Isn't this flower gorgeous? It's been about to bloom for weeks and then Wednesday, when I looked out the front window, it was open. The yellow center was a total surprise. So pretty. And easy. Plant. Water. Wait. Not like vegetables. I've decided that I am - generally speaking - not a vegetable gardener. I don't mind the larger and take longer things like the squash and tomatoes but I'm not too thrilled with the lettuce, radishes, green onions types of things that require more ongoing work. Those spaces may get planted with shrubs next year.
Howard and I have been talking about are we going to commit to this house and if we are, how can we minimize the amount of maintenance required ongoing? It's an interesting question as you age... which I'm doing today... it's my 54th birthday. It's a wonderful age with time to explore who I am, what I want, and my skills and abilities. I'm grateful.
I finished the purple throw for the couch. It's longer and narrower than I'd have made it if I'd planned things only I didn't. I just picked up the needles, cast on a bunch of stitches, and knit until I ran out of yarn. It does cover me cozily on the couch though and that's good. LOVE the color.
AND... the two twin quilts for the guest room are channel quilted, trimmed, bound, and on the beds. The quilts were the next major step in decorating this room. Next, I want to do something with the pillows to brighten the space like overdyeing the grey ones and sewing some brighter cases. And then, I have two crib ends in a Jinny Lind style to refinish and refashion for the headboards. When I sized the quilts, I cut off about six inches from the width of each which is the equivalent of about three hours work... so I kept the strips... because they have potential... which is....
... a good sort of problem. I see potential in almost everything, so I keep it, and the more I create, the more I keep. The boxes and containers are piling up and it's becoming increasingly important to take time to explore these possibilities. The caps at left are from water bottles, plus the top of my hair mousse, plus the inside of a scotch tape role. These are all great mark making tools. I want to glue the caps to some cardboard to make a stamp.
The black knit strips are the leftovers from binding the neck and armholes on the under-dress to my Vogue 9112 eyelet dress. The tighter pieces are the cut off arm binding. When I sewed them on, the edges wobbled and I didn't like the way they looked so the plan was to stabilize the armhole and then re-do the binding... last night... so I could wear the dress today. Hopefully I am. I did audition other colors under the dress only the eyelet is dense so a person has to peer quite closely to see the color and I didn't want them peering that closely at my chest. That meant black.
In the last posting, I wrote about the tingling feeling of something about to happen and that it might possibly be writing a book, developing a workshop, or putting together an exhibit. Those things are familiar and I come back to them easily because they are safe only safe is not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for new, creative, authentic, stretching, growing, learning, and so on. I was thinking about safe and new when I went to journal last Friday morning and here's what came up in my study...
Ask God what is next. It may be something new that stretches you into a flow experience or it may mean getting engaged in what is right before you. - The Law of Happiness by Henry Cloud
I realized that THIS - working through the Bits & Pieces of Potential Boxes - is the major project I've been thinking about and that it is both something that will stretch me and something that will engage me with what is right in front of me. As that journey unfolds, it may lead to other new journeys. That's a mystery left to be discovered, however...
... either way, the potential boxes are calling to be explored. They've been waiting long enough and there is so much in them to learn, discover, and grow through. As you can see, it's a huge pile and could represent years of work going forward never mind the years of collecting going backward. The white figure resting on the chair is my oldest project - twelve years - and it remains intriguing. I've been putting it off because I'm not sure I can do what I want to do and although I'm still not sure, I won't know unless I try. I will learn to do by doing. It's time.
One of the assignments from my last coaching session was to make a collage illustrating what I am inviting into my studio with the idea that I don't want to have moved these boxes from my previous studio to this new space only to then behave exactly the same. I am ready for new experiences. I worked on the collage yesterday as a way of ending one year and beginning the next and of setting intentions going forward. These intentions are not for just the next year but for this journey of possibility and for life in my new studio.
The images aren't glued down yet but I doubt they'll change much from the set-up as it took a while to work this out. I started by going through a stack of magazines and cutting out any images or phrases that appealed and then I printed out other images and words on the computer that were important to include. There were too many and...
... that's one of the great things about making collages. The defined space forces you to choose carefully which images and words are included and to be sure that they are exactly what you desire to have. I chose the size for the wall right by the door to the studio so I'll see the collage every time I go in or out and watch as my intentions develop. Collages are a powerful tool.
Some but not all of the images are self explanatory. The garments are not ones I want to sew, they are ones that contain elements of the style I'm developing. Overall, I wanted a warm, friendly, comfortable, colorful, authentic, stretching, and texture filled playground of a collage to represent those elements in the studio. I want the studio to be a happy place that nurtures and supports me, that encourages the development of the work that is calling to me, and that welcomes others to share the journey.
The picture of Audrey is top right on the collage. Her black and white look continues to inspire me. In fact, this past week I worked on three jewelry pieces and I'm currently adding seed beads to a necklace that is wearable. It has a clasp. It's virtually complete. I like it. And it's predominately made from fabric. Who knew?
Hopefully I'll have pictures of the necklace next week but apparently I needed to give up on textile jewelry in order to move forward. I call it the "find a man" syndrome where someone is so desperate that they're putting out desperate energy and scaring them away and then, when they give up, everything changes... only my "desperate energy" wasn't about a man... it was about too much pressure and too high of expectations around textile jewelry. Moving forward was part of the ah ha from reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
Today, I'm having breakfast with a friend, and then my afternoon knitting group is coming for a potluck, and then Howard and I are planning to order in pizza and watch a movie together. The "boys" and my youngest son's girlfriend are coming for birthday lunch (with a very yummy chocolate cake) on Sunday and on Monday, Howard and I are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary with a leisurely road trip and a fun day together. He goes back on Tuesday and I'll be heading into the studio to start the "new year".
For the past few years, I've celebrated my birthday in Ashland while at the Design Outside the Lines Retreat. I'm looking forward to spending the day here with family and friends and at the same time I'm missing my friends in Ashland and the energy of the retreat. This year, it was held earlier in April and wasn't possible but... HOPEFULLY... something wonderful happens financially and with the exchange rate so that I can either go for a visit and/or go to the fall retreat. I'd enjoy that... but... if not... I am really going to enjoy exploring the bits & pieces of potential in my studio. I've lost 12.5 pounds so far, hopefully fifteen the next time I weigh myself, and at some point the potential will start taking the shape of a new wardrobe. YES YES.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - renewed creative energy and intentions