Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thinking about creativity

Years ago, my friend Patty shared something she read in a magazine about how those of us who create things go about our learning paths.  I cannot recall if I've shared this with you before, so if so, forgive me.  It seems like a good time to revisit this, given what I've been doing the last month.

The writer suggested there are two types of creative learners: horizontal and vertical (picture this as a grid, and then imagine all the tangents in between, if you will).  A horizontal learner (that would be moi) starts out learning a new craft with a huge burst of enthusiasm which includes buying all the books on the subject and devouring them.  Next comes buying as many of the tools and supplies as possible because of course, this time this is IT, the love of your life, and you're going to create in this medium until your dying days.  That is, until you slide along that horizontal path a little farther and find the next great thing, and all of a sudden, you are in love all over again...and the story keeps repeating itself.  I think the word dilettante fits in here somewhere; just sayin'.

Then there's the vertical learner.  That person finds a stop along that horizontal line and behaves much the same as the horizontal learner, but with the following exception:  she/he sticks with that craft/art and takes it to heights not visited by Ms. Horizontal.  Worse yet, the vertical learner is most likely to stay with that endeavor and not go flitting off and falling in love with something new every few months/year/couple of years (you pick).

Any of this resonate with you?  I've spent a lot of time thinking about this since I've been back in NM.   I'm trying hard to grasp that at almost 62, perhaps it's time to settle on just a few things and really focus on them instead of adding more to my list and wondering how the heck I'll ever have enough time to do all I want to do.  It's frustrating, because I love learning new things.  It's also getting to be quite burdensome (oh, if you could only see all the "stuff" I have amassed living this la la life of mine).

Do any of you feel this way?

A parting note about the left brain/right brain message...I found this on Judith Dallegret's great rug hooking blog, Just Go Hook It, and she's been kind enough to let me share it with you.  I'll leave you to ponder it with my only comment being that I need to share this with my husband.

I am the left BRAIN .I am the scientist.A mathematician.I love the familiar.I categorize.I am accurate.Linear.Analytical.Strategic.I am practical.Always in control.A master of words and language.Realistic.I calculate equations and play with numbers.I am order.I am logic.I know exactly who I am.

I am the RIGHT Brain.
I am creativity.A free spirit.I am passion,Yearning,Sensuality.I am the sound of roaring laughter.I am taste.The feeling of sand beneath bare feet.I am movement and  the urge to paint (or hook a rug )on an empty canvas .I am boundless imagination.Art.Poetry.I sense.I feel.I am everything I wanted to be. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snip, rip, snip some more

At least a year ago, I posted about my sticker shock when I went looking in thrift shops in the San Diego area for cottons for quilting (as I had the year before for wool clothing for rug hooking).  I received a few messages from readers about all the wonderful things that those thrift stores do with the money they make (which I was already very aware of) and why it was those prices need to be so high (which worried me, wondering how people in need could afford to shop at those prices).  In the end, I came to understand most of why it is what it is, but pretty much gave up my searching; frankly, if I'm going to spend $6-8 dollars on a shirt to cut up, I'd rather spent the same or a dollar or two more to buy an entire yard of new fabric.

This past week in Taos, I gave it another try, and scored, so I've been having fun washing, disassembling, and folding up pieces of my new found treasures.  Yesterday I found men's shirts for .50 each, so I bought the stack of blues/whites and the wonderful Indonesian cotton shirt was also only .50.  The kilts I found for $8.00 each, but once they were completely returned to yardage, I got well over a yard of wool from each, less than half of what I would pay for brand new wool yardage.  Cool!!

Question for my rug hooking friends:  these kilts were obviously brand new (from Scotland, no less) and in pristine condition.  Should I wash the yardage and dry it or just use it as is?  It's a bit lighter than some of my wools, almost a shirt weight.  Would washing it and running it through the dryer give it a little more grist for hooking?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spring cleaning

It has been a busy month since I posted last and while I think of you each day and want to share what I've been doing, it seems I'm stacking up my good intentions and doing little with them.  I'll try to catch up over the next few postings.

Spring cleaning, you ask?  Yes, I know it's not spring, but I'm in the mood.  In my "new life", splitting time about equally between NM and CA, I'm trying hard to make sure each trip to each home includes time for some special projects (read that: things I've long procrastinated on).  Since Roger's on travel for approximately 3 weeks, I'm using some of this time to knock some of those tasks off my NM list, beginning yesterday with my kitchen.

Since I love how some of you share your wonderful homes in your own postings, and in case I haven't done this before, I've decided to give you a peek at my kitchen (only a peek...it wasn't all photo-worthy today).  I have always dreamed of living in an old home and never had the opportunity, so when we built this home, I tried hard to make some of that happen here.  I have always loved antique kitchen utensils, and wanted a wood cook stove (which there wasn't room for along with the gas stove), so I chose a reproduction stove from Canada.  I found my sink for $40.00 in a junk store, and my pump for well water is one of my favorite scores...it is not a real pump, but functions as a regular faucet would if you lift the handle.  Years ago, someone who saw photos of our home in The New Straw Bale Home book by Catherine Wanek liked this pump so much it earned us a photo shoot and inclusion in an issue of Natural Home Magazine.  Who knew!!

Anyway, I digress.  Yesterday I took my beloved set of antique pots off the shelf and they are headed off to storage until I can find a better home for them.  After 20 years of use, I have decided to join the 21st century and bought brand new anodized aluminum cookware.  I also cleaned all the goo that accumulates off my antique ladles, and today my task is to clean out the old spices (some of which have been here for too many years to mention).  It feels good to do these things, and, as usual, I find that the pain of procrastination is much worse than the hour or two it takes to get these things done.

So, my friends, just why the heck do we do that to ourselves?  Anyone else have that problem?

PS  If you know someone interested in buying my antique pots, let me know, I'll make a sweet deal for the lot of them...there are six pots, four lids, and two of the pots fit together to function as a double boiler.  Sweet!