Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bingo!

Marta, in the comments last post, got it totally and completely right:

"It's okay to enjoy the process as much, maybe more, than the product."

The process in the whole point, really. Yes, I try to think of useful things to make, and things that will get used, mostly, not just piled up in a glass case.

But the making is the thing. The reason for doing all of this handwork. We all know we could buy socks cheaper, more quickly and more easily than make them, and yet? The making is the thing, not the having of the thing.

I also got one very cogent question by email:

Why do you finish things that are flawed? Aren't you always reminded of the flaws and the failure?

Well, true enough, we, most of us makers, have the habit of pointing out the flaws to anyone who stops to take notice, or compliment our work. But the making is learning not only how to make "flawless" (is there such a thing?), but also how to fix, repair, adjust and yes, sometimes just move on and ignore. A master craftsman is not one who makes no mistakes, a master is one who can repair mistakes so no one else knows they happened.

Repairs mistakes.

Big life lesson in that! Repair what we break. Repair what we don't make flawless the first (OK, second, third or tenth) time out. Learn. How to make, and how to make better.

Darn, mend, repair skips in weaving, accept a certain wobbliness and move on.

moonshadow
random photo of a bag, with mistakes! from my flickr site, so this post is not All Words

I realized this week, while making some minor mis-steps, that I do not ever make things that are metro-perfect, with modern clean lines and everything straight. My metier, if you will, is the off-kilter, the not-symmetrical, the hand-of-the-maker and the aesthetic of wabi-sabi. Bohemian, in current terms (a nice way of saying Old Hippie, if you ask me).

Realizing and accepting that makes all those funny corners, and crooked stitches so much easier to bear!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Bloom Is Off The Rose

I have several projects going, right now, some with more of a deadline pressure than others. I flit.

Leather

One project is literally over a year late. A birthday present. It is very close to finished. But it sits. I have two other very compelling fun things I want to work on, but can't seem to...as I started yet another project yesterday, or the day before, recently, and work on it as if it were the deadline project.

From one project to the other, I work on this one and then that, as the mood strikes, not, sadly in this case, as the deadline nears. What makes a project "work worthy"? Why work on this one now, incessantly, and then not touch it for weeks??

It occurred to me today: the bloom, in each case, is off the rose. Each project has gotten to a point where the fatal flaw, which will keep it from ever being perfect, from ever living up to my imagination, has been reached. A mistake. Perhaps I have chosen the wrong materials, the materials that won't do what I want. Or my skills are not there yet... I am struggling to make this into even a shadow of the mental picture I had when I began. Sometimes I can fix it. Yet sometimes the mistake will be as permanent as the material object.

This is the essential struggle of EVERY craftsperson, in every medium. I made a mistake. The project is no longer as much fun to work on, the anticipation of the perfect beauty is lost.

Leather

I force myself to press on. Finish. Learn something, if only that I have the stamina to finish. Likely other people don't see the flaw as I do, or if they do, it is not as significant to them as it is to me. So, what? This particular Magnum Opus is not quite so Magnum? Plan another project that WILL work out.

The planning is always so much fun!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Color and Joy

A few random shots of recent color inspiration:

Color

Color

Color

colors through colors:
Color

and joy!
Joy

Monday, January 04, 2016

Relax! It's the New Year

Gift Giving is over, the making is done, and I can post a few of the pictures I remembered to take:
image

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two kidlets got new blankets, rabbit fur mitts, and cowls, one a kitten, and one a fox! One little boy was a squirmer and had to be held down for the photo! The cowls are from an Etsy seller, and inspired the rabbit fur mitts to go with.

The blankets are actually not a Christmas gift, they are fort making implements, and each came with a lantern and clothespins. Winter time is perfect fort making time...

image

Their Daddy also made a bench out of old snowboards, and yes! I actually made them go outside in the cold snowy morning in their PJs and without shoes to take a pic!

image

I made two of these:

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leather dopp kits: one for a traveler, and one for a firefighter who has to keep his stuff in a locker. Great fun! and I am getting better, still learning, but much more confident, and with each leather project I am improving. Two of the previous projects are now under the knife for some alterations. Even that is fun! My hands are much stronger now, from stitching and punching leather. Stronger and more accurate... like everything else, time, practice and project after project helps me learn these new skills.

Now? A bit of knitting:

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Glove covers made of scrap yarns: they sorta match, kinda. The next step is to make leather mitts that cover these: then I'll be ready for all weathers! I'll make big ones like the rabbit mitts I made for the kidlets, with knitted cuffs. More to come, now that I can relax and get back to the normal pace of making, post holiday.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Magic

Chic Thrills Etsy

Lots of magic, this time of year. But here's one, a gift from a friend, that seems more so than usual to me: the impression of leaves on cloth. Literally, as in she impressed the leaves onto the cotth, and they leave behind this image.

I love Eucalypts. It is the tree, and particularly the smell, of my childhood.

My friend expected this to be a table runner, but I am hanging it on the wall, so I can see it year 'round.

She has lots more in her shop. :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Imagine A Sunset

That's what I did:
Dyed yarns

Skeins to the left, warp chains to the right.

Another shot:
Dyed yarns

Warm colors for cold winter weaving!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I See Spots

When this skein was purchased, it was cleverly twisted to conceal these un-dyed spots.

::insert big sigh here::

Before overdye

Luckily, I am a dyer, and can remedy this with a trip through the dyebath. The color will be a bit darker on most of the skein, but these white spots will have some color too. I don't mind variation in color, gradations or color washes make nice fabrics. But white? come on. Be better to your customers. Fix these spots, paint or overdye. And if, in the final skein, there is a white spot: twist the skein so it shows, let the buyer be aware.

I am dyeing anyway today:

Bonnie's cashmere

Lots of cashmere yarn for a joint project with my friend Bonnie!