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I passed my sketchbook on to Dan for him to look at and respond to a little while back.
What this means is there is no cohesive way for me to pin down the ideas as they come into my head. After a scary few days when I felt like my mum had put my blanky in the washing machine, I think actually it is doing me good. Of course I am still able to make notes and sketches, it isn’t the only source of paper in my life. But the collection of scraps and thoughts on my desk is now less linear. I shuffle them about a bit now and then, or accidentally knock them onto the floor which enables me to see different connections. Also, the edge of the page is no longer a constraint. Or the colour of the paper, blah blah blah. I know that these shouldn’t be constraints even if I have a sketchbook, but in reality they are.

The ideas are swimming about in the ether about six inches above my head so it seems. If they persist, then I jot them down on something… Post it notes, backs of envelopes, Greggs’ paper bags. So they can settle down. There are advantages to this current system. Time will tell whether I continue using it once my blanky is back in my hands. I intended to stick them down in the book when it comes back, but I’m not sure if I will…

I want to hand this book around a little. But who I give it to is a thorny issue. It is a thing of trust isn’t it, letting someone look through the foolishness contained within your sketchbook? Those half-baked ideas and stupid connections that fall apart at the slightest examination. You have to be sure the person understands how the sketchbook thing works.

Dan is a writer. He understands the stream of consciousness thing, that gets rid of rubbish and occasionally yields a little gem of an idea. He also knows me and my work very well. So he is trustworthy and a safe pair of hands I’m sure.

And this is the crux of the matter. My Blanky…. By only giving the book to people I already know well, who know my work well and who I trust implicitly, is it really any risk at all? Is it going to expand the thinking in the slightest?

I’m not sure also, if the lack of the safety and comfort of my sketchbook has led me down a different path while I wait for it to come back.
I’m writing more lyrics. The making of things with fabric and needle has pretty much stopped at the moment.
But I’m thinking this is sort of apt too. I talk of the unfelt touch, the effect of one upon another. The belief that our edges cannot be seen with the naked eye….. So instead of making something physical, I make a sound, a song, I weave and stitch the words and sounds instead. Their notes and notes can be pinned to paper as an aide memoire, but the real thing is the thing in the air that drifts in the space, caught by a different sense, taken away and spread unknowingly…. This should really be perfect for this body of work!

And yet… I have stitched and made for so many years now that actually I am finding it hard to reconcile my creative thoughts to the not-stitched.

So maybe giving my sketchbook a holiday, and disrupting my studio space are good excuses to allow me this adventure, and allow me to develop a few ideas to the point I feel confident they stand and are valid, without stitch.

I’ve posted a couple more songs onto the new website… feel free to listen and comment…