And down where I darn with the milk-eyed mender
you and I, and a love so tender,
stretched – on a hoop where I stitch – this adage:
“Bless our house and its heart so savage.”
Joanna Newsom, “Sadie” (The Milk-Eyed Mender, 2004)
A white haired woman sits in a large green armchair, a cane resting against her knee. She embroiders a red heart on fabric stretched in a hoop.
She wears a yellow bonnet, a yellow cloak over a red sweater over a yellow dress, a light blue and red gingham apron, and blue boots. Her cloak has different embroidered patches on it, including a banjo, an apple, a wheel, flowers, a snake, a spiderweb, and a mushroom. The top part of her dress features an embroidered unicorn. The upper part of her skirt has more embroidered creatures: an owl, a whale, a butterfly, and a goose. The lower part of her skirt has a pattern of red, green, and blue flowers.
Many pieces of embroidery hang on the wall behind her. A peach, a plum, and a pear are embroidered on an oval of red and yellow gingham. A bone, a pine-cone, and a cone-flower are embroidered on a striped square. There is a hoop of blue fabric with embroidery of eyes, a heart, and two blue boots. Another hoop features a ring with string tied around it. There is a square of green fabric with three angels. There is a hoop of yellow with an open book. A small green hoop has a picture of a thimble, a moon, and a star. Another hoop has a picture of a castle surrounded by clouds. A red rectangle of fabric has embroidery of two train engines and a railroad track. A large quilt hanging behind her also has different pictures visible in different squares: a boar, a leaping fish, two bumblebees, a shell and a starfish.
The King’s baton is a cane, a symbol of age and earned wisdom. This King is a teacher or creative mentor, one who passes crafts and skills down to her family and proteges. She displays her handiwork on the on the walls and on her clothing, creating the world of the album and the suit.
The positive qualities of the King are a keen eye, learning, and great strength despite age. Her negative qualities are harshness and fault-finding.