standing still

So grown up!

The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own.  No apologies or excuses.  No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.  The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.  This is the day your life really begins.  ~Bob Moawad

The weather was suitably windy yesterday, Journi and I were home by ourselves, and she asked if we could maybe go fly a kite.  At first, i was phrasing the suitable “no, Journi, not today” response in my head. It was in my mouth and almost out there, and I thought, “why not!? Its a gorgeous day for it and really why not?!” So we retrieved the kite, got in the car and voyaged to the soccer field.  I was a bit concerned about how it would go, because our last kite flying day was a group effort, with her mom and her grampa.  But you know, are you just going to wait for everyone else to make your day!? So we braved it alone.

Look at that perfect kite holding technique!! What a pro!

After getting the kite all unwound, and strung out, attaching the tail (key requirement we learned last year), Grama ran up and down the soccer field, with Journi running along side.  It probably looked a bit ridiculous…just couldn’t figure out how to get the wind to take off with the kite.  Finally i stopped running, took a breath, figured out which way the wind was blowing and stood still, with just a bit of string fed out for the kite. (Journi liked the running better.)  Sure enough, the wind blew up behind us in a gust and lifted the kite up a bit.  We fed string out bit by bit until it was high in the sky.

Journi was so tickled feeling the tug of the kite, as the wind played with it, swooping and diving.  I discovered that we needed to work on ‘holding technique’ after I raced across the field after the string spool a few times.  Holding both ends of the spool, with her thumbs touching her chest seemed to work best.

I felt a bit smug as cars drove by and stopped to watch us flying our kite.  “yes, look at us- outside enjoying the day, making a memory” 🙂

standing still

Almost exactly a year ago, i wrote a post (read it here) on the first time flying a kite with Journi, beginning with the same quote above.  It seemed only fitting that I start with that quote again.  I re-read that post this morning and I am stunned at how far we have come!  Journi is so much bigger, and more able in all that she does.  My own children were in different life places a year ago and have grown wiser.  And I too, took this past year to stand still, listen to the wind, to my own heart, and claim the best day of my life.

as i am.

Several years ago, while in a store helping one of the girls shop for a prom dress, i spied a woman with an armload of clothes.  She was about my size, tall and robust (that’s code for a fuller build).  Entering and exiting the dressing room several times, i watched her go from clothes rack to clothes rack, selecting this shirt and those pants.  Clearly she was having a wonderful time, and admiring her figure in the tri-fold mirror every so often.  She was trying on nice clothes, fun clothes in bright colors.  I have thought of her many times, and even now, she is so fresh in my memory.

Like many women, i have always felt ‘too big’.  There are various factors that enter into this feeling, but regardless, its been in me for so long, i considered it a truth.  Looking back at earlier pictures, I realize i have never really been too big…at times, i have been painfully thin.  Yet, if you asked me at that time, i would have told you that obesity was just around the corner.

If I consider reality, just for a moment…and accept myself as I am, I would have to admit that i have worn the some of the same clothes for over 10 years(because i don’t like buying clothes unless i feel ‘thin’)…that tho my weight has fluctuated ten pounds up or down…even 20 here and there, I am still the same.  That the dieting, the weird food combinations, the ‘eating what i want’, the junkfood, the fear of obesity…none of it has changed my weight much…and i have to wonder, if looking back at pictures from this time, will i regret all the time wasted on worrying about being “too big”?

This body, which houses me, my creative spirit, my humor, my energy, my ability to let others shed pain…this body is enough, and perfect for its purpose, which is to love.

And its time to accept, just as I am.

What about you…just as you are?

much love,

Pat

Love the one you’re with

Did I tell you about the Farmer’s Market!?  Last week i was out and about doing a bit of garage saling, and came across a sign – itty bitty sign- for the Farmers Market here in town.  I thought maybe there might be vegetables, and i LOVE homegrown veggies.  There wasn’t.  But what there was was a little collection of a few souls braving a chilly Saturday morning selling their wares.  There was Herb- selling home made scones and bread, Sarah- selling fiber and handspun yarn- and a wonderful woman (whose name escapes me at the moment) selling home made jams and jellies.  I spent a bit of time talking to Sarah, telling her i learned how to spin last winter, of course buying over $30 of fiber, and asking if the market was open to anyone.  She explained that for the small price of $20, one could set up and sell handmade crafts.

Many years ago I used to sell at many craft fairs- paying up to $300 for a booth fee. There are ins and outs to this game, such as picking the right fair, and time of year, bringing the right merchandise, and gauging your competitors.  I gave up the craft fair circuit, deciding the cost and difficulty of traveling- often with children- didn’t pay in the long run.

But here was an opportunity, right down the street, for $20/week…no travel required…i didn’t have to pack pots for a trip equal to a covered wagon voyage over the Rockies…and only 4 hours of time, not an entire weekend eaten up in travel and sitting.

this could work.

So i finished glazing a load of pots, threw them into the kiln and fired on Thursday, hoping to unload on Friday and take them to the market on Saturday.  It sortof worked out that way.  My kiln didn’t fire the way i was hoping- a pyrometer malfunction late at night left me firing blind til 3am.  The pots were …eh…OK.  Not my best work, but I had a challenge and i was determined to take something to the Saturday morning soiree.

I persevered.  Priced pots, packed them and procured my bags/newspapers and a money box.  Got a table, figured out a way to display and packed the car.

Saturday morning found me sitting in the sun, drinking coffee out of a thermos, eating one of Herb’s home made scones, and chatting with Sarah.  The buying crowd was scant, preferring fresh rhubarb (from Mr. Gordon at the end of the market) and Herb’s bread to pottery.  I sold one mug, which paid for my booth fee.

but you know what? I had a fabulous time!

connecting with people that are willing to come out on a Saturday morning to buy a scone or look at pottery was invigorating!  when i used to do big fairs, it was about the money and could i recoup my booth fee? Could i deal with the fact that a guy next to me who was selling plywood cutouts of women bending over in the garden was selling out, while i was only managing to unload low dollar items?  Was I going to clear enough inventory to make room for Christmas items for the next fair?  It really all came down to money- and it soured me on fairs.

this on the other hand was about sunshine, scones and simply sitting and enjoying the day… i have grown.

 

taking time to play

I have been making pots, and picking wool and soooo enjoying the sunshine!  You know, when its so warm that when you lay back in the sun and close your eyes, you can see the brightness on the inside of your eyelids…ahhhh! been waiting for that!

Yesterday i was putting handles on mugs and pitchers in the studio- hands happily in clay.  Journi had come with me- she is loving the warm weather too.  She had walked out of the studio and i didn’t hear her, so i ventured outside to look for her.  She had found some pans that i use at the edge of the roof to catch rainwater and was pouring water from one to the other.  She was so intent on her task that she didn’t hear me.  Pouring the water from one pot to another would make her giggle, and then she would take a second and just swish her hand in the water…and giggle some more- mutter to herself and then pour water from that pan to another and swish again.  What a good time she was having! 🙂

I paused to watch her, marveling at how entertained she was- but also reflecting that this was one of the first times, at her age, that she had been able to explore her surroundings and make her own discoveries.  It has been winter until just recently, and snowy.  She has needed supervision and a hand to hold in the slippery conditions.  But on this day, she could walk around a bit on her own…that made all the difference.

what do you love about the medium you work in? is it a tactile thing? a visual thing? is it how the words sound? what makes you giggle with delight about creating?

take time to play today…walk around a bit…make some discoveries on your own…

don’t let the technical monsters eat the creativity!

Coolest Commercial EVER!!

i had a brilliant sculpture professor in college- Lynn Carlsgaard- there in the middle of the photo, with the apron on.  He had a passion for bronze casting, but that never stopped him from offering instruction, assistance or direction in any creative direction to anyone who had a question.  He has a raucous sense of humor, and made me laugh in a way that made me put my hand over my mouth, because i felt it was probably not OK to laugh, but he was so funny…in an off limits sort of way.   One thing that he said, that i have said over and over to others, that i mutter to myself when i am mulling a project that seems technically overwhelming…those projects i can see in my head, but can’t figure out how its going to hold together in a concrete sense.  He said to never let the technical issues get in the way of the creative process…he probably didn’t say it that way- he probably laughed “heh heh heh” and said, “Patti, figure out the technical later, keep going with what you got right now” (I went by Patti for the first semester in college- thought it was a cool thing…it wasn’t.)

that concept has helped me over and over- that the vision of a project, if its strong for you, if you can see it clearly- it can carry you thru the technical struggles that make that vision seem impossible.  Carry thru the drawing, the gathering of materials, the obsession with a finished idea in your head, and START! You have to play with things, find out things that don’t work, so you can get thru that stage to the “putting together” stage.

an amazing demonstration of that -persevering thru the technical forest- fell into my lap this week! Tom Eastburn, a potter that is in a neighboring town, put this youtube video on his Facebook…LOVED it and i wanted to share it with you!  Its actually an Asian commercial for a cellphone that has a wooden back, but the artist who had this vision…wow!  I think you will love it!  Am interested to hear what you think!

here is the link again! Coolest Commercial EVER!!

enjoy~

it can be done… :)

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