Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Almost Forgot

My second batch of snail mail art. Things are starting to arrive at their destination and so far, everyone seems very happy. A mash up of St. Patrick's, voodoo doll, and aliens.


29 Faces

Being a glutton for punishment, I'm attempting the 29 Faces challenge. A face a day in February using new media or familiar. Here are my first two. Both are done with mechanical pencil.



One Down, Eleven To Go

I'm late on a post. Lots of things going on. Good things. January was slow in the longarming department but it has picked up right now. Finished a quilt today and got another one on the frame.


I went to my first quilt show of the year and had a blast. Bought some things; patterns, a book on fancy stitches, specialty thread. I've got a few projects in the works. A friend cleared out her sewing room and gave me lots of fabric and scraps. Amazing. Two boxes, 2 bolts of a few yards of fabric each, 6 full bags, and a pretzel container full of scraps. I also got a half-done Hawaiian applique wall hanging. Yep, I'm weird enough to attempt to finish it.


Last month was okay. Here's what I accomplished,

  • 2 books read
  • 17 days writing
  • 8 business quilts done
  • 5 quilts for me done
  • 1 Sashiko piece done
  • 1 day trip to a friends bookstore
  • 1 pair of knitted socks done
  • watched Netflix 9 times (caught up on several series and watched movies over those times)
  • progress on 1 doll
Not the greatest but I did it. Last month I wondered why I wasn't getting anything creative done. It was really bugging me. So I did what I normally do. I analyzed the situation. I looked back to when I was the most productive. That's the great thing about having a blog. You can look back when things were hot. That's when I even had a regular job. The thing that I found out was that back then, I had very specific lists. Now, I looked around and had tons of ideas. Sketched, written on tiny pieces of paper, lined paper; I'm surprised nothing was on a facial tissue or napkin. At least I had everything in one spot. Nothing was properly written down. My ideas for dolls, Halloween, other things I wanted to make. I knew I would have to go through that stack and see what was viable. That didn't take long but now I need to go through the six separate piles and do some serious sketching and make lists of what I want to make. Because I am so ready to make something.

I know I'm up to some procrastination by not diving into each pile. That makes things more real. Gives me deadlines. Well, I've got a bigger deadline. I want to reopen my Etsy shop March 1st. The month is still young and I think the biggest accomplishment is knowing what has been holding me up. I'm excited and yet...

Fear level is code yellow.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Breakthrough... Maybe

I haven't been creating much of anything in the past couple of years. I have been quilting but that's my new business. I haven't been designing or making any new dolls or Halloween pieces. Even though I've been doodling ideas, nothing has come to being. I asked myself why? What was I doing or not doing that stopped my producing artwork? I know I had a creative block a few years ago and knew why but this was something different. I looked at my art/craft friends on Facebook to see what they were doing because they were producing work. Whether they made art as their main business or as a second business, they were getting things done. I found that they not only had ideas, but sketches. Those sketches obviously gave them a springboard to do the final piece, whether the final piece looked like the sketch or not. And that was my problem.

I have goo gobs of ideas, some sketched on tiny pieces of paper. I had begun to group them together and got down to three piles. And that was as far as I got. I didn't separate them into groups such as dolls, busts, ornaments. I didn't make anymore detailed sketches so that I would absolutely know what I was thinking about doing. So for the next week, I will separate and arrange my mini sketches into group ideas. I will then pick ones that I can develop and sketched them out more. Then I can finally get down to work and make something. And I made a deadline. I will reopen my Etsy shop March 1. Period, the end. Wish me luck.

I have been doing some snail mail art. I had promised some people letters and they are finally getting them. This is my second batch.


It was fun doing them. After pulling out a few teeth to just get started. Hopefully we won't get anymore snow for a couple of weeks. I'll head back into the studio tomorrow. Have a good week!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Finished

I finally finished something this year. My second pair of knitted socks. It took me about three years to do so but they are done and I can now wear them. Good grief. It took me two and a half hours to finish them up. What was I waiting on? I have no idea but they are done and are the first thing on my 'Finished' list. I feel pretty good right now. Maybe I can carry that feeling through the rest of the week and finish something else.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Mercury

Oh Mercury in retrograde, how I loathe thee. I was doing okay while that planet is doing some crazy positioning in the skies. My writing was on track, quilts were coming in and getting done but then I fell off the writing wagon, need a new windshield for the truck, and I'm just feeling blah. Kind of tired but not really. Not feeling like I'm getting sick but blah. Today it's raining like crazy, it's dark, and chilly. Winter like. And I started on the train of beating myself up. I mean nothing is finished and it's only the second week of the New Year. What was I thinking?

Okay. Pity party is over. I did today at the studio what I set out to do. Finish a quilt that was on the frame. It's a very pretty quilt and I did a good job on it.


I have two things on my list for the rest of today to do. Just two things. That's it. Finish my socks and work on my short story. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The First Week

There's one more day, today, left in my week. I start my new week on Sunday. For the first week of the new year, I didn't too to bad. I want to at least write five days out of the week and I did just that. I got my first business quilt, I got the binding attached to two preemie quilts (I'll stitch those down today), I finished my last Sashiko piece and I'm ready for the next step of that project. I cut out and sewed two new dolls for Halloween and I discovered something else about me. I guess kind of an epiphany. Nothing will ever be perfect enough. My apartment, my work area, nothing. For so long I've been putting off doing creative things because of numerous things. Excuses really. Not enough room, I want a separate spot to make dolls or do paper clay or polymer clay. I don't have enough shelving unit space. The list went on and on. The clock continued to tick on and on and I would end up berating myself because nothing got done. I'd see others online who had a table in the corner of their living room, or were using the kitchen table in between meals. How were they able to get things done and not me? Everyone would like to have that cool studio space with all the supplies needed to do whatever at the ready. That's a great dream. But when do I actually make something?

I have a friend who is also in the same predicament. We talked this week and I saw myself in her. She said, I've got to get this section cleared out. I've got to arrange things for the 13th time. Things aren't quite right. I got it. But I didn't like it when I saw me. I was getting older and not producing anything. And that's when I told myself that it's okay not to have that extra table to work on or have that extra shelf to put more stuff on. I looked around my apartment and I have everything that I need to at least get started with something. I decided that I wasn't going to have those excuses anymore. The fear is real and it will always be there. I've dealt with it before. Now it's time to wrangle it again.

Be open to new things. A mantra for the year. You just never know what will come around. There are new tenants in the building where my quilt studio is. I can't do wet things there because of the carpet on the floor. That was one of my excuses for not doing anything in my apartment which has hardwood floors. Yeah. These two new tenants create apps for kids. They introduced themselves (it was very nice to have a man stand up to do so) and we got to talking. They had seen my longarm machine in my spot and I told them I was getting back into making Halloween things and writing. They told me what they did. And for a brief instant, a light bulb turned on over each of our heads. It was fun to see the wheels turning and we all smiled. They asked me about what I wrote and if I had any ideas that could be adapted to an app. I may have an opportunity to write and illustrate a game app for kids. They invited me to their office and I was able to see them tweak their newest app that should be out soon. How cool is that? I'll keep you informed of any developments.

So writing my new life script is starting to work. No more waiting for the perfect time to write or create. Do it now. No more beating myself up. Telling myself what an interesting and creative person I am and that I can do what I set my mind to do. To break big projects up into smaller pieces and work on those. One brick at a time makes a house. Or a castle.

Am I still scared? A little but I'm going to work with the fear instead of against it.

Onward!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Yikes!

What a day! Eegads!

Don't get me wrong. It was a good day. I got quite a bit done. Yesterday I wasn't in the studio because of sinus issues. I'm feeling much better today. I got into the studio, cut out and sewed two dolls; cut, made and stitched binding on my two preemie quilts; and I finished working on my last Sashiko piece. Phase one of that project. But... but...

I was irritable all day long. Everyone irritated me to no end. Kids running up and down the hall, people slamming doors, inconsiderate young woman locked the outer door to the lady's restroom. Seriously? There are two stalls in the restroom. It told her that when she got out and she didn't get it. I repeated it and as to why she had that door locked? Then she got it. She did say a weak "Sorry" but I had to go. Now that I think about it, why would you lock a woman's restroom when there is more than one stall. Ugh! Not going to think about that right now. My blood pressure is finally going down.

Why the irritability? That crazy planet Mercury is in retrograde. Now you may not believe in that kind of stuff but I do. I was very proud of myself that I didn't break down and cry or break anything over anyone's head. But the whole day was just weird. One moment I'd be happy and I could conquer the world. The next minute, yes minute, I just wanted to crawl into a ball and cry. Then I'd be back up again. I kept telling myself that I know what's wrong. So keep going. Which I did and I'm very proud of myself. I was talking to a friend today and she said that her mentally challenged clients were being weird too and one of her co-workers asked if there was a full moon. They even checked the calendar and there wasn't, then I told her about the retrograde. Her light bulb went off. Mercury hits the space road on the 23rd I think. It won't be soon enough.

So here's my last Sashiko piece. I will be working on phase two next week. I've been planning this project when I finished my first piece. I hope it works out.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016

Yikes! Happy Belated New Year!

I'm going to have to think twice about having a week and a half off for the holidays. Well... maybe not. Anyway, I got back to working on Monday. It is now Wednesday and I'm beat. I think it's because I didn't do anything over the break. Now that I've got the brain active again, my body is yelling at me. My brain is laughing and my eyelids just want to close, with my body under a nice warm blankie. It finally got cold in these parts. And yesterday, I saw flurries. Yep, flurries. Snowflakes. At first I thought someone was burning trash or something but nope, snow. It didn't stick but it's feeling more like winter. Too bad it couldn't have happened last month. I'll get over it. All the neighbors are back from their break because the building is a lot louder and there's more movement. Doors slamming. I will deal with it. Thank goodness for earplugs.

I am so glad 2015 is history. I suffered a broken heart and I'm working so that my heart doesn't grow cold and hard because of it. I'm doing loads better, just try not to think about it. My new business has survived. Client numbers increased towards the end of the year. I've learned a lot this first year. I longarmed 76 quilts, 50 of those were business quilts. One was a commissioned piece. I will pick up the first business quilt of the New Year tomorrow. Today, I longarmed two preemie quilts for the guild. Those quilts will go to one of the local hospitals. They seem to need quite a few. I can at least get one done if not two for each month. Tomorrow I will make and attach the binding so I can turn them in on Monday.


I finished another Sashiko piece and I'm working on the last in this series. Then I can go on to the next phase of the whole project.


I started this doll at the beginning of last year and I finally got her head and body stuffed. I also needle sculpted her face (not shown in this pic) and I had to make her new ears because they got lost in my move to my studio.


The one thing I have been doing on the regular for the past five days is writing. Yep. I can say that I've been writing five days in a row. I would like to write five day of the week. Have time to take a break and rearrange the marbles. In my head. I made no resolutions. Don't believe in those. I do have goals for and commitments to myself. And I've got my lists.The 'Go Ahead and Finish The Darn Thing' list isn't as long as I thought it would be. I hope to get one of the three items done this weekend. I've also started making things again. For whatever craft/art fair that might come up, I can be a part of it. My bat ornaments go well, so I started some new ones. Got them sewed up today.

I am resilient. Even when I think the sky will fall and the galaxies will explode, I continue on. I have rewritten my internal dialog. Those crazy things I say to myself when I'm alone. When things don't work out. And I quickly do something creative. It may take a few more weeks to get back in the swing of things and not feel so tired.

Here's to a wild and creatively wonderful year. It's the Year of the Phoenix.