The downs can sometimes (majorly) outnumber the ups, and you seem to spend a great deal of time searching for ways to get more stuff for less cash. Sometimes this is easy, and a cheaper alternative to the desired can be found without many headaches, but usually it is a real pain in the butt.
On the downside, you have to do a lot more yourself, but on the upside you can find enjoyment and a smattering of skill that you never thought you had.
We had a bit of the latter this week.
Our forthcoming show garden 'dancing with the trees' includes a series of sculptures made from chestnut and woven willow. The chestnut is to be carved with a section from a poem - no way I was trying to do that, so poles have been suitably marked and sent to a (family member) who is turning from a Japanese woodblock carver and printer to lettercutter, albeit for a short while.
So, after trawling the Internet for inspiration, we took the bundle of newly coppiced willow from Water Willows, and began our masterpieces...
After many false starts, dismantling exercises and rebuilding escapades, they began to take shape. Mine ended up being distinctly along the 'eggy shaped vessel' vein, whilst Mark created a family of proper, mental looking balls.
Of course, they are never going to be as good as those created by an artisan weaver, but sometimes it helps to get stuck into a design, and get an ownership over and above that you get with a pen and paper. It helps to know a material when you design - how it behaves, how it feels, how it lasts. If it saves cash as well, count me in.
Their final destination is yet to be decided - after the show is put to rest, will we sell them, keep them, give them away?
Hmmm. Difficult with this one, after all, you gotta love your balls.