Friday, December 2, 2016

Working

I am making myself take a break from this to tell you about it.  This is the first of (hopefully) many experimental excursions into sewing little critters of all sorts, by hand.  I have been devouring everything Ann Wood is willing to teach me, both about her stitching process and also about her personal creative journey--this is something that's been on my mind lately, too; what is the work I am meant to do, that only I can do?  Am I spending too much time making things that don't really need to be made--clothes that don't fit or suit me, things made for weird reasons like outside pressure, or gifts people don't really want?  How can I get closer to who I really am as an artist and a maker?  
  I have fallen so deeply into knitting these past months (years?) which has been divine, but I am not just a knitter, which I almost feel like I recently forgot.  I miss handsewing, and I miss tiny things, and I miss building little enchanted stories out of found things.  I want to lose whole hours rootling around in a basket of foraged doodads, looking for just the right silk flower.  So that's what I did today.  Ann is my jumping-off point--and listen, her blog is so good.  I am studying her words and taking notes from it like I'm auditing a class in Creative Process.  Such good stuff there, so many places to go.    
Something I struggle with so hard is that work like this--assemblages, mixed media 3-D sculpture, collage, etc.--makes such a holy mess.  I am desperate to clean this up, yo.  You should see the floor.  Knitting is so tidy, which is a huge part of its appeal, and this; all these little strings and wire clippings and scraps of paper and shredded fabrics, so much of it is stuck to my clothes as we speak, and so many, many tools, scrounged from every corner of the house--it gets to me a little.  I want to just turn up the radio and let it accumulate until I'm done for the day, and then I will put it all away, brush all the threads off my lap at once, and sweep the floor, and not care about it at all until then.  Goals.  At the end of the day, I can clean up this creative mess and still sit down with a mitten in progress.  There will still be yarn.  There will always be yarn.  

21 comments:

  1. I couldn't get the link to Ann Wood to work, I was quite intrigued. I love the creative process not necessarily the end result, the journey that the process takes me on. Have a good weekend.

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    1. Sorry about the broken link--it's fixed now! :)

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  2. I love Ann Wood and her work and her little life in Brooklyn. Her pieces are truly precious. It is a maker life to aspire to! Handwork can be such a balm, even if it IS messy! Do you have a work table that you can take over? That helps and trays. Lots of old wonderful trays and jars for your doo-dads! Carry on!

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  3. It's true, the artist within us wants to do more than one thing. Best of wishes in making your little creations - sounds like fun.

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  4. I also love handwork but haven't done much of it lately. You inspire me.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  5. As long as you enjoy your creativity and it's not a chore, then it's so worth it. The mess cleans up in no time. It's all the putting away I struggle with.

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  6. I think as crafters/creators we all experiment with many different genres. As long as it makes us happy we should keep making whatever takes our fancy, not what is popular or the latest thing. Looking forward to seeing more of your tiny work. Thanks for introducing me to Ann Wood's work and blog too. I am thinking her paper mache cup and saucer tutorial may have to tried in my home.

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  7. Oh my gosh her blog! I can't wait to spend some time going back through her posts. I can see why you're so inspired. Looking forward to your little makes. You definitely have the creative talent, and by the looks of your pictures, a remarkable stash of crafty bits to pull from. Have fun!

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  8. This was an interesting post for sure! I wonder the same thing sometimes... why am I making this? or does anyone really NEED that? what am I going to do with all of that stuff that I'm making when it's done? but....... It accumulates because I love doing it so much! I too love tiny things and I keep wanting to make more little stuffed critters and people, etc. I just keep getting sucked into the making of my paper projects that I love so much. I still am trying to figure out what I could make to donate and give to others.. that is my goal now. The Ann Wood link didn't work for me, but I'm going to search her out. I do SO LOVE to crochet also, and want to make critters for children. Someday soon maybe.....

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    1. Yes, the accumulation of my finished projects is becoming its own problem. My solution at the moment is to go small! :) BTW, the busted link is fixed now.

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  9. I feel the same. I make and make and make, but does anyone really want the things I gift? I rarely use anything I make myself so how can I expect others to use the gifts I make them? Yet I can't stop myself. I have to be making something, or several things all the time.

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  10. You are just like me. I lovethe hand sewing and making small wonderful things but I also love to knit. It feels good to change between the 2 things. The small bird looks sweet and pretty. Good luck with the feel of flow when you sew with the hands.

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  11. You shouldn't have opened our eyes to this Kristen. I have a mini chest of precious scraps and am already planning to make the owl and the cat (while knitting, cross stitching Alicia's sampler, hand piecing a quilt). But there is no sweat, we do it because we love it and it makes us happy. Hand stitching, especially when using reclaimed fabric and threads, is such a lovely low impact activity.

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  12. im currently at crisis point theres nothing left to make thats really needed, lets face it homemade takes a lot longer to wear out..lol

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  13. I always feel like projects like these are great to have to go to every now and again. It helps the creative process of everything else I work on to make something so free-form and different in between other projects. When I'm feeling like I'm bogged down from a project I turn to something fiddily like this and then go back refreshed. I can't wait to see what comes out from yours!

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  14. This could have been my post as it mirrors my feelings exactly. I bounce between my many hobbies which each make their respective messes (which is bad for an OCD person!) Plus I work full time so my creative hours are vv limited. Sometimes I feel like the donkey that starved because he couldn't decide which pile of hay to eat. And I obsess about the mess but try to not worry about that and press on. I too am in love with Ann and this weekend am making Mr. Sox. So fun and, you know, I don't care if the world needs what I make -- it is food for my soul, this playing and making. I try to be like a kid and don't get too serious about it -- kids don't care about the WHY, if it's fun they just do it, oui? So glad you're back in the flow, Kristen! xxoo

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  15. You may already know of Charlotte Lyon's blog and instagram account for House Wren Studio.
    https://www.instagram.com/housewrenstudio/
    It might interest you.
    But if you are searching for a possible new outlet for creativity, I might suggest silversmithing and jewellery making...that's a good one!

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  16. Hit the link to Ann Wood but it didnt work,could you reply with her blog address please?

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    1. Hi there, sorry about that--I have fixed the link now. You can find Ann's blog at www.annwoodhandmade.com. :)

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  17. I need to do this too! I'm struggling to find 'me' under all of the makes. To find my style. My thing. It's very relieving to know I'm not the only one.

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  18. Dear Kristen, all that you have written here made great sense to me. Carry on! xo

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