Monday, June 10, 2013

Pull Out The Materials And Start

Last night, everyone was home for dinner to celebrate my birthday. The guys had steak. My daughter cooked salmon in a special sauce for the two of us and she and my son-in-law made espresso crème brulee for dessert. YUMMY. The kids said I broke my own rule when I asked for gifts of money. LOL - not really. I just saved them the shipping fees by picking up my own gifts at the workshop.

Saturday was the baby shower. It went really well. Fourteen of our friends came, took turns holding Daimon, and brought wonderful spoil me silly gifts.

 I... of course... was perfectly happy to show him off and to agree that yes, he is the cutest baby.

Here are the two sweaters you got peeks of last week. They are whatever size they are when they fit him but somewhere around eighteen months I'd guess.

One of Jessica's friends said that I must do a lot of knitting. No. I've just been knitting a long time although today and tomorrow I need to get my needles to the grindstone and finish the sweater for my friend's grandson as we'll both be leaving soon and I want to send it with her.  Her grandbaby lives in another province just like mine does and he's due June 20th so she'll probably leave before I get back from my trip.

Yesterday, I worked on the assignment for the workshop. Any form of scrapbooking is not really my thing. I journal in that I write down my thoughts and shred the page and find it both cathartic and a form of praying on paper. I don't keep a sketchbook or visual journals nor create pretty pages of photographs although I have made a few vision boards in the past to answer specific questions.

With this assignment, I decided to simply to do the work, gather some images, arrange them in a way that tells my story, secure them in a viewable manner, and let them either tell that story however someone chooses to interpret it or to encourage them to ask questions. Either way is fine.

I used what I had - a spiral bound black journal from years ago, regular scissors, and the wrong kind of glue. It's working. There are two pages to go. Good. Enough.

I've started reading The Art Of Jewellery Design by Liz Olver. It took me forever - and a highly circuitous route - to find this book. I wanted to learn about the elements of design applied to jewelry although the elements listed are different than the ones I've studied previously. They are shape, form, texture, colour, the 5 senses, emotion, function, materials, and process. The last two I see more as technical than design based but perhaps once I've read the broader description they'll make more sense. So far, it's exactly the material I was looking for although...

... the author is English, a senior lecturer at an art school, and most likely trained through a City & Guilds format that is labour intensive in terms of pre-development. Certainly the format of the book is similar to what I know about City & Guilds. I stopped counting the number of before steps that she thought were "very important" from writing a design brief, to a statement of intent, to a description of the process, to gathering of inspiration, to making samples, to....

Way back when, I began studying textile art through the City & Guilds format and, after a few modules, withdrew from the program. At one time, that format would have worked for me but in-between wanting to and finally taking the program, I had learned to create in a more relaxed, free flowing, let's see what happens, just do the work and let it develop how it wants to develop, kind of way. I'd changed.

Now, by the time I've thoroughly detailed a piece on paper and analyzed the objective from every angle, I no longer want to make it. It's done. There's not enough mystery and discovery left to entice me. Now, what's "very important" for me is to start, to respond to the developing piece, and to stay with it until it says it's done.

I'm reading this book because I want to make jewelry from fabric incorporating the textures and techniques learned in textile art inspired by the world around me which is the same world that inspires my textile art and the same world that inspires my (getting more) creative clothing. That's all the design brief, objective, process information that I need to begin. Beginning is the critical point. To get from thought to finished product, I need to start and then to develop better and better designed pieces, I need to first make a lot of ugly pieces and then step by step, piece by piece, I'll learn and improve.

This is going to sound incredibly funny coming from me but there is a danger in overthinking. Sometimes, we just need to pull out the materials and start.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a fun family weekend


  1. I can't wait to see your fiber jewelry! So little textile jewelry is artistic, but it seems full of possibility. Nice sweaters!

    1. I won't use a phrase I've used before since it caused an uproar but I agree, most textile jewelry is less than attractive and rather becky-home-ecky. That's not what I want to create except that... to get to what I see in my head... it requires working through the ugly pieces learning curve. That's exciting/frustrating/daunting/challenging. It's taken me quite a bit of time to be willing to go there and to figure out how to fit playing with jewelry into my schedule/other goals. I think I might be there.

  2. Myrna, we are kindred spirits, I too tend to over think things, and therefore never get started. I love to get all the supplies needed, and that's where it often stops. Also, if I do start and it doesn't turn out "perfect", I quit. Need to stop thinking so much. Have a wonderful time at the retreat, I spent last Thurs. with Diane and Marcy, and they are getting all prepared. Of course, I had to fatten my stash with some of Marcy's wares - what fun it was!!! I too am looking forward to seeing some of your fabric jewelry creations...Anna H

    1. I'm a thinker. It's how I'm wired but I'm not a procrastinator even though it may look like it at times. What I've learned over the years is that even though I want to do some thing, I have to want it at a certain level - the one beyond dreaming and thinking and evaluating that moves into action. Before that I do a lot of talking and then click, it comes together. That usually coincides with other changes in my life and somehow slots into the routine in a way that it didn't fit before. I can't define how it works but I've learned to recognize that this is the process and not beat myself up for being all talk, no action.

      LUCKY YOU fattening your stash at Marcy's. Visiting the Art Barn is definitely something I'd like to do. I'm really looking forward to the retreat.

  3. Oh, your grandson is beautiful! I love that top photo.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.