Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Manic Monday

I survived a 'Manic Monday'. I started a quilt, a very large quilt about two years ago. My instructor took a class from Kristin Steiner for her Southern Album quilt. My instructor, Kathleen Baden then taught a class based on this quilt design. Yes, two years ago, I took this class. Well, Ms. Steiner is coming to Kathleen's quilt guild for a workshop and Kathleen wants to show all her student's quilts. Whether they're finished or not. If not, just the top. Which is what I'm working on.

I had three blocks left to do and all three were finished yesterday. Monday. And I'm pooped. I'm also going to do my best to stay away from large quilts. What the heck was I thinking? Of course last night I was ready to burn the thing. I've a bunch of blocks and I just don't know what to think. Once the top is together, I'll take a pic.

Kristin is coming next week, Monday. There's something with Mondays. Oh well, it's Tuesday now. We'll see what mischief can top yesterday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Two Down


I finally finished 2 dolls. I feel really good about having them done. They had been sitting around for awhile, waiting for hands, hair and makeup.

What I'm still having a problem with is posting pictures. I can't seem to get them in the right order or put the text where I want it to go. Very frustrating. But that won't harm the way I feel right now for having completed 2 projects. I hope you like them.





Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Plan or Two

I always have a plan. Or two or three. Before I moved to another state, I was on plan #35. It is also good to know when a plan isn't working and move on to the next plan. Plans can get you out of a tough spot, out of debt, into a new apartment or home, onto a plane for a vacation, get a higher degree or just plain live a better and happier life.

There is a problem of planning too much. The fear of change or success or failure or two of the about or all of the above. One has to deal with these by first acknowledging that they exist in your world. Then using baby steps, those fears can be dealt with. It will take time but change can happen if you want it.

You can plan until the sun goes nova, which isn't good. Once a plan is in place, it's time to get down to business. It really boils down to how bad you want - whatever and how hard are you willing to work to get it?

For most of us, nothing great happens overnight. If the passion is there, we can make it happen. Baby steps. We didn't learn how to run right out of mom. There was the rolling over, push ups, rocking back and forth, sitting unattended, pulling up, standing alone, the wonderful yet scary and exhilarating first step, falling down, pulling up to try it again, one step in front of the other, the walk, the run and mobility. Freedom.

Life is not an overnight thing. I do have to remember to cut myself some slack as I work my plans. I now reward myself when part of the plan has been achieve, and most definitely a reward when the whole project is complete. Because I'm working hard and I deserve it. Job well done.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Finished Project

I finally have a project done that was started last year. I call him Top Hat Grim Reaper. He is needle felted, using wool roving and a barbed needle. The needle is poked up and down into the roving to make shapes. He is embellished with bead necklaces, suede belt with beaded tassels. His hat is also beaded. My camera isn't very good for closeups, so this is what everyone gets.

He is my fourth needle felt project that has been completed. I started out with pieces that had basic shapes. I also found out that working with black wool sticks all over everything.


My first project was a sheep, followed by a smaller sheep and then Schnitzel, a character from the cartoon "Chowder".


Here's my little sheep. He was fun to do and I didn't poke myself with the needle. Which I hear really hurts. His wool is fancy yarn that was also poked in with the needle.



This is Schnitzel. Rada rada. I love this character because he seems to be the only sane on in the whole group of characters. Because of this, bad things always seem to happen to him. I like the cartoon because all the characters are named after food.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

On and Off

Last month I had an extra week to catch up on things. This month is a regular month and I won't get that option. I've had one good week (on) and one, not so much (off). I've two weeks left in this month. It is the shortest month in the year. Who came up with that? Back to two options. I can moan and groan about it or get my rear end in gear.

I can have 2 really 'on' weeks.

The deal is 10 dolls this month. I'm also working on a short story for a competition, a block of the month quilt project, working on getting a quilt top done for March (been working on it for 2 years), get back to editing 2 young adult manuscripts, deciding on a story for Script Frenzy in April and breathing.

Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment but that's what makes life, at least mine, interesting.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Over Thinking

Part of being Princess of Procrastination is to 'over think'. To think about everything creative so much that nothing gets done. Do I have enough supplies? Do I have enough time? Will the process work out? Will I get interrupted?

Or...

I get started and what has to be done becomes quite overwhelming. Will the project get done? What if I get stuck at putting arms on? How am I going to make the boots? Do I have the right material for hair? One question after the other. One doubt piling on top of another. Soon I'm in the pit of doom with no way out and things get put off 'til tomorrow. Then the same thing happens tomorrow and the next day and so on and so on. You get the picture. So do I.

My remedy is to just do a little at a time. Take baby steps. For one project, I break it down into steps. There could be three or twenty three. I put one on the daily list and work on it for 10 minutes. If things start to flow, I keep going. If not, I work on something else, for 10 minutes. Baby steps. A little bit at a time, everyday, gets me closer to a finished project than worrying or over thinking about it and not getting it done at all. Just do it. Pick it up and look at it. 10 minutes working on whatever is in my hands.

I guess I better get going.

Monday, February 9, 2009

On a Creative High

I don't know about anyone else out there but when I'm working on a project and I'm really into it, I get excited. Everything else on the planet disappears. Will it work or not? If it works, will it look like I expect it to, be a close facsimile or not look like the original idea at all? I keep at it because there's probably a deadline for the project in question. Frustration arises and tears because of course, I waited until the last minute to get started. Princess Of P. remember? Then...

Behold! It's done. For a moment it's beautiful and wonderful and I can't believe this piece of art came from me. More tears are quickly followed by the 'inspection'. Things I should've done or things that could've been added. More bling. Maybe I shouldn't have used that color of fabric as the main outfit. I tell myself to stop because I could easily go into finding every little thing wrong with my newest creation. Including, why did I do it in the first place? I am totally my own worst critic.

I take a breath, pull out the inexpensive camera and take the best pic I possibly can. I box up my little creation to be delivered, wherever. There is a sadness letting go of a creation. I tell myself that's the point of making them, to let them go so someone else may enjoy them. After I relinquish the package, I make my way back home to a very messy studio/apartment. I fix a cup of tea and park myself on the sofa.

At that time I start to feel it. The crash is coming. The adrenaline that was oh so pumped up while I was creating and trying to make a deadline isn't making a slow descent, it's crashing. Like an old satellite reacquainting itself with earth. Then there's the long climb out of the crater.

Maybe that's part of the reason I procrastinate. The rush of the adrenaline, being in the zone and then it's not there anymore and I have to start all over again. Clean up and begin again. Would I be able to duplicate what I just finished or would I be able to make something better?

I will have to work on this thing (I don't really know if it can be called a problem) because it comes up with just about every project, with a deadline. I know I can do whatever I put my mind to. I have the knowledge, talent, tools, experience and supplies. There is nothing to stop me except, excuses. Or is it fear?

While the embers are still hot, I'll add more fuel by continuing to work on more dolls. My goal for the month is ten dolls. Ten new pieces. It's time to get back on the creative roller coaster. I hope you come back to see what I've come up with.

Small Art, Big Heart


On Saturday, February 7, 2009, I attended my first artist reception where I was one of the artists. It was very exciting and I even cleaned up. My excitement was kicked up a notch or two or three, when I discovered that one of my dolls won Best in the Mixed Media category. I was congratulated and it was wonderful. Many of my friends came to cheer me on. The food was good as well as the drink. I feel like a professional now.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Options

This week didn't start off so well. I discovered that two friends are very ill and another longtime friend passed away. I am still grieving, I don't know when that will pass as I will miss this person a lot. It does help that I have wonderful memories of being around this person and his family.

I had two options to make because of this news. I could have sat around and worried. Question the universe as to why this is happening to two extraordinary people or why my friend was taken away so soon? Or, I could act.

I chose the second option. And because of that, yesterday was a good day. In between the crying I wrote a tribute to my friend. I quickly made a pillow for one on the hard chairs I sit on. I started a new doll, needle felted a head, stuffed two pairs of hands, talked to two good friends and saw a financial planner. I am so pleased and proud of myself for acting. Creating. Getting closer to my big goal.

The sun is out and I feel great. I am on my way to making this year the best in my life so far.

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Daily Goals

Seeing that I am one of the Queens of Procrastination, I'm always on the lookout for ways to get things done. Things that mean something to me. Things that will bring beauty, fun and color to my world with a little 'odd' thrown in. My latest idea is to attempt something that I like to do everyday. It can be for a 10 minute period or 30 minutes. Just do something.

Yesterday, before work, I told myself to do something. I looked at doll hands (after having taken 15 minutes to find them the previous day) and I told myself to pick them up. I sighed and did so. They didn't bite or turn into a gelatinous glob. They were already sewn and needed to be turned and stuffed. I picked up my turning tool and began. Once I got started it was a piece of cake. 4 hands turned. 2 sets for 2 dolls patiently waiting a year for hands. I also pulled out pipe cleaner for their fingers. They will have hands by the end of the week. And they may get lucky and have the rest of their face painted.

After signing off from here, I will work on a needle felt head. I'll explain more on that later because right now it looks like a Tribble.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A New Beginning

A new beginning. I was suppose to start this blog last year, which turned into last month. Finally I made up my mind to take the plunge. I am working on being a prolific writer and artist and this is my kick in the rear end to do so and to be. A way to allow the world to see 'what I do' and to keep myself accountable for my time spent and wasted.

I've always been a story teller. Displaying my talents through voice, drawing, painting, writing, making dolls and now applique. My world is interesting and I'd like to share it with you. I'm still getting use to this web world so bear with me. I will be trying new things to 'get out of my box'. Let me know what you think.

Day 3: No Pic Post

Yowza! This year is flying by. Halfway through. Totally unbelievable. But here we are. Crazy happenings on this rock that is hurtling throu...