Craft for the Soul – Pip Lincolne
I went to a creativity workshop (run by Pip Lincolne) at the Perth Writers Festival.
I sat beside a lady wearing a spectacular green cardigan – did she make it herself? I should have asked.
There was another lady who brought along her crochet work in progress – not granny squares more like granny hexagons (it was that kind of morning).
We spent time discussing how to live a better, more creative life. There were questions to be answered – what are our strengths, skills, achievements, hurdles … we all found this difficult. As women (and Australians) we are not encourage to boast or even celebrate our successes. How often were we told ‘not to put tickets on ourselves’?
What did I take away from the day (apart from a purple pom pom and a half made pony)? You just have to get on with it – the stars are never going to align, the timing is never going to be perfect. So start now – just a little bit everyday, declare your creativity (whether loudly or quietly – this goes back to the tickets on your self thing – would I be getting ideas above my station if I called myself creative?) and reassess (check in with yourself) often. Are you happy with how things are? Yearning for a different life? To be in a different place? Then do something about it.
The other thing I noticed (about myself, but it might be helpful to others) was how I filled my time with busy work. For a few reasons – to legitimise my existence (look at me I’m hard working, I volunteer, I do maths tutoring, I keep my house clean …) and because I am afraid to put myself out there to be ridiculed and/or to fail.
But if not today, then when? Small steps …
My small collection of finished objects!
It is a strange feeling to look back and see how little I finished this year. Just one pair of socks, a pin cushion, canvas work sampler, canvas work pendant and one quilt block. I have taken on longer projects – with the my weekly embroidery course plus I have taken on extra (maths) students this year, which does eat into my time.
One of the highlights of my year was the Canvas Work class – for three hours a week I sit down with like-minded souls and stitch. Every week I would think ‘no I don’t have the time for this’, but after ten minutes the calmness seeped in and at the end of the session I was ready to face my hectic life again.
This year it is all about finishing things off :- Miss P’s socks, Miss A’s hat, fingerless mitts, sampler quilt, embroidery and a tapestry cushion kit I bought in Sydney.
Canvas Work Progress
I have continued with my canvas work class. This term I am working on a journal cover. This term I have been very busy – extra students for tutoring and I have joined a running group, so I can improve my times (well it is really so I can stay fit and eat more!). All this means is that there is not a lot of extra time for embroidery, so I wanted something simple to do. This design only has cushion stitch and I find I can get into a rhythm and time just vanishes.
While working on this I have been watching series 6 of Downton Abbey (I pre-ordered from amazon.co.uk and it arrived unexpectedly one day). The costumes are spectacular – well worth watching just for that.
And this …
I have been thinking about the unfinished lately and why I have numerous unfinished projects – not to mention the fabric, yarn and embroidery thread (both machine and hand) stash. I think it comes down to greed, which is quite a shocking thought. I’ve always considered greed to be about food and money, but I have decided it can about anything. As soon as I see something new and interesting (not to mention pretty) on a blog I simply must have it – I have this fear that when I am finally ready for it it will no longer be available. And although this might be the case, there is bound to be something else equally pretty and available when I am ready. I also do this with books and to some extent magazines.
I have no idea what steps to take to overcome this problem (and it is a problem because I am feeling overwhelmed by all of the stuff I own). I’ve imposed ‘no buy’ bans, but as soon as I get a bit stressed I pop out and buy sock yarn, or fabric bundles or a new craft book.
Some finished blocks!
I finally found some motivation to get on with my sampler quilt. Both of my girls were really keen to make pencil cases in the holidays and I think a simple sewing project reignited my interest in sewing.
I have decided that I am going to quilt each block independently – quilting as you go – like here. I’m hoping this approach has two advantages; first, it is physically easier to maneuver around my sewing machine and secondly, it will just feel less overwhelming.
I was quite disappointed when I look back on 2013 not much finished. I was away for July, but still very little was done.
My sampler quilt has proven to be quite a road block. I either need to knuckle down and finish it or give it up.
Last year’s goals
- Miss A’s Plus Quilt – No progress made at all
- Baby Clothes Quilt – No progress made at all
- Master knitting socks using the magic loop method. – Done although I think I am happier with double points.
- Master knitting socks two at a time – Done although I think I enjoy knitting one at a time.
- Attempt colour knitting – No progress made at all
- Finish digitising my foundation quilt blocks and release the set – I have finished the digitising, but not the quilt.
- Start working on a new embroidery set – something modern without too much fill – I started working on blackwork and will continue with this.
- Finish the Sampler Quilt and release the designs.
- Design and knit 4 pairs of socks.
- Continue digitising.
- Baby Clothes quilt.
- Miss A’s plus quilt.
Yarn Bombing Near the Botanic Gardens
Look what I came across on my run this morning – it made me smile.
Half of my second sock is finished.
I had a little bit of trouble with this sock – I kept knitting only half a round before moving to the next round. In the end I had to rip what I had done and start the whole thing over again. I just couldn’t seem to maintain focus.
While knitting I have been watching the The Paradise on DVD. Definitely recommend it if you like bonnet dramas – it was beautiful to look at, had a bit of romance and intrigue. Now I am going to watch Mr Selfridge .
Well another year is ending. When I look back I’m a bit disappointed by my output. Only two quilts were finished and four knitted items. I did try a few things which went no where (February jumper) and I have improved my digitising skills (with little to show for it).
Next year I want to finish
- Miss A’s Plus Quilt
- Baby Clothes Quilt
- Master knitting socks using the magic loop method.
- Master knitting socks two at a time
- Attempt colour knitting
- Finish digitising my foundation quilt blocks and release the set.
- Start working on a new embroidery set – something modern without too much fill.
I’m still working away on the Jane cardigan and I’ve decided I need to break things up and get on with some of the other half finished projects – like this quilt …
or this quilt (made from the girls’ baby clothes) …
I’ve also got a bit of digitising to do …