Being mindful in our creative practice, by actively choosing to prioritize the space and time for ourselves, brings attention to our internal core. Focusing on even just one thing makes us slow down a little from the rush of everyday life. Mindful making is about more than simply stitching or knitting something beautiful it is about learning how to bring that focus or feel of attention to something (the stitch work, the pattern) in our daily lives. ~ Ellie Beck
I have been gathering inspiration from the corners (and center) of my life. Looking through old photos and works. I want to know what makes me happy about my work and my practice. How can I allow it to shift to a more sustainable pace?
Slowing down my creative practice feels weird because I’ve always worked like a buzzing bee. I enjoy buzzing about but doing that 365 is not always good for me. I know that a lot of my production anxiety came from trying to bridge the gap between my abilities and my mind…and some came from the need to self soothe through art. These are beautiful reasons fro making art. They definitely kept me focus but like I said my idea of my practice has expanded and morphed some.
I want to be more thoughtful and personal in my work. I do think scrapbooking is a way of doing that…so is creative journaling but those things are too personal for the internet. Art journaling (for me) tends to be less personal but very intimate, if that make sense. And maybe that means less sharing (of art) on the internets to allow my work to go where it needs to go. I don’t know. I am just typing.
This morning I did some stitching. Stitching is slow for me. It might be the slowest hobby that I have. It reminds me that things take time. Maybe this idea of things taking time has found its way into my other art practices. I want to take my time. I don’t want to rush to create for pictures or likes. That’s not sustainable or good.
I want to be mindful of how I spend my time and energy. I want to give myself to my own life (and communities)and not building other peoples empires or idolizing other people’s lives. But it’s so hard. Or maybe it just feels hard. It’s a complicated pickle we humans are in.
I don’t think we have to figure it out today. But we do each need to figure it out for ourselves…what is important, what are living for and about and giving our days, too and what does a good life really look and feel like(for us)?
This was suppose to be about going slow but it’s all over the place. Meandering, I suppose. Hopefully, not self-indulgent. I don’t want to give the impression I have it all figured out and you should follow me. You absolutely should not follow me…my mind is always changing. I am just asking myself…what matters…right now…I’m this place and time…in life…in creativity…what should my mind be full of?
I don’t know how I use to paint every night when the toddler was a baby. maybe it was just excitement but lately, I can really go ages without picking up a paintbrush. I am sort of relieved that it is not an obsession anymore and also perplexed. I wonder if I am relapsing or maybe it is just that super focus was good for that time in my life. now, things are becoming so different and I just want to give myself a break.
I don’t think I have kept up with anything like I have my painting practice… my creative practice.
there is a part of me that feels very dependent on art(painting, mostly) for feeling good and I wonder if I stop what that would feel like.
would it just be swept up into another hobby?
I have made about a zillion art journals lately ( and put every little art in them)but instead, I found myself scrapping/scraptherapy or writing…
I keep having to remind myself that I have not abandoned my practice.
I never mean to fall off blogland or internet land but I do it so frequently, I should accept that it is my m.o.
right now, I am drinking some spearmint tea and listening to the sound machine my littlest turned on because she can’t help her little hands want to press all the buttons.
somehow in my sleep last night, I pressed the buttons and woke up in the middle of the night…very disappointed that it was no where near time to wake up and my pillow was missing and the covers tangled at the foot of the bed. my husband was downstairs playing with his new hobby-radio(I am not sure what that means but he is ridiculously excited about it).
so I am dragging, but I finished the survey that the census bureau has been hounding me for. I could have sworn that I read it was voluntary but turns out if you don’t do it they will make you feel bad.
they called my husband in the middle of work one day. he answers his phone…I don’t. sometimes, I just press mute on the house phone (how 90s). the other day I deleted my email off my phone alongside a slew of apps. I can always download them again but I just needed the space.
the reason that I got the sound machine that my littlest is obbessed with is because I went through a few weeks of really bad sleep. sleepless makes me hateful. there is no kind way to put it…so a fancy sound machine from Bed Bath and Beyond was the least I could do to make my little home a better place.
it works, the sound machine. also, what is working for me is little alarms throughout the day that say breathe and drink water.
I have a few. they are like a gentle mother hen clucking at me to eat, to breathe, to drink water. I even have a walk one. do I always obey them…no because life but they pull me back to the present and I focus on trying to get to a space where I can do those gentle tending things
I guess that’s why I fall off the internet, sometimes I can’t bear to consume one more piece of information. so I don’t. I am kidding but I do get really choosy (even for a bit). I think we all (especially) if we use the internet for pleasure (which most ppl do (no judgment because I am in that boat) need to let it continue with to without us. it’s okay to stop. breathe and drink your own water. fill your well and return on your own terms.
I’ve been at it again. collecting books from the library that I really have no time to read. I really can’t help it though. stacks of books are like a comfort food for me. I think it’s because growing up I was surrounded by them.
I can remember the first time I went to the public library in my town. I really had no idea what is was…this place full of books. as I was a little kid, I was like a one of those yippie pups, with all the energy and mischief. I remember getting into the librarians stamps amongst other things.
the Texas prisoners built our fancy new library one summer, I think. it’s hard to say because Texas seasons kinda look all alike in my mine minus the trees.
I remember the orange jumpsuits or were they stripped and the chains but maybe that was a movie. isn’t it funny how reality and fiction merge in our memories?
I think the first books I officially checked out where baby-sitters club books. I love the babysitters club. I tried to start one up in my neighborhood but seeing that me and my friends were only on primary school that didn’t go to far. I also loved the sleep over friends and nancy drew.
one day I discovered Virgina Hamilton in a school book and fell in love. it was so nice to see stories with people like me…although I do like to read stories of people who are different…I think that reading those stories young though imparted on me that it’s okay for me to write things. of course that got complicated as I went through school and learned to write for the test and the teacher.
in my heart reading and writing are closely linked and they are both comfort foods. I would not call myself a good reader or writer but I do enjoy doing both as long as I can do them from the heart.
somehow in all this internet stuff that part got lost for me…when you write with one eye towards an audience…it takes some of the life out of for me.
I think it’s because rarely do I write what I know. I write to understand and heal and that is often non-linear and messy…I am not sure if it’s easily digestible.
these days, I roam the library not with not much in mind. I am not a fan of popular books because the hype makes it almost nerve racking to read unless it’s Louise Penny (and then I know I will likely be happy). I am usually just looking for something that catches my eye and my heart.
I don’t read to learn. although that can be useful( and does happen). Mostly, I read to know…to know others and myself…for the stories…to get inside a world language and be inspired to dive deeper into my own world.
I am inspired by pretty covers and a variety of subjects. mostly, though I am inspired by that little girl with wonky plaits and very bad fashion (that was me) pouring over the titles in a small one room library finding out that life was bigger than she ever thought.as she/I huddled her precious pile and loose change to pay her mother’s library fines ( yikes…I guess this trait run in the family) and headed by home..which was complicated place and word at the time.
if I am honest, I forgot all about that library until now. all I remember was the feeling of walking through the back fields of town, to my small world, with hope in my hands.
I am writing this with a face full of sunshine. it has been an early morning. I actually went to bed at a decent time and woke up with the sunrise and had some dandy blend and a apple. I did some meditation and a bit of sketching. then started listening to a podcast and stitching.
If you know anything about me. you know that my grandma was a great sewer. she got her first sewing machine through a readers digest contest but she was also a prolific hand-sewer.
sewing reminds me of her.
her taking her huge glasses out and asking me to help her thread a needle when she was older. her collection of fabric. her hexagon quilt. her taking in all my clothes because I was so teeny back then.
summer reminds of going down to the creek and fishing and berry picking, peaches and wild grapes.
I feel lonesome for my grandmas garden and her famous greens.
they tore down that old house we lived in
when I saw the spot where it once stood
surrounded by two cedar of Lebanons and circled by pines
my heart hurt just a bit
but I felt my souls sigh too.
so many memories made and invaded in that little house.
it broke us
and gave us life in the same breath.
life is complicated like that.
I remember the sky swimming in blue and kissing the top
the truth is that I had lots of grand ambitions for summer blogging that fell really short after I realized that I have very limited mental space with two small littles underfoot.
maybe if I did this or that I would have more time or space but I am all for least amount of effort and priorities…some days.
so I find myself with a quiet evening upon me. well semi-quiet because the family is outside for a little run about. fresh air tires little out, they say.
I have been all over the place these days and pressing on…if that makes sense. I have made lots of biscuits, bread(flat) and tortillas this summer and a cake or two, too. oh and cookies.
somehow I became a baker after years of declaring I never would and it makes me happy. I am nothing fancy but I secretly squeal that I know a few recipes by heart (via cookbooks and the internets, of course).
I think what keeps me from writing with any regularity is that I live a very pedestrian life. I don’t have any complaints about that but I am also not prone to lots of moments of poetic insight either. although, I can do a run-on like nobody’s business.
I have taken up slow stitching and book binding these days. I don’t even know who I am but I just enjoy making things with my hands. nothing fancy. nothing to alert the press about…just pure joy.
I still like words. I have dreams of writing stories and poems again but just can’t seem to get myself together to do it.
I like to think I am incubating and one day I will just sit down and forest of words will greet my pages.
I am okay with just making books and bread and writing little snippets of life here(this blog) and there(in my journals).
this post seems contrary and it’s really not suppose to be that way. like I said, I am all over the place.
I think what I really want to say–is sometimes we think things are suppose to be one way and they are another and that is still beautiful and okay.