen her on Fiona's blog and asked me if we could make one, so I'm taking that as a good sign. I also made some doll clothes; a ballet skirt, a dress, a skirt and a t-shirt. Oh, and some rather racy underwear (black lace, black fold over elastic and red t-shirt material was all that I had, so that's what I used and I don't think it's too inappropriate). Sandra made some ballet slippers and gave me the shoe pattern and I made a little pair of mary-janes. And I have more clothes in mind. I think this doll will need a little suitcase!

The last project of the weekend was a dress for Grace. So I would have something to bring home for her. I had some more Liberty Lawn and perhaps I should have made the dress I had in mind out of that because the dress I did make hasn't gone down all that well. Perhaps I shouldn't have listened to Grace tell me she'd like a dress out of the black material with animals on it and gone with my intuition. Oh well.

There's lots more I could say about all the good things. We ate really well. It rained, which is always good. We listened to beautiful music and shared stories. Laughed. Swore. Drunk some wine and got a bit silly. Stayed up too late. Watched the creation of many gorgeous things. Admired Kim's beautiful quilt and were present when she made her first dress, with a placket! Yep, despite the shaky start, it was all really good. I love craft camp. I love that I get to go. That I am that lucky. And I'm already looking forward to the next one.

*Grace does say that quite a bit at the moment. Like when I go to work. Or to the supermarket. As it turned out she had a rather good weekend while I was away and organised a playdate with a friend from childcare, went to dinner in the park and a clothes swap where she got a barbie and a helicopter. And had a visit from Nana. Nonetheless she was delighted to see me when I got home, which is always nice. Ooh, how I enjoyed coming home and hugging my people.


Stomper Girl said...

No wonder you were shook up! And just as well you had a weekend with a bunch of girls and good food and craft to counteract the nasty fright.

sue said...

So thankful that you were okay. We seem to have some of those drivers around our town too and it does give you thought to maybe think it was you, but then you realise it is just them being stupid and careless! I have those dark icky days too, especially when I dont feel well and it creeps up on me, so I try to get outside and do something to occupy myself. The poppy doll is a gorgeous pattern, and I cant wait to see all the clothes you made for her. I only made some pants and a top but I am tempted to make another as a present too. The weekends away that you have always sound so wonderful too, you must achieve a lot of sewing encouraging each other like that!

Susan said...

The swervy car thing sounds really scary. Yes, I'd be replaying it in my head too. I've learnt (over such a long time), that these things play themselves out sooner or later. But always pop up in the dark of night when you can't sleep.
While I enjoyed my three days with just my eldest girl, being her art sherpa, and also catching up with dear friends whom I haven't seen for a year.
I'm sad to have missed craft camp again. Again.
Love the Poppy Doll, and a doll with clothes is a very good thing.
Sometimes Linsey, the eldest, and her friend Jo go and play dolls in Clare and Ally's room. Dressing and undressing, setting up scenarios. They're both twenty in about six months! Benefits of having much younger sisters, I suppose.
Keep well. I really like that photo of the craft room from across the paddock. All those chairs lined up!
Best wishes, Sue M.

mary said...

So sorry about the rotten d.head of a driver giving you such a gut wrenching fright.
So happy the weekend went well - I love the doll and Kim's quilt is amazing too!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I don't come here for the craft , I come for you . And I'm delighted that that witless driver didn't manage to get anybody killed .
I love the sound of these weekends ! Any doll with a tutu and racy underwear is bound to be a huge success. I vastly enjoyed making dolls clothes when my daughters were small . Instant gratification , unlike making adult clothes , which really have to fit !

kim at allconsuming said...

Well it was just aweseome to meet you and to be able to hang out for those few days. I think your top rocks and am now seriously considering making a doll!
Smooches to you.

Angela Savage said...

Hey there,
It was lovely to see you by chance in the CBD last week.
I enjoyed your post on the craft weekend.
BUT I wanted to see what that Liberty shirt looked like before you worked your magic on it but the link to flickr didn't seem to work.
Or is it just me?!
I will look forward to reading how Grace responds to your beautiful gift - though in my experience, it's best not to count on much given the emotional vagaries of 'threenagers' (or their ilk!).