Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hello. My name is…

And I think I may have a problem. 

In my small living room I have this…
And this…
And this…
All projects started and advancing. 

The first is the restart of the sampler that I  just spent quite a time practicing on. Gold thread this time to match a knitted doily made out of the same thread

They'll look nice hanging together. 

The second is the edging started on my new pillow and getting along nicely. It's a simple pattern that provides a little rest to the mind while still feeding the soul. 

And the third is a pattern I designed myself to fit into a special antique frame. I thought I might do it in colored threads but after a little testing last night, I've decided to do it all in a white linen thread.   Just need to wind the bobbins and get started on the outside edge tonight while I'm watching the Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug. 

And now I've used the whole morning with these projects which leaves me this afternoon to mow the yards and clean the shed. Somehow I think I've made an error in tactic. I'm off to sweat for the good of my soul. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Failure has to be an option

If we're ever to learn anything new, we have to be willing to try and fail and then try again and fail but maybe not suck quite as much as the first time. Rinse. Repeat. 

One of the biggest thing I see when I teach classes is how uptight people get when they're trying to learn a new skill or a new technique. They often get so bogged down in the mistakes that they actually lose the ability to make progress. 

I know where this comes from but I'm still going to ask the question. Why do we have to be perfect with everything all the time?  

Learning is at the heart of it about experimentation and exploration. Creativity is about the big "What If."

I'm sharing this post about my latest finished lace project simply for the reason that it's riddled with mistakes. Sharing it is part of living what I preach to my students. Mistakes don't matter nearly as much as what you learn in the process. 

My last few projects have been chosen for the simple reason that there are techniques I want to learn to do well. For that to happen, I have to commit to failure being an option. At least for a while. With the right mindset, allowing myself to not be perfect gives me another tool in my belt. I can enjoy the process without the pressure. Out of that I get 2 things:

1.  I get to enjoy the process. 
2.  I learn new skills that I can put to use. 


Looks okay from a distance on a small screen but believe me, there are a ton of errors. I'm going to keep this piece and give it pride of place so it can remind me to take time to do things that are beyond my skill level or that I don't know how to do. 

Time to get the bobbins wound to do it again.  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

So grateful

 Sometimes I forget to slow down enough to realize how blessed I am to have the ability to follow my passion with textile arts.  I've had amazing people in my life to open doors of knowledge and experience and those to share the journey and I've had the means to obtain the tools and supplies to do such a wide variety of things.

With that I've tried to be as generous as I can with others; certainly so many others have been generous with me. And there's no group I know as generous as textile artists. 

I had a great time with the L.A.C.E. Group in Chicago yesterday for their Lace Day. I did more than my fair share to support the vendors and got to spend some time with 3 ladies who were in the middle of learning to needle tat when the person working with them had to go take care of something.  Hopefully they'll also be able to take a road trip to join us in Springfield for the Needle In a Haystack event.

My best purchase was a new pillow. Two years ago at the last Lace Day, there was a vendor with beautiful hand made roller pillows. I was so hoping they would be there yesterday and sure enough they were!  Here's my new baby - an Alan Frederickson bobbin lace roller pillow. 

It even has a nice little spring loaded catch on the drawer in the front.
And I've even got a new project on it. 
And today I got to spend some time with my old knitting buddies to share a little bit about bobbin lace. Such a good group and it was nice to be back with them.