Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Timeless Stripes and Plaids

Stripes and plaids, two classics that never go out of style. 
How could I resist wanting to weave some scarves up in both?

This first scarf was inspired by those simple, but oh, so wonderful vintage striped tea-towels. 
I fondly think of the ones that my mom had back in the 60's, when I was a little girl. I remember looking at them, how the threads criss-crossed, 
and how soft they were after multiple washings. 

... Perhaps that is where I first fell in love with textiles? 

Stripes have an elegant carefreeness about them. 
They have the ability to make anything look good, with very little effort.
(Heck, this striped scarf looked so pretty just hanging against my blue wall, 
I was tempted to leave it there!)

And how about those plaids...

This second scarf wasn't inspired by anything particular,

... just an adoration of plaids. 

With their endless design possibilities and color combinations, how could you not fall for them?

 I think I first fell in love with plaids back as a teenage girl, coveting, (and often taking) the soft flannel shirts of boyfriends. (The beauty and variety of men's flannel shirts have always been a million times better then the paltry few that they make for woman. And who can resist one that's been worn and washed over and over? A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.)

Plaids have both, an air of sophistication about them, 
as well as an everyman, blue-collar-ness about them, which really appeals to me. 

Both scarves are currently available in my shop.
For more information just click on the links below each photo...

PS. If you look closely at the vintage post card next to the scarf above, 
it says "A Happy Easter", 
which is what I wish for all of you who celebrate this Sunday.
And to everyone, 
A Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tie One On

I am a scarf person. Love to wear them. Love to make them. I adore their versatility, and how the right one can make even the most mundane outfit look pulled together. 

They are my absolute favorite thing to weave. 

Here you can see how all the various colors in the warp and weft dance about and intersect. 

After the cloth is off the loom, I always give it a good wash in the sink, usually with very hot, soapy water. It's an important step as it helps the weave to relax, full, bloom, and lock in place.
Woven cloth is never really finished until it has been washed.

Hemstitching the top and bottom edges by hand,
 and hand twisting the fringe makes for a nice, neat, and stable finish.

Words cannot adequately express the joy I feel weaving a piece of cloth. Suffice to say, it feels good!

This scarf is now available. For more info please go here. Hope to be making more very soon. 

By the way... I haven't abandoned quilting! 
In the process of stitching up some some scraps now, waiting to see what they will become!


Really enjoyed reading all the comments to my last post. Just want to clarify a couple of things...

Yes, children do need to be reminded that daydreaming isn't the best idea when school work or chores need to be done! It's important to know how to stay focused and on task. But let's keep in mind that kids today are often way over scheduled. We need to make sure that they also have unscheduled time... to play and create and daydream. If they learn how to plant and nurture their creative seeds at a young age, they will reap the fruit of a rich imagination their whole life long. 

Also, being true to your own creative urgings doesn't mean that you must not care at all what others think of what you do. It's normal to want validation and approval... and sort of necessary if you sell your creative creations. If no one likes what you make, it's a pretty tough sell! But don't let your desire to be validated by others dictate your creativity. 
Don't let it censor your ideas. 
Nurture your creativity like you would nurture your own child. 
Love it and feed it.
Encourage its uniqueness.
Send it out to play in the sun.
Have fun with it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Permission to Creatively Express Yourself

Back in early November I decided to take on a small part time job, working a few hours each week at a home decorating store. I greet and assist customers who are looking to accessorize their homes, whether it be a new vase along with something to put in it, some accent pillows for their couch, some candles for the mantle... you get the drift. I am continually surprised by the number of folks who ask me to tell them what they should pick to display in their home, as they are too intimidated and afraid of doing something "wrong". And when they do have some idea of what they may want, they then ask for my permission, wanting validation that it's ok to go ahead. They would rather trust the input of a complete stranger, (me) then trust their own inner guidance. While I am happy to help, it makes me sad to find so many adults disconnected from their own personal self-expression.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I am well aware that somewhere along our formative years, too many children get the message that their ideas aren't good enough. That their "mistakes" void their successes. Teenage years hammer home the importance of conformity, (even when it is disguised as nonconformity). It's no wonder that we continually produce grown-ups who can't even display a group of candlesticks without a small panic attack.

The act of allowing yourself to tap into the vein of creativity, (which runs through all of us) and to trust where it will take you, is essential for the well being and growth of a healthy society. Without it the Wright Brothers would have never gotten in the air, Jonas Salk would not have found the cure for polio, and Georgia O'Keeffe never would have had what it must have taken to move away from NewYork and the power of Stieglitz, out to the barren terrain and big sky of New Mexico, painting in a way that no one else had ever done before.

This is what I wish I could convey about expressing yourself and creativity...

You have the right to decide what you like and don't like, even if it is not the popular choice at the moment. (Remember, the popular choice is a fickle thing... what is in today will be out tomorrow because it is manufactured that way by an industry that wants to keep you buying, whether it be home goods, fashion, kitchen cabinetry, etc., etc.) So pay attention to what attracts you. Don't get hung up on having all your likes fit neatly into the same category... I like the look of worn and weathered as well as streamlined Mid Century. Remember, God created a diverse world. It's okay for you to have diverse tastes. (Pinterest is a great tool for collecting and organizing diverse image collections of things that you are pulled to).

Despite what you have been led to believe, there is no right and wrong when it comes to creativity. You have a right to play and experiment. It is the only authentic way to get from point A to point B. And remember, your creative path will be different from my path, and her path, and his path, because it will be your path. Just like your fingerprint is uniquely yours, so should your path be.

While traveling your path expect to stumble and fall sometimes, as well as travel in the dark at times. Do it without fear, and it will strengthen all of your senses and instincts. Before you know it, you will be more sure of foot and confident in your creative ability and decisions.

Be careful of who you listen to and whose creative advice you seek. Some people are creatively toxic, (intentionally or not) and sadly, not everyone has your best interest at heart. Absolutely learn from those that you respect, but pay attention to your gut. Take what feels right and dismiss the rest. Just because it's right for one or some, doesn't mean it's right for you or everyone. Again, this is all about forging your path, not blindly walking the paths others have forged, (no matter how attractive or appealing they may seem. Remember... all paths start out with some rough bumps and thick undergrowth).

Embrace day dreaming. Despite what they told you in school, it is not a waste of time. Day dreaming strengthens your imagination. Close your eyes, or stare out the window, and inwardly focus on something you would like to work on. Let your mind wander and allow images and thoughts to come to you. If an idea pops up that seems worthy of further examination, delve deeper into it. Let more thoughts and images come to you. Jot down notes and doodle if you need help remembering. Then try out those ideas. Some will work, others won't. That is just how it is. Embrace what works, learn from what doesn't.

That's how you grow creatively. That's how you find and strengthen your voice. That's how you put your fingerprint on this world, because no matter how large or how small,
it has a right to be there.


Thanks for indulging me and my soapbox. I'll be back next post with some photos of new work. xo