Monday, October 17, 2016

My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1789: Back From My Break

“How can you miss me if I don’t go away?”

It’s one of those questions that may seem to state the obvious, but few seem to get it.

As many of you that follow me know, I have been going through a kind of ‘transition’ all summer long. I have been blogging for what I think may be six years already (I truly lost count) and never mind sharing my creative adventures with you all. (Some personal ones as well!) You have been just as inspirational to me as you say I have been to you, and I have found out that I need this exercise of writing nearly every day to help keep me organized, productive and on track with things. I appreciate those of you who follow me and comment and send words of encouragement. They really do keep me in a good direction. I never take any of you for granted or underestimate the power of a kind and encouraging sentiment.

Lately I have found myself struggling a bit. Acclimating myself to my new environment has really taken its toll on me much more that I would have anticipated. While most of moving to a larger place is positive, there seems like there is an overwhelming list of things that I still need to do, and the sense of being ‘caught up’ is something that I sometimes feel that I will never feel again. I was comfortable and cozy in my old little place. Even though it had its shortcomings, it was something that we became used to and knew how to manage. Now that we are in a much larger place and while I feel that the positives far outweigh the negatives, it is still taking me a great deal of time and energy to get used to things. It is sometimes exhausting.

I know this is natural and expected, but it has been so long since I have gone through it that I just must have forgotten. Maybe I buried these feelings of anxiety for a reason. Maybe they were just so far in the past that the good things that happened since have fogged them over until they disappeared. Whatever the case, this all feels new and at times overwhelming and it has thrown me for a loop.

But I haven’t given up, nor do I intend to. My list of ideas is growing by leaps and bounds each day. I refer to these ideas as my ‘insurance policy’ that I will be working in the future. Nothing terrorizes a designer as much as the well running dry where ideas are concerned. I am fortunate to be able to say that for me, the opposite seems to be more of an issue. I have more ideas than I have time to implement, and I keep adding to the list every single day. But instead of them being filed in an orderly manner in my head, they are thrown together helter skelter and the best way I can describe them to you is like a bowl of spaghetti. All mixed up together and in chaos. No wonder I feel anxious.

When this has happened on a smaller scale in the past, I found the best remedy for it was to take a step back and “breath”. Let it be and take a break and try to come back when I was rested, and with fresh eyes and a clear head. Give things a chance to settle. Don’t try so hard.

So that is what I am attempting to do. I have been trying to take a few hours here and there for myself and in between, push the pile as best as I can. While I am still fighting the feeling that I am not doing enough, things are slowly and surely beginning to fall back into place and little by little I feel myself ‘coming back’. I will get to where I want to be eventually.

Over the weekend I took a couple of days to get away with my friend Cindy and attend a “Fiber Festival” in the town of Amhurst, Nova Scotia. Amhurst is located on the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and is about a 5-6 hour drive from where I live. She had told me of this festival over the summer, and I gladly accepted her invitation to join her. While we weren’t going for the entire week or for classes, we thought it would be nice to take off for a couple of days and just go to see what it was about and enjoy the lovely autumn weather and scenery of Nova Scotia.

Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed. The landscape was beyond beautiful, with the leaves incredibly brilliant. The weather was good, and even though we had a short shot of rain, the rest of the time it was sunny and cool.

For those of you who haven’t guessed, a “Fiber Festival” is not where we all sit around eating healthy bran and cereals – it is a festival that celebrates all types of fiber arts, like rug hooking, quilting and even embroidery. It is something that I would naturally love, as I am a sucker for beautiful wool, thread and fabric. Those of you who see my embroidery attempts know how much I love doing needlework. It is not only calming and relaxing, but also another way to be creative and enjoy and celebrate art.

The part of the festival that we attended included a walking tour of the town, with stops earmarked which had displays of wonderful and inspirational work. We also stopped at some of the shops which carried supplies, and had a grand time seeing all the lovely supplies and patterns available. Finally, we attended the bazaar, where vendors from all over displayed and sold their wares. This also ranged from supplies to fibers to finished work. There was something for everyone.

I am excited to show you my wonderful acquisitions, as I didn’t feel that I went overboard, but I was certainly inspired and thrilled with them.

The first thing that I purchased was an masterful needle felted work of art from Bella McBride of McBride House Creations. You can see some of her other work by clicking on the link which will bring you to her Etsy store. I will tell you however, that the pictures do not do her work justice. She was located right by the front door of the bazaar and the minute I saw this piece I knew I had to have it.

It is a beautiful needle felted sculpture of a crow, in Celtic costume, with a warrior on his back. I decided to name the crow “Vortegern” (which means “Supreme King”) and the warrior “Caderyn” (which means “Battle King”.) I think they are just exquisite!

Vortegern is approximately 10” long and his wings are layered wool. He has a lovely Celtic shield on his chest, back and head and is carrying a metal helmet in his mouth, which is held by a black chain. Little Caderyn stands on his back with sword and shield in hand, ready for battle. Vorgetern also has black glass eyes and clay talons.

For some reason, this piece spoke to me. It was one of those things that I fell in love with when I first saw it. I tried to walk away and go through the entire show first and come back to it later to see if I still wanted it, but I only made it about three tables away before I decided I had to just go buy it. I didn’t want the chance of someone else seeing it and buying it first. It would have been something that I would surely regret if I were to lose it.

It is funny how sometimes art can do that to us. It gets under our skin and grasps us by the soul. Some pieces are not merely ‘wants’ but are truly ‘needs’. That is what this piece was to me.

I did my best to take good photos of them today to show you all, but I feel that I didn’t capture the incredible craftsmanship of the pieces. I will try again later today as I will have my light box out and maybe I can do better there. We will see.

I didn’t buy too much more over the weekend. I did find a couple of things though for future projects that are ‘living in my head.’

These lovely wool fibers are just incredible and I have something really fun in mind for them.

The final wool that I purchased was something that I just had to have, with no particular project in mind.

It is one of those pieces where you think of the project after acquiring the wool for it. The colors are absolutely YUMMY and I am sure that I will use them for something fun and pretty!

So much fun! …

I came back from my weekend feeling much better than I did when I left. There is still a lot to do (even more now, I am afraid!) but talking to people and seeing the lovely work and inspiration from the show, the shops and the weekend in general, gave me a feeling of peace and calm.

One day at a time…

I need to remember that and not get overwhelmed.

I need to be patient with myself and allow myself to work at the pace that my life dictates. By doing that and staying in tune with myself, things will certainly work themselves out. And by letting go of the expectations that I have placed on myself, I am allowing myself to create what I was intended to create instead of forcing what I THINK I should be doing.

That in itself is very freeing.

I wish you all a wonderful Monday and an incredible week ahead!

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