In January, I wrote “So, welcome to 2014, the year of creative immersion” and then promptly was derailed by all of the non-creative bits of my life. If you’re a person who, like me, thrives on creative activities, then you know the tune and how disheartening it can be. I know I’d been away from it for too long when simply inventorying the products for Harvest Moon Designs felt like a vacation. Normally, inventorying is about as far from fun as I can stand to be. Yet, it was nice just to see things that I’d made and be reminded of the creative process.
It’s time to get back on track again. My Etsy shop has been growing cobwebs in my absence, so I’m trying to give it a little TLC and get it restocked in time for holiday shopping (hence the reason for inventorying). I’m also attempting to get back into a daily creative practice, even if it’s only a few minutes at a time.
I’m re-posting my list of 2014 creative goals as a reminder to myself what I’ve done and where I need to focus (while simultaneously attempting to cure insomnia in my readers).
- Write at least 200,000 words – 100,000 each of fiction/poetry and non-fiction – As of right now, the count is approximately 27,000 fiction and 10,800 non-fiction. After January, I fell off the writing wagon and haven’t really been able to climb back on. I do plan to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year and if successful, will at least get my fiction word count closer to goal.
- Quilt or crochet at least 4 new blankets for charity – One down.
- Create 24 new paintings or drawings – Two sketches down.
- Make at least 10 new pieces of jewelry – No progress on this one.
- Create a new batch of wands for my Etsy shop – I have approximately fifty wands in various states of completion. This is my big push right now, as I want to get these up in time for Halloween shopping.
- Take at least 50 decent photos to share – If pictures of my cats count, I’m almost there.
- Finish at least 5 items from the Abandoned Projects Pile – Let’s just say they’re still abandoned at the moment.
- Crocheted vest
- Blue patch-work throw
- Photo pendants for the shop
- Woodland Santa cross-stitch
- Autumn themed full-sized quilt
That’s where things are at the moment. With any luck, I’ll have at least one creative project to post about in the next few weeks.
Hope you’re all finding time to feed the creative fires.
A friend asked a very good question the other day, one that I hadn’t given a lot of thought: “Out of everything you’ve ever created, what are your favorites?” To which I responded: “Why do my friends always ask difficult questions?” To be more precise about it, I should have said “Why do my friends ask questions that I find difficult to answer?”
I could have shrugged and said “I dunno.” Or I could have gone the noble route and decried “Favorite? How can I chose a favorite among these creations? They are my children. I love them all equally.” Well, no, actually, I don’t love everything I’ve ever made. Thinking about it, I realized that I do have some favorites among the works that I’ve done. They aren’t necessarily my best works or the ones that have brought recognition or monetary reward. My favorites tend to be those peices that have given me the greatest sense of accomplishment or in some way appeal deeply to my own tastes.
After some thought, this is what I came up with… eight of my all-time favorites, in no particular order.
These are (starting clockwise at the top left corner):
- Logo for my online herbal shop. This was a utilitarian piece, obviously, created because I didn’t want to buy a pre-made avatar. I won’t claim that it’s a great piece of art, but I loved the process of transforming a badly snapped shot of my garden and turning it into something unique.
- Beaded star necklace. To be techinical, this was the first one beaded star that I created and it took hours to get it right. What a great feeling of accomplishment when it was all done.
- Butterly mobile. I’ve been creating butterfly suncatchers from recycled plastic and clear paints for years. It finally occurred to me to make a mobile out of them. It’s impossible to be unhappy when working on these.
- At Scythe Point. This novel was the product of my first attempt at National Novel Writing Month. I am incredibly amazed at my own capacity to write an entire, mostly coherent novel in thirty days. Creating it was an absolute rush.
- Favorite photo. I take pictures everywhere I go and doubly so if there’s an old cemetery, but this one is my personal favorite.
- Dream quilt. This was my first (and probably next to last) attempt to make a full size quilt.
- Seaglass necklace. This piece was created by me for me. The seaglass came home with me from a trip to the Carribean several years ago and finally found a home as part of this peice. I’m particularly sentimental about it.
- Fall broom. Autumn is my favorite season so I am perpetually making little fall decorations. This one is my favorite, well loved enough that it hangs inside the house the other three seasons.
So there they are, a few of my favorite creations. Give me a few days, a little creative time, and I’m sure I can add to that list.
I’m too tired to go into detail right now, but I think the graphic below says it all. The novel isn’t finished, but I have achieved the goal of 50,000 words. More later, when my hand quits cramping!
The skirt I started ages ago is finally finished and is now residing in my closet rather than my box of sewing. My camera batteries have opted to die this afternoon – may they rest in peace- so I don’t have any photos to share yet. My humble opinion is that it turned out very nicely.
I’m in the process of working on sun-catchers. I said “Make 200 butterflies” on my last post, but if the truth be told, it will probably be 200 sun-catchers including butterflies, hummingbirds, sunflowers, etc. I’m also kicking around the idea of trying to make fairy sun-catchers as well. The first board is laid and there are approximately sixty currently in progress.
I’ve decided, perhaps unwisely, to add a couple of more projects to the list of things to get done by year’s end. I want to try my hand at making incense cones, which promises to be a messy business. I also want to crochet a throw for the new futon that’s residing in my craft room. It looks naked, aside from the occasional presence of a sleeping cat. I already have the yarn and a plan to work on it during those times when I’m sitting in front of the TV.
With any luck, I’ll be able to post lots of progress with next week’s post!
Yes, I do realize that I should be saying something to the effect of “Recognition of one’s work is an outstanding personal achievement” or “It is a sign that one’s vision inspires another person” or “It is an indication that your work speaks to others.” Sure, there’s all that, but it’s still weird.
I’m not talking about the kind of recognition given by one’s family that garners a drawing a place of honor on the refrigerator door, nor the type that comes from one’s customers when we peddle our creations to the public. Although these kinds of praise do often make my day, I have in mind those experiences when you find your work publicly being recommended or when your creation is chosen as best over the competition.
For me, it’s a really weird feeling when someone takes note of something I’ve created. While I strive to have my work recognized, simultaneously thrilling and terrifying feelings fill me on those occasions. Rationally I know that judgement has already been passed by someone else, but I find myself looking for flaws in my work, all the reasons why it is not fit for public consumption. Lines from Anne Bradstreet’s ‘An Author to Her Book’ often bounce through my head at these moments. I can’t imagine how I’d react to large scale recognition when small nods of appreciation send butterflies fluttering through both brain and stomach. I can only hope that I might be so cursed to find out someday.