Good morning…

…er, make that good afternoon. I had good intentions of writing early and I did…but not here. I was working on my ‘Artist’s Way‘ morning pages. It is surprising how writing three standard sized sheets of thoughts and ideas longhand can necessitate a re-scheduling of one’s whole day. At least this one’s whole day 🙂 I think it would probably be easier were I not severely allergic to 6:30 a.m. (I am much more comfortable at 2 a.m.) Instead I get up around eight and feel like I’m already behind.

As you probably have guessed I did start the Artist’s Way curriculum by Julia Cameron.  Why?  Well, to be honest I get a lot of almost, but not quite feelings about my needlework. Feelings that I want to take it further, to design, to teach, to run a studio.  Feelings that I want to move needlework from an avocation to a vocation.

This isn’t an impossible dream, in fact it is very possible, but I never seem to quite move from dreamer and artisian (as I stitch someone else’s designs…sometimes changing colors or fabrics) to designer, writer, business owner and artist. Action on my part is required and to be frank I’m feeling a little paralysis as I seek to move ahead. The ‘Artist’s Way‘ is Julia’s process for nurturing creativity, for being able to view your desired path in a clearer way and for removing personal roadblocks to success. The curriculum sounded like what I needed, was reasonably priced and it was a step forward. (There have been a few more since…more on that later. 🙂

Having been in the corporate world for some time, I have seen a lot of these..self actualization (for lack of a better term) seminars come and go—some with good results, some far overpriced for less than stellar content.  So far, I think the ‘Artists Way‘ is proving to be one of the former.  Week One alone has given me a lot to think about and work on as I plan the second half of my life. Just what I needed in the way of a kick in the pants.

So…have I been doing anything to pursue my art?  The answer:  Not as much as I’d like, but progress is being made, mostly in the realm of JE.  Since I don’t want more than a few days to go by without working on my Japanese Embroidery (I don’t want to forget what I’ve learned), I’ve left the frame up and have now finished one ENTIRE clump (wooo-hooo) of pine needles.

Here are my first progress photos of ‘Mile High Shochikubai‘, my phase one piece for JE:

Plum Blossom and Pine

Plum Blossom and Pine

I have also worked on a flat silk plum blossom:

Flat Silk Plum Blossom

Flat Silk Plum Blossom

Some Bamboo:

Bamboo

Bamboo

and some cloud pine in two different techniques:

Cloud Pine

Cloud Pine

I know…it scarcely seems possible this is the result of HOURS and HOURS of work, but bear in mind, JE is also about learning a discipline.  There is a right way to do each stitch and departure from that way really does impact the appearance of the needlework. I have frogged more on this project alone than I have in years.

Still, I can honestly say, I love when I settle in to work on JE.  The silks are beautiful to handle and to use (okay, so flat silk is still a bit of a pain and I still manage to shred it in a rather magnificent fashion on occasion, but the results are sure worth it. :-)), the silk ground fabric is also lovely, the frame holds the work beautifully tight and I usually have some soft, instrumental music on as I stitch.

I’m not at the point where I can relax and let the needlework speak, but I can see how practice will eventually make a difference.  Most of all, I simply love the look…the artistry of the finished pieces.  There is so much history and so much beauty all created with a needle and thread.

Apart from JE I’ve been knitting away on my Meadow Afghan, with high hopes for a finish by the end of the month.  I am also feeling the urge to do a bit of needlepoint. More on what I choose to work on in my next post. 🙂 I have a lot of WIP’s to choose from…and I think this time it might be one of my kimono designs by Jinice.

I have also added to my library and will update that page sometime today as well as my page for goals.  I have been absolutely terrible about keeping track of my hours, so I may just have to start from where I am and go forward, since there is no way I can remember every hour worked. Suffice it to say, needlework is a huge and wonderful part of my life.

Well, right now I’m off to buy a light at Joanne Fabric.  I need a new desk lamp for my stitching room and since their stock of Daylight lamps is 40% off this week, it seems the time is ripe.  The older I get the more important lighting becomes and I’ve been spoiled by spectrum corrected bulbs. 🙂

That’s all for today.  I think often and with great gratitude of this this online stitching community.  There is so much inspiration and so much to learn as stitcher’s share.  Thank you all so much!

Blessings,

Julie

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Comments

  • Heather  On October 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Oh, goodness! Those “bits” are just beautiful!! Someday I will get to the Japanese Embroidery Center here in Atlanta….

  • coral-seas  On October 23, 2008 at 3:34 am

    Hi Julie, you are doing really well with your JE. I am impressed with your stitching. The flat silk on your plum blossom is beautiful, and you have great control of your one-point open space and of not bunching your silk up too much (I still struggle with both of those).

    I’m pleased that you are enjoying it so much, that is reflected in your stitching, well done.

    CA

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