note to self…

affirmationI smiled as I read the email that morning, especially the ending-

“smile and have a good day! You really ARE a rock star! Make a chiropractor appointment tho’, your neck has been hurting in the mornings…but mostly just enjoy your day!

Love you!”

Always makes me smile to get a note like that, especially from someone who knows me so well…

It was from me.

And really, when you come down to it, who knows me best?  its me…i know all my fears, my bad dreams, my hardest moments, my selfishness, and the things that piss me off- and sad to say, but we often know those things about ourselves better than we know our beauty, our creative abilities, our strength or how amazing we appear to others.

I have heard people talk about affirmations for years, and always thought they were hooey. But one day, when i was discouraged with my aging body, I decided to try them. Now the decision was important, but affirmations didn’t appear in my life for several months. I always thought I would artistically create wonderful affirming statements in funky fonts set against breathtaking photos, frame them and hang them artfully around my home. I didn’t. Often I thought about the concept, but that was all, a fleeting thought.

photo(4)Finally, having had the thought travel through my mind so often that it had its own path, I acted. Grabbing a nearby pad of post-its, I scrawled affirmations on them and stuck them all over my house. Affirmations on my mirror, my cupboard doors, my fridge, my hall closet doors… They were and are still everywhere.  They are about my strength, my future, my power, my body, my abilities. 

And here is the cool thing… they work.

The reason they work is that we have an automatic way of thinking about ourselves that we have developed since birth…coded messages and images that we remind ourselves of every time we are faced with a challenge, a decision or even a compliment.  Changing those thoughts takes practice, and repetition. Old dog, new tricks, you get the drift…

I have figured out that I would never let anyone speak to someone I love the way I was talking to myself…so I stopped.

Speak to yourself kindly…it makes a difference.

I could make that!

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if there is one phrase in the English language that has gotten me into more trouble than any other, it is “i could make that.” You have to say it in a variety of tones of voice, to get my meaning…say it scoffingly, and that is me standing in gift shop in front of a clever picture frame, or a poorly executed gift idea…say it with regret and that is me when I see someone making a million dollars with an idea that has played with the edges of my mind, say it with excitement, and that is me in the midst of a creative surge, where everywhere I turn is a seed of an idea that I could make–except I could make it better

This phrase is the impetus for me scouring the internet and local area for materials and supplies to make whatever has fleetingly caught my attention…my storeroom filled with crates of assorted papers, stamps, jewelry findings, beads, feathers, leather, glass scraps, canvas, paints of all kinds, wax, glues, and fabrics…oh, and dyes, wool roving, yarns, a variety of knitting needles, and a spinning wheel…and this doesn’t even begin to list everything in my clay studio. Yes, I have an addiction…i love raw materials…

trouble…how could this be trouble?, you ask…it sounds very exciting to be in the midst of creative energy, on the brink of new discovery and all of that…and it is, but…well, have you ever woke up wearing someone else’s cowboy hat? stepping on shards of memory, on your way to the bathroom, pieces of just how much fun you had the night before, lighting up your brain like so many flashbulbs? …and in the light of day, its …well, it doesn’t live up to how great it was going to be when you started?…in fact, its a bit embarrassing?(strictly a rhetorical question…put your hands down)

“I could make that” is a bit like that…it starts out with such good intention, like the time I decided to make Tasha’s prom dress…and ends up abandoned on the table, with me looking back at it with a stranger’s eyes…”what a mess! who did that!?” Or the time just recently, when I decided Nina and I should make Tasha’s graduation present – at 10:30 pm the night before graduation, there we were, sprawled on my kitchen floor, hammering letter stamps into metal blanks for a necklace.

But lest you think that ALL my endeavors end in disaster, I will say that a good many of them turn out well! Because really what fun is life, if you are afraid to try something you might fail at?

if my spinning wheel could talk

spinning wheelput away for the summer? put away for the summer!? Seriously??? why? Just when I want to party, and dance! When there all kinds of summer festivals for fiber, when the colors of the outdoors are vivid and lush…when I could be inspired by the colors of the flowers and trees– stuck in a dusty corner of the dining room…life is so unfair.

In the winter, then I am suitable company, I guess. When her creativity runs low…when she looks out at the snow and knits. The colors of winter are soft greys and undyed wool…instead there are skeins of indigo blues, rich purples and deep greens, miles of yarn traveling through my flyer, winding on my bobbins. I see her out there in the kitchen, up to her elbows in wool, and dye…wrapping multi colored bundles of wool in Saran Wrap and boiling them, like a witch at her cauldron….the steam making me wish we could open the windows. Yellows that look like freshly ground mustard seed, greens the color of a dark forest path, the trees canopied overhead closing out the sky…

We travel through time and continents in the dark of winter, the rhythm of the treadle and unspoken stories between us…

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