Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Making Dreams

Hello and welcome! I've been so inspired by reading art and craft blogs lately that I thought I would make one of my own. I'm on an odyssey to reclaim a part of myself that has long been undervalued and underutilized: my own creative spirit. This is a new beginning for me and is inspired in equal parts by my recent move into an apartment with a dining room, which has just been repurposed as Our Craft Room *note the capitals!* and by the love and support my Gryph shows me. When someone is enthusiastic about the things I want to do without pressuring me about it, that makes it easier to try new things. I appreciate that kind of support so very much!

I hope in this blog to keep a record of my odyssey, the adventures along my way, and yes, even any misadventures. I'm not so inexperienced to think that I won't make any mistakes--and also not so inexperienced to think that mistakes will be the end of me. I used to think that; I fight an old tape that chants in my head, "do it right or don't do it at all," and I think that idea is a true creativity killer. It used to be that if I didn't do it "right" the first time I tried anything, I would count myself a failure and not do that thing again... but some arts and some crafts take MUCH practice before they're "right" and so I hereby state that I am willing to make the attempt and put in the practice!

I have to say that Lisa from Dorky Homemade Quilts is a huge inspiration to me in this area. She has written so eloquently about quilting as an act of joy and love, rather than an art of rules, that she has freed some long-held desires of mine to try again--this time without worrying if I do it "right" or not. If you haven't read her books, do yourself a favor and get them right away! She's equal parts laughter and inspiration.

Another inspiration to me is my friend Ursy in OZ, who decided to learn crochet one day and just did it. She started with a crocheted rug and has moved on to all sorts of things; her willingness to tackle a new craft without letting any kind of fear handicap her amazes and inspires me! Her fairy drawings inspire me, too. Some day I hope to be as free and confident in my own drawings!

I owe Ursy a debt I cannot repay, because her enthusiasm for crochet inspired me to pick up a hook again. I deal with chronic carpal tunnel syndrome and for many years was unable to crochet at all, but this past fall I attempted a doily and was pleasantly shocked to find that I could do it. I never finished that original doily and I intend to frog it back and do something else with the thread, but in the meantime I moved on to snowflakes at holiday time, and from there to an unbelievably thin size 80 thread and an old motif from Coats and Clark "Treasures in Crochet, No. 296" called Star Wheel.

There is something so satisfying about meeting the challenge of this old-fashioned pattern and this thin, thin thread. To go from believing that crochet was withheld from me forever to being able to do something complex and demanding is nothing short of a miracle! And just as soon as I figure out where I packed the card reader for the computer *moving is such joy... eeep!* I will get a picture uploaded.

I cannot take pictures of most of what I have done, because there is another, even stronger, old tape in my head that constantly chants away that it is not okay to make things for the joy of having them. Everything must have a purpose and it is only okay to make things if they are a gift for someone else--and then, only if I can not afford to buy a gift. You can imagine that after a lifetime's art and craft, I myself have very little to show, since it has all been given away. I might choose to still give things away, but now that I have this blog, I will do my best to document them before they go.

Now that I have this blog, I am hoping the old tapes will break and my creativity will be freed again!

The most recent craft I learned is cross-stitch. I made a small snowman from a kit. He's supposed to be beaded, but I didn't like the look and unbeaded him halfway through, lol... I think he's much cuter just cross-stitched with some beaded embellishments. Once I find the card reader, he will also be in my pictures here.

Last night Gryph bought me a sewing machine--and was I ever bouncy, just like a kid at holiday time!--so that I can learn my next craft: quilting. This is Lisa's fault. *big grin* Reading her blog has me practically on fire to start cutting and sewing fabric! The first thing I must make? A chair cushion for my sewing chair, lol... tis a little hard on the behind to sit for so long! The plan right now is to strip piece it, thereby learning that technique.

All my plans are subject to change, of course. I like to let inspiration meander wherever it will when I am working. I may very well get so enthused about strip piecing that I end up with a mixer cover or a set of curtains. *wink*

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