Yesterday Ken and I went for a walk down our little country road. We know most of our neighbors on our mile except for the people who bought the property across the road from us. As we started out, we saw an Amish buggy approaching and we all waved, smiling casually. We continued on wondering if they were the new neighbors or others. On the return we saw an Amish couple on bicyles. They stopped to chat and we found out that indeed they are the owners of the property. They built the house as a get-away and or retirement home. I get-away we thought?!!!! (I wish we had a get-away place) Anyway , they said they only live 15 miles away and it only takes an hour and a half to get here! :-) Ha! I talked to the lady whose name was Ida. I couldn't help thinking she was such a gem. I told her I was a quilter and was she? Well she said she tied her quilts but her mother had quilted. (Later Ken told me he found out this couple had raised 8 children. No wonder she didn't have time to quilt!) She offered to come over and quilt with me sometime! Now what to put in that frame...
I just finished reading a post by my good friend at school whose son wanted to make a "different kind of valentine box". He chose to make a serpent box and my friend posted pictures of her dad and son working on it. I was a spectacular effort. As I read the comments, however, my friend said that her son's teacher was less than complementary about the box and he was crushed.
I am a teacher as well and I try really hard not to say anything to discourage young people's artistic afforts. Sometimes it's hard. I have heard kids sing solos that I'm sure Simon Cowell would have made merciless comments.
I know that perception and intention can often conflict. I recently had a student that was having a hard time getting going on his instrument and I got a note from his mom saying that he thought I had given up on him. I felt so bad. I had NOT given up but simply wondered if he had given up on himself. I had had several kids quit band recently and thought he would be next. My ego was wounded. His perception of himself was skewed.
After getting the parent note, I gave him a big pep talk and he returned the next week able to play his instrument better than he had ever done. The kids and I cheered for him and he was so proud. I pronounced him a player and now he is. His mom is very pleased.
Was I at fault? Centainly not intentionally. All I can do is go on and learn my lesson. All kids need support all the time for their efforts. So do adults.
Today I read a post by Luann Udell that made me stop to think. She was lamenting the fact that she had met her goals and didn't know where to go from there! She has done some pretty remarkable things art wise and I guess she's probably scared because of the economy. Can't blame her. I wish her well. She writes an amazing blog posts too.
The really interesting part of her post regarded our ideas about success and failure. The best part about art is that when something goes wrong sometimes the thing that went wrong can become the most successful part. Several weeks ago I was polishing a polymer piece that would become a pin, when it shot out from beneath the buffer wheel and the tip broke off. Of course this had been my favorite piece of the series. However, instead of throwing it out I patched it with some scrap clay that contained silver leaf. I was really pleased with the results! I plan on repeating that happy accident on other pieces! Sometimes art just happens!
Friday I was just plain sick. I took the day off even though I hate missing. It was one of those days when the kids would have said Mrs. M. are you sick? As I laid on the couch I slept to the drone of movies and watched several of my art and or quilt movies that I've seen dozens of times before. I went to bed with Nyquill and other assorted prescription drugs.
I woke up today and still felt pretty bad . (Sinus infections are usually worse in the AM.) This afternoon I got out a DVD tutorial on Square in a square. I'm all reved up to try to make lots of traditional quilts. (Maybe they won't all be bed quilts but at least I could use them for samples and for lapquilts.)After being inspired, I'm feeling so much better this afternoon that I even walked the dog. (He's snoring as I write this) Maybe I'm on a quilt cycle now. But yet the clay becons.........
PS My husband sat down with me last night and discovered my art pictures are too big to post, so I will have to fix that before anything gets put on here.
How do you know when it's time for a change? I recently had a meeting with some rather brilliant women teachers preparing a unit on "change". They discussed stories the children will be reading along with the thematic.
I started thinking about how I am always on the lookout for ways to tweak my life, work, and hobbies in order to stay true to what is important. I've gone through some major changes in the last 10 years and I would do it all again because I feel I'm getting closer and closer to more possibilities.
I continue to work more and more with the polymer clay. I have several series going because I keep changing how I work. I've been thinking about getting my clay pieces "out there" and have been wondering where to sell and what series to promote. My art mentor and good friend advises that I go with "what I want to be known for". That phrase stopped me in my tracks because that sounds pretty big. Something inside me says go with the folk art. My mentor also advises to go with the pieces that tell a story.
Of course I may still change my mind!
This picture is a painted quilt. It sold when I was taking a workshop about photographing work. That was a nice ego boost.