I’ve been immersed in lessons and trying things out from Jane Dunnewold’s “Creative Strength Training” classes. I can’t share what i’m doing really, except in the vaguest of terms, but looking at shape and colour has been quite invigorating. The exercises have me looking again at old work, refiguring how i did things, how i illustrated and interpreted concepts, developed ideas. That’s a good boot in the bazotski.

I have also re-realized (!) that my biggest obstacle to getting in there and DOING something is my ever present mess. No matter how many times i tidy, i can’t find what i’m looking for. It’s time to get mean and clean out the debris. There are things in that chaos that are never going to get used. It takes up work space, storage space and head space. There’s a BIG BIG BIG purge coming. EDIT: when this was written, i hadn’t gone through the bins and drawers yet–now you can reap 😉 But i did dredge out fabrics i had forgotten about and the colour is juicy, so why not?

Cleaning out also means cleaning out thoughts that say “you can’t do that, because it’s too pretty, too common, a compromise.” I’m not talking about following trends, making the same things others are, toeing the line with fitting in (forget THAT) –let’s just do those things that seem counter-intuitive to what i have been doing, and see what happens. A test if you will, to see what i can do that is still me. It’s NOT going to kill me after all. This might be a year of just, well, just “screwing around”. As much as i want to be taken seriously, make serious work, maybe it’s not going to happen for me. Am i trying too hard? Maybe that is the problem.

Then again, maybe there can be TWO of me. I think of a certain friend who is known for her gorgeous hand stitched, very colourful nature/floral work–who secretly used to make the most amazing quirky monstery looking rude dolls, with few realizing the two very different approaches were from the same person. As she posted: “With these creatures, i explore the darker side of my creativity.” Maybe i need to do the brighter side!

Colour. Colour. Colour. We all react different ways to certain hues. I’m afraid i’m afraid of it lately. Deliberately then, i have thrown this together.

meet me in the middle 1

It’s an “abstract”, something else i’m not terribly fond of, but it may become story-ish. BUT it doesn’t have to be “story-ish” either, BUT i don’t want to just do 11tybajillion pieces of running stitch attached boro ripped frayed edge cloth…..   but let’s see where it will go.  😦   😉   🙂


meet me in the middle 1bI made an oopsie with the flannelette i always use for depth and stability, but most of it is not visible anyways! (Usually when there’s a print, i put the white side against the fabric.)


And the thread choices. I tried not to be too matchy-matchy, but i don’t want to be contrasting harshly either. The purple bothers me but i’ll just have to work with it. I don’t want splotches that draw the eye, but i think i have figured out a way to prevent that, or at least make it integrate. I LIKE the purple in the fabric, but the thread choice is a bit problematic, as i’m not sure which shade will work. Will probably do that last then so i have time to think about it and see what happens with everything else.

meet me in the middle threads

Since this is an exercise in colour for me, rather than just shape, its working title is “Meet Me In the Middle”. Part of the goal is to add “layers”, not in the sense of applying more fabrics to the top, but to build them with different thread treatments and pattern. Complex cloth, slow cloth, whatever it is, it will be as it is.

I can always cut it up or incorporate it later in something else! Nothing is set in stone right now, just “Screwing Around With Intent”. 🙂


5 responses to “deliberation

  1. It’s interesting, I have read many people with similar thoughts of clearing out and “screwing around”, I have said similar things. It’s almost like the rubbish of the real world sucks the creativity out of a person and makes playing and experimenting invalid (I’ll try not to rant!). I did a clear out a while back, found hundreds of lids from tin cans carefully packed away, it is amazing what we save. Good luck with trying new things, I hope you find amazing new ways to create pieces.


    • Isn’t it sad that we have to “force” ourselves to play–and that it is seen as if not a defeat, but a compromise??? I know when i started this journey, it was all about the playing, and if the end result was good, i was even happier. I’m trying to remember that even when i’m serious about something, it doesn’t have to be earth shattering or the only reason for doing it. The Rebel Committee is battling the Internal Tribe Review Board!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. we are drawn to what we fear, so here’s a mirror for your words in this post-
    ” BUT i don’t want to just do 11tybajillion pieces of running stitch attached boro ripped frayed edge cloth….. but let’s see where it will go.”
    your way of working a running stitch is all yours, carried by the years of experience weighing in behind the needle pushing it in and pulling it out,why not do a kantha boro thing but make it fully wild and free as only Arlee Barr can and it will be a trump card for sure


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