Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Where Just Enough Is

One of the things I'm doing on this trip is wardrobe practicing for our cruise at the end of June. I packed the seven top garments, seven bottom garments, three cardigans, and raincoat I plan to take with me to see which pieces were comfortable and which weren't giving myself the chance to make adjustments before we leave. Two tops didn't make the cut. The sleeveless floral blouse doesn't feel comfortable and the...

... white linen top is way too white. Yesterday Miles Frode - Diane's son - and I collaborated. I asked him to paint an agreed upon dollar amount of lines on the top so that I could respond to his lines with further work.

Other than showing him the lime, blue, and magenta - plus black - obviously - that I love and watching the first brush stroke, I walked away and let him do what he wanted. Today, I plan to use small running stitches in pearl cotton to work in and around his lines creating new lines of my own. This is the second piece that incorporates my work with Miles' work. There's just something about his lines that speak to me even though collaboration is not my usual style.

Diane said if you want something different, you need to do something different. Sandy said you'll never find water digging in a dry hole so find a new hole. I've found this Design Outside the Lines retreat overwhelming in a positive way. So many ideas are flying through my head at once that all I want to do is be home, in my studio, working.

Some of the things are subtle and took a while to sneak up on me like the pieced section above. If you've done a lot of quilting like I have, you may think that's easy piecing but when you look at it more closely the lines are softer and morphing... which makes it difficult... because my hands know how to do it one way and my artist wants to do it differently because there's a gentleness about the piece that doesn't happen with straight lines.

I noticed that with Diane's jewelry as well. Besides skill and experience, gentle curves and little touches of softness create a significant difference between her pieces and my attempts. That's learning I'm taking home with me as I begin crafting pieces of my own.

It's the same with her garments. The elements are not fluffy over the top or bold in your face. Diane describes herself as a tomboy and her details are just enough to take the piece to its maximum. Just enough is not a destination you arrive at without experience. It takes traveling to not enough and far too much to learn where just enough is. I see that as the journey I'm on.

When I left home, I left with the questions I've been journaling and praying about and an expectation that answers would come my way. Today is my birthday and as I start a new year, I want to see change, growth, and evolution in myself and in my work. On this trip, I've been listening to what women say and it's interesting how many in their 60's, 70's, and even 80's have said they want to stop doing X so they can do Y because life is too short and they're not getting to it, whatever it may be. I love what I'm doing and I want to take it further. I know that I am capable of so much more. More however...

... takes doing something different. It takes digging in a new hole. I'm adjusting to the knowledge that if I want to create different work I will need to create differently. I may need to make jewelry for a month straight or paint for a month straight or make parts for a month straight. I may need to work by hand to get a feel and a flow from the fabric that I haven't achieved before. I may need to piece parts to see what they can do for my work and to start differently, like with just the collar of that piece and not the body.

I need to - want to - have a playground where I can try out ideas, explore, see what happens, grow. And all this fits with where I thought I was going. It just fits in a different way. And perhaps this is good because I definitely want different results.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - another birthday


  1. Marilyn in OntarioJune 3, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    I always read your blog. I find your journey so interesting. I plan to make a short-sleeved summer jacket and incorporate some elements of
    design. My limiting factor is getting the fit right. I haven't sewn a garment in many years.
    Happy birthday, Myrna. It is because we were born under the sign of the twins that we go back and forth.....Gemini .
    I can't wait to see the next steps in your journey.

  2. Happy, happy birthday, Myrna!! Here's to a fabulous next year for you!

  3. Happy Birthday, Myrna - sounds like your new year is off to a good start :-)

  4. Happy Birthday Myrna! I love reading your journey. You are very inspiring. Dig a new hole. Do something different. Such great ways to lead us to new threads which we can follow for writing our new story. Have fun and I look forward to reading where you're adventuring with your sewing next. :)

  5. A huge Happy Birthday to you, Myrna! And Happy Creative Journey!

  6. Happy, happy birthday!! I'm so glad you are having this beautifully creative time surrounded by shifting and inspiration. I hope your next year lives up to all your expectations (or blows them all to pieces in a wonderful way).

  7. Happy Birthday Myrna. I hope this next year will be a creative one. Karen

  8. Happy, happy birthday Myrna. Wishing you a wonderful year. Thanks for sharing the fun you're having this week. Your blog is always a highlight of my day.

  9. Happy birthday, Myrna. Dr. Laura said (still says?) "if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got!" Just another way to phrase those wise words...and I admire you so much for seeking so consciously for the next thing in your journey! As always, you never cease to give me things to think about... (I recently found myself saying out myself..."Myrna says..first, you have to do the work!"). XOXOXOXOX

  10. Happy, Happy Birthday. Sending you wishes for a great year.

  11. Hope it's been the best birthday ever, Myrna!

  12. Happy Birthday, Myrna. How great that your day of grace is spent among such great company doing what you love - discovering! I, too, am a Gemini, and I perfectly understand your need to have multiple artistic 'hobbies' along with several irons in the fire. Here's to a great year for you, making for new discoveries for your readers.

  13. I love the white linen tunic top but cannot find a pattern number. I enjoy following your journey! Thanks!

  14. Happy Birthday Myrna! sounds like you got a great big load of gifts for your day, too :) All your ideas sound so exciting, but retraining the hand and eye is a project. Eminently do able, just takes time and dedication - and a bit of creativity to come up with exercises for yourself.

    "I may need to work by hand...." I have found that making garment largely by hand changes my whole relationship to the garment and the process. It does add a lot of softness, detail, and subtlety; you also spend a lot more time looking at and holding the garment and materials than when you whip out a piece on the machine. More time to notice things, more time to ponder where you want to go.

    I can't wait to see your collaboration with Miles! what a fantastic idea.....hmmm, i've an artist friend myself. Could be fun! Have a great day, steph

  15. I appreciate your descriptions of the creative process. It is not a smooth path. I'm following a similar process in creating a garden (a bit slower perhaps, since I grow most of my plants from seed!). I kind of know where I'm going, sort of but not really, hoping to recognize "it" when I get there. If I get there. Zigzagging this way and that.

    I know the process works, because of previous successes, but creation can be a floundery time, and one must learn to be comfortable living in a "not knowing" state. It seems there is no rushing the process and it is a deeply personal experience.

    Happy Birthday!


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