Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Uninspired Times

We all have them—uninspired times. I think there is a saying about inspiration being 10% and perspiration being 90%. I am terrible at exact quotes, but you get the message. I can be very creative in my head, but find that “the doing” isn’t always as fun, especially if my mind is focused on my do-list instead of enjoying the present moment, as I truly love to sew!

My organization is a strength for me and I love to design, choose combinations of materials and cut out projects and when I am on a roll, I will prepare many projects at a time and almost prepackage them. I can function more efficiently this way as I “group” like activities. This is what I do when I am preparing for a sale.

 I am excited to begin sewing my projects though actually picking a place to start can be overwhelming. If I am not feeling so creative I begin with doing some tedious parts and wait to do the parts that require more creativity and design until after I have “warmed up” a bit.

Being creative comes when I am more relaxed and enjoying the moment…like after doing some “tedious” work (as I love handwork) and get loose enough to try out a new technique. While making my flower-pot pincushions, I decide to try making some new flowers and decide to try out ruching! I try it with wool instead of cotton, and shape it into a flower. And then I try gathering a wool strip cut with a zig-zag edge, and suddenly I am making up my own flowers! Excitement, passion, inspiration and creativity all come together and I am doing something new!

New ideas are not always successful right away, and need to be developed. I will accommodate for what didn’t go so well at first and get it better the next time. My first attempts can be rather primitive, and I remind myself that these items can be equally as loved as my more perfected projects, just ask my kids!

Creativity is often born from the imperfect. So don’t trash all those beginnings that appear as disasters. I have learned that much can be done with a “laying tool” or picking out and re-sewing a stitch or two to get them right.

Inspiration and creativity seems to be a cycle. New ideas combined with risk, effort, heart and soul and a new creation is born and takes on a life of its own. It is a process.

Sometimes a short nap can do much to re-energize creative zeal. Zeldie, my cat has taught me that!

Other times when I am uninspired, I simply need to change my focus and work on a different project for a time. I am always surprised as to how many projects are finished by working on them only a couple of hours at a time.

I continue to sew with or without inspiration almost every day, for I have learned that NOT all parts of our sewing projects are inspired and creative. Some become “work” and that is OK. When a project becomes “work” I just need to persevere.

I get myself a big glass of ice water, gather what I need for a project and plant myself at my work table in the living room in front of the TV or radio and then pick an interesting program to entertain me as I work to finish a project. I like to start projects more than I like to finish them and some projects turn into UFO’s or Un-Finished Objects. Don’t all sewers have a collection of those?( But that topic is for another blog!)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our Egg Dying Party

Our egg dying party took on a life of its own.  My oldest daughter’s friend hoped I had “baked plenty of eggs” and after a piece of pizza, he immediately got to work.  With all of his “instant ideas”, we knew he had been designing eggs for days.

Others like myself simply dipped a few eggs to see if the advertised “new colors” were actually new. We recalled silly stories of years past. One year my husband accidentally reached for the wrong glass and drank a bit of green egg dye instead of his glass of soda.  We were glad that they were non-toxic, though he did have a green tongue!

I will never forget when my dad accidentally grabbed a dozen raw eggs and mixed them in with the hard boiled ones. I still remember spinning and/or floating eggs before cracking them that year and it still makes me laugh! Nothing like the surprise of a raw egg! I can still hear my Dad’s belly laugh about that and I can’t help but wonder if he planned the joke as he enjoyed it so much.

This year we followed Martha Stewart’s directions for cooking a perfect hard boiled egg. Isn’t it funny that any other time of year, boiling an egg doesn’t seem so critical, and you just do it, but when it comes to Easter, we always consult cookbooks or the internet to be sure that we do them right.  Of course five dozen is a bit of an investment to be sure!

Our egg dying party has become quite the tradition even though my girls are grown. It is so fun when little activities done year after year grow to be the bonds that cement our family together, establishing traditions that are now firmly fixed. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guest Post: The Beauty of Spring in a Garden Center

As spring begins, there is no place to spend your days like a garden center, where the plants abound. It's hard not to find delight in each and every bloom and blossom.   Happy Spring!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter, Passover, and Spring!

Wishing my readers a wonderful Easter, Passover and welcome of the spring season!

New blooms and blossoms remind us all that hope, love and new life come to each of us if we but take time to look around us and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holidays; Wonderful But Too Much!

Holidays are wonderful but sometimes on top of life’s events can be almost too much!

This week brings Easter and with it celebrations and family traditions: church on Good Friday; our annual egg dying and pizza party, individual Easter baskets filled with candy and a family one with dyed eggs for our Easter breakfast with sausage biscuits and orange juice. Church on Easter is followed in the late afternoon by a special Easter ham dinner. We love holidays for they are times that our family comes together and reunites us, however briefly!

But Easter is only part of what is in season for us this year. We are also preparing for my youngest daughter to return home for an extended stay through the summer or longer.  This doesn’t surprise us. “Boomerang children” are the trend these days, finishing college only to find that the jobs available aren’t the sort to support college loans as well as independent living and we are looking forward to having her back home with us for a time. With her move home however comes a house cleaning job of immense proportions, for we have moved into what would be her space and now are having to clean, pare down, consolidate and push out the walls as far as we can to “make room” for her.

Of course, life doesn’t slow down for such events, nor are holidays cancelled. A two day business trip for my husband is squeezed in along with our monthly house cleaners day as well as my operation of “fast and furious” that involves no guns, but creative messes and clutter everywhere in preparation for the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend show and sale.

I fall back to old ways of dealing with tasks too big to be accomplished in one fell swoop.  Being a retired special ed consultant, among other professions, I make do-lists with minute tasks that can be crossed off easily with built in tangible reward-naps sandwiched in, designed to eliminate becoming overwhelmed, and exhausted.

I surprise myself how much gets done by taking it in incremental steps and I even do the Easter baskets ahead, though thanks to Zeldie, our cat who is attracted to the artificial Easter grass they are being stored in plastic grocery bags. Warning: I have noted that if done too early the candy seems to be thinned a bit by Easter and if small children are about, must be kept hidden to keep the holiday magic of the Easter Bunny and alive!

 Holiday traditions are important family events and I am interested to know how my readers celebrate Easter, Passover or the coming of the Spring Season at your house.