Are there words to describe the sheer tear-soaked devastation I felt on receiving my precious, sweated and slaved-over Swans from my framing lady, completely smashed?
I mean, can you handle the drama? It’s like Eastenders Xmas Special. Or something.
I came home on Tuesday (18th) night to find my framed piece in the kitchen. Nervous and excited I carefully started to slice open the well-packed and layered parcel. Then I heard it. Like Sleigh bells but more ominous. Tears were shed. Many many tears.
The good news was that the actual embroidery was miraculously undamaged. But the mount and frame were pretty lacerated, and obviously, after killing myself to get it ready for the deadline and to be able to deliver it to my client on Xmas Eve, this was now not going to happen. I cried again.
It was 9pm by this point so I emailed the lady who had done the finishing for me (the stretching and literally invisible stitching she had done to attach the doily to the wool backing fabric was completely perfect by the way). “What can we do?” I wailed, “When do you think it can be redone for?” and other expletives cursing the negligent couriers (clearly they had dropped and/or kicked it).
I went to bed, heartbroken.
Next morning, on the bus. 7.30am my phone rings. It’s Sara (the lady of which I speak). She says how horrible a thing to have happened and how awful I must feel. I agree. She tells me she has had a quick chat with her husband and decided what she will do is have the framer make another frame, then she WILL DRIVE UP FROM NORFOLK TO LEEDS ON SATURDAY AND REFRAME IT IN MY KITCHEN.
I am overwhelmed. This is a car journey of about 3 hours – 142 miles. She will leave at 6am and be with me about 9am, we will sort it, do not worry, you cannot possibly have done all that beautiful work and have it all come undone at the last moment, she says. I nearly weep again.
I mean, talk about customer service. I am now a customer for life. She literally saved the day. I felt like weeping again.
(follows are few pics of de-glassed, stretched swans ready for new frame – you can see some the embroidery detail better, some of the different colours and sheen)
So there we were, in my kitchen the last weekend before Christmas, armed with hoover and clean paintbrush, gently easing out the billions of grains of glass dust, before a very lucky only-3-attempts to fit it back in the new frame without getting those annoying little bits of fluff stuck between the mount and the glass. 90 minutes of effort, and it was literally good as new.
(you can see some of the tension unevenness in this photo in the bend of the necks, but once it was behind glass it smoothed it all out)
I neurotically wrapped up the piece in more bubble wrap, parcel tape and cardboard than ever before, which took longer than the reframing. Then on Christmas Eve we began the 3.5 hour train journey to London, to my client’s house for the big reveal.
She loved it. I couldn’t wait to be rid of the bloody thing.
Happy ending. Sorry I don’t have any pics of the finished thing en site, but they have been promised asap and I will share them with you.