20 April 2016

Wassup Wednesday

Welcome, welcome, welcome!
Just time for a quick recap of the week.

I made some progress on the 2 kid portraits. One is now finished with phase 1 (all the fabric pieces are cut and placed. Phase 2 is the machine quilting). 
The other is about 1/2 way done with phase 1.

I had a wonderful visit with the Quilters' Connection quilt guild in Waltham, MA on Monday. The guild members were very friendly and asked some great questions.  They seemed interested in a future workshop, so we'll see how that goes.

Still coming up: a trip to First Dutchess Quilters Guild in Poughkeepsie, NY May 18 - 19.  For that visit, I'll be giving a lecture/trunk show centered around portrait quilts. Then on the 2nd day we'll be doing the Magnolia Kit workshop.

So what else is new?  This morning I took a 5K walk along the trail near my house. It was such a beautiful morning, and I've been spending so much time in the basement (studio), I decided to take my doctor's advice and get more outdoor exercise. I thought it would help to clear the creative cobwebs out of my head.

Maybe it worked! When I got back from my walk, I put aside the kid portrait commissions so I could get the Viewpoints 9 challenge piece started.  I'm starting to feel that ol' mojo coming back.  I'm having a lot of fun creating "Tattoo Dog - otherwise known as Albert".  More on that later.

In other fiber art news, I've started knitting. Learning to knit has been a goal of mine for the past few years.  And finally, on April 1st, Cindy Grisdela generously gave her time to the SAQA MakerSpace (an event I organized at the 2016 SAQA conference in Philadelphia) and she taught me to knit & purl.  Thank you Cindy!
When I got home from the conference, I used up the rest of the donated yarn remnant I brought home from the conference and learned a couple more things, like how to cast on and cast off, and how to un-knit mistakes, by watching YouTube videos. 

My first knitting project! I call it "Mouse Blanket"
 Here's a little detail showing one of my practice pieces.  I'm just doing different combos of K and P, seeing what kind of textures they create. 
I know it might seem counter-intuitive since I already have a lot of projects going on. But I think knitting might be a key to breaking out of my creative dull drums and getting back on track. Learning something new is a good way to engage a different part of the brain.

Here's one thing. My actual productive hours during the day are really only from about 10am - 2pm. Those are the times when I have excellent focus and can really get some detail work done in the studio.  After that, I pick up my son from school and my productivity starts to decline.  By dinnertime my attention is 10 different places and by evening, I can't be trusted around heavy machinery, sharp scissors and a hot iron.

Knitting offers me a chance to work with my hands with NO pressure to deliver something great to anyone and under NO time limit. I can sit and relax but also feel like I'm being productive.  Even when I accidentally let the stitches fall off the needle and everything unraveled, it was kind of fun to pull it all apart and see the yarn there, waiting to become something new.  (Kind of like Legos!)

This is a nice way to quiet my mind toward the end of the day. Hey, it beats zoning out with Candy Crush... level 765 and counting!
Last week I bought a brand new skein of yarn to work with. I discovered that I really enjoy "seed stitch".  It builds into a lovely, bumpy texture like smooth pebbles that feel great in my hands. So there ya go, instant gratification.

I realize this post is kind of rambling on without much structure - kind of like my knitting projects right now. But who cares, it's a pleasant break from the deadlines, precision and structure of my current fiber work.
Anyway, I'm not trying to obsess over writing the perfect post.  I'm just gathering my thoughts for the week and holding myself accountable. And MAYBE something here resonates with another artist in the same creative boat.  If so, welcome to the boat! :-)

1 comment:

  1. I like to crochet, but I don't like to follow a pattern, as that takes too much brain power and I have no brain power left during crochet-time!


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