Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Perfect Imperfect Life

This week, I've been rereading Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling book Eat Pray Love after reading her follow-up Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. The second book is testimonials of how the first one impacted individual lives. When I first read Eat Pray Love, I remember relating to what Liz wrote because of a similar experience of finding self a few years earlier. I also remember feeling inspired to be braver and even more authentic so I wondered what I'd get out of it now, ten years later. This quote from page 95 resonates -  ... it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection.

It's interesting how my life has gone in a completely different direction from what I imagined and how I'm doing things I never even thought about and yet it's just perfect. Yesterday, I spent twenty minutes just watching the sprinkler go round and round and thinking about what a luxury that was - to have water, to have a lawn and a home, to have time to watch sprinklers and to work in the studio.

If we stick with the itchy, anxious, learning curves of our art long enough, they eventually smooth out and become more comfortable. With textile art, I'd reached that place where my hands moved with ease while my mind bubbled with creativity. With creative wearables, I've been searching for that place for quite a few years. Recently, I've noticed a significant increase of confidence with the combination of my ideas with my skills with the garment. It's very fun. A good place to be reaching.

Because I've been working in the yard a lot, the coat is still not finished but it's making great progress. This macrame collar was pinned in place while I decided what I thought. I'm ready to stitch it now. The "strings" are serger strips.

On the weekend, we had four large and poorly placed lilac bushes removed from the front yard. Finally. I'm not at all sad to see them go especially as they went to a new home and are - by now - safely replanted. I filled the one hole with turf I removed from the walkway. The other hole...

... is much bigger. Three super large bushes were significantly spaced to hide two manholes for the electric and the phone services only the space they took up was HUGE compared to what was being hidden, plus the "garden" was domed like a grave, and covered with lots and lots and lots of rocks. I'd already removed rocks from here in the spring to surround the gardens by the house as you can see in the earlier picture and this is still what's left. I have plans for a much smaller and far more attractive - IMHO - arrangement but first I have to get rid of the rocks and put in a small fence.... pickets perhaps. I've never built a fence before. That should be fun.

Someone asked me the other day how to plan an abstract, textile piece. I opened a magazine and showed her this picture of toast and said it can start with just a simple idea like these four shapes and then you start to think about how you'll piece the curved lines and how you'll create the texture and what paint could do and what thread work could do and the depth of the batting and any three dimensional elements like tucked or ruched fabric or beading. It's been so long since I taught an abstract workshop that it was great to discuss it with her... and quite timely.

After so many years of not making textile wall art, I'm turning over ideas in my mind for an exhibit at the local gallery in January 2017. It's to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. The piece needs to be either 80% white plus other colours, 80% red plus other colours, or a combination of red and white that equals 80% plus other colours. And hangable. Which is why it can't be a garment although I did suggest a hanger could do the trick - LOL.

Luckily, the red can be any shade of red since scarlet is not my favourite although I like how that makes it an interesting challenge. Can I make a piece I like that starts with colours I don't like? I have a white linen table cloth that I'm prepping for the background and I plan to build from there.

One of the things I've learned from my coaching sessions with Diane is how to work on more than one project at a time. It's not all crazy with a million on the go but now, rather than working on just one, I can have two or three and rotate between them while I'm thinking about things like collar. I started on a purse using another piece of practice surface design. I really like the curved look of the purse above right - which incidentally sells for $1,795.00 USD - so I started on something similar only mine looked like a toaster cover so I...

... took it apart and have started evolving it into another shape. I'm considering a purse frame but we'll see. This is one of the things I'm really enjoying about creativity right now. There is no rush. There is no great need to have the item; the great need is to enjoy the journey.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - water, a lawn, a home, time, the perfect imperfect life.


  1. I'm glad that, as you contemplate your sprinkler, you appreciate the luxury of having water like that. We're in our second year of drought here and can only water twice a week (in 104 F temps!) We have lost a dogwood tree and the birches are looking like they'll go next. I save the water when washing vegetables and dump it in the pots outside...I'll never take water for granted again!
    I enjoy your creative ruminating. I've been "stuck" creatively for a long time, and am finally starting to feel the stirrings of inspiration. I always have several projects going at once: sewing, knitting, painting, "fixing"...I get bored really easily!

    1. Our temperatures are similar and we are only allowed to water twice a week as well. My days are Tuesday and Friday. Like you, I think twice before I dump out water - whether there's some place to use it in the yard.

      I think the solution to stuck is to do something. Starting leads to something else. If you have trouble starting, try a timer and tell yourself you only "have to" work for ten minutes. You'll be surprised how many times you keep going. I also find that knowing what I'm coming back to is helpful. I worked on the purse this morning and when I come back to it, I'll be finishing the top edge and seaming the sides. That's enough to get started. Have fun.

  2. Hmmm...that phrase is making the rounds at the moment...I described myself to a friend the other day as "perfectly imperfect"...which my friend thought was perfect! :-)

    1. Yes... it's much easier to live with.


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