I like mending. Not the actual act of mending something, but the whole principle behind it. In our throwaway culture, mending something stands out as someone caring, both for their possessions and for the planet.
When I was growing up, there was a mending basket, mostly full of wool socks. And there was darning wool in shades of brown, grey and dull green. Can you even buy darning wool any more? It came in loose hanks and it was fine enough to weave a neat darn across a toe. I learnt to do it, although my darns were sometimes on the chunky side.
An elderly relative told me a while back how when she was young and the sheets wore away with age, you would cut them in half up the middle, swap the pieces around so that the outer edges were together, and sew them back up. So you ended up with a soft faded white sheet that had a seam up the centre and the thin worn parts on the edge.
I'm not under any illusions as to how hard it must be not to be able to afford new things when you need them, but I do think it's sometimes too easy to throw things into landfill and buy more. We care very little for the cheap modern imports that are sold in vast quantities. Giant brightly coloured plastic toys (and millions and millions of small ones) and every imaginable non-essential item are destined for the rubbish tip after a short life. Mountains and mountains of brittle black plastic electrical units, turned swiftly into garbage. I know I'm guilty of this too. Somehow these things slip into my life. I'm going to try harder to cut right down on them.
It infuriates me when someone tells me something can't be mended. Some things are built with a deliberately short life expectancy. Some things are built into sealed units so that small parts can't be replaced. It's wrong, the world can't sustain this sort of enforced consumerism. Everyone knows this, but the thirst for money and possessions drives it ever onwards.
Mending is something that happens a lot around here. I sew, I stick, I nail. A faded quilt is stitched with matching cream thread. A tear in the sofa cushion is machined in almost identical brown, a throw is darned in gold that barely shows. The boys of course test my mending abilities to the full. A while back they managed to snap the lid of the tan wood toy box. They thought they had me for a while, but I glued and nailed on some chipboard and battens and it all works again. It's not the prettiest thing in the world, but it's functional, and I'm happy to live with imperfection.
Someone (and the golfer is the number 1 suspect) has smashed in the door of the empty guinea pig hutch. If you need me, I'll be sizing up the hole.
To visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:
What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.