28.8.08

Gocco fever

At the end of any intensive period of work, I need to reconnect with our home, and usually have a mammoth housework blitz. In the midst of this domestic blissness, I finally sorted out my sewing baskets. They have been in a pickle since we moved here, six years ago and I haven't sewn properly for roughly ten years. It was a cheerful (if dusty) medley of bits and bobs. (Do I need three darning eggs?) I happily rootled through it all, wiping away the odd tear: my sewing baskets are repositories of 25 years of my life. Even a tiny button can bring a long forgotten memory of the girl I used to be, full of artistic dreams, but totally lacking the grit and self discipline I would have to acquire to make a real career out of my aspirations. And my mother's humble nickle silver thimble can reduce me to a quivering pulp. After a couple of hours everything was ship-shape, and although I had one basket crammed with antique sewing ephemera and another full of supplies overflow, the 'working' oval basket is strangely empty and austere, as it waits to be filled with new - and this time finished - projects.




I have been revelling in not having to paint for hours at a time and relaxing into the quiet anarchy of pottering. Tuesday I re-arranged my studio. Yesterday we tackled the kitchen. Today is clean the bathroom/stairs day, with Andy painting over the various mouldy bits our landlord can't be bothered to sort out. (At least it is white for a while). But I am taking it easy. There is time to needle felt and watch day time antiques shows - ye
s, at the same time, it can be done without stabbing yourself if you don't get too involved in the TV. A knock at the door brought a familiar delivery man. He is used to bringing all kinds of parcels to our address, and I always tell him what they are. A sack of merino wool, army boots, watercolour paper, and this time - oh blessed day that I should live to see it - a Gocco. I gave a cry of joy, and took it reverently from his arms.



On my last birthday, after much hinting on my part, ("look dear, at THIS Gocco on THIS website, and LOOK at what you can do with it, isn't it FUN???") Andy generously gave me enough money to buy my own. Last year was a terrible year work-wise for me, and I simply could not, with a clear conscience, spend this windfall on an indulgence - it got spent on food instead. Oh, tedious maturity and sensibleness. But at last, I have got my chubby mitts on a B6, via a certain popular auction site. Second hand, but in great condition, and with a generous amount of inks to get me going. All the way from Japan, in three days. It cost about one hundred pounds, a third of which was express shipping. I would like to say that after stroking it, unable to believe that I had finally entered the happy kingdom of Gocco-dom, I set to printing then and there. But - oh tedious maturity and sensibleness again - I have a toilet to finish cleaning, books to dust and laundry to fold. I have waited a long time for my baby, and I can wait a little longer.

Before I forget my manners, a big thank you, to Caroline who alerted me to the fact that my toys were featured on the illustrious Penguin and Fish blog! And many many thanks to Alyssa, for being s
o kind. As well as reviewing artists, she makes stylish and simply gorgeous cats. Check 'em out.

Now, the toilet awaits, where did I leave my rubber gloves..?




25 comments:

Amanda said...

Very belated congratulations on completing all that painting. Had to google to find out what a Gocco is but it sounds cool - enjoy!!

tut-tut said...

I love the photo of the purged basket. It is nice, sometimes sad when everything evokes a bit of the past . . . I'll have to google Gocco myself!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

I had to look up Gocco too! There is a pretty good Etsy how to on Utube too, watched that. Will be intersting to see what you do with it. Sweet thimble photo.

tlc illustration said...

Congrats again. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

green phoenix said...

I was only reading about them this week.They seem intriguing.Great that you've got one, I'm sure you'll inspire!

hens teeth said...

You go Gocco girl!

Caroline B said...

Had to Google it too - wow, that looks FUN! The Japanese make all the best toys - and their postal service is incredible (We got something in 3 days too!) Be sure to show us what you do with it, but don't make it too interesting or I'll want one too..

Catherine said...

I'm impressed at your self-restraint - it's a skill I really must master.
I can't wait to see what you create with your Gocco :)

Frances said...

It's grand to see that you have given yourself that gift of time, to potter around, get that bathroom clean and all the rest of the stuff that just has been waiting in the wings. It's the same in my place. I just do a sort of triage.

Work I have got to go to, and think about a bit even when I am not There. Then there are the day to day requirements ... food, general cleanliness, and importantly, keeping up with friends and so forth.

But just behind that curtain lurk so many other uses of time. I have got some bunches of time off coming soon, and still need to decide if I would like to stay home and draw and paint, or ... take a trip somewhere. It has been so long since I have done either that a simple coin toss won't come close to helping me make up my mind.

Now ... about your sewing basket. I have got a drawer in on of my chests devoted to what's left of my decades of sewing, both all my clothes and some of my pillows, curtains, etc. I have a big box of spools of thread. I just like to see all the colors every now and then, trying to remember why that color was bought. Oh yes! It was that wonderful dress in 1979! Many of the spools are actually wooden and the no longer very strong thread 100% cotton. I love this memory box.

Thanks for reminding me.

xo

Cindy said...

This is such a delightful post on so many levels. For years, I had a nightstand drawer that was like your sewing baskets. Every once in a while I'd go through it in the same way. You've also got me curious about Gocco so I'm going to check it out while you do the toilets. ;)

Cindy

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Okay, so I am a complete and total numbskull. I did not have any idea what a Gocco was, or why it should illicit such joy in you! I thought at first you had perhaps misspelled "gecco", but as I read on I realized that was not the case. So, I hastily looked it up! A Japanese printing magic doodad! Fun! You must post photos of what you create with this treasure!!

PG said...

Lovely friends, I am amazed that the WHOLE WORLD does not know what a Gocco is! :) It is just a shame that the parent company, Riso, have ended production, despite petitions from artists and crafteres all round the world.

French Knots said...

I'd love a Gocco to play with. Sod the toilet, give it a quick squirt and get playing!

Gigibird said...

I am green with Gocco envy....as I have secretly wanted one for quite a while.....can't wait to see what you get up to with it:)

Melanie said...

YAY you have been Gocco'd. I know the joy completely and I also know how mundania interupts such joy. I havent even used mine yet... toilets, never ending washing, vacuuming, yes you know, all that boring stuff which gets priority over fun...

Chris.P said...

I love gadgets, particularly ones which aid creativity. I suppose I am finding virtual gadgets, in the form of software, the most useful at the moment. But my pasta machine, for squashing plasticine into impossibly thin sheets, is something I couldn't do without in the physical world:¬)

BTW Thanks for the link you posted on my blog.

Dana Jones said...

Gretel, My eyes teared a bit reading your sentiments on your mother's thimble. And I have been seeing the gocco mentioned on a favorite suppliers site. But I do not know what the allure is. Maybe you can shed light for me in another post.

And in humble adoration, I tag thee today as an invitation to share even more little known facts about yourself. I recommend pouring a cup of tea first, as it takes a while to make all the links. Your tag rules are where else, Calico Cat Press.

Bumpkin Bears said...

it has been a while since I stopped by here and I am so happy for you to hear you have reached that deadline, what a hugeeee relief it must be and a great sense of achievement - enjoy a bit of a rest! Catherine x

Soozcat said...

So SO glad you got a Gocco! You will do marvelous things with it, I just know it.

Know exactly what you mean about your mom's thimble. I sometimes get that way about all my dad's work paraphernalia, esp. Prismacolor markers and rubber cement.

Rima said...

Hooray for days watching antiques roadshows whilst needlefelting :)
Yes I know exactly what you mean about having to reconnect with the house. Very excited about your Gocco arrival. I must confess to also being a bit in the dark as to what it is. I have read about it and sort of knew it was a printing thingy, but have now watched a youtube etsy "how to" on the subject! I am sure you'll do marvels with it!
Happy days x

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

It seems to me a well deserved gift...and I know you will create fabyoulous things with it.

I have a sewing basket I can only go through when I am ready for a good cry.

(())

acornmoon said...

I know what a struggle it can be at times, painting for a living, so I can totally understand what luxury it is spend money on an indulgence. I have a way round this however, I just tell my self that I need it for work! I am sure we will soon see your Gocco creations in your Etsy shop.

I hope that you do wondrous inspired work with your mum's thimble, the most precious of keepsakes.

Merisi said...

I had to google for Gocco,
and had fun watching how it works,
here.

Enjoy!
Rest!

tobiah p. mundt said...

hey!
contrats on finishing your work. i am so impressed! i have tried my hand at illustrating children's literature in the past.
NOT-AN-EASY-TASK.
good luck with the gocco-ing!

lettuce said...

oh lovely lovely lovely stuff

"even a tiny button"
"especially a tiny button" i say

but i have no idea what a gocco is, i have to go and google.

where are your archives? i need to catch up a bit with you...