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Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

Some of My Projects

Here are some photos of a few of my sewing projects from the past year. There are (many) more items that I either do not have photos of, or are no longer with me. This is just a sample. Quilts, baby dresses, bags, and more recently, neckties. I also apologize in advance, since most of these photos were just taken quickly with my cell phone, for my own reference. 🙂 Hope you like them!

Have a fantastic day!

 

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Catching Up and Internet Creep

It has been blisteringly hot here in the state of North Carolina for the past few weeks. I love summer, but the heat index has been hovering around 105° F recently. With accompanying humidity, it’s beginning to wear even me down. However, the sun is shining, hummingbirds are coming to my feeders regularly, tomatoes are in season (yum!), and we have a swimming pool available to splash in, so I really don’t have many complaints.

I am still sewing, and making quilts, and will post photos of some of my finished sewing projects soon. Hubby took a few photos for me last week, since mine were pretty pathetic! Who knew what a pain it is to photograph a quilt? It’s become an enjoyable hobby for me. I just need to curb my fabric shopping! 😉

Pottery is still on hold. Although I miss it terribly. So I think I’ll reconstitute a bit of clay tonight and do some hand building over the weekend.

Things have been fairly uneventful this summer, which is not always a bad thing. But the “lazy days of summer” can sometimes become too lazy, if you know what I mean. We took a wonderful family vacation to the beach recently, which is my happy place. And now that we are back, I have been using my refreshed perspective to decide what needs to be tweaked in my life. Figuring out what has been slipping through the cracks, so to speak. Which is something I believe everyone needs to take inventory of periodically.

Turns out, there is not much I need, or want to change. However, the first thing that immediately came to mind was that I had basically stopped reading books. What? How did that happen? I love to read! I’ve realized that Internet Creep has slowly taken over my life. And it must be beaten back! Most of what I was reading were articles on websites, or items attached to Facebook posts. Have you experienced this? Instead of picking up a good book at the end of the day, I was checking my news feed. Not good! So the library and I got reacquainted, and I am rediscovering the joys of a good story.

I think Internet Creep has become a big problem in our society. Technology is a wonderful thing, but it’s been absolutely invading every aspect of our lives. We are not really present anymore. Subtle things get missed because we have forgotten how to pay attention. We don’t learn or memorize facts, because we can always Google the answer. Friends text instead of talk to each other. People walk on the street with their heads down, surfing the web. Families are not even interacting at the dinner table anymore… A few weeks back I went to a Gwen Stefani concert. She was awesome! But it amazed me how as soon as she came on stage, everyone’s cell phones came out. Everyone was recording videos and taking selfies, instead of enjoying the experience and actually listening to her. A young couple in the row in front of me spent the entire time taking selfies with their backs to the stage. They never actually watched any of the performance! Why do we seem to need to see everything through a viewfinder now, instead of firsthand with our own eyes?

Just some food for thought.

Happy August, Everyone!

Here We Go Again

So, it’s been AGES since I have been able to throw pots. It makes me sad, but I know it is not forever. It can’t be, because I love it too much. I still dream of clay often, and wake up smiling when I do.

Although the elbow is fine now, we just don’t have the space in our current home for me to pull out my wheel. Also, said apartment is covered in wall-to-wall carpeting. So, I may just have to pony up the funds to pay for local arts council classes and get my clay fix once or twice a week. Of course, this reason gets added to my TOTALLY LOGICAL (ahem) list of why we need to buy a house rather than living in apartments.

My path to a professional pottery career is once again on hold. Makes me wonder if this is the Universe’s way of telling me I’m not meant to do this professionally. Or maybe I am not as dedicated as I thought I was? It’s something to think about. Maybe I have the love, and possibly even the talent, but not the discipline and focus needed to work for myself?

Even though I have not been throwing, I am still keeping the creative juices flowing, so to speak. Let me just tell you, in case you were wondering, it really is possible to learn nearly anything on YouTube. Last Spring I taught myself to sew, using the “Watch YouTube and Replicate on My Sewing Machine in Real Life While Swearing” method, and am now enjoying it quite a bit. Our dining room has been covered with my sewing machine, fabric, thread, and all sorts of associated paraphernalia. I began with tote bags, moved on to purses and baby dresses, and within the past couple of months progressed to quilts.

I seem to have a particular talent for finding hobbies that are NOT inexpensive. However as my skills have improved (and swearing has decreased dramatically), I’ve sold several of my projects among friends and coworkers, which allows me to keep feeding my growing fabric store habit (SO MANY PRETTY COLORS!). Also, my husband has been extremely tolerant of the constant clutter. Mainly because I made the goal to finish every project I start, and have (so far, mostly) stuck to it.

I am still an optimist, and I have a nearly pathological need to be creative. Which means that in addition to pottery photos, you may start seeing photos of finished sewing projects popping up here. And as always, comments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Furthermore, since I now FINISH things I start (ahem), I WILL be posting more often! 🙂

Have a fantastic day!

 

Getting Closer!

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. But after some delays, I am finally getting closer to my goals. I’ve been doing some glaze experimentation, practicing photography, and throwing, throwing, throwing! My second batch is nearly ready for the kiln, and I fully expect to have my Etsy store up and running before mid-October. Woot woot!

Earlier this week I smashed several pieces of greenware, after giving them careful scrutiny. Got rid of the pots that were overly heavy or seemed slightly crooked or unbalanced. A while back that would have upset me. But this time, it felt strangely liberating to crush up all that dry clay and dump it into my recycling bucket. I would much rather ditch unfired pieces than finished ones. At least with a little water they can be worked again. And I know I can do better!

That’s really what this journey is all about – striving to do and be better. Many things in the world can hold us back, but we should never become our own obstacle. Up until recently, I was my own worst enemy. Who needs a stranger to cut you down, when you can do it so much better to yourself? But that’s no way to live. If you are at all like I was, it’s time to tell that internal critic to shut up, pack his bags, and don’t let the door hit him in the butt on the way out!

I think being in my 40s has changed me for the better. Although I wish I didn’t take so long to wise up, I am extremely grateful that I have! And 42 is a great age to become a first-time entrepreneur!

Now, I must get back to playing in the mud. 🙂

Happy Friday!

Coolest of the Cool

Stumbled upon info about a potter I had never heard of before. No clue how I did not know about this woman, but now that I do… OH. MY. GOD. Her name is Beatrice Wood, and although she is no longer with us, Ms. Wood ROCKS!

Beatrice Wood (March 3, 1893 – March 12, 1998) was the daughter of wealthy socialites, and against her parents’ wishes, she pursued a life in the arts. She moved from California to Paris, to study painting and then theater. Several of her drawings and paintings were published in a magazine she helped start, and during World War I, she came to New York City and preformed with a French repertory company.  She hobnobbed with many of the influential artists and writers of the early 20th century, and apparently was also quite a swinger in the relationship department.

When in her early 40s, Beatrice bought a set of plates, and wanted a matching teapot. When she couldn’t find one, she decided to make one herself. So, with no knowledge of pottery whatsoever, she took a local weekend class with that intention. Biographies I have read do not say if she ever actually made the teapot, but she was bitten by the bug, and proceeded create ceramics for the rest of her very long life (she died at 105!).

This fantastic woman not only learned a craft and started a brand new career well into her 40s, but she threw pots until she was 104 years old! She never lost her love of creating. Never lost the wonder and joy of it. She said she loved to peek in the kiln early in the morning before opening it; that the excitement of it was better than owning diamonds.

Beatrice Wood is inspiring in so many ways! Painter, actress, potter, teacher… She went after what she wanted, no matter what anyone else thought. Beatrice did not blindly follow the pack and stick to what tradition or society dictated. She loved what she did, and had a very distinguished career doing it. She taught others, and yet, she never stopped learning.

I hope to borrow a page out of her book – I think most of us could. To live and love with such exuberance, passion, and freedom is what truly gives richness and meaning to our existence.

Here is a fairly short YouTube video about Beatrice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxv8k6g3i-A

And here are some examples of her work: http://www.beatricewood.com/secondary_market/index.html

I hope you are as inspired as I am. Have a fantastic day! And if there is something you really want, go after it tenaciously Ă  la Beatrice Wood!