During the weekend I cleaned out the cupboards in the middle level of the house. They contained the household linen, the grandchildren's toys, lots of extension power cords - how did I come to accumulate so many - and various relics of Dr P's, including a model of the neck vertebrae, and some little weights. Out they went. Also to be uncovered and assesses were many pieces of fabrics, bought over the years to be made up into sundry elegant garments, lots of yarns, and an extensive array of fabric dyes, dating from the time before I moved in with Dr P, when I did a lot of silk painting and also painted cotton T-shirts.. As the dyes have not been used for 12 years or so, I decided that in all probability they had passed their use-by dates, and so they too have gone to the tip.
This is all rather sad. I loved doing silk painting, developed a good sense of colour, and did some rather lovely things, and had quite a few buyers. Once I moved cities to live here, it was almost impossible to continue this work. I had no table on which to place the frames. The kitchen and laundry sinks were nasty white porous plastic things which would have soaked up the colours of the dyes. And I lost my market. And then, of course, I lost my skills, and any incipient entrepreneurial skills I was acquiring.
In my Canberra house I could paint without interruption, but once Dr P was on the scene he would sit in the room I used to work in, and watch TV as I painted. Peace, quiet and concentration are essential for such work, and the sudden sounds of gunshots on TV would invariably occur just as you were delicately painting, and of course the dyes would go splodge, and ruin the work in hand.
My timber frames were kept in the garage, but they became warped, and eventually had to be thrown out. I still have a couple, but silk painting now seems to be out of fashion, and when I investigated supplies recently, they have vanished from the shelves of the shops which used to stock them. It used to be possible to get the silk steamed so as to set the colours, but I never learned to do this and don't know who might do this now, and the stockists seem to have abandoned the craft. Arts and crafts are inevitably subject to trends in fashion. Interests and activities have their time and place, but nonetheless I am sad to have abandoned this work and creative development. Perhaps my increased interest in crocheting is some kind of substitute. My hands are rather arthritic now, and perhaps the fine motor control required may no longer be possible.
But who knows? Perhaps such interests may yet be revived. Even though I still have far too much stuff. One can always consider options. I hope for, perhaps, ten good years, and don't want to waste whatever time is left.