Thursday, November 08, 2007

An Unexpected Distraction

I had planned an ambitious day in the studio, getting to work on the quilt for my new niece. Instead, I was up half the night with Jesse, seen here regally guarding her property. Last night, she was trying to stand up and failing. It looked like a balance problem, but at her ripe old age of 13, I can never be sure that this isn't it. For someone who is not a morning person, it was quite something to be up calling the emergency number for the vet at 5:45, then dressed and out the door with her by 6:30. To my brother, who sees me as this independent, strong woman of pioneer stock, this time you may be right. Who knew I could actually heft nearly 60 pounds of dog and carry her out to the car? Fortunately, I panicked unnecessarily; her problem is indeed one of balance - an inner ear problem that is making her world spin and for which there is no pill or procedure; it will clear up on its own in about a week. In the meantime, the vet gave her a sedative, and yes, there is one thing worse than a staggering, falling down dog; a drugged staggering, falling down dog. She slept most of the morning, then became clingy like a sick child. So while I got the parts for a sample block cut out, that's all I got done. The rest of my day was spent catnapping or consoling a very confused dog. I'm hoping things will go better tomorrow.

In the meantime, Sally (Feather on a Wire) has tagged me, and it is an interesting one. May as well get something productive done today!

1. When did you start and make craft?

I think I was 4 or 5 when I dug out a scrap of fabric, a needle and some floss and tried my hand at embroidery. I've been trying out different crafts ever since.

2. Why did you start creating?

I'm not sure. My mom never felt she was any good at that sort of thing, although she did the obligatory tea towels and sewed some clothing. It wasn't like she was showing me how to do things. I just got interested, and if the supplies were hanging around, I'd give it a go. My aunt gave me a little instruction on knitting, but I pretty much taught myself everything else from pamphlets or magazines. Maybe it was partly because my brothers were quite a bit older than me and we didn't live close to anyone, so there weren't other kids to play with. So I made my own entertainment. Still doing that today.

3. Why do you create?

I get a great deal of personal satisfaction in making my own things, figuring out how to do things, having something different from what everyone is buying in the stores. The process is usually my focus more so than the end product, so I'm usually not in a big rush to get something done. Trying new things, figuring out how to make something work, the exhilaration when I'm successful, those are some of the reasons I create. My head has always been full of ideas sparked by what I'm seeing around me. I also create because part of the process, the hand work usually, has a calming effect on me. Whatever problems I may be having in my life, they seem to fly from my head once I take needle and thread in hand, and start the repetitive process of stitching.

4. What do you create?

Mostly quilts for quite a while now, but I am getting back into knitting and crocheting a bit now too. Just simple things like scarves and shawls. My most recent experimentations with quilts seem to be taking me away from an actual quilt. Machine embroidery, or just plain stitching without batting is starting to interest me.

5. How has this changed since you began crafting?

I used to only use patterns, never designing my own, but often personalizing with a change of color. I didn't have the confidence or could see how to design my own sweaters, for instance. I tried just about everything: knitting, crochet, embroidery, crewel work, cross stitch, needlepoint, rug hooking. But once I got into quilting, I found I could design, and patterns were only a jumping off point for me. Now I feel guilty if I use a pattern in any way, although I occasionally do. The majority of my work now is original designs. I so fell in love with quilting, that I eventually dropped all the other needlecrafts to concentrate on quilting. I suppose something else that has changed is that I no longer create things to either keep or give away. I'm now selling some of my creations.

Thanks, Sally, for giving me a chance to think about these things. It's all part and parcel of my creative journey. Now for the lucky ones I get to tag: Nikki, Pat, Felicity, Margaret, Anne.


The WestCountryBuddha said...

My own dear dog is now 14 and I have got inordinately fond of him. He seems quite well, but has just begun to develop a tremor in his back legs when he stands for too long. I hope the ear problem sorts itself out quickly and your dear dog is up and pounding around again soon. Oh, and apart from the emotional truama there's usually a whopping great vet's bill to deal with too!

The Idaho Beauty said...

You are so right. Combine a before hours appointment with having to take her to a vet other than my own and I racked up quite a bill for so little done! She is noticably better today, or else she's learning how to cope with the spinning. She was quite wanting to romp when we went out this morning, and is walking more in a straight line. Thanks for your kind words, fellow dog owner!

Living to work - working to live said...

Oh - how lovely to find this post and see a pic of your old dog ( you know how smitten I am with dogs!)