I guess when you get into selling your creations, the rejection factor jumps in there. I mean, if you are an artist, sewist, whatever, you know what I mean. People are always willing to give praise, but it’s when you ask them to get out their wallet that you realize the real appreciation isn’t there.
As an artist and creative person, I remind myself that I create, because that’s what I do! If someone else likes it, then that’s just icing. If someone is willing to pay money for it? Then that’s a great bonus (more money to buy more fabric!) But rejection will not stop me from creating. Creating keeps me sane!
My mother-in-law is back from a month long trip to Florida and ready to get her QAYG quilt done. She’s doing some straight line quilting to attach the back to the batting and front and give it a little more depth and texture. It can be quite frustrating for her, because she doesn’t see as well, and she has arthritis. It’s so tempting to jump in and just do it for her, but she wants this to be her own work, and I don’t blame her. And teachers teach, right? They don’t do!
Last night my niece, who has been busy with college and work, was able to come and work on her wall hanging. After a quick, early supper of salads with all the fixin’s, we headed to the studio. She’s decided she’d rather go with a prayer flag, inspired by an article on prayer flags that I had sent her a while back.
Allie is using the same Mary image as I found in this image on this website: Michigoose’s Gander at Life and Quilts.
Her center flag is the image of the Virgin Mary. We took the pre-printed block and ironed on some fusible. Then she carefully cut out just the Mary image and ironed it on a black print background. She used a gold satin to border the black, which really set it off.
She left with the block, embroidery floss and more fusible, so she could embellish her Mary block with embroidery and prepare other images for the other flags. I can’t wait to see where she goes with it! I’ll share pictures once she gets a little further. This girl has so much creativity and is quite the artist.
I love teaching and sharing my creative passion! It’s just about as great as creating myself!
So, are you a Fixer Upper addict like I am? We watched the most recent episode last night – which I believe is the last of this season. (sniff, sniff). We had DVRed it. Well, I say “we,” but I guess I may be talking about the “mouse in my pocket” and me, because my hubby doesn’t really care about those shows. Surprised? Yeah, me, too. I mean, after all, he’s a contractor. He’s fixering uppering all the time. In my mind, I’m thinking these shows would give him ideas and inspiration. I guess he just wants a break.
Anyway, I almost forgot what I even referenced that show for. On the show, they had this sign made by Jimmy Don, their metal laser cutter, that said, “Be the Change.” I sat staring at that wall of decor with that sign in it, and I thought, What’s that mean? Be the change. Be the change. I pondered, Is there a change in my life that I need to “be”?
I thought about how it seems that most people hate change. Change the placement of the products in WalMart and just listen to the frustration! (I’m one of those b!tchers. I just want to go get what I want and get out. Not sniff it out like I’m some beagle in a rabbit hunting competition).
At work, everyone has been freaking out for the last six months, since we changed (magic word there) software. Yep, the data conversion has required cleaning up; there’s been new ways of finding things; lots of new things to learn; etc. I’ve had my frustrations, as well, but for the most part, I’ve tried to stay positive and enjoy learning and the possibilities it has presented. I’ve never seen a group of people so afraid of things changing. I remember when I first started working here – almost ten years ago – and when I tried to change things up to a more efficient routine, my co-worker let me know, THIS is the way it’s ALWAYS been done! (Don’t worry, I kept plugging way – or should I say, chipping away – till it was done in a more efficient manner – mind you, there’s still so much more that needs to change.) Hey, was that me Being the Change?
Think about the word “change.” Here’s the first definition: to make or become different; alter. (Did I hear someone screaming?)
In this world of sheep, change is a dirty word. Most people don’t want to be different.
How about the word used in “change the baby’s diaper.”? Ugh. We all know what that means. Pee and poop, sometimes contained within the diaper, sometimes NOT. Very unpleasant.
When I was eleven or twelve, I was changing my baby sister’s diaper. She was my pride and joy, and I loved her as if I had given birth to her. She was my mother’s eighth child, so Mom was happy to have my assistance in the daily care. Anyway, one day, I was changing her cloth diaper, and she wouldn’t lie still, so I stuck her with the pin! I know! Horrible!!! Guess that’s why I still remember it. (And I’m not sure of the significance this story has to this blog post, but I thought it was entertaining.)
And lastly, what about “the change”? My gynecologist told me, as she gazed at the results of a pelvic ultrasound last year, “Your ovaries haven’t made eggs in a LONG time. They’re all dried up.” I wanted to slap her. I was actually a person who liked to have a period. It was such a wonderful release. But now that I’ve entered “the change,” I don’t get to menstruate. Oh sure, there’s perks (we all know what they are.) I guess it’s symbolic. Maybe I don’t like change! When I had a period, I knew everything was working as it should be. I guess that’s part of why people don’t like change. It takes away the security of the known.
Bon Jovi sang, The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same. Seems like an oxymoron if you ask me, but I get where he’s coming from. The old spiral effect. Just keep going around and around, and eventually, you do hit the same place again.
I guess I’ve just gone from here to there and back again, and I’m still not quite sure what the change is that I need to be, but I’m sure there’s something to it, or it wouldn’t have got caught in my head. Maybe “Be the Change” is just a clever way of saying, if you don’t like the way things are, then change what you can change. Mom always said, “if you act the way you want to be, you will be the way you act.” Maybe she was saying, “Be the change!”
In Gomer Pyle style, I say, “Well, shazam!” and “golly!”
Well, hope you enjoyed my ponderings. It did give me a little more clarity. If I don’t like the way things are, then it’s up to me to make them different. Or my favorite – it’s up to me to change my perspective (because, let’s face it, there’s things you can’t change.…..)
Are you like me? When you know people are going to be staying at your house, do you look around and see all the things you have been neglecting? I’ve gotten pretty house blind, as my mother calls it. It’s my house. I’m used to it. I don’t notice the dust or flaws like I used to. I have better things to do – like sew! Cleaning and keeping everything updated and organized have taken the backseat to actually enjoying life!
We are going to visit my daughter in Arizona. This is the first trip that we have gone on since our youngest bird left the nest. That left us needing a dog-sitter. My son, Alex, could have come every day – a few times – to let her out, but she hates when I leave anyway, and I thought a week of being here in an empty house would be too hard on her.
So, I asked my mother-in-law, Sara, a dog lover, to come stay here. She was more than willing. She’s so excited for a “getaway” and she loves my dog. I can’t remember if it was Sara’s idea or mine, but as it ends up, a couple of her widowed girlfriends are going to come stay for a few days, too! They like to do overnights. They watch movies, do puzzles and go shopping. I’m happy for Sara that my vacation is also becoming her vacation!
But then, you know what happened – I started seeing my house through their eyes. The shower rod and curtain needed replaced. The blanket closet needed cleaned out and organized, so they could open the door without being showered with comforters, my dog’s chair in the three season porch need recovered, the front porch windows needed cleaned…..well, you get the point. So, that’s what I’ve been working on.
(These are my plants and a nativity scene I couldn’t bear to put away after Christmas. All sitting on my barn door table. The door is from my grandparents barn. )
To be honest, I didn’t mind cleaning that much. I haven’t “nested” in a while. The kids are grown and gone. We rarely entertain anymore. And like I said, I’ve used my off work time to sew!
As I was cleaning the three season porch, where the dog likes to sit and look out the window and drool and shed all over, I started to admire all of my things. I have a bottle collection, birdhouses, etc. decorating the windows. With each swipe of the dust rag, I was flooded with memories and love for the person who made the object or gave it to me. The bench my deceased father made for me sits out there, and a cabinet that my grandfather made when I was a little girl.
Sitting on the floor, after an hour or so of cleaning, I remembered my granddaughter, Layla, now 12 years old, playing out in that porch. It was the place where children loved to play. My nephews, Luke and Nick, my great nephew, Hunter, my great niece, Lilly, and of course, Layla all found a magical world out there, and I realized that I had kept some of the decorating that I had originally done with them in mind – even though they are all too old to care about those things anymore, and rarely come to visit.
I sat wiping down the child size, white painted chair, and tears filled my eyes. The passing of time washed over me, flooding me with sadness. Sadness that I can’t go back and hold those precious little ones again. Not the grandchildren, nieces or nephews, and not my own babies. I sat and wept and realized that those were the best times of my life. And yet, when my children were small, I didn’t know it. I didn’t know those were such special times. I never thought about that they would end – only with anticipation when I was feeling overwhelmed.
I guess it’s something one can’t imagine. As the title says, “You don’t know whatcha got till it’s gone.” I didn’t know what I had then, so now I wonder, as I look around me – what do I have now that I’m not realizing will not last forever?
My creativity has become the child in my life. And I guess that’s why I’ve been neglecting my house – I didn’t do that enough when my kids were here. A lesson learned too late is better than never learned at all.