Friday, February 7, 2014

And On Taking Action

My friend, Rosemarie, lives about a half hour out of town. I arrived at her home around ten yesterday morning and we visited until almost five that afternoon with neither of us realizing how much time had passed. Visits like that are phenomenal. They energize the soul.

One of the things we talked about was an ah ha from my journal writing that morning - that I'm not a group person. While that's not a surprise, it's a surprise when thinking of a creativity group. For years, I have longed to be part of a creativity group as if being part of a group was the only way in which to maximize my creative abilities. On some level, I believed that a group would make me better. Yesterday, I started to consider why that might be when I've always been far more of a 1-1 conversationalist. My absolute favorite thing to do is sit down and have a heart to heart conversation with another artist about their work, life in their studio, and the direction they are moving in.

My friend is a weaver. This picture was taken a few years ago when she was working on a rug. She's ready not to give up weaving but to add in something new. The last time we visited, she talked about sewing clothes and in particular about refashioning. This visit, we talked about what that might look like and what we could do together to help each other achieve our goals.

On the drive to her house, I'd been considering this conversation and how I would respond. Did I want to attempt a group or did I want to enjoy the 1-1? My regular 1-1 meetings with Patti over the last year have shown me one way and the attempt to add a third last fall showed me the possible pitfalls. Commitment is a key ingredient. The size of the group not so much. Two is a group.

When I shared my ah ha, Rosemarie said she felt exactly the same way, that a larger group was a wonderful thing but that real learning and harmony and growth for her came on a much smaller scale. How interesting. That confirmation has me moving forward in a new way.

I loved all the comments yesterday. THANK YOU so much for the encouragement with the cape. I'll sew it, see what I think, and decide about a "go with" outfit from there. I laughed at ParisGrrl's comment about matching my glasses. That might be hard to do. I have a lot of glasses. The ones in the picture were pink. Those are my prescription reading glasses and I have a dozen of them scattered around the house. Above are some of my prescription distance glasses. These are the ones I wear frequently matching them to whatever outfit I'm wearing. I buy my glasses on-line from where I can get two dozen pairs less expensive than one pair from a local optometrist. If I have to wear glasses - and I do - I want to have fun with them - LOL.

The group thought wasn't my only ah ha yesterday although the other one was more of a confirmation. I'm working through Sheryl Brady's book You Have It In You! in my journal time. She writes about a message she received from God - allow me to open the doors for you. I'll open every door that you need to walk through. If you find yourself in front of a door that you have to push, it's not from me. Over the past few years, there have been many opportunities that haven't worked out for reasons beyond my understanding other than that now was not the time. When the time IS now, the door will open. 

In another book I read just before Christmas, the author also mentioned a message from God. It was when you're ready; get ready. Sometimes we are longing for a dream or asking for a solution and yet it requires action on our part and we're not taking that action. I have felt for quite a while that I'm to write another book and yet I keep talking myself in and out of it. I love to write but I don't see why I should write another book. I thought that part of my life was over. I also feel that I will eventually teach again but that the time is not now. Lately, those thoughts seem connected. Perhaps, I'm to write to teach BUT...

... if so, I need some push. When I was sharing with Rosemarie how she could go about refashioning garments, she suddenly stopped and looked at me and said you should be teaching this. Hmm... interesting... so... if I was to write a book you wanted to read, what would I include? I'm curious about that answer, that it just might be the spark to get me started.

I'm also working through Julia Cameron's The Prosperous Heart.  It's more spiritual than I expected and quite fabulous. On page seventy-six she writes - as we move into action, we exercise courage; we step forward into the unknown moving ahead even when the outcome is uncertain. Action is our power; when we are in action, our lives are in action. We are not stagnant. We are not powerless. 

That seems relevant in so many areas of life. All the talking in the world won't get a project started, completed, or explored along the journey. We (I) need to take action.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - creative friendships and kindred spirits


  1. Elisabeth in FranceFebruary 7, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Not sure whether this is going to help you as far as your book question but I wanted to share with you how your teaching and blog have recently both helped me and impacted me. I'm currently working on a charity related project. As part of this project each participant has been given a little embroidered square and a piece of some specific fabric. I figured out the general theme of what I wanted to do with them pretty quickly but I knew that I would have some technical challenge (I would categorize myself as an 'intermediate' quilter/embroiderer). Lo and behold, I came to a road block a few weeks ago. And so I had to be very stern with myself and repeat to myself very often 'Myrna would tell you to just do one little thing. It's OK if you can't see the overall picture in your mind and you don't know all the answers right now. Just solve that one little problem and go from there! Myrna's got your back' Well, I did (I whined a little along the way but I'm so far away from you that I don't think you heard me ) and the problem is solved, I'm very happy with my solution, very proud of myself for not throwing the whole thing in the trash can from frustration and I won't worry about my border problem until I get there. Thank you, Myrna!!! You ARE a wonderful teacher. Even from one continent to the other!

    1. You're welcome. What's so interesting about what you've written is that that's the exact conversation I was having with my friend - about how she didn't need to know the ending, just the beginning and then take it one step at a time. How fun. Love confirmation like that.

      I have a huge sense of peace and calm around teaching. When I say teach again, I mean in a real world classroom and at the same time I am hugely thankful for the ability to teach on the blog and to teach friends 1-1 and to share creative conversation with friends. I guess - LOL - to quote you quoting me - in terms of writing the book - it's okay if I can't see the overall picture; I just need to do what I feel God calling me to do. THANK YOU.

  2. Like you, I'm not a group person. I am the happiest when I'm in my sewing room or one on one. At work, I'm in groups on and off during the day. In my personal life, I dislike dealing with the personality conflicts and people's underlying control issues that come up in groups. I want to be able to enjoy the purpose of the group without the drama. I can handle these issues when they involve family and friends but that is my limit.

    Question: Is your journal writing a book in progress? You may not think of it as a book but could it be turned into a book?

    On the topic of sewing - writing a book about how to manipulate fabric into actual garments instead of samples would inspire me to buy your book. I have some books on manipulating fabric but it would be nice to see them used in actual garments. As we progress in our sewing journey, learning more than the basics would be helpful. You are so inspiring as you write about your creative journey. It makes me want to try new stuff. I'm close to the point in my sewing journey that I want to add interesting techniques to my garments. My problem is that I'm am not visually creative. I need a spark to get my thought process moving.

    Teaching - I love the current focus on on-line classes. I don't have a job that I can take off easily to go to classes. I have purchased a ton of on-line classes. At lunch time, I pull up a class and watch it on my phone. At home, I can watch it on the tv or computer. I would buy a class that you teach in a heartbeat. Granted for the teacher, the student-teacher connection is diminished.

    Follow your heart and do the work, lol.

    1. What I found so fascinating about the group ah ha was that I've always known I'm not a group person. It's not that I can't get along in groups. I can and there are some I gravitate toward but overall I prefer to avoid committees and groups and in turn avoid politics and conflict as you're saying. I've gone as far as to hire private tutors to avoid taking some workshops. That I didn't connect that dot for so long really surprises me but it lets me look at my creative needs differently and this is great. Funny but I don't mind teaching in a group. LOVE IT!

      I don't think my journal writing is a book in progress. The blog may be.

      I'd love to hear more about your sewing book idea. Did you want to email me privately? I know what you mean about wanting more advanced information. It's like there's a leap that doesn't get filled between beginner and advanced. I noticed that with quilting and textile art as well.

      When I talked about Imaging Big, did you think about reading it? The reason I ask is that I would really love to hear you speak from the positive perspective. You are creative. You are in the process of growing your creativity and it grows step-by-step, one idea at a time. We are all visually creative but we are at different stages. At one time, I couldn't have comprehended doing the work I'm doing now. My ideas come from sparks along the way as well - things I see, ideas that connect, and in particular through asking the what if question. As in my other reply, I think that may be where I'm meant to go. I'm very good at encouraging risk taking and helping people to start that thought process and it's something I absolutely love to do.

      I've taught on-line before and it was wonderful then and now it's over. I feel as strongly that I'm not meant to teach in that way anymore as I feel that I will eventually teach again. The way on-line classes are administered has changed greatly and there is definitely less student-teacher interaction and that's the part I love. When I think about teaching somewhere other than the blog, it's real world and perhaps a retreat type situation. The Design Outside the Lines workshops are a model I really respect.

      I had some more ah ha's in today's bible study. One was about the labels people try to stick on us and the ones we stick on ourselves and how limiting they are. I'm pondering them so more. It's lovely to hear that you'd buy a class I taught in a heartbeat. I hope we get that opportunity to connect at some point in some way in the future.

  3. I would love a book with some ideas to get me started being more creative with my garment sewIng. I have a few idea but it would be nice to have a few exercises. Example - take your favorite pattern and ...

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure why I keep procrastinating starting. On one hand I feel quite strongly I'm to do this and on the other I'm really REALLY dragging my feet. Having my friend Rosemarie come for lessons is helping me to think through an approach and what's important to tell her. I'm taking notes. This may help me get past all my excuses. It's not that I'm afraid to write or don't think I can because I've done it before so it's some other factor. It'll surface.


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