Happy New Yes

One way to clean up unfinished projects is to send them to the trash, whether orphaned stitching or writing. But I have learned by being too brutal with clean-up, things I think I don’t need or won’t use, inevitably find a purpose when it’s too late to undo “delete.” I’m not prone to regret and can learn from my mistakes. So I’ve decided to rely on a bit of recycling by reviewing several unpublished (and undeleted) posts whose stream-of-consciousness spewing had failed to steep or distill the lessons hidden within. I miss working on my blog and so revisiting these bits of writing is one way to steal time for storytelling, starting now.

Time to consider:

Do I really need three projects going at the same time and deadlines for each, whether self-imposed or the call-for-entry kind?

Must I continue to explore the open arms of blank sketchbook pages?

Should I keep making my materials and tools from scratch?

Or hunting for materials in parking lots and thrift shops?

Should I not practice the ukulele or hand spinning wool when I'm still learning? Not take workshops?

Not travel or take photographs? Walk?

How can I manage the discontent that erupts between the tides of the full moon? I becoming clearer already...I spend too much time questioning.

The Lesson List

▪ Use what you have.

▪ Whether working on a hand stitching project or discovering the next one in the chatter of the subconscious, the path is long and circuitous.

▪ Be kinder to oneself.

▪ Daydreaming is essential.

▪ Show gratitude.

▪ Learning something new is an exercise in humility. Practice. Patience.

▪ Progress is relative to attitude.

▪ Wrestling with vulnerability, insecurity and doubt are ongoing.

(Read “The Courage to Create” by Rollo May again.)

▪ Words are important to me; make time to make some.

▪ Listening and looking are necessary.

▪ Notice patterns of all kinds.

▪ Edit inspiration. Edit but sometimes save for later.

▪ Raw tips of tired fingers should wear thimbles and rest.

▪ Skill is sometimes hidden in the details.

▪ Support other artists.

▪ Trust the process (and the postal service.)

▪ Decisions work themselves out.

▪ Embrace the blur of change.

▪ Keep breathing.

▪ Keep starting.

▪ Keep trying.

▪ Keep finishing.

▪ Don’t be afraid to ask.

Are my stitches tidy enough? Are the values balanced? Will these pieces of cloth,

unraveled edges and scraggly threads adequately convey my intention?

Am I serving the story effectively? Will they find an antidote to Alzheimer’s disease in

time? Does facing one’s life help heal the loss?

• Keep true to your passion (especially when sidelined by negative voices).

It’s the rough edge of the highway that jolts us on back on track.

▪ Listen to good advice. (“…validation doesn't come around that often, best mark it down when it does.” John Hopper)

Happy New Year!

Previous Ideas in Cloth can be found here.

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