Fearing Failure!

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I don’t know about you but I seem to let failure stop me from creating sometimes. I look and look at pinterest or other sites for inspiration. I have a massive collection of books and saves on my computer! But that seems like all I do sometimes is look!

Why do I just look? I think it is because I am a perfectionist when it comes to my art work. I want it perfect the first time ūüôā When it doesn’t come out like I envisioned I usually drop that project and never go back to it. However, all the accomplished artists talk about samples.

In knitting, make a sample swatch…WHAT???…you want me to waste time making a swatch when I could just dive into the project! Painters¬†draw ideas¬†in their sketch book and make many samples using watercolors or colored pencils and markers.

I spoke in my last post about receiving my newest book, The Art of Moy Mackay She is a painter turned felter. She makes absolutely beautiful wool painted landscapes. In this book she goes deeper into her process.

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Her process starts with using that sketchbook and making notes and drawings. She also talks about making mini samples in various colors of the picture you want to make before committing to the bigger version.

Making minis! Making samples! Oh My….this will be a hard concept for me to follow but I am going to give it a shot ūüôā After all she is a famous artist and she might know a thing or two about process…LOL

Speaking of process….I recently came across a website written by two brothers Joe and Sam Pitcher¬†They just had a free series of videos about process and their mom Sue Stone

She talks about the power of 5 basic stitches. It is amazing what her art looks like with just a few basic stitches!

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You can see more of her work on Facebook

So….I have decided to go small and samples before creating a big project. Those felted pieces I talked about finishing last time, well, I am just going for it. Many of them require free motion stitching before the hand stitching. I am good with hand stitching but not free motion. I am not going to worry (well almost…lol) about what I am doing. I am just going to get myself into the¬†Flow ūüôā

If you are stuck and afraid, I say, “no more!” as Nike tells us…..JUST DO IT!

Happy creating!

Anita ūüôā

Husband and Wife passions!

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This is my husband. His passion…being in the outdoors, especially on the farm. He absolutely loves tractors and working on them. He was so proud when he finally finished his restorations on this model and could put her to work (yeah!!!, I don’t know why they refer to them as a “her”?). As you can see his favorite color is also red. I have to confess though he loves them all; we even have some yellow in the collection.

He can spend hours in the garage working on just one tiny aspect of putting something back together. Why? I guess that is the age-old question. I asked him once why he loved working on these old things. He said “It’s a challenge! I like to make things work better then they did when I got them”.

He is working on his last big project for now. Things have changed in our life and we will slowly be downsizing the farm. That’s OK though because his next love is fishing and hunting. Fishing always takes a back seat because of the farm work in the spring an summer. He is sooooooooo… looking forward to more fishing.

We used to fish a lot when we were going together. Trout, salmon on Lake Erie, bull head (fishing at night!), and northern pike. We went all over.

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This is my passion! Isn’t it cute ūüôā

I love all fiber but mostly wool. Every since my Dad got that first sheep when we were kids I have loved them. cheviot

I always wanted to raise sheep. As I have gotten older I can see it¬†may be¬†easier and more economical¬†to purchase wool already shorn from the animal…LOL We’ve raised horses and beef cattle but now sheep. My husband is not enthusiastic about it as they raised them when he was a young kid.¬†Our horses; Star, Molly & Garnet,¬†are all gone now, just cows.

When we were first married I moved in with my husband on his father’s farm. My dowry was a pig, “Miss Piggy” and two chickens. One named “Miss Priss” and the other one did not have a name. My father-in-la made me a beautiful chicken coop (notice I did not say husband!). It was quite a palace…LOL My mother-in-law continued to use it for years after I left. She loved her chickens.

Sorry, I got a little off topic there…Anyway, I love everything about wool. I love dyeing it, spinning it, felting it and of course knitting or weaving with it!

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There are so many possibilities with it in it’s raw state. However, my first real introduction to it was using wool fabric. I love the look of applique quilts but I did not have the patience for doing all that turning under! That is when I discovered wool applique. (More on this another time).heart-applique-2

So back to passion. What exactly is it? The dictionary defines it as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. I guess that applies to my husband and I, but what keeps us doing it over and over again? For that answer I went back to my Occupational Therapy knowledge (Did you know OT   celebrates 100 years as profession this year!)             1950-coal-miner-occupational-therapy-rehab-kp-vallejo2

Mihaly Csikszentmih√°lyi, psychologist. https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow

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Happy looking fellow!

Mihaly is someone we reference a lot in OT. He¬†recognized the state of flow during some of his research. What is flow? Also known as the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. It’s about getting lost in what you are doing. You lose all track of time and even the¬†feeling of hunger (OMG maybe lose some weight!)¬†or being tired.

WOW! I have experienced this many times. I will get onto an idea about something and I come out from the sewing room and find my husband has gone to bed (at least he leaves one light on for me)…where did the time go? It is in those moments that I feel most productive and accomplished!I’m not sure how long one could stay in that state. Days? Weeks???

So I guess the bottom line is you first have to really love something (passion) to keep you doing it for an unconsciously long period of time (flow). Yep! that sounds about right…

Please tell me your story about passion or flow. What get’s you excited and lost in time? I would love to hear.

Happy creating! Anita