December was a big month. I went to my first BERNINA Ambassadors Retreat (and it was awesome! I need to write about this.)! I had a hard but good visit with my elderly grandmother in California (I am not writing about this). I quilted a ton!
quilts for show and tell:
and quilts for friends:
Goodbye 2014. You were a busy year filled with lots of work for good things, and I learned so much. I think I lived up to the word I chose, which was “forward”, and I think I hit all my resolutions for the year.
For 2015, though, I wasn’t feelin’ it. I didn’t want to pick a word to focus on, I didn’t want to make resolutions, I didn’t want to force a set of guidelines on a year that hasn’t happened yet. I think this is partly because we as a family decided to drop my 3-almost-4 year old down to 3 days a week in childcare, and I feel conflicted about this in every aspect. I want time to build my business, grow in my art, write the things I want to and need to write… and I want to provide the best care for my little girl and my son, who are both still little and not so autonomous.
So 2015. Thinking about it made me feel like I was in a spin! And then, I was reminded of one of my favorite projects from The Little Spark – 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity
, when Carrie Bloomston finished off her series with this post on creating a Vision Board for 2015. And just like that, on New Year’s Eve, I knew I had a way to help me figure out where I’m headed for 2015.
I even roped my fella into it, and I set us up with a supply of magazines (from 2007, the year my son was born… apparently I am A) a hoarder and B) haven’t been able to read mags since). We cracked a nice bottle of wine and using Carrie’s guidelines, we got started.
Carrie recommended finding inspiration for about an hour, but I ended up going about 2. I didn’t think about anything but looking for things that called to me. I didn’t think about goals or work, home or personal life, just looked for things that appealed, as Carrie put it, think about the things you want to attract to you (but be careful! it’s a powerful exercise). As I went through, I tried to stay quietly attentive to the things that I *didn’t* choose, and was surprised that I found myself staying away from things that felt aggressively goal oriented, which I thought was interesting. I’ll get back to that.
After pulling all my images and words together, it was time to put them down on paper. Ben had powdered off just before this, and I was actually grateful that I could work this out on my own. Because, as I got started, I began to see that despite my open mind and lack of set goals, I still had a pretty clear set of groupings. I will admit to getting chills as I put everything together.
I had thought about not sharing this with you, because when I was done it was deeply personal and profound. But then, I thought that maybe you’d like to see what it came away with, and maybe you’d be inspired, too, to do your own. I am so very glad I chose to do this.
Like a book, it’s meant to be read from left to right, but was too big for one picture! I used a roll of the kid’s art paper, so it’s 18″ x 30″ or so, I’m guessing.
Starting with the left, I had some pictures of luxe jewelry (what? I like sparkly things. I was a magpie in a past life.) Layered over this, I have the word “providence” because I feel like wealth more than we need would be providential, but it’s also… superfluous. And it struck me just now as I’m writing this, days after doing it, that I also put the words “once you get it, you get it” over it, but leading to the next section, in the middle, which is where all my images of bright, open, airy, homey spaces are… Hmmmm.
Then, smack in the middle, I have the largest section of my Vision Board, and it’s all about home, space, openness, comfort, ease, play, what it is to have a good life… Also interesting. And then on the right I have a few pictures of lush gardens, and a woman caught in the breezes with a happy smile on her face. I have pictures of healthy food and healthy lifestyle thingies, and then I have the pictures that make me think of my quilting journey. This one requires a closeup, I think.
I found myself drawn to complex geometric patterns. The chair is a modern recreation of a klismos, which is a chair style from ancient Greece (and which all my quilts are based on: things from the ancient world). The pie is unravelling, and it’s the closest thing to “modern quilts” that I have, which I need to think about, and I almost didn’t include it, which I need to think about more. The words… well, these are complicated and have changed in meaning for me several times. They reflect how hard I’ve worked on my book and my quilting and art, they reflect the things I want to attract, but which I don’t think I necessarily have, and “Best in Show” reflects that I want to be at the peak of my abilities, always pushing to do more, learn more, be better. It’s not that I want a ribbon, it’s more that I want to be the best I can be, for myself. For the first time, I am openly calling myself an artist, bot in my head and out loud. That is a huge thing for me. The boat reminds me that I have a dream for a quilt that may start to become a reality this year. I’ve been putting it off, because I wanted to collect the skills to make it the best that I can, and I think they may be in place.
I also need to talk about the parakeets:
This is a vase designed by Lladro, a very high-end ceramics company. It’s totally weird, but a major execution of art and craft, and it ain’t cheap. I couldn’t not include it, because it reminds me that I need to keep my sense of humor, be true to my artistic vision like this designer was, and remember that there’s a place for everything I make, even if it doesn’t feel like I have a “quilt home”.
I will leave off saying that this is what my Vision Board 2015 says to me right now. I am fully expecting for the meaning to morph and change over the course of the year. If this speaks to you, I heartily encourage you to try it; it really was a powerful exercise for me.
If you find this thought-provoking, check out Carrie Bloomston’s book The Little Spark – 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity
, which is out now. It’s full of exercises to encourage that creative spark, and provides guidance for getting into (or back to) a creative life. I won a copy at Quilt Market and it was the best thing that happened to me.
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