Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Still Stitching

In my last post I mentioned that my husband and I had gone through all of the fabric art pieces I had stored in the basement and re-purposed some of them into smaller pieces that could be sold at a craft show. I've avoided craft shows over the past few years, believing that they're a lot of work for not much return, as people expect to buy hand made things for less than the cost of supplies.  But, I've also said that I would rather sell things  than donate them to a thrift store.  So I've devoted this week to re-purposing some of my older hangings.  I have small zipper pouches, even smaller zipper pouches, coffee cuffs ( these have been hanging around from sales long, long ago), and the fancy knitting/project bags I've been working on in the evenings for awhile now. I have set prices on them, and will be taking them to a sale Nov 12th, just as a sort of trial run.  Wish me luck.

I plan to link this with The Needle and Thread Network.

Friday, October 21, 2016

and which way is up??

Just when I thought things were under control, my husband suggested that we go through some of the finished hangings that are stored in the basement, and see if we could dispose of any of them so as to get rid of the clutter. I really, really didn't want to do that, but recognized that it was part of a long term ( very, very long term, IMHO) plan to simplify our lives. We were able to find several, enough, in fact, to reduce the stash to two wrapped rolls that will easily fit in one trunk.  Most of the others will be re-purposed into smaller more functional items like tote bags and small purses. These have sold well over the years at craft sales and informally to friends.  So my next task was to find some sort of sale, which I did.  OMG!  In three weeks!!! So starting yesterday, and continuing into the near future, I will be chained to my studio re-configuring precious intensely worked art-quilted hangings into items that will --hopefully--sell for a pittance.  The option was to donate them to a thrift store which would have broken my heart.  At least, if I do make any money, I can spend it on supplies to make more.

Isn't that the definition of insanity?  To keep doing the same thing over and over again and think the results will be different?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Another finish

In early August, I posted this picture of a hand sewing project.  Yes, Cathedral Windows, with the background squares being about 4' by 4"--relatively small. It was very slow progress, as this pattern takes a lot of time to do properly. All that is left to do here is to attach and finish the row shown, and to make two short pieces, as are on the top, to sew to the bottom.  Then the whole thing had to be sewn together and a draw string top added. This description really is a simplification, as the finishing took almost as long as the original piecing

 But here is the final result. Finished it today. This is actually quite a large bag, as it was intended as a knitting bag and had to be big enough to hold a project, as well as the needles etc to work on it. 
I plan to link this with The Needle and Thread Network

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Not as easy as I thought

In my last post I talked about enjoying my social network, as so much of it relates to my creative life.  Serendipitously, an opportunity came up to join an informal sketching group, one of the areas I want to experience.  Today was the first meeting.  One lady had taken it upon herself to set up an organizational system, that required each of us to accept responsibility for providing instruction for one of the sessions, over the next few months, and for each of us to submit a sketch for critique at each session.  I had anticipated a much more informal set-up, where I could progress at my own speed, starting at my own skill level, with hopes of improving that level.  As well, most of them were asking to concentrate on aspects of figure drawing, not something I'm looking for at all. While I realize that figure drawing is an important aspect of sketching, I do not believe I am skilled enough to experience any success with it at all, and without some sort of positive experience, I would quickly become discouraged.  That skill level might come in the future, but I'm not there yet.  Nor do I use figures in any of my fibre work, most of which is more abstract.

So when the organizing lady turned to me and asked when I would take on all of the preparation and delivery of a class, I simply said that I had been looking for a more informal class, and that I would be opting out.  And I left.

But this means that my goal of a sketch a day will require an awful lot of self discipline--not my strong point.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I can't believe it's been so long!

Firstly, I had to completely re-make the exhibition piece I was planning with all of the very small squares in hand dyed green. ( I had trimmed it 1/2 inch too short for the exhibition)  Then, I was preparing to attend the yearly networking retreat and Annual Meeting of the Fibre Art Network.

This event can be held anywhere in Western Canada, and this year was local.  It was my pleasure to assist with the planning, although in a minor role.  This is a wonderful event, filled with individual artist presentations, lots of networking, field trips, and a great deal of major planning regarding the running of the organization.  It's one of the most stimulating things I do for my creative self.

One of the things talked about was the need for professional artists  to develop, and follow, a plan for their own individual professional life.  This will, of course, include the artist's individual long and short term goals.  This is something I've neglected for the past few years, while I was dealing with health issues.  Today, I sat down to take a look at this, and realized that my main goal is to be alive in five years, and healthy enough for social activity.  Now, I'm not being silly about this.  So, my intent is to improve or maintain my physical and mental health.  Physical Health is personal and somewhat self evident. Under Mental Health is my need to be creative, part of which is my need to have an active social network, as my social life consists primarily of the people and activities essential for my creativity.

This came as a bit of a surprise, as I've often felt guilty for attending social events, as it took time away from the studio.  Now I realize that these same social activities are essential to me, and well worth the time I devote to them.