Contemplation

It’s approaching noon and I’m still in my pajamas. I didn’t get out of bed until after 7:00 this morning. I haven’t done anything but drink coffee and read.

This is the height  of lazy decadence and I’m enjoying every moment. However, this is not a sustainable state of being for me. I’m already getting a little antsy from sitting around too long. I’ve been worried that I’ll turn into a do-nothing, lazy bum. I’m pretty sure right now that that is not going to happen.

Retirement is, after a long time, becoming a part of my brain. I finally realize that I don’t HAVE to do something every single minute of every single day. I still like getting up early, but it doesn’t have to be before 6:00. I enjoy starting the day with a leisurely cup of coffee and time for the gym before doing anything productive.

And by productive, I mean making art.

And time is slowing down in that area, too. I’m being more thoughtful about what I produce. I have a very clear line in my head between what I think is commercial craft product and art—though I don’t really like the terms of ‘craft’ and ‘art’. I prefer the idea that art is the concept, the idea and that craft is the process needed to make the vision into reality. And that there are some items that fit into people’s homes more readily than others!

Ambition is not in my vocabulary anymore, if it ever even was! I have dreams of market viability but have no drive to do the work to make it happen. And I’m actually okay with that.

My life is at a place that I never dreamed it would be. I’m comfortable, happy and doing only what I want to do. How amazing is that?

I feel like I’ve written this same thing recently, but it’s still so very true. Life is good!

 

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Tired of paint!

I’m really getting tired of waiting for paint to dry, but unfortunately, that’s where I’m at right now!

Part of the finishing process is mounting my work on canvas and all that canvas needs to be painted.

And then all the canvases need to have hanging hardware attached.

And if I’m not doing that, I’m adding sleeves and labels! Final finishing details are so incredibly boring…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

I did decide to use the little birdhouses on this piece instead of the buttons. Those buttons will find a place in another piece soon, though!

That’s the extent of my creative endeavors for this weekend! So boring—can’t wait to get back to creating something fun!

Watching paint dry…

That’s the excitement in my life right now. I finished up this little piece, as much as it’s going to get.

Then I decided to paint a canvas to mount it on.

The canvas had been used and abused, but I thought I could rescue it. So it got a coat of paint and I had to wait for it to dry…sigh!

After drying, it still looks in pretty bad shape and it’s in an area that will show.

Now I’m trying some molding paste for texture to cover over this. I started with just smearing with a palette knife and then thought I’d stamp in some leaf shapes. Now to do this properly, it should be a smooth, thin coat of the paste. I abandoned that idea in favor of making texture that might suggest a leaf shape.

So now I get to wait for the paste to dry…sigh. And then I can paint again and wait for it to dry…sigh. So much excitement I can hardly stand it!

I need to mount this project from the Knot Even Quilters so it can be hung in an exhibit. I’m close to making a final decision and then, all of a sudden, I’m stuck. Do I want the pulled out piece at an angle or straight up?

Such a tiny spot to get stuck on…but that’s where I’m at. Spending a whole bunch of unexpected free time doing nothing. Well–a little cleaning, a little reading, a little gardening, a little computer time–lots of little bits of this and that. Nothing too productive, so I’m calling this my recharge week. I’ll try to ramp it up a little bit————–after a do-nothing weekend!!!

Change of pace

Been working on the scrap and charity quilts and thinking about making stamps. My actual activity level has been less than lazy! I’ve been sitting on the couch a lot, getting sucked in to computer time, playing games and reading blogs. I haven’t even picked up a needle and thread to do any embroidery, even though my project is sitting on the table right next to my spot on the couch!

After my nice nap today, I wandered down to the studio to make sure I have everything I need to teach a class tomorrow. What caught my eye was a bunch of funky yarn that I had once intended to make a scarf from…you know, one of those where you start with a wash-away stabilizer, lay out the yarn and stitch over it. Yeah, months ago and still not even started. So I grabbed it up, tied the ends of those small pieces together and decided to KNIT a scarf.

I used to knit scarves out of all the funky, popular yarns and sold some and gave some to charity. I have tons of yarn ends and small bits and pieces that I thought I would use for embellishments. I cannot ‘art’ enough of anything to use this all up, so I’m going to try and knit it up. Anything left by the end of this year will be put on the ‘free table’ at my various group meetings.

This came out so thick and fluffy and warm and funky! I love it and will be using up more yarn this way.

Knitting is great for laziness! I can sit and move my fingers a little bit and really be pretty darn relaxed, for hours at a time! Maybe I can blame this bout of lazy on damp, cold, cloudy weather. Hope it doesn’t last too long, because I really don’t love doing nothing!

Lost in the wetlands…

Not me, thank goodness! The wildlife refuge where we walk has nice paths raised above the wetlands so that it’s easier to see the birds and alligators. When I am standing on that path and look in any direction, I see to the horizon, but it’s all the same…grasses, water and a few trees.

wildlife-on-path

Hot sun, even in February and nothing but that sun to give you direction. When I step off the path, down to actual ground level, this is what I see.

wildlife-ground-level

It makes me realize how foolish it would be to leave these nice, safe paths. And how hard it would be for anyone who was camping or tracking birds to try to find their way out of the wetlands. You could so easily lose your way.

No metaphors, or philosophy today. Simply the physical reality of this environment…AND there are alligators!

Lectures and teaching this week then it’s real vacation time. Still funny to think of vacation when I am retired but it’s essentially a change of routine and a break from “should be doing” to “whatever I feel like doing.”

Aaaaahhh…

Tour of Shame

The mess in my studio has driven me away a couple of times now. It needs cleaning and reorganizing so badly, but I am dreading the task. I have decided to show you the shameful condition I have let things come to, in an effort to force myself into taking at least the first positive steps to redemption!

Of course, being technically challenged, I have to first learn how to upload a video to YouTube and then embed it in my blog, ’cause that’s the only way I can do it here for free. If I wanted to pay, I’m sure there are other ways…but I’m cheap!

So, after seeing this little video, can you understand why I don’t even want to walk into the space? I have to be careful where I step so I don’t knock something over from all the piles around the room. And I actually have a huge space–but you could never tell because of all the STUFF I have. I MUST get rid of things that I will never use.

I am using you to help me be accountable for making some clean-up progress, even if I don’t do a wall-to-wall reorganization. Hope this works, because I am highly UNmotivated to actually get in there and clean.

But I need to create and so I need that space to be useable. We all know about creative blocks, but I’m suffering from a clean up block! Aarrgh!

 

Basted and ready to go

This is what I do when I don’t know what to do next. I looked over my pile of partially completed pieces and rather than work on any of them, I basted a few more to get started on!

Gingko prep

This gingko has been around for quite a while now. So long, in fact, that I can’t remember my original plan for it! No fusing on this one; simple basting on to batting.

I did fuse this one onto a heavier backing.

Painting basted

I may be sorry, but I think it will get a lot of stitching and beading. I want it flatter than it would typically be if I only used batting before the stitching.

This piece got machine quilted. Not sure what else is going to happen to it, but if it gets beads it’s better to have it quilted first.

Silk strips basted

Not sure which orientation it will end up with either. This is sideways to my first thought…I think I like it.

The pile of UFO’s is growing. I have at least a dozen partially finished pieces sitting in a pile and am not motivated to go further on any one of them. Perhaps it’s just summertime laziness. Sometimes it’s a lack of decisiveness on what the ‘next step’ will be. In any case, I will need to take something with me to work on while I’m at Blue Lake. Or perhaps I’ll bring a stack of books and no handwork! Hmmmm…sounds like a big bunch of indecisive to me!!!