Saturday, January 26, 2013

new turtle...

olive ridley sea turtle

olive ridley sea turtle

A little variation on the green sea turtle took shape this week. Some fabrics came out of the dye pot in wonderful olive tones (my apologies, I've completely forgotten what the dye bath was made from!) and an Olive Ridley turtle seemed completely appropriate. This little fellow is entirely hand stitched, and all fabrics (cottons, linen, silk) used are natural dyed by me. Feels like a 'complete' sort of piece, when I think of how much my own two hands put into this turtle. If you like the feel of it too, he will be in the shop later today.

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>>>some thoughts on making...
I have talked a lot recently about getting back to making pieces for the shop more regularly, producing more, and more often. But I've come to realize that may not necessarily happen, and as there have been some recent inquiries I thought you deserved a little bit of an explanation.

Please understand first off that I very much appreciate all you folks who are interested in my work, whether you purchase something or just share your words of encouragement. It is very rewarding to make something with your own hands that others respond to so positively. But.

When I first got into selling things online, I quickly got into a rhythm of working all day at my job and then coming home and sewing much of the evenings and weekends. After a time, I was pretty intent on keeping interest on my making, and started to feel guilty if I wasn't stitching in my free time, or stitching or crafting on something personal rather than for the shop. I am a pretty slow maker, so I was trying to make up for that by making any chance I got. It probably doesn't help that I have pretty heavily ingrained beliefs that I always need to be "productive" and should also be doing something "useful". But we won't get into the psychology behind that for just now. Anyway, then came the forced respite of my broken wrist last year. I tried to get back into it once I healed, but a number of events and distractions kept me from ever getting back to my old pace again. Moving in the fall, and the subsequent disorganization / re-organization of my craft materials (and my life) made it easy to let days slip by without picking up a needle. I let go of the 'guilt', letting this break become a new sort of rhythm that eased my sore fingers and tired back.

I don't handle stress well. Not at all. I read something recently about people with my particular date of birth (and yes, please give such generalizations a healthy bucketful of salt) - that we often reach a place in our careers where we are comfortable, and make no further attempts to progress or be challenged, because don't want to deal with the potential stress. That definitely struck a chord with me, and might be at least partially true. And whether I should just buck up and learn how to handle a bit more stress, there is no denying that it doesn't suit me particularly well. Stress affects me mentally and physically (and there is no denying two jobs and a side hobby that all require lots of sitting and repetitive motion are not good for the body). My previous making habits were just not sustainable. So I've come to accept that free time can be a good thing, and sometimes a very necessary thing. Time to go for a long walk, time to escape for a weekend, time to just spend with friends and family. And yes, even time to occasionally just do nothing.

For now anyway, I have decided I can only do what I can do. Pieces will continue to trickle into the shop, and while I appreciate your interest I have decided to not accept custom orders for at least the next little while. Your interest in my work is very heartwarming to me, so thank you for sticking around even if I am not the most productive of makers. Wishing you a very happy weekend and I see the sun is making a lazy attempt to peer through the grey clouds. Time to get out for a walk, I think.

6 comments:

Flaming Nora said...

Its called "free time" for a reason, but its all too easy to forget that. Well, done to you for managing to get the balance right. Don't think I always manage it so well. Make for your own enjoyment and no one else's, then your work will reflect your enjoyment even more.

Netta said...

Your art is Slow and reflects the time and detail you put in.I think when your desire to create motivates you, wonderful things happen. But as you say, there must be time for other things and creativity should fuel you, not drain you.
Always supporting you!

Hedgerow Rose said...

Well, you know I love your work. But that aside, I can truly appreciate your thoughts here as I struggled with the same thing and reached a point about a year ago where I just couldn't keep the pace I was going at--I don't do well with stress, either. (In fact it makes me wonder if we share the same birthday, haha). Thank you for sharing this and Olive Ridley is beautiful!

the Blue Rabbit House. said...

Such a gorgeous little guy!

I'm so happy to read I'm not the only person with a likely problem. Whenever I have a few very unproductive days, I get angry at myself. For being "this lazy" or for not doing anything "useful". But I have learnt - despite the pile of work I have to go through - to keep my needlework at a slower pace. When I had my "planned" break, I was the most concentrated and productive again on my embroidering.

Your work is just absolutely stunning! And working on the ritme which works best for you, will only pay off. :)

Michele said...

I have been working on my acrylic painting (canvas) and have finished two pieces, when I find the time. I love painting ocean life, it is my love. I just finished a stone crab for my Dad's 77th Birthday. I can definitely appreciate you setting aside your time and working the way you do, you truly are an inspiration. Your work is such a gift and makes me smile every time I see it. I can relate to your lifestyle in so may ways and truly understand life's struggles. The Olive Ridley is precious and will be keeping an eye out for those sweet Green Sea Turtles to come. Kristy your work makes people happy, smile and uplifts them, not only because of how they look but because of all the hard work and love put into each piece and the person who make them. DREAM BIG...Michele R.

Dawn Suzette said...

I know this has been in your mind for some time. I think your best work will come when you have balance. A catch word right now, I know, but so true!
I know the feeling of wanting to be productive and useful all the time. I am learning, slowly, that downtime, walks, and even just sitting are productive and useful in themselves!
xo