color junkie

Inspiration is a message in a bottle from the distant shore, a window into the other world, a tap of the muse’s finger, the grace of the gods.  It comes when you least expect it.  ~ Phil Cousineau

Update: my etsy shop has a creation called “message in a bottle“- check it out 🙂

so there is a woman on Etsy.com, her profile name is ‘girlwithasword’ and she is from Iowa, and her yarns are … words escape me, they are mouth wateringly gorgeous…and its the colors, some are earthy and some are soft and warm, and some are what you would see at sunset in the Grand Canyon… and they inspired me!

(Imagine ‘superman music’) Dant-tuh- DA! I want to BE Girl with a Sword! I want a houseful of beautiful yarn like that! I want overflowing baskets of it hither and yon in my house!  I can do that, right!?

So I bought Kool-Aid, and Rit dye and got out my wool and kettles and set to dying!

I found out that Kool-Aid does a stunningly silent job of dying.  You wouldn’t expect that, but it does!  Kool-Aid is underrated!  And here is the miraculous part, you add the Kool-aid to the hot water, dissolve it, add the wool, let it sit til cool, and when you go back to take out the wool, the water is clear (whisper ‘its like magic’)…and your wool is brilliantly colored.  I made Orange Orange, and Blue Raspberry and several others.

Rit dye does OK, but it doesn’t do the clear water trick, and its harder on the wool- feels more like your hair when you bleach it or dye it too much…sort of damaged.

And so i have all of these awesome colors of wool! While they were drying, i visited them, held them next to one another, matched them up and fawned over them.

And you know what? I don’t want to be Girl With A Sword anymore… I like my stuff better, and my colors are more me…that is inspiration from another, when you are moved to get up off of your butt and create something…even if you want (dant-duh-DA) to be someone else for a moment…in the end, if you are you again, its OK 🙂

PS…how’d you like that message in a bottle quote? Did you see how i did that? 🙂

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keep on tryin…

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

We took Journi kite flying on Sunday.  It was a cloudy day, a bit cool and windy. The soccer field seemed like a good place, wide open, grassy and flat.  As we unwound the string and got ready for the first attempt, you could see Journi’s dismay at the usually stable predictable adults in her life.  “what in the world are they doing!?” 

She loved the kite, but couldn’t grasp why we wanted to run around a field with that pretty thing on the end of a string.  And run we did!  (well, not me…i took pictures)  Michaela ran up and down the field, tugging the kite behind her.  Even tho’ it was windy, the kite didn’t seem to be taking off…just hovered at about 6-8 feet.  The kite crew reconvened and checked the equipment once more… aaah… the tail…who knew that putting the tail onto a kite could make that much difference!?  (i know…those of you who are aeronautic masters are just shaking your heads at me)

Once the tail was in place, the kite soared, taking up all of the string and sailing high and to the south of the field, until it was just a speck in the sky.

What are you working on right now? What is your immediate goal?  If its not flying kites, what is it? Are you seeing something in your dreams that you are itching to paint, build, create? 

You have to keep trying…this is yours alone, if you don’t do it, no one will.

If things aren’t working out how you envisioned, can you change your vision? 

If not, are you missing some critical piece- equipment, knowledge, experience, education- ? 

What can you do to get by?

There may be  a few  (or many)  failed attempts on your way to making what you envision for yourself…but those are a necessary part of the process…they can only improve the vision…

and…sometimes you have to do what you can, you have to get by, until you can do what you want or what you envision…

but you have to keep on trying…

on the edge of knowing…

my grand daughter is talking…2 and 3 word sentences and it is miraculous to listen to her.  But sometimes she says a word that i don’t understand, and she says it over and over and over…sometimes jumping up and down to make her point…and i feel so dense when i don’t get it.  I feel like I should know what she is saying, i can almost make it out…i have heard this phrase before, i am sure…This morning it was “ego, ego, ego, ego…ego!! sek ego…sek, sek, sek…ego, ego…”  This is accompanied by looking at me with expectation and repeating herself…until the expectation becomes less, and she starts to decide i might never get it…

i feel like that creatively sometimes too,

that my creative voice is saying something in the corner of my mind – that i am on the edge of knowing what it is, but i can’t get it…if i can just listen a little harder to what my creative voice is saying, it will unlock a beautiful project, piece of work, or maybe a whole new way of viewing what i do…and it is there over and over…and i don’t know what it means.

with Journi, if I can have the foresight to ask her to ‘show me what you are saying’, sometimes that will jog my brain and I will get it.  This morning, when i asked her to show me, she pointed at my computer and said “tweet, tweet, tweet…sek ego!”  AH HA! Check on the eagles! If you are not familiar, there is an “eagle cam” focused on an eagle nest in Decorah, IA and together we check the baby eagles each day to see how they are growing up. Google it, if you like! 🙂

asking my creative voice to “show me what you are saying” can be a way to ‘hear’ that voice more clearly.  Give your creative voice a pencil and paper, a sketchbook, an instrument, a journal, a paintbrush…something to show you what they are saying!  And stick with it long enough to hear- don’t say, “what did you say??” and turn away…actually ask and then listen to the answer.

when you are on the edge of knowing…sometimes you have to wait a bit for the answer…

spinning…centering

Spinning with Journi

Spinning with Journi

So as I alluded to earlier, I took a class in how to spin wool this past winter.  Only 3 of us and the teacher.  One of the other two students, a lady named Janet, had a spinning wheel and wanted to take the class so she could make sure she was doing things right.  The other woman said she knitted quite alot and for some reason, I felt that she also knew how to spin.  I was thinking…”oh shoot, I am the only one who doesn’t know what is going on here…”

And I was very nervous about trying to learn something new…want to learn myself, without someone standing over me.   i tend to drop out of stuff that doesn’t come easy- i get embarrassed that I can’t be perfect immediately.

Initially I probably would have had more luck trying to spin with my feet, because it felt just that awkward.  Our teacher was really good not hovering, she helped if you wanted help, but mostly she let us work it out ourselves.  Janet was a stellar spinner, one hand pulled the wool from the wad she had in her other hand, and fed it toward the spinning flyer in this slow methodical rhythm.  Looking at her, she seemed to be actually relaxed, not stressed about doing it ‘right’, sortof looked like she was even having fun.

And then Terry, our teacher, brought out some raw unprocessed wool…wool that just been sheared off the sheep and bagged.  She gave us each a handful and told us to try it out…my breath caught as I rubbed that wool between my fingers.

We raised sheep when I was a girl, and they got sheared every year on Mother’s Day.  It was always hot, and dusty in the shearing shed.  My job was to bundle the sheep’s wool after the fleece was clipped free of the sheep and she ran bleating back to the herd.  We had this paper-like twine that I wrapped around the big bunch of wool…around and around like wrapping a gift with ribbon.  Going around the back of the large bundle of wool forced me to bury my face in the wool, using both arms to try to keep the wool up and out of the dirt.  The wool stuck to my sweaty face, fibers in my mouth, nose, eyes and the creases of my neck.  It was loud in the shed with the noises of the electric shearing clippers, sheep bleating, men shouting.

Just the feeling of the wool in my hand brought all of this flooding back and I was speechless…and a bit teary.  Until that moment, i never connected spinning with anything other than a nice earth-mother type of craft that I wanted to learn.

I pulled the leader out on my bobbin, threaded it thru the orifice and feathered some of the brown sunburnt wool onto the leader.  I started the wheel spinning with my hand and with the wad of wool in my right hand, I pulled and fed it toward the orifice with my left.   It was working…I could hardly believe it.  The spun wool was winding onto the bobbin, nice thin yarn like Janet’s…I was delighted.

Focus…

center…

when i began the class, I was all over the place…worrying about how inept I looked, admiring other people’s skills, feeling out of place and ridiculous.  Feeling that wool somehow grounded me.  When we are feeling ‘all over the place’, worrying about others…and not finding that place of energy, quiet and ideas inside ourselves…we are not feeding our creativity.  We are pouring it down the drain.

What grounds you? centers you? focuses you?

What activity helps you find that place of energy, quiet and ideas inside of yourself?

(I added a picture of Journi and I spinning llama wool yesterday…she likes to sit with me :))

have a brilliant day,

pat

if I could not fail, i would…

it occurred to me, after i asked you all to bare your souls and tell me what you would attempt if you couldn’t fail, that I had not volunteered anything.  And then I thought, “well…should give them a chance to say their own thing…”

But i will tell you mine, if you tell me yours.

I would start some type of a … thing… where I would teach women how to be confident, creative and strong… i would teach how to listen to your heart, how to learn and accept your past mistakes, i would build up and encourage women to pass on their strength and wisdom to their children- both biological and spiritual…i would teach, write, have retreats, and make art…

but that’s just me.

what about you?

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