Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Joy In The Doing

The success I had embroidering my groundhog, in a more realistic, detailed style, gave me the gumption to try another image. I liken it to painting with thread, and I went with attempting to make a bird, from my sketchbook. I am not saying this as a recommendation, because it was pretty reckless of me, but I grabbed a fine point Sakura marker, and drew the bird directly on a square of fabric from a charm pack. I was probably holding my breath, but I got mostly lucky, and the sketch was not bad. Painting with thread is a good analogy for this realism style... the stitches, length and type, are brush strokes, the colors need to create depths, shadows, highlights, and the smallest choices can make big impressions. And just like in painting, there are points along the way when it looks like a flop, and I want to walk away! But I didn't. And I'm glad I saw it through.

People I follow on Instagram, are participating in Creative Ceci's Fiberuary Challenge. When I saw Creative Ceci's prompts and the posts fiber artists were sharing, I wanted to participate, too. But I have that awful condition, the one called imposter syndrome, and the small (figuratetively small, but effectively very big) voice in my head said, That's for real artists. You're only a dabbler. I sat back, quietly, and let all the real artists play, and I am sorry I made that choice.

Here they are, the prompts for the Fiberuary Challenge. And I am going to dabble with this for the rest of the month.

1. Intro selfie... oh, wow. It starts with hard stuff.
Hello! I am Natalie, and I love fiber arts. I enjoy crafting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and cross-stitch, wool felting, mending and hand-sewing, making clothes, and applique. I would love to learn how to spin wool. What else? Well, I illustrate, paint, make miniatures, have done some mosaics, and pottery, lots of cooking, and gardening, landscape design, mentoring, STEM outreach, photography, and writing. My happiest place is somewhere between make-believe and make it happen.

2. When I am not crafting... blogging? Yes, when I am not crafting, I am blogging, which for me includes sharing my photography, chronicling parts of our lives, and thinking aloud. The photography part is essential to me. I love it. I can't not take pictures. From the first time I saw a camera, I wished could possess that gift of making images, of capturing memories to hold and share (I was six, and watching my stepbrother with a 35mm camera, taking photographs of our pets, and activities, and it filled me with wonder!) When I am not crafting, I am being a partner to my husband of almost 32 years, and a guide and supporter of our four young people, which has included mentoring, homeschooling, advocating for children, and young adults with Autism, exhibiting at Maker Faires, and competitive robotics events, and lots of projects, cooking, laundry, travels, laughter, and wonder.

3. This day last year... February 3, 2020. William helped Alex move a chair into Alex's studio. I had convinced Alex that no studio could be complete without a comfy spot to plop down, and get comfortable... for himself, or a guest, it would be essential. And, as luck (or?) would have it, the comfy chair has been essential, and appreciated by all, one way or another.

4. Made in 2020... lots! Initially, it was about making PPE, and all of my crafting was set aside. Then again, we were all making use of the crafting and manufacturing skills we have aquired through hobbies and play, and those served us to design, and produce over 2,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, and then donate those to hospitals, and clinics across the country. In 2020 I also crocheted a blanket, and two shawls, I made story scenes with dolls I'd made, and I've done some inking and painting. Rats, and mice-like creatures are my favorite subjects.

5. Friday night... Oh. Hmmm. Honestly, days of the week have almost almost become meaningless. The best Friday nights, I think, are when we host a driveway movie, but those have happened on Sundays and Tuesdays, too. Oh, well, I just looked at the calendar, and on February 5th, we woke up to the news that Christopher Plummer had passed away. That Friday night we sat together in the living room and watched the Sound of Music, which, following an attempted coup by former 45 and other neo-nazis, is a surprisingly stirring and relevant story. Also, watching Maria hold out the drapes with that look of sheer inspiration on her face, then seeing the children dance into Salzburg, always makes me want to sew dresses! Lots of fitted, pretty dresses!

6. Most loved project... I will need to think about this.
I finished the bird. It reminds me of the look of a paint by numbers project, especially the wings. I am looking at it very critically, but without wanting to take it all apart talking about what went wrong, or how I would do it differently. I think it's natural, even welcome to recognize how I would do it differently. I was learning as I went, and that's a good thing. I got lots of kind and enthusiastic feedback on Instagram, which I love and appreciate. I think it would be very good to complete these two squares, somehow or another. Framing them, as some suggested is an idea I like, but it raises issues of their size. I would probably need to add borders, something to bring them into a uniform frame size. I am tempted to continue making small bags, fairy purses, Janece calls them. And I love Trini's reminder, "Joy in the doing," which is lovely, and so true! I find joy in the doing, and pleasure in saying so.


Teresa Kasner said...

Your bird is a blue ribbon winner! I enjoyed seeing it evolve. It almost looks alive. Bravo! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

A bashful smile rose to my face, and I am basking in the warmth of your praise. Teresa, thank you... blogging is three times the fun with company, and you make me feel special.

Janece said...

Yes, yes... painting in thread form. Thoughts almost in identical words have come to my mind when looking at your embroidered art!

I relate so deeply to imposter syndrome... and I feel how ridiculous it is when I think of you feeling it. You embody it in dictionary definition: "a person who creates art (such as painting, sculpture, music, or writing) using conscious skill and creative imagination." and in spirit... the way you see, interpret, and honor the world... pure artistry.

May we continue to focus and live in "the joy in the doing"...

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

If there were a button Upload to Brain and Heart... imagine the lessons we could accept readily, and move on from! Imagine what we could accomplish, without always doubting ourselves. Then again, maybe our doubts and humility add something meaningful to how we live, and the art we make.

Janece said...

I like that idea. I like that the wholeness of our humanity instills our art and lives with meaning.

I wrote two quotes into my sketchbook yesterday that remind me of this.

"The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful... and decide what you want and need and must do." -- Zadie Smith

"When people say that nothing happens in their lives I believe them. But you must understand that everything happens to an artist; time is always redeemed, nothing is lost and wonders never cease." -- Muriel Spark