22 November, 2021
I'm looking at my calendar. I see that we have 32 days to go until Christmas and then 2022 will be fast upon us. What a year it’s been!
Across the world COVID 19 has brought pain and death as well as the stresses and strains of government measures to try to contain the pandemic. Here in Queensland we have been very fortunate and the turmoil seen elsewhere has largely passed us by thanks to strict quarantine measures, face mask & distancing measures and a steadily growing vaccination rate.
My husband, David and I have both had our jabs with no side effects but our grandson, Lucas in England has caught COVID twice, poor soul. Recovering OK I’m glad to say.
However, it has been a year of other issues - besides losing our 12-year old sheltie, Lochie to cancer I have been in hospital more times this year than in the last 20 years, the most recent event being a fall over our 5-month old sheltie puppy, Robbie. This resulted in a fractured pelvis and a broken bone in my left hand. I am slowly recovering but it will take until the new year before I am mobile.
Our new puppy, despite the accident, is a lovable rogue who has become part of the family very quickly and loves to climb onto a pouff near my bed and keep me company…
Before this accident, I had been working on orders and on the creation of a new fabric doll, Louis XIV, the Sun King.
The Sun King …..
Louis XIV is a fascinating character. He reigned longer than any other European king (1643-1715) and controlled his own government through a high council (conseil d'en haut) and a few select ministers, whom he autocratically directed or dismissed at will. However, he laid the seeds of the demise of his dynasty with a policy of religious intolerance that helped unite the Protestant powers of Europe against catholic France and an extravagant lifestyle that ultimately gave birth to the the French revolution 150 years later.
In some respects, making a fabric version of Louis XIV was easier than it might have been because I had already made a porcelain version, (pictured in my last letter, but here’s another clip).
It is easier in that I had patterns that could be scaled down, but of course scaling down requires more intricate embroidery and tight attention to detail.
Working with a smaller scale figure is demanding!
I was looking through old photos recently and came across this from a visit to Versailles. That’s me in the blue blouse. Incredible place. Experiencing the physical space certainly helps creativity.
With my accident I have had to pause work on fabric Louis, but he is coming along and I am pleased with the work so far although much more to do including creating a new wig and finishing many of the details.
Here are a couple of shots of Louis in progress - as you can see - more to do!
It is very frustrating not being able to work in my studio - it takes 6-8 weeks for the bones to knit, so I am reduced to watching videos, reading and occasionally shuffling around with my wheely-walker to keep muscles active, Oh well, come the new year I can get back to work.
As always. if you have any ideas, please let me know and in the meantime stay safe, keep well and most of all a Merry Christmas to you and yours, and the best of New Years.
All the very best Victoria Lady Finavon