Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Mode

I've written the last Christmas card...except to you my readers, so here it is - Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays! I feel a bit of freedom in my grasp. The picture above is actually a card I received from the Salvation Army. Aren't all those curves the best? What a graceful reindeer!

To be honest, I haven't done anything remotely creative since I finished up the Redwork Quilt last Saturday. Once that deadline was met, it was definitely time to switch into holiday mode. The week's been spent writing on cards, wrapping a few presents for shipping, digging out the car to take said presents to the post office during the window of opportunity between the winds dying down and the next storm,
digging out the car from that next storm, cleaning out my desk, cleaning out my e-mail files...Seriously, I find the end of the year much more conducive to a round of "spring" cleaning than spring. It seems an appropriate way to wrap up the year and start the new one with a little less baggage...freedom.

The holiday mode has also been partly vacation mode too. I haven't felt much like "working" in the studio, haven't felt much creative urge, have had no inkling of what I'd do if I went in there. I keep remembering all that free time during school breaks both growing up and when I worked for the schools, time I spent reading, knitting, playing outside in the snow (not shoveling it), doing the opposite of whatever my daily routine/job was. I keep catching myself wanting to recapture that time so I've been shunning my "day job" of quilting. But with the Christmas preparations wrapping up, a bit of guilt has crept in along with a feeling of being at loose ends. I vowed I'd do something in there today and settled on sewing the sleeve on the NY beauty tie quilt. I've decided not to add any more beads so it was time to sleeve it and get it hung. Time to quit avoiding the studio.

It was only after I went in and got going on the sleeve, while hand stitching it to the back of the quilt that I realized being in there felt like refuge again (see here for a post about the different feelings I can have in the studio). It pleased me that the aversion was gone and made me think about why that was. I decided it was because the sorts of things needing immediate attention in there were not creative activities, but follow-up activities, those things that need doing once a quilt is "done." Besides the sleeve, I subconsciously knew I had some documenting to catch up on and straightening up to do. Why I was avoiding it I'm not sure, because once the sleeve was on, I wanted to stay in my refuge and do that follow-up stuff. It was no different than the cleaning up I did in the office all week. The end of the year is a great time to sort and toss and reassess and plan. Suddenly I was grabbing a scrap of paper to write down all the things crowding into my mind that I wanted to attend to in here these last few weeks of the year, including a few creative endeavors. What a lift! Freedom!

With the last Christmas card in the mail, I recaptured some freedom - and freedom is my resolution word for 2008 so it felt very good. With my short time in the studio today, I gained a little more freedom, plus a short list to direct me for gaining more. None of it feels at odds with my wanting to stay in vacation mode. It feels like the perfect way to let the year run down and get a head start on the new year.


Felicity said...

Merry Christmas and a very happy and creative New year to you Sheila!

Sheila said...

Your creative energies have been directed into the holidays. I agree, the card is beautiful with the graceful curves. Merry Christmas.