Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy 2011 for me

In 2011 I am going to make no resolutions, plans or promises. I will have no expectations of myself. I cannot fail.

I will make no excuses for things undone but I will apologize.
I will set easy goals for myself so I don't aim high.
I am going to resign from every committee I am on.
I will just do things I want too. I haven't done this before so it will be an adventure.

Last year I made some resolutions.
Things I am going to do in 2010

- Fibre Forum in Ballarat where I am going to do a Shibori class. I have everything I need for this except for 3 meters of light weight silk I can get that there from Marion of Beautiful Silk.

Did It

- Tasmania Holiday. All booked and just have to pay the deposits. We are definitely doing this.

Did It

Things I should/must Do
- Spend less on supplies and use more of what I already have.
Ummm well I had good intentions and started off well but you know how they say'When the going gets tough the tough go shopping' that's me. things got tough and I went shopping. I love my books and well I don't need to say anymore.

Things I want to do
- Finish the doll I sculpted with Susie McMahon, all she needs is the rest of her clothing and shoes.
Didn't do it
- I want to finish more than I start. This year I tried to finish one WIP for each new thing I started. That went pretty well most of the year. To Keep track of this I am going to put a column on my blog with things finished and WIP's finished.
I am taking the column off my blog as it is quite depressing to realise how little I finished.

I am off to Fibre Forum again. It is one of the highlights of my year. I dyed a lot silk and cotton, designed a jacket and didn't do anything with it. I am going to do a silk screening class in 2011 so I am going to take all the silk with me and do some more with it.
I haven't done anymore with the Doll I made with Susie, but I will.
I think I did finish more than I started but I am not absolutely sure. I did work a lot with quite a bit of time away from home, study and go on holidays. I did a lot for others and I ended my year feeling like very few people noticed and even fewer appreciated my efforts. I got a bit depressed about it all and did myself no favours.
I realised I did not have to stay in a situation that was not good for me and got the hell out of there. I am happier now and my only goal for next year is to maintain that.
So yay for 2010 I learnt a lot and yay for 2011 it will be even better.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Spirit

I have nearly finished the Christmas Shopping just a couple of more Santa gifts to buy, wrap the presents, do some cooking, decorate the tree and tidy the house. Our gift giving for Christmas is smaller than the birthday gifts we give.
For us a Christmas gift is an acknowledgement of our Christian beliefs and therefore is a special thing. The joy of a gift is knowing someone thinks enough of you to find or make something that you open and just know they have put a lot of thought into.

Mind you we do go crazy over the grandchildren mainly because there is no joy compared to seeing the pleasure on a childs face when they receive a gift they love and no fun as great as a little one with a great big box and a pile of Christmas paper balls to throw around.
Sharing with family and friends is a great joy for me. For me there is no greater thrill than having someone say unprompted "This is great I love it".
Sharing with others should be what Christmas is about and yet every holiday is becoming more and more about what is given. Commercialism, shops and the media pressure us to prove our love by buying big.
Personally, I find the best things are knowing my family are around me, we are blessed to live in a country at Peace, we have an abundance of food and what could be better Peace, Joy, Love, and Faith.
I was reading a newsletter from Punch with Judy a really great on line craft shop. Judy gave an excerpt from "All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. If the whole world lived by these simple guidelines we would all have Peace, Joy and love. The faith part is a personal thing and each to their own. Robert has the important bits though.

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned
Share everything
Play Fair
Don't hit people
Put things back where you found them
Clean up your own mess
Don't take things that are not yours
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody
Wash your hands before you eat
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some
Take a nap every afternoon
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we
Remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK!

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.

I really love all these rules, I think that "Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you" should be the beginning of every meeting of every group be they government, social or anything else.
If they started off with a big warm cookie and a glass of milk the World would be a happier place.
I will be making cookies or biscuits later today. My family have some very firm favorites. Cat Biscuits are at the top of the list. Gingerbread is a close second and the Taste website has lots of Christmas Gingerbread recipes. Lebkuchen is a real favorite of mine and I'll be making those as well.
I'll make lots and send them home with the kids and take some to work.
That's the other kindergarten rule, Share Everything.
I would like more time, time to share with those I love and time to make all the things I want to give to them. I really need to manage my time better. Something to think about for New Year.
Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Glass look eyes

Marinas dolls blogspot has a great tutorial for making dolls eyes. Glass dolls eyes are expensive and in Adelaide really hard to find. I haven't made a doll for a while. I won a free workshop on Cloth Doll Artistry for Connie McBrides pattern GiGi and she will be my next doll. Probably after Christmas now. Where did 2010 go. 2011 is going to be a great year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting Stuff Done

I have finished Matthews Stole. The Ordination went really well.
So now onto the next thing. I have been thinking what will I do next? I am finishing off a couple of small Christmas gifts for some special friends and to tell the truth procrastinating by cruising the web and looking at other peoples stuff.
My biggest problem is that I want to do everything and I never really seem to commit to one craft or activity. I am not going to change this is me. I spent quite a bit of time between Midnight and 8 am thinking about this. I was at work, which last night entailed walking around in the rain quite a bit. It is raining here is South Australia, we claim the title of driest state in the driest continent. You would not think that this week. We had our whole months rain in the last 24 hours. This was accompanied by hail, lightning, thunder you get the picture.
My biggest problem is that I put things off because I think I will get to that on my next day off or when I have time.... I will then sit down and read a book for half an hour. That time wasted well not really wasted but I could have done something else. I want everything to look amazing and compare myself to others and then don't do anything.

Mary Gordon of Creative Voyage says
Joking aside one of the biggest blocks to being creative is to set a perfectionist bar which means that the drawing never goes beyond the first mark because it isn't 'right' or the article beyond the first sentence because it doesn't read 'right'. It order to do something 'good' you have to do a lot that is really 'terrible' These are just words and judgements. Remember in order to do something great you have to practice. We don't see the novels that don't work, or the films which never get released, or the pots which get mooshed back into clay and rethrown. We only see the end product. Much of being creative resembles the RTO. And its an essential part of being creative. If you refuse it as a creative person your art will never move forward and grow.

Mary also wrote this on Micheal Nobbs blog Sustainable Creativity
part of this is too make a grid of what you have done in the last week and focus on what you really want to do. I spent a lot of time vegging out on the net, sleeping and working. Not so much on creating something.

Mary suggested that a secret journal is one of the things that can help get the creative juices flowing,

So 20 minutes a day, I can do that. So a small journal and a felt tip pen is a first step. I can do this.
I will make a committment here now to spend 20 minutes a day on doing something creative even if it is a flop. Maybe that stitch book I have been thinking about for so long will come about, maybe not. At least I will draw something.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Matthew's Stole

Our darling eldest son is being ordained tomorrow as an Uniting Church Minister. He needed a red stole for the service and I wanted to make it for him. Matthew wanted something simple. The stole looks like hessian but is actually lovely soft cotton. In April I dyed the scarves that I bought from Beautiful silk, I also dyed a variety pack of silks from the same source.

I stitched a celtic cross that Matthew designed onto a piece of raw silk in butterfly gold thread.

I then sandwiched the embroidery with another piece of red cottton stitched around it and clipped the back and turned it through and then hand stitched it onto the stole.
I was finished hours before he arrived to pick it up. I also had to hem up his alb. This took nearly as long as making the stole. He was really happy it was just what he wanted. I am going to make him a whole set of stoles. One down five to go.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kayla coo

Kayla coo is the blog site of Michala Gyetvai. Her work has been featured on the cover of the British Stitch Magazine
These beautifully stitched little landscapes

are a particular favorite of mine and I have added her to my huge list of blogs that I follow.
Her work inspired me to do this postcard a couple of years ago for an Embroiderers Guild of SA Christmas Challenge. This is my interpretation of the view from my sunroom window.