Wednesday, December 30, 2015

More Than Five Years Ago

This is my last posting of 2015. There have been more than a few less-than-lovely years that I could hardly wait to see the end of. This isn't one of them. Even with all it's ebb and flow, this has, overall, been a good year and I'm ending it right where I want to be, moving in the direction I want to move in. YES YES!





Even with all that reflective white snow, this picture is dark BUT... I haven't posted me wearing anything in a long time and I thought you'd like to see one of my favourite outfits. The pants are Marcy's out of print Vogue 8397 and the top is her Vogue 9057 - view A - with a purchased sweater and scarf. The necklace is pure perk-me-up glitter.





I'd hoped to have my Butterick 6138 top finished only I made a mistake with the alterations and the left front was two inches too long when compared with the facings. I walked the pattern, found my error, and corrected it, which luckily could be done, and have only the hem and the buttons left to do. Hopefully, I'll post it next week. It's turning out great.



 


More than five years ago - which I know because of my photo filing system - I bought some hand dyed rayon and some indigo dyed cotton and then I knit them together... un-knit and knit them again... un-knit and re-knit them again... and again... and then tried to separate them with no success... and reknit them again and...






... they have finally found a resting place. The sweater above left is the first iteration. It's was nicely done but felt boring and aging on me. Since the yarn was so nice, I wanted to make it into something else and that started a - very - long journey. Yesterday, I wore the capelet at right with a black top, jeans, and jewelry and I loved it.





It's similar to the one I posted previously except I changed the turtle neck to a rolled edge, did three repeats of the lace edging, and used a larger needle size. The other one is a gift; this one is for me. I like the end result and I'm glad I won't be knitting this yarn again. Ta da - DONE!





I've been painting our floor. The image above right is NOT my house. It's an inspiration photo. A month or so ago, we sanded the floor intending to stain it a lighter color only the sander broke before we finished the job but luckily after all the varnish was off. Sanding floors is unbelievably messy and I couldn't face the idea of all that dust again so I decided to paint the floor... black.

And then I decided the black was too black so I played with different glazing ideas. And then I did the glazing and it's a technique for a smaller area where you can maintain a wet edge so I painted over it with black since I had a gallon of black paint. And then I put on a coat of clear and I liked the way the grain showed. And then I decided to finish the floor all in black, live with it for a while, and see what I think. It certainly looks sophisticated in this inspirational room although I'm going to need a good vacuum - LOL - or an amazing broom.





Painting has limited my time in the studio but I have been doing a lot of knitting especially when Howard is here and we want to be together. I started this sweater by picking up some yarn and one size smaller than the recommended needle size since I knit loose and casting on the maximum number of stitches from a child's pattern. From there, I developed the design bit-by-bit using my favourite stitches and what I thought might look good next.

After six inches, I measured the width, compared it to the measurement chart, picked the corresponding size, and used those vertical measurements to continue working on the sweater. I'm most of the way to finishing it and what fun to just randomly knit. Have you ever done that? Two of the things I'm working on with my coaching is taking my approach to sewing into knitting and combining knitted pieces with woven fabrics. It's exciting and I'd love to show you a finished piece only I don't have one... yet... but soon... hopefully.






Letting go obviously has several meanings. Letting go of the past; letting go of grief. But surely the most resistant is letting go of fixed ideas. Keeping our minds open to a future we can't see. 

Another of my coaching assignments was to create a collage of the woman I am becoming. It contains a lot of words and quotes including the one above. The collage is posted above the project baskets in my studio where I can see it every day. The smaller basket at left is for the jewelry piece I'm working on and the larger one at right has the top in progress as well as a cut out dress. Typically as the new year approaches, I finish up the singular project I'm working on, make sure there are no UFO's in the studio, and begin something that will take me into the new year with energy and excitement. Not this year.

This year, I am entering the new year with energy and excitement and I am also entering it differently because the same old, same old doesn't interest me. I want different results and so I'm learning to work differently. I have several projects on the go and all of them are interesting and all of them are either waiting their turn as I rotate through what I'd like to work on today or waiting for an answer to appear in order to take their next step. I've always believed that I could only work on one project at a time and it wasn't true. With effort, I've found a way to let go of that idea and the change has been energizing. What a fabulous benefit. What fixed idea could you let go of to open up your future?

One resolve for the new year is to make a priority of spending time in the studio with no attachment to the outcome, pure and simple play time! - Marcy Tilton

Like Marcy, I want to spend time in the studio playing with no attachment. Time to play will not just appear. It needs to be taken, arranged, made to happen. Play is the nurturing energy that we all so badly need in order to fulfill all our roles and responsibilities and yet it's the "gas" we so rarely put in our "gas tanks". Running on empty won't get us very far.

In my opinion, play should be much, Much, MUCH higher up on our priority list - so high up, so important, that we model it to our children in the same way that we teach them other responsibilities. One of the things I feel very strongly about is the overworked and under-fun-ed state of most of our lives. Life should not be all about work and stuff. Life is about relationships including the one that you have with yourself, the one where you explore who you are, who are you are becoming, and the special skills and abilities God gave you. What will you do differently in 2016?

Along with my life, the blog has gone through much ebb and flow this year. Thank you so much for understanding, for your support and encouragement, and for sharing my journey. It's much appreciated.

Happy New Year - Myrna

Grateful - a good year, a new year

18 comments:

  1. Oh my, I can't wait to see the finished floor. I'm sure it'll be stunning. And I can see why that outfit is one of your favorites. I like the shorter, boxier sweater over the longer, leaner pieces. And the checked scarf and necklace pull the eye right up to your happy face. It's a great way to enter into the new year. Hope you have a great one!

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    1. I hadn't planned on a black floor or I may have gone for a different dark like eggplant or chestnut but... I do like the way it's turning out. We'll see. There may be a lot of throw rugs in my future. I would like to try a painted floor cloth.

      I've been experimenting with shorter tops over longer ones and the look seems to work for me as long as my waist is defined otherwise I look like a tent. It's a fun way to play with.

      Thanks for the well wishes. I wish you a creative new year as well. Enjoy.

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  2. I loved your post today. Thank you for reminding me of so much! Happiest of New Years to you!!!!

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    1. You're welcome. Have a fabulous... and creative... 2016.

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  3. I am copying these words ~ "Life should not be all about work and stuff. Life is about relationships including the one that you have with yourself, the one where you explore who you are, who are you are becoming, and the special skills and abilities God gave you." and adding them to my sewing cave! I need to remind myself that it's okay to be there exclusive of other things because it fulfills and makes me better! Thanks for reminding me of that and Happy New Year!

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    1. YES YES - it's so important. You might enjoy Erwin Raphael McManus' book The Artisan Soul - He talks about how our skills and abilities are our gift from God and the use of them is our gift back to him and how our life is our greatest work of art and the sin is not living it fully. If you read it, let me know what you think. I plan to read it again. The link is below. Happy New Year to you too. Keep in touch.

      http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_16?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+artisan+soul&sprefix=the+artisan+soul%2Caps%2C226

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  4. Thankyou for so much inspiration over the past couple of years I have followed your blog. This post resonates so strongly with me - our creative life needs time and attention to be nurtured and in doing so allows us to be so much more 'freed up' in the other relationships that intertwine our complex lives and selves. Similarly to you I have been working towards that nurturing of creativity and 'play' time - we need to structure our time to allow ourselves to be 'unstructured' and enjoy the rich blessings that such play gives to our lives and being. Having multiple projects (or playtime inspirations/explorations) is so much a part of my creative life. Creativity time equals meditative and renewal time - they are the key to balance in my life!

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    1. YES YES - exactly. They are the key and make life fuller and richer.

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  5. Hi Myrna, So good to see your post today. My life is leading me into being more spontaneous and owning the efforts I out forth. Your post hit it on the nailhead for me in several ways. My life has been in a holding pattern awaiting the next new adventure. I my intention out into the world last year and now have been invited to join the Board of Directors at OSF. Along with this is my intention to show integrity in the beautiful sewing room Dick has created for me. Found a fabulous fabric store in Houston last week that added a number of oh-so-interesting pieces to my stash. My plan is to put them to use quickly instead of letting them sit. Thanks for sharing your journey in growth with us. You are an inspiration! Love you :)

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    1. YEAH - happy new adventures. Thanks for sharing my journey.

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  6. Love this post and the directions you are moving in. Happy New Year!

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    1. And to you. I've been a terrible correspondent these last few months but I'd love to know how you're getting along. A happy, creative, 2016 to you.

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  7. What a wonderful post. Your words are truly inspiring. My life has been more about work and I have been feeling lost because I haven't been creating as much as I like, so I am going to put your words in my sewing space to try and get a bit more balance into my life. Good luck with the floor , it will look sensational. Here's to a fabulous year in 2016.

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    1. When you're creative, creating is definitely the energy you need. Maybe you'll try a morning hour. I find that a fabulous way to start the day and it doesn't have to be a full hour as much as some time for you.

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  8. Nice post and I like your quote very much. Not sure that I have visited your blog previously and found it by reading someone else's blog post this morning. Glad I arrived and plan to visit more.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful new year.

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  9. Like Linda, I found your blog by reading someone else's. I love your idea about living our creative life and how important it is to us. When I spend time in my sewing room I am able to feel the energy starting and when I have finished "playing" I feel so good mentally.
    Love your post... I will be back! I wish you health, happiness and time to be creative in 2016.

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    1. YES YES - exactly. We go there to get recharged. Thanks for the well wishes. You too.

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