Wednesday, November 25, 2015

And Maybe Even...

Toddlers earn the nickname "terrible twos" because they're bursting with the anxiety and helplessness of having feelings that they can't get anybody around them to understand. They could explode with the frustration of not being able to say what they want and to explain what they're feeling. They don't even have the right words in their heads yet - it's all emotion and frustration. That's also an accurate description of writers in step one. - pg 8, Seven Steps on the Writer's Path

If I were a two-year-old, I could throw myself on the ground, thrash my arms and legs about with fury, and wail out my frustration and if I were a very lucky two-year-old, my mommy would pick me up, stroke my hair, and pat my back as my sobs turned to soft gasps and my eyes closed. Asleep on my mother's shoulder, the world wouldn't seem so traumatic. Only, I'm not two.

My world is not traumatic, just extremely frustrating. There are things that I want to, need to, and have to do and it's strange that they have in common the use of the right side of my body which is healing oh so slowly. Yesterday, I journalled, painted in the suite, shoveled the driveway, and walked the dog and by the time I got to the studio, there wasn't a lot of energy left for writing and sewing. I did finish two sheets for my youngest grandson's crib and cut out another bunting bag, this time with sleeves. It took about forty-five minutes so while it's not nothing, it's certainly not at a pace I'm used to.

It's time to be realistic.. again.

Writing the blog is something I really love to do. Until this past summer, I'd blogged five times weekly on an almost continuous basis for well over ten years but these past six months have taken a toll. Between being super busy, holidays, grand-babies, moving, and two accidents, little is getting done in the studio which means there's little to share and the one thing that I definitely do not want to do is ramble on aimlessly. If I'm writing, I want there to be some substance to what I'm saying so...

... I am going to take another break... for December and January... and maybe even February... and reduce my attempts to one posting a week, on Wednesdays. To keep my commitment, if I don't have anything of substance to share, there will at least be eye candy which may include what I'm working on minus any text... which may lead to questions... which I will make every attempt to answer. Notice that I qualified that statement. Right now, I'm seriously behind on returning emails and phone calls. I need to catch-up.

Seven Steps on the Writer's Path
is a one of those pivotal books that can make you see creativity in a whole new way. It's not just about writing. It's about life. The idea for the book began when psychologist and self-help author Lynn Lott, one of the co-authors, listened to a lecture given by mystery writer Nancy Pickard, the other co-author, and started hastily writing down notes and then began teaching a variation on the theme to her clients. As she commented to Nancy,  I transformed your writer's path and put it into a path for mere mortals and called it their personal growth and change path.

Step one is unhappiness and I am - LOL - definitely there wanting to do more work in the studio and to dig deeper into the assignments that I'm working on with Diane in our coaching sessions. I'm learning new things and... while we learn to do by doing... if our first fledgling attempts are immediately out there for "public consumption," it can be hard to work through the stages of learning from ugly to competency. Usually, we need some time alone because it's while working in isolation, free from the in-put of others, that we can really advance our work. I've both experienced and taught that fact. So...

... along with lowering my expectations to one posting a week, facing reality also means acknowledging that I'm not ready to share everything I'm working on and - because of everything else going on in my life - there isn't enough time to do both private and public work. That's why sometimes I'll post eye candy like the bracelets above by Alyson G. Design. My current coaching assignment is about edges and this is one of the images I found in my research. In stash, I have some thick cardboard cores from yarn that a friend cut into narrower widths, some dyed gauze yardage, and beads. This is an inspiration I want to play with on my jewelry learning curve.

What you're learning from your coach is influenced by what your coach is learning so when I did my research, I looked up the past two co-teachers that Diane has taught with. Above is the work of Holly Badgley who combines painting, collage, and garments. Her work is gorgeous and there are a few pieces I will use as inspirational starting points however, I found myself more attracted to the work of...


... Carol Lee Shanks who also creates collages only hers are more monochromatic... or at least the ones that really resonated with me were.  Something I've learned about myself is that when I'm trying to advance the direction I'm working in, the changes need to be incremental and not drastic and I have to watch for "baggage." A lot of collage style work has an overtone of quilting for me and quilting is in the past. The present is creative wearables and...

... particularly ones that I would wear. I really enjoy texture and tone-on-tone combinations. If you go to Carol's website, you'll see collages that combine opaque and transparent fabrics as well as lace, linens, and subtle variety like the black plaid on the black background in the picture earlier with the shrug.

Texture... tone-on-tone combinations... and louder prints on the bottom with plain on top and statement jewelry. My body type is "supposed to" put the pattern on the top and the plain on the bottom. OH WELL... I prefer to wear it this way because I really enjoy statement necklaces and because I find louder prints overwhelm my face... but I still like them. When I saw this image of Audrey on Advanced Style I love, Love, LOVED it. I'd wear that in a flash and that necklace is definitely an inspiration starting point.

In both my spiritual and creative studies, the topic has been feelings and about the need to truly feel our feelings without being controlled by them. This quote from The Emotionally Healthy Woman had some great questions... Overwhelming feelings prevent us from asking clarifying questions: What is going on here? What are the facts? What do I know to be true? Are my feelings relevant in this situation or should I set them aside in this case? 

What is, is and my current situation is a combination of a lot to do and a need to both use energy wisely and to take time to heal. The fact is that - as much as I might like to believe otherwise - I am not superwoman and I cannot do all the things I want to do all at the same time BUT... I can do them all if I choose to pace myself and make slow but steady progress. That sounds like a good decision. YES YES!

What are you working on?

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - being realistic is not an all or nothing thing


  1. I have followed you for many years. I always enjoy seeing what projects you are working on, but my favorite part of your blog is seeing what books you are currently reading and your comments about them. You have added greatly to my reading list.
    Thank you.

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying the titles. As you can tell, I love to read. Journal writing every morning always gives me something to ponder. Love that.

  2. Good morning. You are awesome, mostly for bringing us along for your ride - cause it is your ride and you set the rules. Awesome.

  3. What has always struck me is the high energy and level of activity that is "normal" for you. Since I am older with less energy than in the past, I'm aware that I have to exercise more choice in what I do--which is not altogether bad. I am moving from begrudging the limits to appreciating them for the way that they clarify what is really important. And you are good at making choices....

    1. I've been told that before - that my normal isn't normal. It's good to exercise choice and to actually think about how can I do what I want to do even if what I do doesn't look exactly the same way as I'd imagined.

  4. Sometimes we need reminders to be realistic and savor what is. It is perfectly OK and absolutely right to lower the bar instead of continuing to raise it to frustrating heights. Right now I am grateful for small bite-size steps in my own creative work, knowing that as life stuff adjusts, I can readjust also...maybe adding in more bites...bigger bites. And I so get the need to work in solitude and keep some parts private.
    Cassy L.

    1. Yes. This afternoon I invited myself to the studio of one of the women in my knitting group and had a delightful two and a half hours discussing what we have in common. That's exactly why I moved here. I am so glad I didn't break an arm - I can still do all the things I want/need/have to do.... just slower.

  5. There's a lot of wisdom in the decisions you've made, my dear Myrna. And. . . I also simply adore Carol Lee Shanks and her art and garments. Good taste! It's the time of year to be thankful and I'm thankful that you are in my life. And that you are healing, even if slowly!

    1. Thanks Claire. Your scarf is on my to do list. First I knit it in stockingette stitch and then decided I liked seed stitch better so I knit it again and last week I finished the edges. As soon as I block it, it'll be winging it's way to your house. It may be faster for you to come pick it up - VBG. I'll do my best to get it there for some part of winter. I'm thankful that you are in my life as well. YES YES

  6. I always enjoy your blog and am so inspired by your creative journey. I, too, have bought a number of books you've mentioned - and thank you! Will miss your frequent posting, but do understand your need for time for you! Hope your healing will continue to go well and be complete, and you'll be energetic and back to feeling really great soon. Take care.


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