Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Creativity Book: Exercise 4 - Make Minimum Space

The last exercise for Week 2 in Eric Maisel's The Creativity Book is to revise and rearrange my creative space. I am very lucky to have a quite large room to dedicate to my studio. Following please find pictures of the progress I've made towards rearranging my creative space.

Dr. Maisel sets out very specific requirements for a creative space that would probably annoy me if it weren't for the fact that they're already in line with what I have and want. First, he requires a computer desk, computer, and internet access.

Check, check, check.

Second, he requires a thinking spot separate from the computer space, preferably with a comfy chair beside a table for a lamp, mug, notepad, pen, and current reads.

I am go for comfy chair, but, as you can see, I need to do a little rearranging.

Third, he requires a special bookcase. I liked the way he described how to organize your books: inspiration, subject matter reference, shrine, and professional reference.
So far I've got the subject matter reference and some inspiration. I suspect that as I unpack I'll find some things that should go in the shrine. Not sure what sort of professional reference materials a nascent quilter should have.

Fourth, he requires whatever other space your endeavor requires. Quilting, my primary artistic medium of the moment requires a cutting table, a sewing table, fabric storage, notions storage, and a design wall. I have most of these things already and just needed to unpack them and arrange them properly. I'll keep you posted as that happens.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Munsell Color Charts

In my hour spent creatively I finally finished Exercise 1.4 in The New Munsell(R) Student Color Set. The exercise basically asks you to complete the book by filling in the blanks on the color charts with colored chips. I've blogged about Munsell's color theory before elsewhere. I've also blogged about my specific experience assembling the color charts, back when I'd finished only the first three out of ten. Here I thought I'd share my pictures of the completed charts with a few observations.

5R with 30 chips. The chip that matches the 5R chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5R 5/14. I started with the 5R chart because a previous chart illustrating the concepts of hue, value, and chroma used one row from the 5R chart to illustrate chroma. Also 5R contains the most chips, 30, so I could check all the rest of the charts against that chart if there wasn't the same value and chroma on the adjacent hue charts.

5YR with 24 chips. The chip that matches the 5YR chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5YR 7/12. Then by chance I worked clockwise around the hue circle. This turned out to be a good plan because in that order the charts with the most chips come at the end. Charts with fewer chips are easier to arrange.

5Y with 21 chips. The chip that matches the 5Y chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5Y 8/12. Do my charts look right to you? Any chips seem out of place? This is the moment when I wish I could work on this with a class so I could have a group of well-trained eyes to double check my charts.

5GY with 20 chips. The chip that matches the 5GY chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5GY 8/10.

5G with 22 chips. The chip that matches the 5G chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5G 6/10.

5BG with 20 chips. The chip that matches the 5BG chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5BG 5/8.

5B with 20 chips. The chip that matches the 5B chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5B 5/8. It certainly got easier the more charts I completed. By the last few I had no trouble pulling out that first column /2 with the lowest chroma.

5PB with 27 chips. The chip that matches the 5PB chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5PB 5/10. Once I figured out that if I set up the chart as I thought it should be on medium gray paper then switched the position of chips I wasn't sure about those switches really pointed out mistakes better than comparing to other charts.

5P with 26 chips. The chip that matches the 5P chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5P 5/10. The only bummer is I'm almost 100% sure I got two of the same chip for my 5P chart. So I have two 5P 8/4 chips and no 5P 7/4 chip. I'm going to write to the publisher, Fairchild Publications, and see if they'll send me a single 5P 7/4 chip.

Finally 5RP with 28 chips. The chip that matches the 5RP chip on the hue circle of the Hue Value/Chroma Chart is 5RP 5/12.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

The Creativity Book: Exercise 3 - Make an Hour

The first exercise for Week 2 in Eric Maisel's The Creativity Book is to sit with a timer doing nothing for 20 minutes, then 40 minutes. Then set the timer for an hour and do something related to your creative project. Following please find my thoughts on the exercise of creating an hour.

First, again, an anti-consumerism complaint. The book asks the reader to purchase a wind-up kitchen timer that can run for up to an hour and clicks loudly as it winds down. Again, while I understand that investing money in your dream is one step in making that dream a reality, I feel confident in my ability to throw lots of money at this dream/reality transition without adding a timer that will drive me insane to my neglected kitchen gadgets collection. This time, unlike the mug and tea for Exercise 2, I think lacking the annoying ticking to reinforce the sense of time is a detriment to my execution of the exercise. But money is tight and I just can't do it.

Second, sitting quietly waiting for a timer to ding is very much like my meditation practice. So it is particularly challenging not to meditate instead of doing nothing.

Doing nothing for twenty minutes was pretty standard. Not too much of a strain. In fact I'm pretty sure I do this at least two or three times a day. Actually, after this exercise I became much more aware of the times I do nothing, which may not have been the point of the exercise but certainly makes me aware of the time I could spend being a little more creative, even if it's not enough time or I'm not in a convenient place to put the creative pedal to the metal.

Between the twenty minutes and the forty minutes I discussed this blog with my brother and he had the following suggestion:
I think maybe a little less self-reflection for you. . . . Here's my daily confirmation for you: every day, read or look at something, anything, and repeat "this is not about me. This is not about me. This is not about me." Concentrate on the thing, and then repeat it again, three times. Think about how it isn't about you.

So when it was time to do nothing for forty minutes, my mantra was "This is not about me." I know, a mantra smacks of meditation which is technically doing something. But work with me. Doing nothing for forty minutes was difficult. First, it was difficult to find forty minutes to do nothing, preferably when my husband wasn't around to say, "Seriously, this is insane." So I put it off for a few days. Then I felt like I couldn't work on anything creative until I got this forty minutes out of the way, and I got so excited to do something creative that I decided I just had to do the forty minutes. But with that frame of mind it was hard not to plan my creative action while I was supposed to be doing nothing. Repeating "This is not about me," helped.

Working on my creative project for an hour was awesome! Well, of course, I went for way longer than an hour. But setting out with the idea that I'd only be working on it for an hour made me work more efficiently than I normally do on this sort of thing.

The author writes, "People who do not want to create, even if they have luxurious amounts of time on their hands, have 'no time' for their composing, writing, or painting. We can carve time out of thin air, or we can fill up even infinite stretches of time with nothingness." I do have luxurious amounts of time on my hands. And I do feel like I have "no time" for my art. I have been filling up extremely large stretches of time with nothingness. But I do want to create. I think I have to consciously choose to stop filling time with nothingness (well, other than when I'm meditating). This ties in nicely with last week's new week's resolution to get on a schedule.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Steps in a Creative Direction

Yesterday I took five steps in a creative direction. Most importantly, I attended my first quilt guild meeting in California.

First, I wrote up a schedule for Monday on Sunday night before going to bed. OK, I know, at first glance this doesn't seem very creative, but in the context of my weird time management issues, it's a big step.

Second, I actually stuck to said schedule despite sleeping in well past my scheduled start time. This sounds like not such a big deal, but I have on more than one occasion chucked the whole day's plans because I didn't wake up "on time." This is the luxury and the downfall of self-employment.

Third, I rededicated myself to the tea ceremony from Exercise 2, taking part in it Sunday night, Monday morning, and Monday night.

Fourth, I did the first 20 minute chunk of Exercise 3.

Fifth, I attended my first meeting of the Flying Geese Quilters Guild. They are even more impressive in person than they are online. Organized like clockwork. Tables with signs telling you what they're for. People were very friendly, especially when they saw I had a new member name tag. And they gave me an awesome bag just for joining.

But not only do they impress operationally, they are a talented guild. The top eight quilts from their most recent guild challenge won the AQS, Quilt Expo: Ultimate Guild Challenge Quilts competition. And another member placed in the AQS Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial competition. To see pictures of all the winners click here.

The program was a trunk show by Shirley Fletcher, a local applique specialist whose very first quilt, an intense Baltimore Album, won at Paduch and Houston and more. It was neat to see all of her work and she described her creative process very well compared to some other trunk shows I've seen. Apparently she teaches a number of the quilts she showed us at a few different shops around the area, so I'm going to keep my eye out for her.

I'm really glad I didn't blow tonight's meeting off or I wouldn't have made it into next month's workshop with Joe the Quilter (all about "unlocking the creative process") or January's workshop with Katie Pasquini Masopust. They had already filled up a Sunday workshop with KPM and I got the fourth to last spot on the sign up sheet for the Monday workshop. Wow!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

The Creativity Book: Exercise 2 - Craft One Ceremony Follow Up

Not only have I not come up with a ceremony of my own, I haven't continued practicing the ceremony from the book as I planned.

The tea ceremony, as described in the previous post, kind of depends on having a set schedule and plugging this ceremony into that schedule. I work from home in a very unstructured job arrangement, though I used to work in a very scheduled environment where you were expected to arrive on time and leave on time and attend various appointments throughout the day while completing you work in between. Especially since we moved to California I'm having a very difficult time getting into a schedule. I think this is contributing to my lack of creative production.

Robert Genn in one of his great Twice Weekly Letters about the practice of art describes the difference between being creative according to the clock, a workmanlike habit, and tapping into the natural ebbs and flows of creativity.

I feel like due to my lack of a worker's time clock I am failing to take part in even the smallest of these creative exercises. I have all the time in the world, so I have no time for anything.

New week's resolution: get on a schedule and include the creativity ceremony in that schedule.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

The Creativity Book: Exercise 2 - Craft One Ceremony

The last exercise for Week 1 in Eric Maisel's The Creativity Book is to engage in a ceremony that honors your dream and keeps it alive twice a day for three days running, then craft your own small ceremony. Following please find my thoughts on the ritual set forth in the book and crafting my own ceremony.

The ceremony in the book consists of making and drinking tea once in the morning and once at night. While making and drinking am I to say to myself, "I have always dreamed of ..." and fill in the blank. Then I'm supposed to feel the dream brewing in me.

First, an anti-consumerism complaint. The book asks the reader to purchase tea and a special mug dedicated to this ceremony. While I understand that investing money in your dream is one step in making that dream a reality, I feel confident in my ability to throw lots of money at this dream/reality transition without adding to our excessive mug and tea collection. Also, like my dream, to become an artist, the mug doesn't have to be brand new to be important.

Second, I had a hard time feeling the dream brew in me. The book suggests the reader, "just be with their dream, love it, and accept it." The first time around I mostly tried to define my dream, what does my dream of being an artist entail. The second time around I focused on what I've been doing already that could be counted towards my artistness already. The third time around I imagined I was being interviewed twenty years from now for a profile of me as an artist. The fourth time around I imagined I was speaking at my high school twenty years from now about how art connects to everything in my life, like math and history, not just stereotypically artistic things. The fifth time around I had reread the assignment and tried to meditate on the idea that I have always dreamed of being an artist. The sixth time around I examined the sentence, "I have always dreamed of being an artist." I listed adjectives describing dreams and tested them to see how they fit with my specific dream of being an artist.

I'm having a hard time thinking of a different ceremony. I like the tea ceremony. I plan to keep doing it until I come up with something else.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Creativity Book: Exercise 1b - Name Five Obstacles

The second exercise in Eric Maisel's The Creativity Book is to name five obstacles that prevent you from realizing your creative potential. Mine are pragmatism, focus, goal management, pain, and fear. For more detailed descriptions, please see click below.

1. Pragmatism. Cooking, cleaning, working to pay the bills, paying the bills, errands, and exercising all seem to be more important than realizing my creative potential. I try to do some of these activities creatively, for example cooking, and I do find some satisfaction in that. But when it comes to following through on projects that don’t rise to this to-do list of life, I have a hard time justifying the time, effort, and money outlay.

2. Focus. I have difficulty focusing on creative tasks. This is particularly challenging when what has to be done is something will take dedicated blocks of time, like machine quilting or binding. I put off this step in the creative process, so then I get a backlog of things that are all waiting for this step. Then I decide I can’t start anything else or work on anything else because then it will just wind up on the Waiting to be Quilted pile. So I freeze up and don’t do anything. I have a humongous pile at the design stage, a big pile at the quilting stage, and a pesky pile and the binding stage and I’m just sitting in the middle of my piles feeling scattered and unsatisfied.

3. Goal management. I started quilting because I like making art that I can give to my friends as gifts and I found friends don’t like 8 foot square paintings as gifts. But they don’t seem to mind 8 foot square bed quilts as gifts. Lots of other reasons too, but that’s the one that relates to goal management. Then I heard about Quilt National . . . and I wanted in. I have to watch this competitive aspect in me because I can quickly slip into Golem from Lord of the Rings mode (Quilt National, my precious) and no good comes of that (i.e., even if I get around to entering something, my chances of being accepted are very small, so then there’s that whole failure thing, and even if I get accepted, my chances of winning are even smaller, so then there’s that whole failure thing). Then all of my friends started breeding like bunnies and now I’m backed up six baby quilts and haven’t thought a thing about Quilt National for too long. But Quilt National is very art quilt focused, while my whole purpose in going into quilting was to make useful art. Can I make art and bedcovers at the same time? Can I make baby quilts in a timely manner and still have time for more ambitious projects?

4. Pain. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was diagnosed about a year after I started quilting. Does a stereotypically old lady art form cause stereotypically old lady diseases? Just kidding. Sort of. Anyway, my point is I can’t machine quilt for 15 hours straight like Mary Buvia. Some days I can’t do the requisite life to-do list, see above re: obstacle number one, without needing to rest, so expending energy on non-necessities seems impossible, though all the RA literature tells me to do just that. I am not entirely sure I can hand quilt or embroider at all anymore, even on good days. Cutting can be difficult. Hand sewing on bindings is really challenging what with maintaining the tension on the binding and the blind hem stitching. I tire easily and some days I’m in too much pain and on too much medication to operate heavy machinery, including my Bernina Aurora 440 QE. I don’t want to sound like I’m dying or anything. But this is a list of obstacles, not the list of how I’m working to overcome these obstacles. I bought Bernina to help me transition to machine quilting from hand quilting as a way to adapt to the RA, and that’s a huge help.

5. Fear. Lots of different kinds of fear. Most immediate is the fear that once I have kids I’ll have no time for creativity and my quilt studio will be converted to a bedroom, I’ll pawn my sewing machine, and the artist within will shrivel up and die. I speculate, wildly, that this happened to my paternal grandmother. She was an artist and she returned to it once she abandoned her family. But while she was actively mommying, all hell broke loose. Probably a lot of factors were at play there, not just her frustrated artistness. Unrelatedly, I also fear that people won’t like my work, either in a gift recipient way or a contest judge way. I’m not so fearful that people will critique my execution, because I can always learn from that and try different means of execution. But I’m fearful people just won’t like my concept, the more subjective aspect, which I’m not sure how to learn from. Tangentially, I'm also afraid that I have no idea what I'm doing with this whole quilting thing and no one has just come out and told me so. It's the Emperor's New Clothes fear. Like I'm going to bring a quilt in for show and tell and the whole guild is going to gasp and then laugh, in an at not a with way. Or even worse, they'll politely clap and let me keep walking through this life deluding myself that I can make quilts. I'll keep getting form rejection letters from quilt shows never knowing it's because I'm tragically bad, not just the best that didn't make the cut. Of course, I've never brought anything to show and tell and I've never entered anything for a show, and I've seen shows and I've seen my quilts and they are at least of the same genus, if not species, so this is really quite irrational. But it's there.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Creativity Book: Exercise 1a - Write Your Autobiography

The first exercise in Eric Maisel's The Creativity Book is to write a 2,500 word autobiography. An abridged and hyperlinked version of my autobiography follows.

When I was little and I couldn’t sleep I would tell myself the history of the world starting with the Big Bang. We watched a lot of Nova. I would continue through the primordial soup and the dinosaurs with some ice ages thrown in for good measure. Then do my best with human history starting with Cro-Magnons and working my way through Mesopotamia and Egypt and Greece and Rome. Occasionally I’d try to bring in the rest of the world, weaving in what bits of Africa and Asia I learned in history class, but I have to admit I had a hard time reconciling the timelines of world history. The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Conflict, I was born, Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale. But that Reagan bit is skipping ahead.

My parents lived in housing for medical residents across from the hospital where my father was doing his family practice residency. My mother, a nurse, walked across the street when she decided her contractions were close enough. It was a Saturday; the doctor was pleased that the delivery was complete in time for him to go watch his son play high school football.

Next we lived on top of a hill by a lake in Windsor, New York. The low-pile carpet in the dining room was orange and yellow and red. The carpet downstairs in the living room was deep shag in blue-green. Playdoh was harder to get out of the carpet downstairs than it was to get out of the carpet upstairs. My room was pale pink and the floor was cold tile. The light through the windows was blue. The porch off the dining room was wood and might give you slivers. The stairs were covered in bright green Astroturf and were open, so little girls had to be careful or they’d fall between the steps onto the hard concrete patio below. The grass between the patio and the lake was prickly and dry. The road was dirt and rocks and hurt feet even through flip flops. Then there was more grass and then a long dock which was even more splintery than the deck. You did not want to do a sitting dive off that dock. The water was cold and clear and I never touched the bottom.

Then we lived in a big white house on a city block, but not a real city. A village block. If life were a fairy tale this is where I would have lived. When people asked me where I was from I could tell them “Owego, New York.” But it’s not true. I’m not from Owego, New York. I lived there awhile. But I’m not from there. People from Owego, New York, probably don’t know me. I look nostalgically back on it, but that just shows how much more horrible it has been everywhere else. Owego is like my first grade teacher, Miss Scanlon, whose fiancé shared my birthday, whose wedding I sang at, who got frustrated because I could count to 100 but could not tell time, who scolded me for persuading a classmate that the ghost of my recently deceased Great Aunt Lil haunted the gym, who made such a huge impression on me, who didn’t even know who I was when my mother and I bumped into her a few years later. She witnessed my best and my worst and my insanity like no one else, and yet I made no impression on her.

My family moved to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, in August 1987. It was never home. My brother was already away at boarding school and I would follow in two short years. My mother hated the place before we arrived. My father wanted to walk to work and the house was too far away. No one looks nostalgically back on Fitchburg, Massachusetts. That could be the town motto. But if I wrote all the stories of Fitchburg and all the stories of Owego, quantified them as happy/good or sad/bad, I think we’d find that Fitchburg got a bum rap. Sure, it’s where my parents divorced. Sure, it’s where I went through all of those teen movie-of-the-week dramas. Sure, it’s where we gave up the Herculean effort to look like a normal nuclear family. But it is also where we became friends with one another instead of mere actors in the family play. It wasn’t easy, that transition. But if we hadn’t made it through that transition, where would we be now?

I feel sorry for people who can’t speak to their parents as anything but a child. Or siblings who make small talk because that’s all they have in common: the script of polite interaction with total strangers. With all of us in different places it was easy to see that maintaining relationships with one another was a choice. We’d have to find something more to sustain our interactions than mere titles and role-play. This was not conscious on my part. Looking back I can see the steps, rationalize the actions, compile a timeline, and craft the scenes, like it was a progress narrative playing out, the end of my family.

Beside my family’s dissolution there was also my own life. The life that was primary at the time. School and social development, neither of which I executed to my full potential. The timeline of home addresses goes a bit wonky. How do you reconcile boarding school starting at 14? I love it when people realize I went to boarding school and ask me what I did to deserve that. What kind of Dickensian world do they think we live in that boarding school is still a punishment? Granted, it was punishing, but I chose to go there. Staying in Fitchburg and going to public school would have been a far worse punishment, which is something that I wasn’t entirely clear on at the time, how bad it would have been, had I stayed, to witness my parents divorce first hand rather than hear about it like tuning into a soap opera you only watch during the summer, to try to assimilate into public school culture where my intellect and socio-economic class would have been just as inhibiting as they were at boarding school, just the other way around. This is post hoc rationalization for the incredible horror that was boarding school. Like Lord of the Flies, but co-ed.

And then college and more college and grad school and David and law school and the Bureau of Prisons and Indiana and now California. I can keep writing a time line or drawing a map or compiling witticisms about how awful or wonderful it was – a sketch of a photocopy of a photograph taken in the dark. I could focus on the big moments; the traumas that made my psyche what it is today. But I don’t want to. I’ve done it before in other settings and with a therapist. Identifying the moments is a connect-the-dots without the lines. There is no image. Just dots.

So here are some lines. I have had stuff to draw with and sculpt with since I can remember. I used to lie in the grass and make detailed pencil drawings of each blade. I don’t remember anything about Sunday school except that I got to paint on an easel. I spent hours at my neighbors’, Ruth and Sally, coloring in coloring books, well past when that might have been considered age appropriate and probably for many hours longer than I was welcome. My babysitter Cathy taught me to swim, ride a bike, and blend pastels. I tried to carve a wooden duck and discovered, when my dad and I were attaching the head to the body, that I am allergic to wood glue. It burned my skin like fire. A sketch of my friend Todd won some sort award in elementary school and was displayed in the school district’s offices. My paternal grandmother helped me make a stained glass turtle in her studio. My aunt who threw me across the kitchen for eating cookie dough also taught me Japanese calligraphy with ink that starts as a solid brick. I made a futon and a castle in shop and art respectively and felt that both of them were art in their own way. I used the futon as a chair and/or bed for sixteen years. The castle is in a box in the garage right now. While I was in a yearbook meeting I absentmindedly sculpted a grumpy man’s face. I sculpted a clay ear and a metal hand that had nothing to do with one another. I drafted a fan in black ink on white paper and the lines went over the mat and onto the wall. I made a huge orange in architecture class to protect a container of orange juice as I flung it off the top of the library. It ejected the orange juice container, but survived the fall marvelously itself. Based on the same design, I made a huge moon for the dormitory hallway for Halloween. I don’t think one could actually walk past it, it was so large. I took no art courses in college, though I made a six foot tall paper mache fish in my dorm room. I painted the ceiling in David’s room. I made a number of painted bowls. I painted a table. I painted a five-part image of a table with oranges on it. I took about three hundred pictures of Volkswagen Beetles, well before the new version came out. One won an award at the University of Georgia. I sold two more. I made a super-8 film about a girl trapped in a box. I made a super-8 film about a girl in love with another woman who she can’t tell. I made a super-8 film featuring my girlfriend to an Ani DiFranco song. I know. But it was beautiful, especially the shot of the flying seagull. I never edited it together. While in film school I made a collage of the sun from paper cut from magazines. I made a video of a woman cutting off her tongue to color a red velvet cake. After film school I worked at a place called MisterArt.com and made no art at all. Between teaching for The Princeton Review I painted an amazing mural on all four walls of my niece’s nursery. They sold the house shortly thereafter. In law school I painted raindrops splashing in a pool for Georgia Black Women Attorney’s fundraising auction. It sold for $100. In Washington, D.C., I looked through the Smithsonian’s course catalog and found quilting with Jeanne Benson. And that was the rest of my life! I made a single Irish chain for my best man’s first baby. I made an appliqué sampler of the images from the mural for my niece. I made a patchwork pillow for my mom. I made an appliqué pansy for my mother-in-law. I made a patchwork quilt for a law school friend’s baby. I collaged and painted two portraits, one of each of our dogs. In Indiana I joined the Bloomington Quilt Guild and took all their classes in which I started a Sue Spargo quilt and a Mary Buvia quilt and an American Girl Doll quilt. I attended a community quilt in, met a number of lovely ladies including R.J., and started a rail fence quilt. I took classes at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show in which I started a free-motion machine quilting sampler with Sue Nickels and a lone star quilt with Jan Krentz. I took classes at Shiisa Quilts and started a New York Beauty quilt and a precision pieced quilt and an invisible machine appliqué quilt. I took classes with my sailor aunt and her two daughters at the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont, Illinois, and learned a lot of techniques, but at least I didn’t start any new quilts to add to my unfinished quilts started in classes pile.

I have just moved to California, where I know no one. I searched online for a good quilt guild and I think I’ve found one that’s a good fit, but I haven’t attended it yet. I searched online for a good quilt shop and I think I’ve found one that’s a good fit, but I haven’t gone there yet. In our new home I have a huge studio, but I haven’t unpacked it completely yet.

The Beginning

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

To Do

Things to do:
  • Work through Eric Maisel's The Creativity Book.
  • Quilt Jonathan’s Ella’s quilt.
  • Start Julia’s Buddy’s bowtie quilt.
  • Start Rebecca’s quilt.
  • Finish piecing Nicole’s Will’s quilt.
  • Start Jennifer’s baby’s quilt.
  • Quilt Community baby quilt.
  • Start quilt-block-a-week on B & R’s sampler quilt.
  • Design Eric's new baby's quilt.
  • Start Heather's Nola's quilt.
  • Rinse fabric from Dyeing with Darren class.
  • Finish appliqueing Rokkaku kite battle quilt.
  • Quilt Raku pottery quilt.
  • Make sample sets of batting.
  • Make sample sets from IQF/Chicago
Books to Get from Library:
  • Spectacular Scraps by Judy Hooworth
  • Kirk Varnedoe Pictures of Nothing
  • Surface Design – a journal; particularly the Fall 2004 issue on Social Conscience and Summer 2004 on Materiality
  • Simple Sewing with a French Twist by Celine Dupuy
  • Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson
  • Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!: The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by Diana Mcclun and Laura Nownes
  • Quilter’s Ultimate Visual Guide: From A to Z–Hundreds of Tips & Techniques for Successful Quiltmaking by Ellen Pahl
  • Quilter’s Complete Guide by Marianne Fons and Liz Porter
  • Collaborative Quilting by Fredd Moran and Gwen Marston
  • Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt by Paul Arnett
  • Sew Everything Workshop (Spiral-bound) by Diana Rupp (Author)
  • Sew Fast Sew Easy : All You Need to Know When You Start to Sew (Paperback) by Elissa K. Meyrich
  • Simplicity: Simply the Best Sewing Book (Plastic Comb) by Anne Marie Soto
  • Vogue Sewing: Revised and Updated (Vogue Knitting Magazine) (Paperback) by Vogue Knitting Magazine
  • The Complete Book of Sewing New Edition (Hardcover) by DK Publishing
  • The American Quilt by Roderick Kiracofe
  • The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule
  • Art in the Courtroom by Vilis R. Inde

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mission Statement

This is a record of my creativity, my attempts to transform my intention into reality. Remember that Tootsie Roll commercial with the jingle, "Everything I think I see, becomes a Tootsie Roll to me!" When I look at the world around me I see art where the singing child in the ad saw Tootsie Rolls. I suspect my frustration lies in my inability to take action based on that inspiration. Here, I intend to exorcise that frustration. Let this be a repository for my curiosity, an aspirational canvas, a viewfinder of renewed potential in all things, a laboratory for inventing private systems and reinventing former skills.