Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Marta, in the comments last post, got it totally and completely right:

"It's okay to enjoy the process as much, maybe more, than the product."

The process in the whole point, really. Yes, I try to think of useful things to make, and things that will get used, mostly, not just piled up in a glass case.

But the making is the thing. The reason for doing all of this handwork. We all know we could buy socks cheaper, more quickly and more easily than make them, and yet? The making is the thing, not the having of the thing.

I also got one very cogent question by email:

Why do you finish things that are flawed? Aren't you always reminded of the flaws and the failure?

Well, true enough, we, most of us makers, have the habit of pointing out the flaws to anyone who stops to take notice, or compliment our work. But the making is learning not only how to make "flawless" (is there such a thing?), but also how to fix, repair, adjust and yes, sometimes just move on and ignore. A master craftsman is not one who makes no mistakes, a master is one who can repair mistakes so no one else knows they happened.

Repairs mistakes.

Big life lesson in that! Repair what we break. Repair what we don't make flawless the first (OK, second, third or tenth) time out. Learn. How to make, and how to make better.

Darn, mend, repair skips in weaving, accept a certain wobbliness and move on.

random photo of a bag, with mistakes! from my flickr site, so this post is not All Words

I realized this week, while making some minor mis-steps, that I do not ever make things that are metro-perfect, with modern clean lines and everything straight. My metier, if you will, is the off-kilter, the not-symmetrical, the hand-of-the-maker and the aesthetic of wabi-sabi. Bohemian, in current terms (a nice way of saying Old Hippie, if you ask me).

Realizing and accepting that makes all those funny corners, and crooked stitches so much easier to bear!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Bloom Is Off The Rose

I have several projects going, right now, some with more of a deadline pressure than others. I flit.


One project is literally over a year late. A birthday present. It is very close to finished. But it sits. I have two other very compelling fun things I want to work on, but can't seem to...as I started yet another project yesterday, or the day before, recently, and work on it as if it were the deadline project.

From one project to the other, I work on this one and then that, as the mood strikes, not, sadly in this case, as the deadline nears. What makes a project "work worthy"? Why work on this one now, incessantly, and then not touch it for weeks??

It occurred to me today: the bloom, in each case, is off the rose. Each project has gotten to a point where the fatal flaw, which will keep it from ever being perfect, from ever living up to my imagination, has been reached. A mistake. Perhaps I have chosen the wrong materials, the materials that won't do what I want. Or my skills are not there yet... I am struggling to make this into even a shadow of the mental picture I had when I began. Sometimes I can fix it. Yet sometimes the mistake will be as permanent as the material object.

This is the essential struggle of EVERY craftsperson, in every medium. I made a mistake. The project is no longer as much fun to work on, the anticipation of the perfect beauty is lost.


I force myself to press on. Finish. Learn something, if only that I have the stamina to finish. Likely other people don't see the flaw as I do, or if they do, it is not as significant to them as it is to me. So, what? This particular Magnum Opus is not quite so Magnum? Plan another project that WILL work out.

The planning is always so much fun!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Color and Joy

A few random shots of recent color inspiration:




colors through colors:

and joy!