A Year to Come

I start thinking about the end of the year just before Solstice, on my birthday, as we all do. It seemed especially labyrinthine (new word!) this year, with my new year, the Solstice, the Christmas holiday-travel and the New Year feeling like they all happened at once.

It's a time for reflection, self care, beginnings and endings.  Excitement, shedding of the old and well known, nurturing of the mysterious new... This year how I create changed in strong, spark-starting ways.  This year was perhaps, about finding myself within my art. This year, my goal is to take what I've learned and run with it, scattering it like seeds into the world.

I'm ready to trip over scary things, leap with joy with new skills and connections. I want to hone my craft, to tool, stitch, and weave with confidence and share what I create with you, the world.

It's going to be huge.

These are the things I hope to accomplish in this new calendar year, in addition to continuing to do what I've found this past year. I split them up between art and self, but we all know it's really the same list.

for my Work

  • Be in the Studio every day. Even if it's just sitting in the quiet in my grandmother's chair.
  • Write more about my real world of creating. The balance of creating what makes my soul sing vs. having a day job, paying bills, learning new methods of moving through my art, sleeping enough while trying to make enough art.
  • Explore different options of photographing my work
  • Make the clogs
  • Paint more, on leather and paper
  • Practice for practice's sake
  • Collaborate with patrons to make belts & bags
  • Weave more custom scarves (this is going to be exciting!)
  • Explore wet felting as a cocoon making option
  • Teach those who want to learn

for my Heart

  • Move my body more often. Be it at the gym, yoga class, or on the living room floor, I found myself missing the quiet of physical, blood-pumping movement this year.
  • Bake bread, eat it with cultured butter
  • Cook more dinners, and try new recipes
  • Keep my heart open
  • Remember to breathe
  • Drink hot tea (and whiskey) slowly, savor the moment
  • Putter about the yard
  • Take trips
  • Nap in the hammock
  • Visit with friends, near and far (dessert dates, letters, phone calls)

I'll continue to explore my mediums, work with intent. I'll snuggle the kitties and humans I adore, drink lots of water, and bake cookies.  I will continue to learn to listen to my true-self, and to ask for help when it's needed. 

This is just the base of the mountain.  I am ready.

What will you do this year?

Sharing Art, Sending Love Part I

Every day, a blue feather day. 

This is the first cocoon birthed out of the sponsored Gratitude Project. The Giver requested a cocoon of blue, and thoughts of feathers and light for her Reciever. 

 

It was so much fun to create this with the support of the Giver, I've said it before, I'll say it again- I love collaborating with people to create beauty. It's so much fun for me to interpret an emotion/intention into color, wool and beads, especially with the challenge of translating through someone else's point of view. 

 

For this one, I used bright blue, periwinkle and copper beads, vibrant turquoise thread and a wee opal, shining it's rainbow. 


I have another to start working on now, and can't wait to get started on it! 

Backpack? Backpack!!

This backpack. Ooooh, this backpack. It nearly didn't happen, it nearly drove me insane.

Sound a bit dramatic? Yes, but it is the most challenging project I've taken on in a long, long time.  Which is why it kicked my bum.  Some of the pressure was totally my fault- it was requested by a dear, dear friend, it had a deadline that seemed manageable (or would have been if, you know, I didn't have a day job to deal with… oops).  On top of that, I threw in a completely new material. Plus it needed to be comfortable to wear, AND it needed leather to be involved as well.

I usually figure out construction in pieces and steps to about 95% before I start building a bag… This one was more like… oh, 60%. There were so many unknowns in this.  I had sketches, concepts, supplies, I knew I had the individual skills to pull it off… but would I be able to throw them all in the mixing bowl and come out with a usable bag? That was questionable.  

I can sew, but had never sewn with waxed fabric.  I can make a leather bag, but had never combined it with fabric in this way.  I’ve made purses, never backpacks.


It felt so personal, to make this right, to make it FIT her unique and fabulous body and spirit.

I almost dog-barfed it So. Many. Times.


As you can see, it worked. I had to simplify some things in the end, but it worked out.  She’s pleased as punch, and I'm exhausted and exhilarated to offer up my hand-work to such a challenging project.


I've learned a lot.


I do not know if I’ll make another, but I know enough to never lock a door to a challenge.  

Success is such a sweet reward. 

Cocooning

The folks who know me well know that it's not secret that I love small, repetitive projects. These cocoons (or pods, it depends on the minute) are just that, stitching tiny beads to small sculptures, stitching beads and making hundreds of french knots, they make me happy.  They provide me space to meditate, to study movement, light, and remind me to keep going. 

When I'm stuck on a larger project, I'll often turn to the latest cocoon to tame my fidgeting fingers and mind. These pods have saved more mired-in-the-muck projects than I can name. As I stitch, I find solutions, mull on new projects, or what's for dinner (or dessert!).

And when one finishes a sculpture... it needs a name, yes? Their names come from... the muse, I suppose.  They are the only 'Art' I have felt so compelled to name.  It helps to finish them in my mind. Sometimes I start with an idea or emotion from the start, other times the piece comes into its name once I'm finished stitching on it. 

I hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I do. Someday they'll hang from ceilings in galleries (and in homes, more importantly, they are made to be shared).  The ones in the photos above are my latest, the others are tucked into the Cocoons page at the top if you'd like to keep looking.