I am now at the point where I have attached the 24 landscapes to their background background. The next stages are some embroidered details in the ocean spaces and in parts of the landscapes. On the landscapes I’ll be doing at least vegetation textures a little and hope to have some recognisable Aussie animals if I can successfully do them very very small. If not I’ll leave them out and just made surface texture marks.
As I said previously, I rarely use blue in my art, and so didn’t have any embroidery threads in blues, either, meaning I had to include it on the list for a rare shopping trip last friday morning. with this pandemic, it’s months since I went shopping, but a list was building and the threqds sealed it, I had to go. My favourite specs needed straightening after I sat on them. I needed certain sewing needles and the blue threads. From the stationary shop I wanted blue acrylic paint and printer inks. I wanted a few non-medicinal things from a large pharmacy chain that stocks different lines from the smaller one we have barely 100 steps from home. I hadn’t been into a mall for several months, and really felt the need to browse a bit while hunting for some new joggers. Mike offered to ferry me around – parking in Carrasco’s a total nightmare these days and I have difficulty driving our vehicle, anyway.
The first stop was the merceria, haberdashery store. It’s probably been there for ever, as on an early visit to Uruguay in about 1990, I shopped there for safety pins and hand sewing needles. That was an interesting experience, knowing as I did perhaps 30 words of spanish at the time. Someone probably helped me with the basic words, I guess, and then summoning up my courage, I ventured into the shop to buy what I needed. That day the shopkeeper took out a packet, opened it and asked how many I wanted, and I thought she was asking how many packets I needed. I was hand quilting a big project at the time, and as needles do wear out and get lost, I thought two packs would be a good idea, JIC, just in case, and responded with “Dos, gracias.” (two, please) To my utter amazement she selected two needles, placed them on a small piece of blue butcher paper, folded it up and looked up signalling she was ready for my next item, safety pins. No surprises there – the group of about 10 were all locked onto one pin. So last friday, as we neared the shop, I reminded Mike of that story, and hopped out.
In all the years I’ve been living in Uruguay, every time I’ve returned from Australia or the USA I’ve always brought back some of my preferred brand of thread in the basic colours I use most of, plus packets of machine and hand sewing needles. I have a good stock, JIC, and honestly doubt I’ve bought needles here in all that time. The woman who served me was possibly the daughter of the woman who served me 30 years ago, but I have to tell you that in that merceria, anyway, the system remains unchanged, and again I was blown away !
According to the docket, the needles cost $U 10 (pesos) about US 25c each. There were several drawers and boxes of packets of needles, but they weren’t out on display, and I’d loved to have had a rummage to see what she really had in that tiny shop. However, this time I could at least ask why she sells needles individually and not in packets – and her answer was because they’re imported and therefore expensive. I should have realised way back then even; I always take care of needles but haven’t ever really thought about what they cost. When you think of it, though, US 23c or Aus 30c each is really quite a bit for such a tiny little thing.