Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Let Go And Let's See

Just as the angle of an airplane determines its altitude, so does the approach we take - to family, to work, to life in general - determine the attitude we present to the world. The way we solve a problem is often secondary to the approach we take in facing the problem, our outward expression every bit as critical as the inward struggle to stabilize the unstable. When the skies above appear stormy, how will you steer that internal plane we call attitude.

The quote is taken from the back cover of John Maxwell's book How High Will You Climb?  As you can tell from the blurb, it's about attitude. The inside cover reads: When our attitude crashes, we have two alternatives. We can either alter the difficulty or alter ourselves.... which is often easier said than done. Most of us recognize the impact that negativity has on our lives but recognition doesn't necessarily make it easier to climb out of that hole when your stable is greatly destabilized.

The past year has been a mixed bag of things to deal with, most of them not much fun. My Oregon holiday was exactly the break I needed and while I came back to much of the same in terms of the stress of the mess of the rest of my life, I am determined to get on with enjoying life because time certainly hasn't stood still and I don't want to waste what I have.

When I read Julia Cameron's quote... The answer is very simple. Pray for the person you resent ...  the thought that popped into my mind was that sometimes it is not a person you resent; sometimes it's a situation. Now, every time my mind turns to negativity, I pray into the situation and as corny as it sounds, that proactive approach truly is calming.

I've also been playing more. All these piece used fabric and paints and tools that have been stored for years in the laundry room. It was much more fun to actually paint with them, to let go of achieving FABULOUS results to achieve results of some kind and in the process to learn. This applies to much of life. Flow is so much better than control.

A friend and I were talking the other day about how have we changed as we've aged and we both agreed that we've come to realize that many of the things we used to worry about don't really matter in the bigger scheme of things AND how important relationships are, especially our relationship and the honesty we bring to it. A friend who tells you the truth is a valuable friend. I'm lucky to have several.

When I turned forty, someone said to me but just wait until you're fifty, fifty is so much better. And it is... which is saying a lot... because forty was pretty amazing. Fifty for me is much more relaxed; it has more let go and let's see in it. I play more - like with these paints - and experiment more - like with fashions that may or may not suit me -and I'm really enjoying that change - which is of course a different attitude from the one I had before.

Years and years ago, when I first went into business, I had some very rigid opinions on what I and other artists should be paid and  completely failed to understand the older artists who were less focused on what they were worth and more focused on creating, enjoying the process, and finding a way to afford the cost of more creating. And now I understand. More than anything, I just want to create.

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon working on a scarf prototype blending together different stitch patterns into one overall design. I'm not worried about how long it took or what the scarf could sell for or if this was a complete waste of my time. Instead, my primary concern is to use my artistic skills to design, write, and publish patterns as a viable business to get those deductions and if the patterns sell, what a delightful bonus that will be. I do - of course - want them to sell but that's not my main focus. I'm not thinking at all about what will "they" buy. I'm thinking about what do I want to try and that shift of focus is a lovely perspective.

Growing up, "they" said to follow your passion and the money will follow as if it was a sure thing, like a law of science or something. Well, I'm here to say that's not always true or at least not consistently true. My number one passion is fabric and I followed that route and some years I made money and more years I struggled and in the process I burnt out and wondered if I even liked fabric at all anymore. One aspect of the knitting business I'm thoroughly enjoying is that it's not fabric. I'm not saying that fabric will never be a part of any business life again but right now, no... and that's good.

The pieces above are the tricolor ones now that they've been dried, pressed, and taken outside to photograph. The colors look pretty consistent on my screen; hopefully they do on yours as well. Last night, I started adding more layers to two of them and WHAT FUN ! ! ! ! Right now what I'm ending up with looks a bit like a hot mess but I'm painting my way through this learning curve and we'll see where it takes me. At some point, I'll need to make a shift from creating all over fabric designs to pieces with more feature elements. It'll come. Eventually. Through painting.

The other day, I posted about starting with ugly. Above is the wardrobe I packed to go to Oregon in May. The polka dot and the pink sweaters were both new. When I washed the pink one, the front  - which was rayon - shrunk even in cold water while the back - which was a woven polyester - did not. I threw it away. When I washed the polka dot one...

... the color ran which was quite discouraging since I really loved that sweater BUT then... the thought... it's ugly... and why not take out the underarm seam, lay it flat, and see what I and my paints can do with it. I have that project sitting in the back of my mind as well as the coat I cut out to take to Oregon that need some spray painting before the weather gets too cold to do it outside and another brown/black check project that's jumping up and down demanding attention.

I haven't sewn since the beginning of September which is a really long break for me already and by the time I get back from looking after my grandson, it'll have been over a month. I'm getting itchy; it's good to have projects lined up and ready to go and it's been good to take this break to work on other things. It's good to be developing some confidence with paint so I can begin to think about adding surface design to those garments. That'll be a next step on the learning curve.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - thinking about working with the sweater BEFORE I threw it away

If you don't search for more, you'll never find it. 
- Galen Weston


  1. Ohhh...LOVE the metallic fabric!!! I have an (ancient) skirt pattern that would be perfect for...

    1. LOL - it would have to be a VERY small skirt. That piece is about 20" x 40".

    2. LOL that's okay...you're giving me brainwaves, and that can be mighty dangerous...


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