Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fresh as a daisy

I am reading Michelle de Kretser's Booker-Prize-non-winning novel The Lost Dog. I hadn't really intended to read it, despite the fact that I was intrigued by the interview with Michelle on The Book Show, because I don't like dogs. However, when I saw it in the bookstore I picked it up because I liked the cover and, when I read the first page, I didn't want to put it down.

It's one of those books that has the remarkable ability to stir memories and illuminate coincidences and spark tangential trains of thought. It represents new ways of looking at the world that chime in with everyday events and put a new spin on ordinary things -- even changing my nephew's nappy (or diaper, as they must be called in the USA). Also, there's not too much dog lovin' in it.

So here's how I came across the inspiration for my next embroidery project:

Early one Sunday he went fossicking with Nelly at the flea market in Camberwell. There was a purposeful air to her, signalled by the black bag worked with yellow daisies carried over her arm. She avoided the professional dealers; lingered among the offerings of stallholders who had turned out their cupboards so they could go shopping again.

If you haven't read the book and don't already know Tom and Nelly, this might not seem a very inspiring image. But as soon as I read this paragraph I knew I had to have a bag like that. I could immediately see it in my mind's eye; now I need to convince my extremely pregnant sister that we simply must make a trip to Joanne's for some black fabric and yellow embroidery thread. I'll keep you posted as the project develops.

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