Category Archives: Creativity

So Happy Our Paths Crossed

Wendy continues to ask me what I’ve been up to lately. Here’s part of my answer:

A new-to-me friend stopped by the other day. She is familiar with fiber arts, so I introduced her to our studio. She saw the weaving project that my husband was working on, and her jaw dropped as she exclaimed, “You mean, you weave one thread at a time?” I responded, “Yes, and we put yarn on the looms one thread at a time.”

Here is what my loom looks like today. We are around 1/4 of the way done “threading” my loom, for a jacket, putting one thread at a time through the reed that spaces the threads evenly, and the heddles that raise and lower the threads to make the weaving patterns.

threading Grace's loom

A couple of days ago, my (grownup) son saw one of my handwoven towels with new eyes. He asked me if I had ever considered selling them at craft fairs. I had. I cringed from a flash of memory of summers as a teenager selling my work in hot, open areas, and people walking around with dripping ice cream cones, and greasy fingers from hot dogs… but they had to touch my fabrics and baskets to fully appreciate them.

I told him that I had a hard time imagining someone paying the market price for one — $50 — when you can buy some at the Dollar Store. He agreed and responded, “How much does one cost you to make?” I calculated around $2 because I use mill ends (leftovers from huge fabric mills). He said, “Well, then, you can sell them for $12 or $15!” I said that each one takes around a full day of work to make. He slumped with understanding.

You can understand now why I don’t sell them and only give them as gifts.

Theresa blogged about one of the towels that I made. After you read it, you can understand why I enjoy giving them as gifts.

Towel from Grace

CatTail Tales

When Chuck and I caught the ceramics bug and set up our studio last summer, we started out with reckless abandon.  We spent the evenings and weekends making anything and everything that we wanted to try and, in a matter of weeks, we started to find ourselves buried in beautiful pieces with nowhere to go with them all.

Being a kitchen designer by trade, I can’t stand disarray. A good design deserves to be seen and used without being cluttered. The same goes for a harmonious color palette. Although we created some beautiful pieces, they weren’t always what complimented the decor of our home…or our friends’ homes…or our family’s homes…or our neighbors’ homes…

It became very apparent very quickly that if we wanted to keep making ceramics, we needed to start selling ceramics. Before long, we were learning how to sell on Etsy.

That is where we met Grace.

One day Grace solicited us to make her some winter…

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Infinity Dreams Award

Wendy notified me of a blog post that was so inspiring, I couldn’t resist the urge to update you on what I’ve been up to. Thank you Wendy!

Rules for the Infinity Dreams Award:

Please note: nominees are not obligated to accept this award. You may simply accept the nomination with a note of appreciation. However, if you want to accept the award, please follow the rules.

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and make sure you link back.
  • Post the award badge and rules.
  • Tell 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and set questions for them.

The Requisite 11 Facts About Myself

  1. Like Wendy, I love to dance. When I was little, my favorite stage was the silver screen of the portable black-and-white TV reflecting my moves. My body always moves when I hear music, and in my head I see exciting choreography.
  2. Like Wendy, when I was a kid, my shower was my favorite stage for singing. I held variety shows with (myself as) many guests. Then, I hosted fashion shows in my medicine cabinet mirror, using my big bath towel. I went on to sing, act, and dance in school and community theater performances.
  3. My dinnertime routine is to watch a movie with my husband. The only live TV show that we watch is the presidential debates. Our library includes old horror flicks, BBC historical dramas, documentaries, West Wing, Newsroom, Neil Simon, Gilbert & Sullivan, opera, concerts, ballet… No blood or crime. We are always looking for more good ones, especially that are inspiring. Please share titles of your favorites in the Comments box at the end of this post.
    comment box
  4. My resume could be as long as the title of this award implies: infinite dreams. It includes (roughly in chronological order) managing weaving studios, sales in a variety of businesses, costume design, resort management, waitressing, beekeeping, assisting rehabilitation therapists, career counseling, high-level customer service for a huge international corporation, website and database development, income tax preparation, licensed financial advising, and laboring at an organic farm. I enjoyed every job, and only moved on when I couldn’t see any way to stay.
  5. A year or so ago, we took shirts to a tailor for altering. Even after I returned them three times, they were still poorly stitched. I had stopped sewing before CDs, PCs, cell phones, and camcorders existed. My husband took me to look at sewing machines, and I fell in love with one. During this past year, I have been getting up to date on new sewing technology, e.g., my new electronic machine, rotary cutters, .pdf patterns, and a custom-padded dress form. I am delighted by the generous sewists sharing online. I am anticipating discovering serging and software. Now you know where I’ve been since you last saw me here.
  6. I think that I have resolved my lifelong love/hate relationship with art. I always saw it as taking away resources from feeding the world. This summer, I realized that art has a huge impact on people’s environments, which affects health and productivity. I’m wondering what your relationship is with art.
  7. I used to feel equally at home in New York City as I was in the wilderness of National Parks, but now that I’ve been living in a rural area for over 15 years, this is home. Its woods brings back fond memories of my first camping experiences as a Girl Scout.
  8. My latest greatest discovery is Andrew Johnson’s mp3s, Android apps, and videos. I also found his work on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes. I hope that you will share in the Comments (below) any meditation practices that you recommend.
  9. Because I’m so focused when working on a project, I don’t hear when someone is talking to me.
  10. My husband says that one of the first things that he discovered about me was that everything that I do is deliberate.
  11. (I deliberately avoided this item.)

My Responses to Wendy’s Questions:

  1. Do you love your career or work?
    Yes. See Fact #4.
  2. Name your favourite author or book?
    My favorite one is usually the one that I’m reading, and I’m always reading several. I most recently began reading Sandra Betzina’s Fabric Savvy.
  3. What’s your guilty pleasure?
    Binging on snack food when I’m tired. Usually, I eat healthier than almost anyone whom you have heard of.
  4. Who inspires you and why?
    Wendy inspired me to return to WordPress to accept this award.
  5. Favourite food?
    Freshly-picked organic vegetables from our garden.
    Fresh-picked from our organic gardens
  6. Relate your good or disastrous travel experience.
    When I took my first college English class, I tried to tell my disastrous story about the first time that I went to Girl Scout camp. I got a bad grade because it was “anticlimactic”. I’d love to figure out a way to tell the tale in a more engaging way.
    One of my best travel experiences was being the youngest kid in a YMCA tour bus full of young teenagers going across the country, staying at college dorms and campgrounds.
  7. Sunset or sunrise?
    Sunrise. I don’t like staying up late enough to enjoy a sunset.
  8. Your favourite pastime.
    Right now, sewing, but I hope that writing will regain its place in my life.
  9. Who would you like to accompany you on any adventure?
    My husband. He is the best friend I have ever had.
  10. Something you did that your parents don’t know about.
    Lots. I can tell you now that I wished that I had accepted my father’s offer to use his influence to put me in a position at Lincoln Center’s theater, but if I did that then I probably wouldn’t be where I am in life, and I love where I am.
  11. If you were the President/Prime Minister/King or Queen what particular policy would you change in your country?
    I am loving what I’m hearing Bernie Sanders saying (during the U.S. Presidential debates) about everyone receiving health care, education, fair wages, fair trials with appropriate consequences, citizenship… the American Dream.

My Nominations for the Infinity Dreams Award

Wendy’s nomination brought me out of the woodwork. Therefor, for this award I selected some of my favorite bloggers who haven’t been posting lately. (listed in the reverse order of their disappearance)

Let’s see if we can bring these bloggers back with our visits, Likes, Shares, and Comments.

The Zombies Ate My Brains Maggie last posted on September 27, 2015. I miss the adventurous stories of this darling person.

Spirit In Action Ohnwentsya last posted on August 11, 2015. I miss the weekly digest of important stories from across the web.

The Truth Shall Set You Free Sydney last posted on June 23, 2015. I miss the insights into Social Justice in post-Apartheid South Africa.

Passing and Failing in Paradise Last post: June 3, 2015. I miss the insight into gender issues.

Unload and Unwind Jennifer last posted on May 10, 2015. I miss the stories, and perspective on social justice in Australia.

TG or Not TG? That Is The Question Rachael last posted on April 6, 2015. I miss the perspective on gender issues.

Yesterday Unhinged Aaron last posted on March 22, 2014. I miss the perspective on history.

Graphomania William last posted on February 11, 2015. I miss the poetic perspective on issues that we all face.

‘Ritings, Ramblings… Ronda last posted on November 12, 2014. I miss her serial novel titled, “Amigarumi”.

Three Dancing Flowers Last post: July 22, 2014. I miss reading about the experiences with Bipolar Disorder.

Greyling Falah last posted on May 16, 2014. I miss the inspiration.

JMGajda I think that I last heard from Jessica over a year ago. I miss the friendship, and stories of dystopia and social justice.

My Questions for My Nominees

What is one goal that you want to work on in 2016? What is your plan for accomplishing it? Why is it so important? How can we readers help?

I hope that you, readers, will also consider answering this question in the Comments section.

Wrap-up

My most recent post to my blog was half a year ago, when I shared my latest excerpt from my River Novel. My characters continue with their lives, and I look forward to continuing to share them with you.

In the meantime, people still stop by my blog almost every day, and I continue getting new (legitimate) followers!

Thank you to all of you who helped me get my blog up and rolling, and who have been keeping it alive with visits, likes, comments, and shares. Remember to share that attention with my nominees.

Burning A Bristly Relationship

I watered the bush each day
that I had water.
I shone all the light on it
that I found in me,
and said, “See how well it grows!”

Our relationship grew thorns that tangled in the arid heat,
and resilient prickers in the rain of my tears.
It shadowed my heart.
Its roots plugged my veins,
and died at midnight.

Its skeleton in me:
tinder flared
fire flashed.
Recovery blew away ash.
I see a world beyond.

Burning Relationship
Image credits:
Burning Brush, by Grace Buchanan. Composition elements:
Flames and Brush, by Michael Pollak. Used under Creative Commons License BY-2.0.
Apfelbaum in Alberschwende, by böhringer friedrich. Used under Creative Commons License BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

Happy Mental Health Month!

May is Mental Health month here. I am practicing dealing with my anger:

  • Don’t tell anyone what to do
  • Get in touch with what I am feeling and what I’m wanting
  • Tell someone how I’m feeling
  • Focus on what I can do to get what I want

Binocular Perception

Binocular PerceptionBinocular Perception

I looked out the window
at the apple tree

One eye on each side of the mullion
Each saw a different picture
though so close to each other

Then I thought:
If my 2 eyes are so close to each other
and see so differently
then how can any 2 people
who are much farther apart
look at anything
especially God
and see the same thing?

As I stand on one side of the apple tree
and tell you about where the apples and branches are
and what shapes and colors they are
And as you stand on another side of the tree
and tell me where the apples and branches are
and what shapes and colors they are

Let’s remember that we have 2 different views of the same thing
And we are both correct.


dedicated to Judith Henry
who inspired me to poeticize this revelation from decades ago
I hope you enjoy your celebrations today.

 

Image credits:
Binocular Perception, composed by Grace Buchanan.
Apfelbaum in Alberschwende, by Böhringer Friedrich (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons. Used under Creative Commons License  BY-SA 2.5.
New Windows 017, by Roger Mommaerts. Used under Creative Commons License BY-SA 2.0.