Friday, June 2, 2017

Tea Towels, Grumpy Skies, and Creative Journeys

The sky grumbled all day yesterday. And it poured down rain like the heavens had completely opened. And that was okay because it was warm and dry in the studio. Right after I got back from my daughter's, I got sick and I've been mostly a lump for the past two weeks with variations on the sick theme. Right now, I have a croaky voice, a dry cough, a headache, and a sty in one eye.




After nearly two weeks, what did I sew? Tea towels... from a tablecloth... which may sound like busy work but it was slow and soothing and I ended up with exactly what I wanted. I could have bought tea towels this colour only they came in sets of four along with one red, one yellow, and one green. I didn't want those. I only wanted teal so I bought the tablecloth instead and got what I wanted for less. This is the gift of sewing - the ability to create what we want.



  



While I was in Calgary, I purchased unfinished, pre-assembled, oak cabinets for my kitchen. After debating the kitchen concerns from every angle for months, this was the option that gave me what I wanted at a price I was willing to pay. The L shape was $1,500 for these unfinished cabinets and $13,000 from the cabinet shop. That's a HUGE difference. For that much money, I am happy to paint and finish them myself which I'll do next week. The cabinets are all in place ready to paint. The counter-top comes today and after that the plumber to put in the sink and tap which will be perfect since I've been without water in the kitchen for ten days. Everything moves slower in a small town so it could take a month or more but I'll post pictures when the space is completely finished along with pictures of what it looked like when I bought the house.

My poor husband didn't realize he had made a mistake when he said "my" house was going to be amazing when it was fully renovated but that he didn't really like it the way it was right now. While I was thrilled he shared his opinion, I was not thrilled that he wasn't feeling completely comfortable here so - of course - I started renovating. I meant to do the kitchen but it's since seeped toward the edges. Now, I plan to finish the kitchen, dining room, living room, and down the hall to our bedroom this summer - all without spending a lot of money.





I'm thrilled that my ability to refashion and re-purpose extends past the studio and into the rest of my life. I hadn't intended to redecorate the bathroom only I found a vanity much like the one pictured above at the thrift store for only $150.00 which is substantially less - and far more interesting - than anything I could have ordered. An affordable vanity was the reason why I wasn't finishing the bathroom so it just may get done now.





The ability to see potential where I couldn't see it before is something that has developed with practice... like whoever decided to combine these watches into a necklace. How fun is that? I did not have that skill before and now I do and it came from learning how to ask my questions differently so that I am open to different answers.

I wanted small corbels to create a shelf for my coffee cups. Corbels are hard to find and typically expensive so instead of asking where can I get inexpensive corbels, I went shopping with the question what can I use to create a coffee shelf and I did find an answer that I'll show you once it's painted and in place. The way we ask the question changes the potential answers. A bucket upside down. A wooden box. A metal plant stand. A diminutive chair. A bread basket. A narrow drawer placed bottom to the wall. There are endless possibilities once we start looking. Are you asking yourself the kinds of questions that will lead you where you want to go? How could changing your questions change your creativity?

Tuesday morning was a coaching session with Diane. One of the things we talked about was what to do with the endless list of possibilities floating through my mind. Twenty years ago, I could never have imagined having this "problem" but once I started to ask different questions and to look beyond the obvious and see with new eyes, the possibilities have become endless both inside and outside the studio. Sometimes I'm not sure what to focus on or how to choose.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I first started working with Diane five years ago on my 50th birthday and I am amazed at how much has changed in my life and in the way I think and create in the past five years. I'm thankful for this tremendous opportunity and benefiting greatly in all areas of life, not just in the studio. Moving to my wonderful home in this small creative community is one outcome from asking what do I want.

Inside the house, I want to slowly work my way through the rooms I mentioned earlier, not to finish every detail because it's important that the rooms I live in evolve as I do but to finish some of the main projects that have been waiting like the quilt for my bed and refinishing the dining room table.

In the yard, I want to finish the front walkway before the winter snow. That sounds ridiculous right now when the sun is barely shining but there's a lot going on and it's a big job so hopefully it's possible. If not, I'll be that much further along next spring.

In the studio, I want to continue developing my wire wrapping skills and layering them with my design skills and I want to continue sewing increasingly creative and wearable, clothing. One of the assignments Diane gave me is to create a neck piece and then to create a simple t-shirt with a neckline shape based on the neck piece. That sounds like fun... and having fun is one of my goals. There's no point not to. As I've said so many times before, I'm warm, dry, safe, fed, clothed, and loved. I don't need another object; I need the journey.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a kitchen with drawers - as in I've had none since I moved in - and a clean, hygienic counter- as in not tile with dirty grout lines

14 comments:

  1. Marilyn C in cloudy and wet GananoqueJune 2, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    I always looked forward to reading your blog and was wondering what happened when you didn't post last Friday. I hope that you are feeling better. I was glad to read that you have recovered from your fall.
    I knew that your birthday was near but thought that it was on the 4th one week before mine.Add 23 years to your age and you will know mine. Where did the time go? "Too soon old and too late smart!"
    Have a happy birthday and a year full of love, creativity and adventure.

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    1. Thanks for your wishes. I'll definitely take a year full of love, creativity, and adventure. How fun is that. Ditto. Happy birthday this week. I hope you have a fabulous day. I'm not 100% but I am feeling quite a bit better, good enough to work in the studio and on the kitchen and that's fabulous.

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  2. Happy birthday! I too always enjoy reading about your adventurous journeys and hope your health improves soon. Can't wait to see how your kitchen comes out.

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    1. Thank you. The counter-top looks amazing and it's so great to have a functioning sink again. I'm pleased with how the kitchen is looking.

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  3. nice...glad you are back...

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  4. Happy birthday and get well soon! I am off work for the summer and I have my list of to-dos for the time....finish fixing the drapes in the dining room and hang them; take the feathers out of the sofa cushions and re-fill them with fiberfill; take all the artwork down and rehang everything to include the new stuff we bought. On the creative front: finish the almost done sweater and start the next one; sew the many items I have ideas and fabric for; start working on my oil painting skills; figure out how I can fit a new (digital) piano into my house. I think I can do it, but I also think I should make a schedule!

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    1. OH - I love your list. The suggestion I would make based on my experience is to take a morning hour in your studio first to do the thing you really want to do. Make creativity top of the to do list and you'll find it nurtures everything else. And... since you're off work... if you can make it the whole morning how amazing that would be. Be careful of people who think you're now available and perfect your thanks but no thanks... I have an appointment... answers. YES YES - have a fabulous summer.

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  5. Wishing you a very happy birthday, Myrna! Sounds like you're starting your "new year" off with a bang. Will look forward to hearing and seeing the progress on all your projects. You are such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing the journey!
    Marian

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    1. Thank you. I had a delightful day - slept in, moved slow, went to journal since there were no trades people in the house, worked in the studio, had a lovely dinner, and a good nights sleep. All wonderful. Thanks for sharing my journey. I appreciate having you here.

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  6. Happy birthday and good luck finishing the kitchen. Can't wait to see pics. (I think we bought the same cabinets for our laundry room. :)). It's mostly sunny one the coast, so hoping you won't get more rain in the interior. Abbey

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    1. Thanks and thanks. I'll wait to post of the kitchen until everything is done but what a HUGE difference it makes to have a continuous counter and not choppy tile and plywood. Today, I'll start painting the lowers and that'll bring it together even more. The paint needs a week to cure so I have all my dishes and food in the new pantry I bought and that's helpful too. My house feels like it's tidying up and finding it's voice.

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  7. Late happy birthday! I'm glad you felt better to enjoy it. I look forward to seeing the new kitchen and all the other projects you have planned.

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    1. Thank you. As I sit in the middle of dust and painting, I'm looking forward to seeing the new kitchen too - LOL!

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