Well, so much for making resolutions about blog-posting. But I'm back with an up-date on Ali's recent (and less recent) sewing hijinks. Updates on my own activities are not photographically documented due to a tragic fall on the part of my camera. I'm undecided whether to replace the body or have it repaired; the two cost about the same.
Ali and I are each capable of great creative productivity. Above, I give you a photo that I've titled "While we were on the phone" because that was the gist of the email that accompanied it to me from Ali. This is not the first time I have received such an email from Ali, though all previous instances were of embroidered or cross-stitched bits and bobs that later appeared in other projects.
Somehow this time I didn't even realize she was using the Husqavarna while we were talking. (Apparently those rumors of my self-absorption are quite true.) Yeah, so this time she decided to mess around with HSTs and the making of stripes. In my recollection, I responded with great enthusiasm to this little sampler. I'm still liking the contrast between the black and white polka dots and the super-saturated color palette of Soul Blossoms.
Sadly for the piece above, thus far, this summer has been one of WIPs and not much getting finished on either side of the lower 48. But for Ali, that ended today. Me? I've done a lot of sewing but simultaneously on several large-ish to genuinely large projects. The consequence of this practice is that nothing gets finished, even though I sew a lot.
I digress. But, before I un-digress, I'm going to digress further because there's a topic here that's quite central both to creativity generally (at least for myself) and to our irregularly on-going series "Keepin' It Real" (cue awesome music).
The truth is quite simple. I simply am not consistently creatively productive. Shoot, when it comes right down to it, sometimes I don't think I'm particularly productive in any aspect of my life - but that's not the topic at hand.
When creatively stymied, Ali often turns to acheiving new heights of organization in her personal space. Exhibit A - the most thoroughly organized drawer I've seen in quite some time. This pet project occupied Ali for several hours since it included a trip to buy some small boxes so their lids and bases could be used to partition her home office supplies. (Watch out for those binder clips! They're breeding like stinking bunnies in there!)
I tend not to shunt my productive leisure tendencies into other categories. (I mean look at the way the stamps are placed! So creative!) Actually, I tend to use that energy to lament to myself and, on occasion to Jack, how I'm not sewing nor knitting nor painting nor drawing nor........ And, after or as part of the lamentations, I get angry at myself for not engaging in the activities that I already know make me feel happy. (And truthfully happy whether or not I finish any given project.)
Contrary to what some might think, that anger does not motivate me off my keister and back to my machine or needles or brushes or.... That anger also doesn't motivate me to pick up something new. Say, for example, you were out for a morning run (right there you know this whimsical aside is not about me) and you stopped to pick up your dry cleaning on the way home, and you took sharp notice of that guitar shop nextdoor to the dry cleaners'. Say you decide that you've been meaning to pick up guitar for far too long now and carpe diem and all that! You might just rush in and ask the shopkeeper about "guitars appropriate for early mid-life crises" and that man might not bat an eye as he shows you your way into a spiffy little acoustic such as the one pictured above with an (at the time) unfinished, over-sized pot-holder that was included in the photo as a way to prove to your co-blogger: "No, really I own a guitar now."
So, not only am I mad at myself and not doing any of my current and beloved hobbies, I'm not even teaching myself guitar from a book. In fact, that anger actually makes it feel impossible for me to do anything creative at all. And I don't mean just that it feels impossible in that moment, I mean it feels impossible forever and ever and then longer still.
This psychological equivalent of an adrenaline-junkie riding "It's A Small, Small World" at Disneyland only compounds on itself, particularly if I'm not feeling very productive in other arenas of my life. So what then?
Where goes the mojo and whence does it return? That's not a set of questions I can actually answer clearly, even for myself. However, now at the tail end of what has been one of my most creatively productively weeks in many months, I know one thing for certain.
I know that I cannot return to creative productivity until I stop being angry at myself for not being creatively productive. Is that a teleological mind-feck or what?
It might be tough to figure; but, it's the truth. As long as I'm busy thinking mean-spirited and straight-up mean things to myself about myself and anything I create in any medium, there's no chance that I'm going to remember how I feel when I sew or draw or paint or knit. And, for me, the impetus behind the urge to create is that feeling - one of serenity, fun and balance. Because when I am being creative, I'm too busy feeling calm and happy to get upset with myself.
And, in that spirit of calm & happy and back to creative pursuits, I present Ali's new pillow.
A stunning combination of red chinoiserie and purple Woodcut from the new Joel Dewberry line, Heirloom. Let's take a closer look:
Here we have a detail image that also shows the linen backside with co-ordinating Heirloom bias edging on the envelope pocket. If I am not mistaken, these are cell phone photos and thus I owe you gentle readers an apology for their sub-standard appearances. However, before I do that, here's one more for good measure:
That's right, it's Jack & his pal Weezer posing so sweetly by the roofing sample cards at the country home of our generous friend & host, also known as the human owned by Weezer.
With that, then, I bid you sincere apologies for posting cell phone photos (and 3 of them at that!) and also I bid you not to stray too far from these scintillating pages as I hope to remedy my camera situation and thus post about things I haven't finished. Remember friends, progress is the first step of production. More anon.