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.
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.
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.
You could call me on the House Phone and you’d have a slim chance that I’d actually pick up. Oh, it would be me on the answering machine all right, but I’d say something like, “Please call me on the cell or leave a message. Thanks.”
I’m not trying to be a smarty-pants.
I’m @ Work.
Even though my work space is out in the barn, or at the kitchen table, or on a trail, or in what will someday-be-the-garden-again, I try to set aside uninterrupted time to get creative work accomplished.
And I know how easily I can be distracted, and I know I like to do so many things. I still haven’t completed writing that resume, but made a postcard instead, because I’m attending a writing/illustrating conference soon. I need to have a promotional material. My bio and contact information are on the back.
And here are a few photos that didn’t make it to the final “cut” to be on the card. But I wanted to include them here, as part of an online portfolio.
Leave a message if you’d like. And I’ll get back to you.
For now though, I’m @ Work.
My family tells me that I’m a hard person to buy gifts for, because: 1) I like to do so many things, and 2) I end up ordering the book or getting supplies as needed when I need them, or 3) by the time a gift giving occasion has come along, I’ve moved along to a new idea or project.
I don’t MEAN to make things difficult. Really.
It’s just that one idea will give momentum to try this or that, and that leads here, and then I’m off to do something over there. Right after that. Oh wait, look over…yonder. That looks like fun, too.
Since it’s now the beginning of a New Year, a lot of people are making resolutions. My main problem with making a list of Things I Plan to Accomplish is that I know in my Heart Of Hearts that I’m gonna lose that list somewhere in my stash of art supplies or loose leaf notebook paper. Then I’ll feel bad about that and it makes my creative impulses slow down.
Not this time.
Because I’ve decided to focus on doing Creative Things EVERY DAY and leave myself a reminder of what I’ve done. Starting with these few books I bought for myself after receiving lovely gift cards from family members.
AND you can call it Research. Or you can call it Recreation.
But I’m getting a lot of new ideas for writing AND making art.
The summer has come and gone. You know I look for ways in which to find more hours in every day and really, I didn’t mean to stay away from the blogging posts for THIS long. It’s been a while hasn’t it? I trust you’ve been creatively productive, too.
With Farmers’ Markets, farm chores, family happenings and a growing sense of ZEN I find myself trying to be in the here and now more often. It’s easy to think about putting something on a TO DO list, but lately, I’ve been misplacing the list. And when that happens, I re-evaluate what it was that I wanted to accomplish in the first place.
I’ve taken to turning off the television too, and hanging out with one of my Best Friends. Here is a photo:
Because when I spend time doing something I enjoy doing and I work at it Every. Single. Day. then the chances that I’ll get better at something increase greatly. Sometimes I think I sound pretty good, playing in the still, quiet time of the evening or early morning. I play what I want and at my own speed. I learn songs by ear, pick out tunes from You Tube and adapt them to my D A A tuning. The cat joins me on the couch and yes, I put her to sleep. Neither one of us sing.
November is the month for a Na-No-Wri-Mo challenge, and if you think you are up to creating that novel you’ve always wanted to write, it can be a great way to jump start yourself.
And as for me, I’ll take time every day to play a little song, read or write a little “story”, and if I’m lucky, speak (aloud) a few reasonable words.*
(*Attributed to influences of von Goethe)
I’ve been seeing articles in magazines, blog posts, newspapers or on television shows that refer to what is known as “sustainable living” or slanting toward a movement becoming known as “vintage revivalism.” Many of these sources cite some of the following as belonging:
Sewing, quilting, handspinning, hand weaving, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, needle craft skills, making pottery, basket weaving, gardening, growing food and herbals, making soap or candles, making jelly or wine or beer making.
I’ve always enjoyed doing those things. Now it seems more people are enjoying them, too.
Here is a photograph of a scarf I’ve woven on something called a rigid heddle loom.
And when I agreed to help make decorations for a wedding, I practiced cursive handwriting. I was asked to create signage. It’s been a lot of fun and although it’s been a long time since I put that much effort into cursive writing, it was very satisfying, in a most unusual way.
Time to take a class or learn something new….er, old?….or Vintage!
I am a student of the Creative Arts, as well as a practing crafts person. In order to learn more about the use and preparation of lye and the making of soap, well of course, I have to read about it.
“Lye–a strong alkaline solution or solid of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, made by allowing water to wash through wood ashes. It is used to make soap and drain and oven cleaners. The chemical formula is KOH or NaOH.”
It makes me wish I’d paid more attention during high school Chemistry classes.
But I read on, and research how to use fireplace ashes and filter rain water through a barrel, and how soap was made hundreds of years ago. And then I research how craftspeople of today make handmade soaps. I practice their techniques and borrow a recipe or two.
I can make soap. Out in the barn. Which makes the surroundings smell so nice you’d never guess that there are animals around.
The recipe I’ve found most success with includes coconut oil, olive oil, lard, lye, rainwater and fragrance oils. Lemongrass is at the top of my list. When the rosemary grows a little more out in the garden, I’ll pick and dry some of that. It will go in a special soap–to relax with after a long, but creative day.
I will make no apologies for not being “here” since my last posting. But here is a brief update. I think I can do that.
September? I do remember it was a whirlwind, but that’s about all.
October? Attended a writer’s conference, fall festivals and continued to plow my way through the first draft of a current writing project.
November? This month was filled with emotion and self reflection. I won’t make any political statements as to the outcome of the presidential election, but philosophical ones, most likely, and still–not here. I choose to focus on raising awareness for the choices people make and how responsibilities and consequences for those actions have an effect on everybody, and that’s all I can say about that.
Any more time spent in this arena takes energy away from the current writing project and focusing on that project is the key component.
December? We celebrate Christmas on the farm and wished neighbors, family and friends all kinds of Merry Christmases and Happy Holidays. My hands were busy, my heart was happy for the loved ones who were with me and saddened for the ones who are no longer.
It is with hope for the future that I am reminded of a quotation from THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL: “There is no present like the time.” I choose to live creatively.