Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Since Last I Wrote . . .

Here's a collection of little things awaiting their turn to make an appearance on the blog. Some actually showed up as I was winding up the taxes and bridge slice. Like the reappearance of that collaborative liturgical stole project, first an envelop in the mail returning my long ago sent design edits and fabric swatches, and then the bag of fabrics - some for the project, some for me to add to my own stash of silks. I e-mailed my collaborator warning her I was not even going to open the envelop while I had these deadlines to meet, knowing how easily I can be distracted. She assured me there wasn't much new in there but that she'd figured out how to get the fabric to me without mailing it, and I could proceed when ready. I only agreed to this project with the caveat that it would take a backseat to any of my other art deadlines, so it can sit until I deal with those. But I had been thinking about it as I shuffled its stack of fabrics out of the way when straightening the workroom and looking for other things. So although I won't be doing anything about it right away, it is good to have it all in my hands now, ready when I am.

Continuing the liturgical theme, a catalog arrived in the mail a few days before Easter, with this dramatic image on the cover. I'm sure it is meant to be a modern representation of Christ, but in my mind, it could be an apostle, prophet, a holy man, not necessarily Christian although it's difficult not to see a hint of a cross in the possible halo about his head and the upraised arms invoking a crucifixion. At any rate, I kept seeing beyond those things and being drawn in by the stylization throughout. I saved it as a possible focal point for a collage.

Speaking of collage, just when I thought I'd broken myself of saving every envelop with a security pattern inside, I found this. I don't think I've ever seen this pattern before, something that looks like wood grain, or perhaps rippling water. I really did hesitate longer than one might think before deciding to keep it. I've filled a small bin with these envelops and have yet to use them. Oh well, one more won't hurt, especially since it is different.

I've observed more evidence of my resolution word, refresh, in the studio. After wrapping up a project, its scraps and fabrics and tools and threads can stay scattered on the worktable for days, generally until I pull out the next thing to work on. This is not a good habit and what leads me to shoving to one side and piling on top of other things until I have little space to actually work when work commences once again. So on the day I put in the last stitches on the bridge slice, trimmed it up and called it done, I was ready to walk away and plop myself in front of the computer for the time left before dinner. Some unfamiliar force stopped me though. Oh, you're right, I thought. Swipe those unusable trimmings into the wastebasket and put that one small piece of fabric and the netting back into the stash. I tried walking away again and it felt like something was literally pulling me back to the table. Ok, Ok, I'll gather up the pattern, photos and directions. And put away the rulers and scissors and rotary cutter. Are you satisfied now, whatever it is driving me to this unfamiliar behavior? I have to admit, it actually lightened me up a bit, and I thought - ah yes, refresh that studio behavior! Instead of experiencing the usual sudden dread upon entering the studio later, I was uplifted by the clean and ready work space. Yeah!

Surprisingly detailed security pattern that could be inspired by quilting?

Not so much my office/guest room space across the hall though. It is still a cringe-worthy mess of papers and projects and notes. Although my taxes were done and mailed off, my copies and their substantiating documentation as well as some I didn't need still lay scattered across an open file folder on the floor. It's quick work to gather up, organize and stuff this into an envelop for the file box but my habit has been to looked the other way when entering the room because when I go in there, I already have a list of things to attend to. But we have started to refresh that as well, apparently. On a day that had been long but left a short space of time for something, a space I'd talked myself out of as being enough for the studio but more than I should waste, I realized it was just enough time to put away the tax things and file a bunch of papers I'd let stack up. Suddenly I was deep into some files definitely needing weeding - out with the old, in with the new! And oops, I unearthed another security pattern I didn't remember having and decided to keep. Now to refresh my habit of procrastinating about tending to the growing stack of papers to be shredded.

Speaking of procrastination, I was doing just that one day when I was putting off tackling the bridge reflection by convincing myself I was just catching up on links I'd saved to read "when I had more time." Just one more article. Well, just another one. This will definitely be the last one. And yes, I ruefully smiled at the irony that this last one was all about procrastination, it was right there in the title, How to Beat Procrastination, and as long as I was procrastinating then sure, let's see how I can beat it. It was an exercise in head nodding, as I actually know most of what's in there. But it's definitely presented in an entertaining way and gave me some different ways of viewing it. The author, Tim Urban, talks about planning as breaking down a daunting task into manageable parts - not a concept I'm unfamiliar with. I love the analogy he follows this up with though:

"No one “builds a house.” They lay one brick again and again and again and the end result is a house. Procrastinators are great visionaries—they love to fantasize about the beautiful mansion they will one day have built—but what they need to be are gritty construction workers, who methodically lay one brick after the other, day after day, without giving up, until a house is built."

My, that's a pretty good description of me, the fantasizing part. It's harder to convince myself to keep after the gritty day after day part. He's got a lot to say about that too, the doing part, and you should go read it. This is actually part two, but he gives a link to part one right away, so you might want to read that too.

April has brought rain AND snow showers...and some new pens!

And now March has turned to April, we're still kinda stuck in winter, and I'm still buying pens for sketching. Dare I say it verges on addiction, this fascination with the astounding variety of drawing tools and inks out there? But in my defense, I had a soon expiring Mystery Reward from Staples, a guaranteed $5 if not more, and really nothing else I needed from that store. So I found myself in front of the pen display, wishing they carried bottled ink in the store, checking cartridges and specifically looking for something red. This was as close as I could come without ending up with a larger collection of pens and colors. I've noted my Urban Sketchers often recommending the Uni-ball brand, especially their white gel pens. These are roller-ball and permanent ink and I haven't used a roller-ball pen in ages. With my coupon, these came to about a dollar apiece so I am excited to now have a better choice of red pen for my "just add red" sketchbook along with the other colors for other sketching.

With April has come a confirmation of ArtWalk's application deadline, later than in previous years but coming up fast nonetheless. No wonder I felt my snowdye overdye zigzaggy piece was calling louder than the baby quilt. Brick one has been laid! 


The Inside Stori said...

So good to hear about everything you’ve got going……hopefully all this attention to detail means your energy level is back!

Keep creating…..

Sherrie Spangler said...

Your snow dye piece is intriguing and mysterious. As for cleaning up the studio after a project, I always try to do that because it's so satisfying later to come back to a clean space ready for a fresh project. Carry on!

Anonymous said...

Procrastinating...yep...plenty of that going on over here! I never considered the security print inside an envelope to be inspiring, but, now that you mention it, I'm going to have to pay closer attention! Lots of topics to consider in your blog entry! Jan in WY