Laid low and listless

Oh me, oh my. What a difference one small, sweaty pork pie can make. We are laid low with the collywobbles, and it is not a pretty sight. And of course, the Gods like to tweak our tails when things are at their worst. After a dreadful, unspeakable morning, feeling pathetic and floppy, I was (almost) happily sat with my sketchbook watching a Cirque de Soleil dvd. I've yearned to see them ever since they first came on the UK scene, but live shows being beyond my meagre pocket I've had to content myself with collecting cuttings from the papers. Sad but true.

Then the other week Andy came back from work with four borrowed four dvds and I've been so busy with one thing or another that I haven't watched any of them. It has taken a tummy bug to allow me the time to indulge; thank you tummy bug. So there I was, being quite overwhelmed by the visual cornucopia of Varekai, in pathetic artist-y tears at the exquisite beauty of it all, and almost forgetting my Condition, when I heard a splashing coming from our tiny kitchen next door, and there was water dripping down into the sink from the bathroom; the toilet was leaking again. Pause dvd. Shake my puny fist at the Gods. This fine specimen of seventies plumbing has leaked several times in the last five years and our landlord has had various bodged solutions to the problem, none of which include actually replacing the darned thing and strengthening the floor. Now the panels have been soaked so many times they are rotten and bulging between the beams below, which is the kitchen ceiling. So in optimistic anticipation of a visit from one of the workmen, we heaved our sorry selves up and had a major house tidy. But our landlord was out for the day, so we have been drifting about the Hovel sighing and sleeping and generally being unbearable. But there are more important things going on than my dicky stomach.
My paper cutting mentor has gifted me his vintage Ulano swivel knife. As you can see, (or maybe not), it has a teeny tiny blade a few millimetres long, and apparently needs sharpening with an oil stone (none of yer wasteful disposable nonsense). I am hoping to be able to get better detail in my paper cuts. Thank you Reg, you are a star.

Now you may have noticed the lovely jazzy decoration on the package it arrived in. That is a sample of Reg's paper cutting. We first came into contact nearly a decade ago, when I was printing these little things -

Shop display unit, the very height of sophistication. With tabs!

The entire back catalogue of the Pocket Magic series...

...reproduced in glorious monochrome.

My macro-publishing company had just had a mention in the Country Living 'Emporium' pages and I had several mail order enquiries, one of whom was Reg (another was Lindsay of Border Tart) and it turned out (as far as I can remember) that he liked the scraperboard illustrations because they reminded him of paper cuts, which was his field. And so I was introduced to the world of paper cutting. Ever since, our families - well, his family and we two, have exchanged Christmas cards and in every box of treasured cards I have, there is one of his lovely designs. Now, afer a bit of nagging from me, he has set up his own blog, Paper Tiger, cataloguing his work. He hasn't started writing yet, but I live in hope, because he can be very funny. More importantly, there aren't a right lot of paper cutting blogs around, they are a rare species. Go and look, and enjoy some lovely scherenschnitte.

Oh, my feeble fingers can barely type anymore; I am weak, I am overflowing with self pity and general waffiness. I can just muster the last of my ebbing energy to inform you all of a SOSF event, generously hosted by my very busy fellow admin fairy Tara. It's a tea party!

This event's theme is "Handmade card, favorite tea and a treat"! (One of each.) To keep mailing costs low, be creative with light-weight, flattish items that you personally enjoy and will fit into a small, padded envelope. For example- a couple of packets of your favorite tea, with your great-aunt Tursell's recipe for scones or petit-fours tucked into a beautiful handmade card in which you write your own tea rituals to share with your recipient. Add a wrapped piece of gourmet chocolate or biscotti, or something non-edible, but tea-themed as a *treat* and you will be set! This is just one possibility - use your creativity and love of sharing tea with friends.

To take part, you need to visit her blog, Silver Apples or the official Society of Secret Fairies site where you will find contact details and guidelines. These are Important. Very Important.

I can feel a faintness coming over me, it's all too much...au revoir!


Shona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fp said...

Oh Gretel! Get yourself under a blanket and keep nice and cosy! That's an order.

Shona said...

I stumbled across your lovely blog recently - keep up the beautiful work, m'lady.

Hope you feel much better soon, chickadee - we've had the mad throat lurgy in these 'ere parts of the land of late, so I can sympathise with feeling iffy.



Joanna said...

Hope you are feeling better and your landlord fixes the pipes in the bathroom. That does not sound good. I'm looking foeard to seeing more detailed paper cuts.

Lisa Oceandreamer Swifka said...

You poor dear...dealing with the ravages of a tummy eruption as well as leaky pipes and wet ceilings! How you manage to keep your wit in tack is beyond me! I so hope you both are feeling back in tip top shape VERY soon!
Drink lots of fluid - we don't want you dehydrated!
I will check out the new blog as well as the new SOSF event.
Sending you broth, a comfy cozy chair with a blanket and more DVDS to watch!

Un Peu Loufoque said...

O I remeber your littel books from CL!! I love black on white cut outs ! I sahl get Madme Grognonne to send yo some calves foot jelly or alternatively perhasp it might be better if she came and fixed theloo!

joanna said...

Oh my goodness, you poor things :( - I hope that at the very least the toilet has been fixed by now, and that you are both suffering less. Sounds awful.

Paula Bowles said...

Collywobbles and a leaky toilet!? Oh dear! If I was still near by I would bring round some chocolate brownies.. when your stomach is a bit better of course!

natural attrill said...

Hello G,
I love that decoration on the envelope, such wonderful quirky characters.
Hope you are feeling better now.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I hope you both feel better again very soon, and the loo's fixed too. I just got over a tummy bug too, simply ghastly.
Love the cut-outs!

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

oh my, there is nothing worse than the collywobbles! Too sick to really do anything but not sick enough to do nothing. Hope you are over them soon.
Oh my, we got to see Cirque de Soliel and it was so FABULOUS my DH said he would pay to see it (we were lucky to be guests :) and that's saying a lot.

Sarah said...

Get well soon, love the cirque too and think Reg is great, thanks for the intro.

Tea said...

Hope your tummy is feeling better and that your landlord is looking after that leak!
What pretty little books :)


Merisi said...

I hope you all have recovered by now (it's the 20th of June).
Have to make a comment because I love the work you show us here and would like to know if these illustrations are still for sale somewhere. Would you show me the way, please?
It's my first official day of "vacation" (well, sort of, I want to use the followings week to be "creative", but right now I am catching up visiting all those wonderful blog links I saved over the months, and yours is just so delightful, I have a hard time not reading all of your posts at once. I am afraid I need to schedule my blog visits in an orderly fashion, otherwise I get lost therein. *g*).
Thank you for sharing all that beauty you create.