Well. 2020 and 2021 feel like they were so long ago and yet just the other day. And while I know that it’s later on in the year 2022, this year has also shown itself to be full of surprises and experiences.
I wondered for a time if it was just me, and maybe I had dropped into the same rabbit hole that Alice fell into when she discovered Wonderland. OR maybe if I’d taken a nap and awakened years later, as did Rip Van Winkle, to another time and place.
But…I know those are fictional characters. I think I’ll call all of this as Research, share some of the information with those who might care to listen, and leave a trail of more than breadcrumbs along the way.
Cooking on an outdoor fire can be a lot of fun, or it can be more work than you thought. I’ve spent a fair bit of time practicing, so the taste-testings are usually an event. These are cheddar cheese and herb biscuits and I’ll keep that recipe for use again.
Hope you’ll find a way down your own creative path too, and I’ll hope to hear from you along your journey.
I think I know a few things. Then, I begin to work on something with what I think I know, get somewhere along in the process, and become sidetracked with something else. This has happened on almost every project I’ve begun: some of those projects are eventually completed, while some remain in the Who-Knows-Where? Pile.
Maybe that’s just how my mind works. I’ve been pursuing a Creative Path for a great many years now and before anybody jumps in to say anything about ANY of that…I’ll go ahead and admit that I haven’t gotten lost anywhere along in my journey. Some of the scenery has been really wonderful (ThankYouVeryMuch) and there is so much to see and look at and DO, because I try to keep all possibilities for Creative Living open as often as possible.
I’m hoping that the time spent away from doing a few favorite activities in 2020-2021 will show itself to be productive going forth in 2022. Admittedly, there were a LOT of things I liked to do that weren’t possible, while other things showed up in a Most Unexpected Way.
Here are some photos of what I can only describe as a Heritage Quilt Piece. We THINK the top was originally pieced together by hubs’ Great Aunt, and our best guess is that that might’ve been prior to 1970ish. The fabrics are mostly cotton and while there was a bit of wear and tear, it was in remarkably good shape. I appreciated the simplistic pattern (Enlongated Hexagon, I think) and will go back to more reading/researching quilt patterns eventually.
For this piece, I decided to make and add the crocheted medallions myself, because even though “Aunt E” didn’t put them there, she had lots around her house. They seemed to fit right in with the “feel” and design. I’ve made a tag with the family name on the back, the year we think it was begun, and then, the year that the quilt was completed.
I say all of that to say this: I’ve learned a lot from this project, and not all of it was about sewing.
Something’s gonna take however long it takes. If you work on a project and don’t finish it, maybe you pick it up again. Or not. Or maybe someone comes along, adds to it, and then…it’s there to be enjoyed and/or remembered. And maybe, the joy came from doing whatever it was you were doing in the first place.
There has been so much interior work I’ve been doing on my creative journey (in 2021) that I don’t really know where to begin if I wanted to try to play Catch Up. I’ll just admit to being busy in ways that will hopefully show up on a page.
It seems to go like this: I’ll begin to work on a project or two, LIFE happens, I pause or stop work on the project(s). I’ll put the thing away, time passes, I begin to work on something else. The original thing is set aside.
The thing remains in an unfinished state for WhoKnowsHowLong? And I must admit that I have a large number of UFOs (Un Finished Objects) packed away in plastic crates. There are more of these crates than I thought, btw. Along with all that are a lot of supplies to complete those projects, or newer supplies to begin with again, since I couldn’t find whatever it was I thought I had. (What was I thinking?)
2020 has shown me that, while I enjoy making and creating things, maybe I could slow down and work with what I already have. Maybe I can change what I thought I wanted into something else. And just maybe I’ll accomplish several goals at the same time.
Because I work on projects in bits and pieces of time. I really don’t know exactly how long something takes me to make and I don’t think that’s the point, even though I DID keep a time log for a project once, a long time ago. Just to know.
I found part of this quilt project in one of the plastic crates. There were no directions or notes I’d left to myself on how it was to be finished, but I was pretty sure I’d cut out all the pieces needed. But where were they?
Somewhere else. Stored. Ready. Waiting for me to pick them up again and finish what I’d started.
I’m not finished with this just yet, but I’m working on it in bits and pieces of time. And that’s probably going to be as good as it gets for now.
One of my grandmothers taught me how to crochet when I was about nine years old. I made lots and lots of square and round shaped things. The other grandmother taught me how to sew. I created teeny, tiny clothing for my Troll (doll) figures out of her discarded scraps of fabric, sewed with a needle and thread, or wrapped the figures in yarn. (I learned how to knit, weave, and spin my own yarn on a spinning wheel much later.)
BOTH of them encouraged an appreciation of things handmade, as well as a love of reading, planting/watching things grow in the garden, and of making music.
So I wasn’t too surprised that when it came time to select a career path, that it would’ve been in making things by hand…and to encourage children to do the same. Maybe my parents were (surprised) and might’ve thought I’d do something other than become an Art Teacher, but then again…maybe they knew it on another level. For three decades (yes!) I could say that I got PAID to draw and color pictures with kids, and worked with clay, paint, as well as a variety of other art materials.
I was naturally drawn to the area of fiber arts, and pulled toward learning a great deal about Traditional Appalachian handcrafts and music-making. Here are a couple of “selfies.” (My hands at work/play.)
And I can’t say that I’m through learning new things, either. I have a six foot table in my work/studio space for current writing/research projects which is covered in–books! A recent find is a publication about earth pigment paints and yes, you can make paint out of clay, dirt and natural materials. Another book is a “how to” book on a Scandinavian fiber technique called nalbinding, which is a forerunner to knitting. When I found out that a very substantial part of my ancestry profile included regions well known for their fiber related, handmade handcrafts…well, I was all over that!
I hope you find activities you enjoy doing and that you make time to do those things as often as you can. Enjoy the journey, learn something new, and Happy Creating!
The year 2019 was “one for the books,” as I’ve heard on more than one occasion. It certainly was one for me, too. I can’t think of a lot of specific instances that I could bring out for discussion because those experiences are related to me and mine.
I think I’d prefer to assimilate all of that information in my memory, distill it into something worth mentioning, and share what I think I learned from all of that with you. Here’s hoping it makes some kind of Creative Sense.
This tree was harvested from our property and used in holiday decorations, after a lovely walk through the woods with the littles.
Here we have a view of the sawmill. A storm came through in 2018 which provided us with lots of downed trees, and from THAT, we cut wood.
And more wood.
And even MORE wood.
But notice that within all that wood which was not used, there was good wood which WAS. Working every day(weather permitting), deciding what to use or not to use, and using other days for surprises that Life sent our way…eventually we will have this:
I can’t help but find a correlation between building a cabin–that of course, we didn’t know how to do–with almost any other Creative Endeavor.
AND it seems to me that if I show up every day and get just a little bit done, eventually I’ll have a Something, whether it’s a fiber art, or a writing or a drawing, too.
All I think I want to say about 2019 is that I learned a lot about myself as well as Other People.
I am like a perennial in E(xperimental) garden. That means, I might’ve looked dormant for a time with no apparent growth, especially since I went through 2019 without posting anything on this page.
Look for me just to one side of where I was planted in the garden before, because sometimes, we Perennials shift ever so slightly and become more than what we were. I’m not in the same place I was this time last year either, creatively speaking.
The countdown for Christmas has begun. With less than two weeks to go, if you’re(I’m) not diligent, you(I) might find yourself(myself) Way Over Spending.
Money can mean different things to many different people and it IS important, I know, but it has taken me a long time to figure out how to spend the money and balance that with what I think a loved one wants or needs with what they actually DO want or need. Therein is my dilemma. What DO they want for Christmas?
I have no sure remedy for how to answer that for others and while my answers have come to work for me, they might not work for anyone else.
Here are two of our Christmas Stockings (crocheted by me) and hanging by our fireplace this year. While they will be functional and I hope decorative, they represent memories of time spent with Grandmothers who instilled in me the love of craftsmanship and appreciation of things handmade as a young child.
And here is a photo of a decoration I placed in EGarden for the birds. Egarden may look like it is resting for the winter, but the memories of enjoying time spent there remains and I know the garden waits for me to return.
Making and sharing memories or experiences with people you love so that when they do those things they think of you and are happy? That’s it! That’s what I want.
And I hope you find whatever it might be that you want for this holiday season, too.