The world of junk journaling has recently caught my attention, and so for now, this will be the main focus of this site. I dabble in many crafts. I believe in skills, and using what skills we have in different contexts. If you have sewing skills, use them here, if you have engineering skills, mechanical skills, literary skills, if you are an entomologist, or a weaver, if your personal hobby/interest has taken you into history, gardening, discovery, photography, use your skills and knowledge here.
It is often not until we are older that we can appreciate not everyone is the same. As young people, we are told this often, but we don’t really understand it. I grew up in England with ‘foreign’ parents. When I was about 30, my 50 year old friend mentioned to me she was thinking of buying a sewing machine. “Whats wrong with your machine?” I asked. “No, I want to get a NEW machine.” “Well ok, but what’s wrong with yours?” “I don’t have one” “I can have a look at it for you, we might be able to fix it.” “No, I don’t have one, I’ve never had one.” (you can probably tell by now what an annoying friend I am) “What do you mean, you don’t have a sewing machine? How do you sew curtains or repair stuff?” “I don’t, I’ve never known how.” I couldn’t fathom it. AT ALL. With my background of middle eastern culture, not having a sewing machine in the house, I imagined, would be like having a house without a toilet. I think this is when it actually struck me. Yes, people really are different. When somebody compliments me on a simple knitted hat or changing the buttons on a coat, they really mean it, they admire the skill behind it because they don’t have the same skill set. And so over the years, I have tried to use and advance any skills I might have, that as a young person I took for granted, and have tried to learn from others, and encourage others to try something new and to keep learning. Never, ever stop learning.
I have made primitive books since being a small child. I lusted after paper, I remember begging my parents for books. I used my pocket money to buy books I couldn’t read, and that were never read to me. But they were books, and they were mine, and the hours I have spent leafing through these treasures has stayed with me as a happy memory.
Mama was a talented seamstress, Baba was also a talented craftsman, a jeweller by trade, and in his spare time, an impressive artist and photographer. They brought their small family to England to escape political conflict and to bring up their children in a stable environment. They worked hard and took work where they could, teaching us a strong work ethic, to accept work and be grateful for it. I admit that I hated sewing, my dyspraxic brain has a lot of trouble with the reversing/inside out concept. The things that I learned from my mother were always practical skills, mostly centered on cooking or sewing. It was a very male-oriented society, which I suppose creates conflict even when you don’t actually live in that society – children of immigrants will recognise it often, our parents think one way, and we think another, and it feels like nobody else gets it, except hopefully your siblings – in my case, my older brother. It is still a source of unease within our relationship now I am 48. This is my background (so far as this website goes). I have taken refuge in nature since I was very young. I am fascinated by the fact that no two people on this planet started in the same place, even siblings. The world moulds and influences us constantly, and we may make ourselves malleable or not to each push and pull.
I took an interest in spinning around 12 years ago, following the patient lead of two very dear friends, Helen and Anne-Marie, I will love them both forever. Spinning seemed like a straightforward concept, I have dextrous fingers, how hard can it be, right? and I have learned quite a lot, read loads, practiced, experimented, relearned (several times), and now my mind boggles at how much there still is left to learn, I feel like I know less now than when I started. This is the concept of twisting fibre into a string – really not that complicated. I love to explore the nooks and crannies of a subject, and I believe this enriches our lives tremendously. I have gone back to books now after a few years absence and having some life misconceptions of my own, but that is a subject for another day I think, I wanted to give a short account of who I am as an artist and where I came from.
Please find me on youtube under jibidneary and on Instagram under woolyjibid