Friday, February 15, 2019

More Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do - Off the Wall Friday

So this week I continue on my take on 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do by Amy Morin.  I really love this list and I think it will translate well into our creative lives.

They Don't Let Self Doubt Reaching Their Goals

Wait!!!!  We're suppose to have goals????  Nobody told me THAT.  Well if they did you probably weren't listening because goals are scary.  Why??  Because if you set a goal you are suppose to reach it right?!?  You Bet!!  But there are two secrets to setting goals....make two types...short attainable goals and long range goals that are more lofty.  Stop.  Take time in a quiet moment and think of what you want to do with your creative life.  For instance right now my goal was to get going creatively and finish some things.  Your goal might be to enter your first juried show or to make your first art quilt.  Whatever....THEN don't let your inner critic stop you.  I know I've written on this before but its so common and so important that it bears mentioning again! You will always be your worse critic and you will always underestimate yourself.  Its  - A - Big - Fat - Lie!!  Like all lies, you can't let that stop you on your journey!

They Don't Overthink Things

Yes, we have all been many much time....It can stall you...Forever!!
The way I combat this is that I give myself a deadline and just make a decision on what goes next in a piece.  Its hard, I know, to take that leap into the deep end but remember you are NOT going to drown!  At the very worse you'll doggy paddle to the edge and try again the best it will be the beginning of a warm summer's swim.  Remember all creative decisions good and bad are not the end of the world.  Art is about the process as well as the finish product!

They Aren't Scared to take on a Challenge

Art is hard.  I'll say it again.  Art is hard.  Its hard to learn.  Its hard to practice.  Its hard be under appreciated and not understood.  Its hard to be vulnerable - Yes Jenny, you're right being vulnerable is ridiculous!  But honestly where did we think the saying  "Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy" came from.  With so much struggle comes so much reward on so many levels. 

And if you don't think I practice what I preach, then you must have forgot that  I spent the month learning how to sew a decent curve seam AND writing to the world that I went on antidepressents - grin!!  Like I said being vulnerable is hard!

They Don't Fear Breaking the Rules

This one I think we have cover since most of my readers are not what I call traditional quilters.  I remember my first year at Quilting By the Lake where this table of what I thought looked like a group of genial grandmas had this whole discussion on what was the best way to re-use Cd's in their quilts.  (I think the word MICROWAVE was mentioned!)  Anyways, this was my first wake up call that I wasn't in Kansas anymore and this ain't your grandma's log cabin.

It takes rule breakers to come up with the exciting.  It takes rule breakers to come up with the innovative.  It takes rule breakers to come up with the future!  Now the big BUT here is that you can't just go around breaking rule willy-nilly.  The best rule breakers have a method to their madness. 

As Jackson Pollack said,  "It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well."

 So that should give you some food for thought this week.  Slowly but surely I've been getting through my Block of the Month Quilt.  Already I'm getting the itch to get back to my own original work but I see the value in this project and I'll be happy to get it onto the quilt frame.  There is something so peaceful in hand quilting!

So What You Been Up to Creatively??

Friday, February 8, 2019

Off Wall Friday

Normally, I write my blog posts Thursday night.  This Friday though, I'm taking a creative day off and I thought it would be fun to share my progress of what I got done.  So I'll update tomorrow.  But the show must go on - well - at least Off the Wall Friday has to so as always....

Sunday Night:   Leave it to me to take all weekend to get this much done on my block of the month quilt. But finally the curves are done and also the month of August.  Next week....onto   September.

What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, February 1, 2019

Mentally Strong Women on Off the Wall Friday

Weekly report on my Block of the Month Quilt....Yes, I'm still finishing up the curves.  I thought I would finish them last weekend but 9 hrs later I'm still doing them.  It seems like they are going to go on forever.  The nice thing though is I"m really getting good at doing a curve seam and I'll never shy away from them again.

So today I read an interesting article about Amy Morin's latest book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do.  As I skimmed through the list, I realized that most of them I follow in my everyday life and that's why most people think I'm a bitch forceful personality.  But my artistic side....well....that's another matter.  Plus, I also noticed that #1 was They Don't Compare Themselves to Other People and we just covered that earlier this month. It got me wondering if we took that list and applied it our creative selves would it make us stronger artists and therefore equate to stronger pieces.

hmmmmmm....Maybe.....So  here are some more things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do

#2  They Don't Insist on Perfection  .... so perfection is a double edge your art work you want to strive for  masterful technique but you don't want that desire for perfection to paralyses you from  completing your work.

How to conquer this??
  • Practice, Practice., Practice  ....I'm a firm believer that practice makes perfect or almost perfect
  • Know when good is good enough...that doesn't mean let technique slide but know that perfection is not the goal of your art .  What you want to say with your piece is the goal of your art.

#3  They Don't See Vulnerability as a Weakness...I don't need to tell you that showing your work is scary , I mean, really scary!!  Most people don't get what we do and if they do they might get what we are doing at that moment.  But acknowledging that your scared is not fault....nor is asking for help...or that admitting you're not sure of your artistic direction..There is strength  in that knowledge. 
So use
  • Look for a mentor, a veteran artist or a critique group
  • Take time to journal and reflect on what you feel your weakness are and your goals
  • Come up with path but admit that you're not quite sure where its taking you

So those are a start......I promise to get through the List in upcoming weeks and intersperse what I'm doing in my studio.   As I have said - it feels so good to be getting back to my old self.

So What Are you Doing Creatively?

Friday, January 25, 2019

Off the Wall Friday

Friday, January 18, 2019

This and That...Off the Wall Friday

Well I can happily report that the floodgates of creativity have once again open and I'm feeling much better!  This weekend I spent a TON of time working on the curve piecing of my BOM quilt.  Its tedious and exacting work, but truly I think that is exactly what I need!  I mean one of the reasons I'm doing this quilt is to drill in my head some of these techniques.  I did find out this week that I can do a nice curve seam.  What I can not do is tell the difference between a 6-3/4" square and 6-7/8" square and THAT's why all my curves needed to be ripped and redone. Yes - all  - 16 - of - them.  Did I mention that I'm working on patience and persistence as well as curve piecing.

That all said, I'm having fun.  Plus I started prowling through my art books looking for inspiration for new projects...something I haven't done in months.

Its good to be back.

The other accomplishments of the week, which took up a lot of time were technical.  I managed to connect my laptop to my printer adding new drivers.  PLUS I even connected my new Cannon Powershot to my laptop.  Both tasks I've been putting off but will make my life MUCH easier.  Of course I needed a Youtube video to walk me through the complicated process.   This always reminds me of a quote from my brother-in-law

"Its not worth knowing if it doesn't have a tutorial on Youtube"

So true.


For months, I've been looking for new rotary cutting rulers.  Did you know that rulers eventually wear out and you can't see the lines on them any more?  Well apparently the lifespan is about 25 years. So now all my favorite rulers needed replaced.  But guess what???  They don't make these rulers anymore.  I gotta be one of the few quilters who doesn't like the yellow Olfa rulers.  I'm sure its because I learned to quilt in the early 90's on Nancy Crow's QuickLine rulers but honestly they are the only ones I like the best.  The lines are clearly marked and I know exactly where to look.  I use those exclusively with  the Patchwork Place Bias Squares which I have in 3 different sizes. So I've been stalking Ebay looking for new ones and finally hit the jackpot!  At first I balked at the total cost of $58 (with the shipping) but then I realized I was getting 9 rulers plus  other goodies.  Not to mention I hadn't realized how expensive rulers are now new.  Wowsy!!  So I stopped being so cheap and bought them.  So glad I did!!  I got the rulers I needed and some to share with friends!

So that's what's new around here....

What Have You Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, January 11, 2019

Fact Vs Myth on Off the Wall Friday

So I was down with a cold this weekend and it gave me some time to peruse the rabbit hole they call Pinterest. Of course, I ended up looking at all the amazing art quilts that are collected there.  With each new board, it just seemed like the quilts got more and more gorgeous . So much talent.  So much creativity.  My gosh how can a girl compete??  Why do I even bother trying to make art quilts when I'll never be able to be that good?

And I realized  that's the myth my inner critic is trying to sell me.

The reality is that those artists are just people like I'm a person.  They started with the same basic building blocks that I have ....a brain and two hands.   I remember talking about these same fears with my teacher Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer.  She said to me, and I paraphrase,  what I needed to remember is that the finish pieces I see online are the artists best works.  What we don't see are all the failed attempts, the unfinished projects,  and unsuccessful starts.  Those don't get paraded on Pinterest.  When we're working in our studios though we can't edit out all the failures and just see the successes.  We also can't edit out our critical eye which seems to pick out all the bad things and not the good.

So busting the Myth of self doubt  are the Facts.

Fact.....Behind every great piece is a bunch of failures.

Fact....Behind every great piece are a lot of hours, sweat and tears.

Fact...Behind every great piece is all the experience  of the artist

Fact...Behind every great piece is the artist who only sees the flaws

So what's the moral??  
 That Theodore Roosevelt was right.  Comparison is the Thief of Joy. 

Its not a bad thing to enjoy the work of your peers and revel in its beauty.  But do not let it steal your joy.  Your work, no matter where you are in your creative journey is uniquely and wonderfully you.  (For my Christian friends - Psalm 139:14).  And that's good enough for Pinterest...and Facebook.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Public Domain Day - Off the Wall Friday

The Blue Room, Suzanne Valadon, 1923
Odalisque with Raised Arms, Henri Matisse

 This week I came across something of interest on Facebook (Yeah, I know, it surprised me too).  Apparently, January 1 2019 was named  Public Domain Day.  Now I thought that, all works published before January 1, 1978, were entitled to copyright protection for 75 years; all author’s works published on or after that date were under copyright for the lifetime of the creator, plus 50 years.

 But thanks to the lobbying of Disney in 1998 (who was trying to save its copyright of  Steamboat Willie) another 20 years was added to the 75 years (95 years for those of you that aren't good in math).  That resulted in a 20 year freeze on any works being released into public domain.  

Glenn Fleishman said in his article, "The release is unprecedented, and its impact on culture and creativity could be huge. We have never seen such a mass entry into the public domain in the digital age."

On White II, Wassily Kandinsky
Besides movies, music and literature, this also means a new batch of paintings!  Artwork by Matisse, M. C. Escher, Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Max Ernst, and Man Ray are included. Exciting!! So what does this mean to you?  It means you have a whole bunch of new art to be inspired by and reuse in any manner you  see fit!


Since I was on vacation this week, I took some time to finally get to some of  the programs on "My List" on Netflix.  One that I can highly recommend is the BBC One show, Fake or Fortune.  I'm not quite sure what I expected from the show, but I know I didn't expect to learn so much about the art world and art history.  The series, between its dramatic music and suspenseful pauses, divulges a lot of information in a approachable,  everyday manner.  The quiet interesting (but not too interesting) manner of the show makes it a perfect program for just before bed.  

Also, my husband did indeed bless me with an  Arrow Cabinets, Storage Cube .  I've been wanting
one for about 3 years and its everything I expected and more.  Its a hearty little piece of furniture that is just big enough to give some extra storage of things I use a lot but also a nice little table top that can be moved anywhere that I need it.  It has worked as a laptop desk, a useful table at my design wall and an extension of my quilting table. I can highly recommend it!

I have also been working on curve piecing with the Block of the month quilt.  I would love to show you what I got done but  it appears I have no idea how to piece a curve an accurate block since 14 out of 16 blocks came out too small.  So I'm in the long process of ripping them out and redoing them.  During this, it occurred to me why I didn't do that much traditional quilting anymore - grin!  But it feels very good to be back in my studio!

So Happy New Year to you All....and...

What Have You Been Up to Creatively?