It took me a while to decide on my post for this month's Colour Collaborative. At first I looked at the ever-present selection of Joe's broken toys (we even bought a 'My Grandad Can Fix Owt' mug for said grandad's 65th birthday). They're certainly colourful: his red Mini with a Union Jack roof is currently missing its front wheels. The blue one's lost its headlights. The scarlet 'Jinty' steam engine is frequently out of service.
But they're more 'fix' than 'mend'. To me, 'mending' is syonymous with my mum's sewing basket. She'd always have a pile of mending on the go when I was little. I do too. No, I don't darn socks (and I wouldn't know how). But there's usually a holey jumper to be dealt with or a button to be replaced, a tear to be repaired.
I won't start about the whole 'throwaway society' thing we're a part of these days. Replacing rather than repairing, buying cheap then discarding things and buying the exact same thing again. We all know about that. I try my best to avoid it where possible. But there's definitely something about a mending basket which harks back to more innocent times. 'Nurse' in all those Enid Blyton books was often so absorbed with her mending that she failed to notice toys coming to life and running riot in the nursery.
And 'mending' evokes images of women sitting by the wireless, a mug of Ovaltine close to hand, darning away and listening to the World Service.
So where does colour come into all this? That's an interesting one. I'm a bit of a magpie and do love to pick up old buttons and sewing paraphernalia. It's usually the packaging which is colourful; the products themselves tend to be sensible and serviceable - like the garments they were used to repair. Bottle green, navy blue, grey, black, brown. You can just imagine those socks and mufflers and schoolboy sweaters requiring mending.
These days, it's perfectly acceptable - desirable, even - to insert contrasting zips and to patch with brightly-hued fabrics. To use conspicuously-coloured buttons as replacements.
To be honest, I prefer the subtle approach. My sewing skills are acceptable but certainly not great, and I'd rather try to disguise my attempts at mending than draw attention to them. Even though I allowed myself to be talked into buying a bright red zip for a dark denim dress I want to make... Needless to say, the fabric and zip are still (two years later) in my Projects Yet To Start pile.
Don't forget 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.