Is there really such a thing?
I think I know many people who feel the way that I feel. Like me, they look at the world with different eyes than most people around them and they see beauty and creativity lurking around every corner. It is wonderful and a truly incredible way to view the world. The only problem is finding enough time to do everything.
I often speak of that dilemma. Associating with other creative people only seems to intensify those feelings. Between my woodworking friends and colleagues and my painting friends and colleagues, so much brainstorming passes through my life in a single day that sometimes I begin to feel a bit overwhelmed by everything that I want to try. I don’t mean copy others’ ideas, but there are many times when I see something and think to myself “I love this, but I would do (blah, blah, blah) and fill in the blank with my own twist on something.
That’s what inspiration is to me.
I was never one to follow instructions exactly. Oh, maybe when I was just beginning to do something – I would follow the “rules” to get the basic jest of whatever I was working on – but soon after I got my footing on the technique, I was off on my own, thinking of ways that I could improve or change things.
So began my career in designing.
I have done the same with woodworking, painting, cooking, sewing and just about anything that I attempt. I guess in some ways I will always be a rebel, creating my own path and following my heart.
But isn’t that a wonderful and exciting way to live?
Recently, one of my creative painting friends referred to a page of beautiful embroidery designs. This was back sometime in November or so. The pictures she posted were from Di van Niekerk’s site which is located here:
Di is located in South Africa and is an expert in ribbon embroidery and stumpwork. Her site immediately caught my attention and I found myself pouring over all the information I could find regarding this form of art. Many of you remember that I have told the story (recently I believe) of how my grandmother’s neighbor taught me how to embroider on tea towels when I was a child growing up in the city of Chicago. I have always loved needlework and I had forgotten how much I loved making it.
But seeing this site re-sparked my interest. To make a long story short, I have been using much of my “spare time” to research and practice a bit of needlework and I decided to further my education in this delicate art. Just after Christmas, I ordered a kit and the necessary supplies to follow through with Di’s project called “A Perfect World”. In the book, you build a 17 panel sampler and learn over 60 new techniques and elements of this art form. I thought it would be the “perfect” way for me to expand my abilities and knowledge. It will certainly be a challenge.
Of course, Keith thought that I lost my mind. (AS IF I don’t have ENOUGH to do right now!) But most of what I do seems to go “on the block” and I think of it as part of my work and job. While I am very, very fortunate to absolutely LOVE what I do for a living, I want to do something that will NOT be for sale and will only be for ME.
Perhaps that sounds a bit selfish, but maybe it is time that I do something like this. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately and I know that in order to keep myself happy and productive in both the painting and woodworking areas, I need to take some time away on a regular basis and do something just for ME. I know in the long run it will keep me fresh and happy and even more productive.
So I am starting this adventure and I will post here on my progress from time to time. The bulk of my supplies arrived last week and I spent the weekend finishing up my pressing work and completing all of my deadlines. I needed to do this before I began my new journey. At about 4pm yesterday, I was ready to begin.
I was actually somewhat SCARED to start sewing on this beautiful fabric. While I had carded and organized all the silk ribbons and threads that came with the kit, as well as the additional supplies, actually USING them became a bit intimidating. What if I goofed things up? What if I made a mess of it? What a waste that would be!
But I took a breath and plunged in. I had spent the last month or so reading up on what I had to do to prepare things, as well as learning the terminology. I had reread the instructions over and over, as the book arrived just before Christmas, and I felt that I was ready to begin my new adventure.
Last night I finished the first flower of the amazing design. I am rather proud of it.
The hand-dyed silk ribbon and thread is amazing! I worked slowly and carefully, but I felt completely relaxed and happy. I think I made pretty good progress and I am off to a good start.
I expect that finishing this sampler will take a great deal of time. I don’t know how often I will be able to work on it, but I hope to keep at it for a while at least. I think that diversifying into other mediums will be a wonderful inspiration for both my woodworking and painting projects, and I am excited about it already.
Can we have too much inspiration? I really don’t believe we can. I think that exploring a full range of techniques, styles and media will only serve to expand our creativity and enrich our lives.
Inspiration is all around us in so many different forms. Some may find it in planting flowers while others find it in embroidering flowers. I believe that what inspires an individual is as unique as people themselves. It is there for the taking, if you only learn to take notice of it.
Today it is back to woodworking for me. I have some patterns to write up for the site update that Keith and I are doing in a couple of days and I would like to get that under my belt. I then have some new ideas for both woodworking and painting patterns that I need to begin developing. It is all busy and all good.
I wish you a wonderful Monday and I hope you have a great day filled with creativity and inspiration.
”It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” ― Vincent van Gogh
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"