Wednesday 11: Random thoughts on creativity fueled by cabin fever and cold medication

Wednesday 11: Random thoughts on creativity fueled by cabin fever and cold medication

I have been in the bed sick for days, so I am totally blaming this post on the cold medicine. As I sit down to write today’s blog post my mind is in 50 different places. I have often partaken in a series of post called the Friday 5. Today I am going to give you a hodge podge of brain blips I am calling the Wednesday 11 (because I have also had two cups of coffee… Woohoo).

No. 1:  A closet full of fiber. I have not been too ashamed to disclose the obscene amount of wool I have stashed in this closet. Like beyond-life-expectancy-full-of-wooly-things-to make kind of stash. Aside from using a bunch of it for my dye classes, and a bunch more for one crazy art yarn ideas, I have been ruminating about carding some bats and making felt hats. I started down this path last year, and then set it aside to finish the move. Supplies in place. I am ready to dive back in. Hats, and maybe some bags and slippers, but mostly hats. Not sure why, I really don’t wear hats, or even thing I look good in hats (my face is too round). but I am into the hats.

No. 2: I only make mugs. So this clay hobby has kind of become a thing. All I have been making really is mugs. I have always collected handmade mugs. I enjoy making them. I love drinking my coffee out of a mug (or 2…3…okay 47…) that I have made. I have no idea what I am an doing with this new obsession other than filling my cabinets. I definitely do not want it to become a product line. I have not been opposed to the idea of selling a mug or two. And if you are wondering what you will get from me for Christmas…just know it will be a mug. I may venture into making some bigger mugs that are chili bowls.

No. 3: Do not email me with the suggestion to make yarn bowls. They are trickier to make thanks to their tendency to warp at the cut out space. Seriously…I am not going to make them. I have 4, I rarely use. I only make mugs.


No. 4: I am also ready to get this monster working. I got this lovely Structo loom off craigslist for $50. It is only missing the hex bar that would hold the warp spools. I even have a bunch of the spools. But I am not really a fan of using a boring white cotton warp. The reed was full of rust and was finer than I imagine I wanted to warp. Enter Gowdy Reeds in Rhode Island. They make custom sized reeds. Perfect! Structo closed shop decades ago. I have an order in for a replacement reed form Gowdey. Hopefully can get cracking on this new direction in my work.

No. 5: That being said, what I really would love is a Saori loom. I have literally avoided fiber shows because that siren song is super strong. I decided that if I can get the Structo working, and actually start using it, then and only then will I let myself invest in the loom I really want. Wish me luck.

No. 6: I must be an old lady. Because for what ever reason all I want to do is crochet this freaking afghan. AFGHAN!!!! ugh! Not sure why I am all about making a blanket. Winter is coming…I have only 2384706 sweater WIPs in the basket. And I actually could use some new sweaters. I just can’t stop making this insanely addictive stash buster blanket. I am using this stitch.

No. 7: Maybe it is because I am not leaving the house much. I only leave to go to the community art center. Seriously. I have discovered that actually paying for grocery delivery service saves me in time and impulse buying. Yep, delivery fee and tip is cheaper than my hourly rate. Plus price comparing is easier online, as is sticking to a list. This really only works because I am big on meal planning.

No. 8: Meal planning is my creative jam. Here is how life happens when I don’t meal plan. It’s 5 pm, I am mid project and not really in a place to stop. I kind of panic because I realize I need to start thinking about what is happening for dinner. In my head, I inventory what I think is in the fridge. I remember I have skirt steak! Woot… I am making Vietnamese noodle salad bowls. 45 minute later I am at a stopping point, go upstairs and either realize A) I am missing some vital ingredient or B) I am just too overwhelmed to do all that prep work. We order Indian food. Food budget blown. If I can think of 7 meals that involves ingredients I have on hand, fill in the rest  with my list, I have meals to choose from and beat the overwhelm. I don’t schedule out what to eat on what days, because I find I might not be in the mood for something. I always keep spaghetti on hand as my back up meal. I use smorgasbord days to use up leftovers than need to be eaten before they go bad.

No. 9: I belong to the cult of Instant Pot. To be honest, I did not even really know what I would use it for when I bough it at a Black Friday sale last November. I only knew that many of my friends had drunk the instant pot Koolaid and … Hey look it makes yogurt. Holy crap I love my instant pot. I used it no less than 5 times a week. I have been collecting crazy good recipes on this pinterest board. I never knew mashed potatoes could taste so good, or that I even cared about mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are really just a vehicle for other flavors. Incidentally I have yet to make that yogurt…

No. 10: I digress…must be time for lunch…

No. 11: So much art so little time. Did you know Picasso also made ceramics? I feel like I should know this, and maybe I did, but in my Nyquil induced Pinterest surfing, I newly discovered that Picasso made some cool pots, pitchers and vases. This became important as I vacillate between mediums finding uses for all this creative energy in my head. I have always dabbled in many, many mediums. It has only been in the last 15 years settled on a few to mediums to dive deeper. For what ever reason, I worried that dividing my attention also divided my creativity. You know what… I think working between different mediums has really only multiplied my creativity in each area. After a lot of struggle, I have let go of the idea that I needed to focus on one. That guilt over not focusing has lead to some of the biggest creative blocks I have ever had. Yes some projects never get finished, but then again, some projects just need to die. If you are making art, it is because you were meant to make art. Stagnating over how you should be making art means you are not making art.

Sign Up for the UrbanGypZ Fiber Arts Collective

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Yes!!

Your Knitting is a Cultural Icon

Your Knitting is a Cultural Icon

A little more than a year and a half ago, I opened up a little space on FB for fellow fiberistas to gather and share inspirations and ideas. The past year and a half have filled me with so much awe. I am humbled by the courage and willingness of those who shared what they have been working on, no matter what the discipline or skill level.

For me this was not just about creating a gallery of ideas or another place for the fiber community. For me it has always been about giving artists a voice in the medium of their choice. It has always been about helping knitters and crocheters, spinners, weavers filters of any skill level to understand that their work matters even in its perceived failures or skill limits. Skill is just craft, idea and creative choice is heart and visual language.

There are so many different cultures represented in our little corner of FB. Seriously, we are worldwide. When I scroll through the collective feed, I see not just great work. I see people and their voice. And whether they know it or not, their work is a reflection of everyday life experience that brought them to the very moment when they created that piece of fiber art. I find it absolutely amazing. I find myself curious about the variety of cultures, and lifestyles behind that work. How did they learn to knit? What are yarn shops like where they live? What kinds of fiber art exist where they live and how does it compare to what I see everyday? What does finding time to knit look like in their everyday life? Be it the next county or across the globe…I. Am. Fascinated. Did I mention how humbling this all is?

If you ever wonder if art really has an impact, remember back to the horrific Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris where commercial artists were murdered because of the political drawings they published. This tragic spot in history is proof that visual language has power. Visual language is the artifacts uncovered in ancient lands, recounting religious beliefs or sharing a glimpse of what life is like centers ago.

I am not saying your chemo caps will bring about social justice. And if they are unearthed centuries from now, I doubt archeologists will have better knowledge of our culture because of them. When you share your work, it marks a place and time in your life. The choices you made were influenced but what you live and know.

So, share your work no matter how mundane you think it is. Your work matters and just know that I see you.

 

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Yes!!

Making bad art on purpose

I am in a place of making a lot of mistakes with my ceramics. I joke that I am actually making a bunch of very large test tiles that holds large quantities of coffee. One of the teachers in the studio suggested I make actual tiles to test techniques and glazes. And maybe at some poinnt I will. But there is so much to practice and learn and explore, I just assume make the damn thing and let it be imperfect. 

I went through the same thing years ago with dyeing and spinning. And I still have times where I am shifting my methods or color sense, experimenting. But with the yarn, I have been doing this for quite a while and am better able to salvage any disaster in some way or another. 

But I love ever one of those mugs. Not making much else, I love hand made mugs so very much. 

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies

I am a big fan of most of HBOs series. This one was really quite good. Great soundtrack, beautiful location(ahhhh.. Monterey, CA in those gorgeous big houses along the coast. Great casting.  But I have to tell ya’ the ending was a bit confusing like some details were missing. That is kind of a given when it comes to movies are even worse TV adaptations. But this one was pretty off. Today I literally bought the book so I could read the details of the last chapter. Yeah, they left out some pretty important stuff so what I am assuming was supposed to be a big shocker at the end, was vague at best. Going to go back and read it all. 

Today’s art meditation

Today’s art meditation


Usually I sit down to journal with nothing more than some washi tape and maybe a good thin sharpie pen. Today I am adding some props and a little soul work. I didn’t realize I was feeling so anxious, but today found myself officially on anxiety meds. So working some woo with my art journal today using a pendulum for a little energy clearing, some Idaho Blue Spruce to raise my vibration, and some Kambala jasper for peace.