I've spoken before about today's show and teller, the wonderful Tania Ennor, and pointed you off in the direction of her myrtleandeunice blog to read something great. Tania's is another of my very favourite blogs. I love her evocative writing, her beautiful photos. I'm amazed at the way she often seems able to express the inexpressible, the simple beauty, poetry and challenges of our lives. And on top of that she makes me laugh out loud regularly and always has a million beautiful and inspiring projects on the go. What's not to love!?
As many people will attest, Tania is also a great blog friend who leaves a trail of witty comments on her trips round the blogoverse.
Anyway, I've been trying to pin this particular ball of energy down to show and tell for a while - so without further ado here are her answers for your reading pleasure! I particularly love the striking imagery she uses about her favourite place, the three words she uses to describe herself and the way she got round the Fedex people holding her handmade wedding dress ransom ;-)
Short description of your blog/style/work...
The blog is family, craft, comedy-of-error days when there isn’t any clean underwear and everyone wears bathers under their clothes.
1. Why blog? How did you start?
I started because I was in the middle of a yawningly-boring work project and I’d already made popcorn, folded the washing, used an old toothbrush to scrub bathroom tile grouting. Starting a blog seemed a reasonable thing to do next.
I blog because I enjoy the writing and the recording. Because sometimes it makes my eyes open to the joy in the ordinary. Because writing about the disasters or the learning curves is cathartic. I also blog because the crafty community is a constant source of support and inspiration and that’s something I heartily enjoy being a part of.
2. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
YouTube, Google, other bloggers. Still not sure if I hold a crochet hook correctly.
3. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
Any clear-ish space going for the crafting. My grandfather’s renovated shed (I can still smell the iron filings) for the printing.
4. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
Myrtle and Eunice were two lovely old ladies who connected weekly over the Scrabble tiles. For years of my childhood, I was around to witness these Saturday battles of will and skill and they became part of my weekly ritual. I was holding her hand when my grandmother, Eunice died and in the years since then, realised all the stuff I forgot to ask. I thought I’d write some of my stuff down.
5. Favourite medium to work in?
I am an open to (almost) anything, master of the One Hit Wonder. Except I can’t seem to muster enough wonder for finishing one circle-in-a-square granny blanket.
6. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
I haven’t an inkling. As of this week I appear to have cultivated a midlife crisis.
7. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
8. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own?
My wedding dress. Reddest red velvet, sewn by my Mum in Melbourne and FedEx-ed and lost on the way to London. One week before the wedding I was camped at the South London Fedex counter, presenting bottles of pricey wine, pleading with staff to check... One. Last. Time.
9. Favourite food/recipe?
Couldn’t prepare it to save myself but I have a somewhat disturbing penchant for beautifully cooked liver. I have a polar opposite non-penchant for broiled tripe. I’m a little over felty sandwiches.
12. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
Throughout ten years of living in Europe, I had the same regular, recurring dream: swimming freestyle laps in the local 50 metre outdoor pool. A crisp, autumn, early morning, taking a breath every four strokes, each time glimpsing the silhouette of a eucalypt against the rising sun. Magpie morning chorus cutting through the rhythm of my strokes and bubbled breathing. Yep, that would be it.
13. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits? The Ten Minute Tidy, choosing your battles, embracing the ‘wonk’ (tricky for this perfectionist), finding a five minute space to step back and see what’s in front of your nose, seeing things differently. I finally spotted happy grater guy after a bazillion cheese shreddings…
14. Favourite artists?
The work of Andy Goldsworthy brings tears to the eyes and/or makes my heart sing. Same for Ron Mueck. Illustrators Benoit Jacques and Pascal Blanchard, the wit of graphic artist Alan Fletcher, the wrapping-the-world mischief of Christo. The Mr isn’t bad either.
15. Favourite blog post/thing you've made/photo?
My favourite blog post describes an evil parenting tactic for long haul travel with anklebiters.
My favourite made thing is, I think, happening at the moment: a scrappy quilt put together using the ‘random rule’. I’d angsted endlessly about how to use some of these treasured fabrics and was hating the process. Nothing like a craft camp, a jump-in mentality, an embracing the spontaneity, to make stuff happen. It’s my first quilt looking to make it to the finish line and includes fabric from things I have made, bits of spare myrtleandeunice tea towels – anything red or white or charcoal that stood still long enough for me to tackle it with a rotary cutter. Give me a week and I reckon I’ll be snuggled under it on the sofa.
16. Three words to describe you?
Mischief. Passion. Loyal.
17. What do you like to do besides creating?
Hanging out the washing! I despise everything else associated with laundry, but when I hang washing on the line, I find the sky, I find quiet, sometimes I find perspective.