[Re a portrait commission] I am working madly to get the head of X right – I was delighted with it but when Y brought X for a check I found some major surgery was needed – top off his head and chunk off his chin – and somewhere I’ve lost the likeness on the way.
I spent some time before breakfast today sorting out my knitting machine … It’s a fascinating thing – fortunately X reminded me how frustrated I got when the whole thing came off the needles!!
We finished the last of 28 hands at the same time – looking longingly at the tables laden with sandwiches and luscious cakes – I sneaked 2 and dashed out… Oh, surprise, surprise – We came 2nd. I phoned to tell my partner as she’d left before they gave out the results and after seeming pleased she started telling me all the things I’d done wrong!!!
It’s sad so many of my paintings came home – but 2 sold was more than some – I welcome them back but can’t think where to put them. I’m all agog to get going again – new spray for my gun and paints – now all I need is some good ideas. I mustn’t be so violent – but I do like working in inks. X remarked, ‘I liked your paintings – but they need space’ – nicely put!!
I am halfway through a set of chessmen [on the lathe] (very fiddly), and have broken off from that to make a big pot, the last couple of days, to take a margarine plastic pot inside – as a Christmas present. It has one flaw in the lid, (which is also too loose, really – it was difficult to measure as the underside was attached to the faceplate of the lathe, and the overhang was about half an inch). But as X says consolingly, ‘Everything has flaws, including us.’
She’d just had 2 visitors from overseas round who wanted to know all about her work in 10 minutes flat, in the middle of trying to finish off a lot of orders; she fitted them in – it took 2 hours – and gave them a pizza lunch, but wouldn’t give them the name of her dyes whilst they were still here. She said if they wrote when they got home she would then!
X makes her paper with odd grasses and dried flowers actually in it. It’s difficult, she’s so pleased with her own work, I can raise no enthusiasm!