April 15, 2018
I’m always pulled in so many directions creatively. I have this bad habit of wanting to do everything and getting stuck in decision paralysis and doing nothing. Sometimes it feels like a victory to decide to make something and see it through in a reasonable amount of time. I hate to even mention the fisherman’s wool sweater on the floor next to me right now that is 95% complete yet I haven’t touched it in a month (and now it is spring). I used to post nearly every project I completed online but shifted away from that. Now it seems almost alien to post a photo of a dress I made recently. But here we go:
Sometimes you must take baby steps in a direction you want to head to make any progress at all.
December 5, 2017
A bit more than 2 months ago, I started a new job in a completely different industry than I have worked in before. New work schedule, very different tasks, totally new direction in life, really.
It is sometimes easy to forget that work relationships can be toxic. When I was telling co-workers I was leaving, I was surprised that so many of them opened up to me and reinforced what I had been feeling about so much going on. Some of them even had clearer interpretations of things than I did. My co-workers were observing what was going on and feeling frustrated but had no power to do anything.
Hind-sight is really something special. I realized that while I worked at my last job I stopped sewing. I stopped making, well, things in general. I stopped posting on here. I stopped posting on Instagram. What a strange feeling to sort of wear down emotionally and physically over time.
I am sewing again. And knitting. I have ideas coming but it has been hard to get back into the game. Things are happening again.
March 23, 2017
A little more than a year ago, my Mitsubishi died. Like, towed it to the junkyard died. I purchased that car when I was 19 years old and drove it until the timing belt broke and messed up the engine beyond a reasonable repair cost. I purchased a very nice but utterly boring car in a boring color (“No one will be looking at you”). It is nice to drive, and it has horsepower of 160 which makes it very easy to drive but has a noticeable (to me anyway) 60 horsepower drop from my previous car.
Maybe I have watched Pretty in Pink one too many times with the emphasis on Blane’s BMW and iconic scene of Andi and Blane in front of his car but I have had BMWs on my mind lately.
A car lot that I drive by regularly has a cute little ’87 BMW 735i for sale for a low but reasonable price for the milage and condition of the car. It is more of a ‘grocery getter’ BMW and not the flashy fun sporty style that I am typically drawn to but it still has horsepower on par with my Mitsubishi and a very nice classic interior. I keep thinking about how fun it would be to drive and how cute it would look repainted mint green, lilac purple, or one of those awesome iridescent paint colors that are stupidly expensive but look great.
I know it is unlikely I will actually inquire about the car. I have embarked on a very large project that would back-burner a car project for minimum a year but it is fun to think about.
October 16, 2016
I live in a great city with many wonderful cultural attributes but it is absolutely a city of literature, not a city of art. The only art museum locally is at the university and their collection is a bit thin. So I packed the car and headed out on a trip to see art.
A few years ago I found myself in Grand Rapids for an event happening during Art Prize. I was vaguely aware of Art Prize and took the opportunity of being in the city for something else to investigate what it was about. I returned to Art Prize this year for another day wandering through downtown looking at this year’s submissions. This year was not as inthralling as the last time but that is the wonder and beauty of Art Prize.
It is not often that you wait in a line to see art, especially contemporary art by people who are not household names.
A short drive later and I am in Indianapolis for my second trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The museum includes 3 full floors of art ranging from old European works and ancient Egyptian pieces through to the constantly changing contemporary art collection. At this museum you won’t find the well known pieces like Monet’s Waterlilies but rather a wall with 5-6 Monet paintings that you don’t find on gift shop items and greeting cards. You can get incredibly close to the art so it is possible to take close up shots of a Monet painting where the brush strokes and nuances of paint colors are clearly visible in a way that could be useful for future color palette building if you are that type of person. Despite the wide range of impressionist paintings that this museum has on display by Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro, Gauguin, and more, disappointingly they had no works from Caillebotte.
The Contemporary Design area of the IMA contains a remarkable collection of household items that I desperately want for my own home. Eames and Michael Graves items fill in around the Sottsass but I am really in a Sottsass mode right now so…
There were a number of Apple Computer items in the Contemporary Design area including a 1st generation iPad (I still use mine daily for music, email, and fiction reading). This Macintosh Plus computer from 1985 caught my eye when I noticed the hand sharpied note on the back that it is “enhanced, and with 1024k” next to the case label of 512k. I took the photo with my phone that has a bonus micro SD card that holds 32GB (32,000,000k) of data.
The main hall of the IMA has a beautiful escalator wall that is open to all 3 levels of the gallery. It was impossible to ignore walking through the American Painting and Sculpture until 1945 area.
July 31, 2016
In the last few weeks I have fallen into a heavy ennui. The last few years have been a roller coaster of more bad than good and the only option was to persevere. It is almost as if the weight of it just came down on me in the last few weeks pushing the feelings of ennui to the front and squeezing out any other feelings.
In May, I became quite sick. One of the symptoms was the feeling of lethargy unlike anything I had experienced before. It took about 2 months before I was feeling almost back to normal and I want to blame that lethargy on why I wasn’t making anything but when I actually stepped back, I realized it had been nearly a year since I had really made anything. This spring I did pick up a few good sets of chalk pastels and I have been drawing. But that habit I have not picked up again since getting sick in May.
It was only in the last week that I started sewing again. I have been so uninspired that I never felt the need to make anything because I didn’t want anything. Nothing is exciting and I haven’t even wanted to go out so making things to wear seemed pointless. Everything in every clothing store looks nearly the same. Why does it matter if I buy it here or there? It is the same item with only slight changes. I did make a set of weekender bags to use for an upcoming trip and I am making a pattern for a new jacket.
Moving forward is moving forward, no matter how long it takes. [File that under “Lies we tell ourselves”]
January 30, 2016
The house I grew up in was built by my father (with the help of his dad) and had a huge greenhouse connected to the back. My mother filled the greenhouse (and most of the rooms of the house) with various plants. The planter boxes were made of bricks and a long series of bins and channels created a waterfall/river when the recirculating pump was turned on. My parents sold that house a few years ago and I know I have photos of the greenhouse somewhere in my things but I for now I simply seek out greenhouses to visit.
I don’t own a greenhouse of my own at this point so small jars filled with delightful succulents and tiny leafy plants will have to suffice. This is only about half of what I maintain including the two orchids from this project that are preparing to bloom again with many more flower buds than last year. These plants typically live in a bright corner of my studio but were pulled into the living room recently when the outside temperatures dipped below zero and the ambient temperature in the studio was cool enough to concern me. What a delightful bit of greenery to pull us through the brown winter.
November 1, 2015
As the trick-or-treating quieted down in the neighborhood and the sky darkened, I sat down in my living room and watched one of my favorite movies.
For me, Donnie Darko is the only Halloween movie worth watching. I saw the movie for the first time when I was in college; It was unlike any other movie I had seen to that point and it changed the way I looked at the people and world around me. I have been moving my copy of the director’s cut DVD with me through the last 3 states that I have lived but I had not watched it in years. This Halloween I watched it again. As the movie began I realized I had lost many of the plot details in the several years I went without watching it, so in many ways I was seeing it again for the first time. The characters I liked before, I liked more now; the characters I disliked before I definitely hated this time around (oh Mrs. Farmer). The story resonated with me for different reasons this time but the world needs heros like Donnie. Even if the storyline doesn’t resonate with you, the cinematography and soundtrack alone make the movie worth watching.