Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

Slow down to Speed up

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I spent the weekend immersed in words. I love words! I love writing them, reading them, thinking about them, understanding them...if you love words you understand. My purpose for this word absorbing session this weekend was to slow down and making time to think about my students and customers. How can I help them, what do they need, what do they want, and how can I best share my knowledge with them.

I don't usually make the time to spend two whole days on planning. But, I realized that with my word of the year ACTION I could benefit from some planned action instead of just reaction. Reaction usually just has me putting out fires and making more chaos in my life. Do you ever take the time to step out of your normal routine and focus on your goals? I felt totally energized and ready to take on the world after my introspective weekend. How does it make you feel?

One idea that came out of my brainstorming session was simply to ask you! What do you need? What are you looking for? What sort of classes do you want?  Leave me a comment or e-mail me.

A lot of other ideas came out of my quiet day of thinking and writing. I have lots of ideas for new classes including video classes and some new books. Now, I have to gear up into production mode so I can deliver all these fun ideas into the world.

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Speaking of classes, I am back teaching on-line at Fiber Arts Mixed Media with my Layer it Up! collage class. Lots of fun techniques and some solid guidlines to teach you how to create great collage stories. Plus you get to learn at home! You can learn more about it or sign up here.

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Remembering to See

Remembering to See

Quite a while ago I wrote a post about Seeing. See was my word of the year in 2010 and it was a good guiding word for me. I did pay more attention to what and who was around me. I became more mindful and my art work benefited from that.

dead trees in Breckenridge

In January I was in Breckenridge for a long weekend and I realized on the way home that I hadn't really taken time to 'see' what was around me. I didn't even notice the millions of dead trees in my vision. You see, I had become accustomed to them. They had become the new normal in my visual field so I no longer saw them. I no longer mourned their loss or savored their sad beauty.

Today, a month later, I looked out my front window and discovered a huge pile of bird feathers from some unheard battle. Tiny down feathers were attached to all the bare branches. How long had they been there? When did this altercation take place? It could have been yesterday...it could have been a week ago. I had no idea.

bird feathers caught in bush

No blood was found and I imagine a bird was trying to snack on one of my plentyful pocket gophers and met a coyote intent upon the same purpose. Hope one of them got a few of the gophers. Don't think poorly of me...those gophers have killed my garden and my passion for it. Grrrrrr..

At any rate...these two incidences combined to give me pause to consider if I have been taking time to 'see' lately? When I haven't been on the road these last 6 months I have been living in my head. Reading marketing, business and how to make video tutorials. Way too much time in my left brain. I have not made anytime for art. I have not taken the time to slow down, breathe and be mindful of my surroundings.

feathers from yard battle edited-1

I need to bring 'seeing' back into my life as a daily ritual again. So, I have added it to my calendar and task list. I have also added time for the studio. I will be down there all weekend exploring techniques, asking 'what if' and most importantly of all playing. Perhaps these feathers I have collected will find their way into my art.

What reminds you to slow down, be present and see?

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Creative Silk Challenge ~ Chase Away the Winter Blahs

Creative Silk Challenge ~ Chase Away the Winter Blahs

Liz Here ~

Are you ready to get back into the studio to play but find that you just don't have any ideas or motivation? That is what happens to us after the busy fall show season followed by the holidays. Ruth and I get the January creative blahs. We were thinking about this problem when we visited Treenway Silks recently where we became totally enamoured with their Creative Silk Packs. Such delicious colors and textures! Thus, our Winter Creative Challenge was born.

treenway berries     treenway green    treenway coastal

 

treenway midnight    treenway peach    treenway fields

Do you want to play with us? You can get your own yummy package of goodies from Blue Twig Studio or Treenway Silk.

The rules: In the spirit of keeping this totally fun and playful we don't have any rules! We do have a due date so we don't procrastinate forever...you know how that happens! Due by March 15. Get your Creastive Silk Pack and make something. Make a couple somethings. Share your photos with us and we will feature you and your work on our blog and Facebook. e-mail either of us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ruth picked the Wild Berries pack and of course I choose Eat your GreensI started playing with mine yesterday. When I opened my package it looked like this:

treenway silk pack green

So much possibility!

A few hours later it looked like this:

treenway silk pack phase 2

I added in some Treenway hand dyed silk ribbon. Then I started stitching but don't have a photo of that yet. I have to say I barely made a dent in the contents of the Creative Silk Pack so I know I will get at least 2 projects out of it. I wish the photos really showed how awesome the colors are.

We will both post photos of our progress.

So, come on...Jump in and play with us. Let's chase away the winter blahs together.

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Creativity ~ The New Super Power!

feet in the ocean water

2012 was a wild and crazy year for me. It all started with my word of the year for 2012. Empower. I spend a lot of time empowering my students in classes and empowering the stores and companies I work with spreading product love, inspiration and understanding. But, I wasn't spending much time empowering myself.

The crazy thing about picking a guiding word for the year is that you are never quite sure where it will take you and how it will manifest. I always write my word on a few post it notes and put them on my computer, in my studio and wherever else I need one. Last year I should have put one in my Kindle because I was on the road so much! This word, empower, took me down paths of discovery that I had barely known exhisted. This word made me stretch and grow and feel a little pain too.

You see, along the empowerment journey I found myself smacked in the face with the fact that I have been playing very small in my task here on earth. I have allowed myself to simply put my feet in the ocean rather than diving into the waves. I let myself be convinced that what I do isn't all that important. Sure I got great feedback from my students and I LOVE teaching and talking about creativity. I get such a rush from inspiring someone but is it important to anyone but me? Does anyone care about making art that speaks from their heart and touches their soul? Art that allows them to tell their story? Does anyone really care about being creative?  I guess you could say I was losing my passion. I was in a rut.

But then came the challenge. I wasn't diving into the deep end. I wasn't being authentic. I wasn't letting you know just how passionate I am about teaching creativity. I was holding back because it is scary to let strangers and even friends know how much I care about creativity. They would think I was nuts.

Could I really say out loud that I believe that creativity is what will save our country? Save our planet? Save our humanity?

If I was brave...I could.

So I did.

To a room of non-creative people.

I was scared I would sound stupid but nobody laughed.

They wanted to know more. They wanted to learn how they could be more creative.

I know how to do that! That is what makes my heart sing.

Are you ready for my word for 2013? ACTION. I have new classes in the works and some exciting projects that will take a bit more time but will allow me to spread creativity far and wide.

I am excited.

I have found my passion again.

Come along with me and we will change the world and have so much fun creating while we do it!

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