Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What Do You Want?

Wanting is step two in the book Seven Steps on the Writer's Path. As I mentioned before, you don't need to be a writer to benefit from reading the book because it could just as easily be called seven steps on the painter's path or seven steps on the fabric lover's path or even seven steps on your path.





If you are feeling frustrated, that's a dead give-a-way that you aren't doing what you want... If you know what you want, commit to it and start doing it.
- Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott

The thought that jumped out at me while reading this chapter is that wanting is not talk. Wanting is action. If I say I want X yet I do Y, then what I really want is Y because if I really wanted X then I would be doing X. In essence, Y-ing is lying. It's another one of those so simple and yet so hard things.

Write the words I want at the top of a page. Then, without stopping to think, fill the page with the "I wants" that scream out of you. Let yourself go. Have a blast! Don't stop to make judgments or berate yourself or worry about what your mother might say or feel guilty or silly or correct your spelling. Just let 'er rip. "I want this, and I want that, and I also want that, and besides that, I want that over there... " Just because you write it down doesn't mean you have to actually get any of these things. You're only making a list to see what comes out of you. When you run out of ideas, put the paper aside... Tomorrow, pick up your "I want" page (or pages!), read what you wrote, and then start adding more to the list beginning with, "And in addition to what I already wrote, I also want..." Do this for a week, and you will see patterns begin to emerge. - page 48, Seven Steps on the Writer's Path

I had wanted to live in a small, inclusive, artistic community for years and then one day I wanted it so much that I moved. Although I'm not thrilled at the idea of tenants or yard maintenance, I wanted the income from a rental suite to pay expenses so I bought a house not a condo. I want to spend time with creative women so I've joined one knitting group so far and have visited two others as well as a spinner and weaver's group. I want to broaden my horizons beyond just fabric so I'm looking at joining a singing group and a painting group. AND... I want to spend a significant amount of time in the studio advancing my fabric related work so I want to be careful about too much joining and to pick and choose what works best for me. In the studio...





It is curious how a little obstacle becomes a great obstruction
. - John Wesley Powell

... I want to work with paint and surface design so I painted the patches for my raincoat and I've created a paint space so details can easily be added when the thought occurs or when I make it happen by choice.

... I want to add more creative and more technical details to my work so I learned how to stitch a welt pocket and to sew an enclosed pocket bag and I am exploring other "new" options.

... I want to expand my work and sew creative wearables not paint-by-number patterns so I'm working with a coach who pushes me to work deeper which means I'm sewing slower, sampling more ideas, and creating fewer but increasingly more exciting pieces.

... I want to put together sophisticated, elegant jewelry primarily from fabric so I'm suffering through the looks-like-crap stage of not so sophisticated and not so elegant jewelry on my path to a better outcome.

... I want to work differently so I'm moving through the itchy, anxious, maybe-I-need-to-go-shopping-no-sit-in your-chair-and-work stages of not knowing and not being entirely confident.

... I want to be able to simultaneously work on more than one project in more than one medium so I have a purse, a blouse, a necklace, a knitting and a writing project all on the go and - eventually, possibly - will add a painting project. Just one of each so I can rotate when one hits a bump.





Discipline is remembering what you want. - David Campbell

What would happen if you wrote a list of your wants? You'd have a list. And a direction to move in. Only a list and a direction are not enough. To move from our here to our there takes action. Again... it's simple, not easy.

Typically what holds us back is fear. Really? Why? We're not talking about cliff jumping or high wire acts in the studio. We're talking about fabric and thread, pattern and design. The world will not stop turning if we take scissors to that too-special-to-cut fabric but cutting it will free us from its tentacles of perfection and take us along a transforming journey. What is so amazing as to hold precious is our ability to create and the time and space in which to do it. Not the stash. That's simply an ingredient, a tool. Not perfection. That's unrealistic. Creativity. Time. Space. Learning. Growth. Evolution. These are too precious to waste.





When was the last time you did something for the first time?
 - John C. Maxwell

I wanted to finish my raincoat and now it is. In-between unfinished and finished, I sewed - the action behind wanting. The pattern is Vogue 8934 with an added hood. The fabric is rainwear from Marcy Tilton.com. Underneath the patch details is a relatively simple structure that could be interpreted in endless ways. Right now, I'm thinking about a version in distressed denim... starting with un-distressed denim... so I could learn how to distress denim. Something I want. What do you want?

I want to do it because I want to do it. - Amelia Earhart

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - finding a path forward

15 comments:

  1. Myrna,Your coat looks wonderful and your painted patches really add interest to the black. I have that pattern, but haven't made it yet. It's a great shape

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    1. Thanks. I think it's a great shape too and a fun one to play with.

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  2. This is such an interesting and thoughtful post. I want to expand my garment sewing creativity but find it difficult to stray from my usual tailored style. I have an abundant stash but am hesitant to use bits and pieces from yardage purchased for specific garments. I know I just need to go into my studio and create without too much thought. Has Diane helped you with this? Karen

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    1. It seems like there are several things going on for you. Although you have purchased yardage for specific garments, it sounds like perhaps the style of those garments no longer suits you and you're also in the process of redefining your style. It's easy enough to play with small bits of fabric - even by recycling garments from thrift stores or ones from your closet where you still like the fabric but not the fit or style. For me, I knew I had to do something different to get something different and - as you said - that can be hard. Going to my first DOL in 2012 with Marcy and Diane really started me on this path and now - with the individual coaching - Diane has helped me move in more creative directions and with identifying what I want and how to get there.

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    2. Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Myrna. As you suggest I think I'll experiment with older garments in my closets. Yes I admit that I find it difficult to discard outgrown clothes that are made of beautiful fabrics. This will resolve the guilt of cutting into large yardages. Hugs!

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    3. Excellent. If you stay with it through the itchy anxious what am I doing stages, I bet you'll end up loving a new way of working.

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  3. I love that question and will play with it to create my own list. What do I want? Then, what do I really want? Thank you for this well thought out post.
    Cassy

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  4. Thank you for such a thoughtful and thought provoking post, Myra.

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    1. I'm glad it prompted some thoughts for you. YES YES

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  5. Myrna,

    What a beautiful coat! A true one of a kind that perfectly balances artisanal with elegance - very impressive. Also a very thought provoking post. I often say to my children that if you exchanged all the time we spend in planning an action with simply trying it out and then repeating with the lessons learned along the way, we would be further ahead (of course, I have to say that I have to say that I am the first one to hang back and say that I need to read the manual for some tech related thing while my husband simply starts playing around. But from what I read, that may simply be a Venus and Mars thing...!)

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. I feel quite good about how it turned out. I've been "listening" to myself this week and taking note of the all talk no action moments and how can they be turned around. Good learning.

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  6. Thank you for another thought-provoking post, Myrna. This year my husband & I accomplished one of our joint "I wants..." by selling the place in Wisconsin and moving to the Portland, OR region (Beaverton). We lived in the camper until we found a place and, while that was not always wonderful, the resulting house is just that. I'm just getting to the point of unpacking and setting up the sewing room, so that reference to "precious" fabric hit home ;-) I know someone who will really use that indigo-dyed fabric I bought in 2001, so I'm getting in touch with her. I feel movement and that's good - even though the sewing machines are still in boxes!

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    1. welcome to PDX! I see that you arrived just in time for a wild weather ride. Take heart; it's not always like this...........

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  7. Myrna, I like the raincoat a LOT. Great job.

    That book is a good one, and I'm glad you flagged it. As you say, it's not just for writers.

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