I’m late for everything
And starting the new year is no exception.
Last January, my friends were talking about their word for the year. What they wanted to focus on. You know, words that motivate, like create, inspire, renew.
I couldn’t decide on my word. So I forgot about it.
But now I have it!
I want to reconnect with myself before it’s too late. I don’t want to find out someday, when I’m old, that I never returned to doing what I truly love.
My problem is that I keep finding things that are just too interesting to pass up. I want to find out how each new thing works, how it’s made, all the history about it. I get pretty good at it, then I see something new to learn.
I’ve been doing this for years.
But all along the way, if you asked me what I did, I’d always say that I’m a weaver.
When I was a senior in high school my sister gave me a loom for Christmas. I guess that’s what got me started. I hadn’t thought much about weaving before, but after I got that little loom, I searched for a granola-eater type of college that had some weaving classes. I went to Northern Arizona University mostly because it was full of granola eater-types.
Often, people judge you on where you went to school to learn your art.
NAU didn’t sound elite. But fancy doesn’t always mean the best education. It’s the teachers. And I lucked out, I had the best. Mary Pendleton didn’t have an MFA, she had a shop in Sedona and drove up to teach at NAU.
She taught me to weave, really weave. Not just la-la weaving, but drafting and setup and striving for perfection. It was not an easy A in her class. I still have my graded paper with an A, where she wrote that I could make weaving my profession. That meant so much to me.
Finally, I was really good at something, something that made me… be me!
I always loved to sew, my mother taught me the fun way, no rules, just do it. I remember once I sewed a white blouse with black thread. I thought since the black thread was inside the seam, who would ever see it? Thank goodness I did all that when I little. I messed up a lot, but I was having fun… well, most of the time. I think when we’re grown up, we let perfection get in the way of learning.
To me, beads go right along with weaving.
Now that I think of it, I had one of those Indian bead looms when I was about ten, the kind that you made headbands with. I’m sure I still have it somewhere in my great abyss of craft stuff. I made headbands and bracelets, those were the hippie days, so that sort of thing was popular. The drape and feel of the woven bands felt so nice in my hands. Just like fabric.
More beadsLater when I was weaving and sewing clothes, it was inevitable that I’d add beads for embellishment. I experimented around with embroidering beads into my work, and then with ways to remove the beads to make the garments washable. These beads snapped on and off so I could wash the tunic.
Right around that time came polymer clay.
It was a new thing, and artists were doing some amazing things with it. I’d taken a lot of ceramics in college, and I missed working with clay. I had to try this stuff!
What if when I was old I would find myself wishing I had tried polymer clay?
I would be so sad.
So my studio made some space for making polymer beads.
Working with colored clay used techniques borrowed from glass bead making. Now that looked intriguing. Hmm… expensive too.
But I had to learn it.
What if when I was old I would find myself wishing I had tried glass bead making?
I would be so sad.
So my studio made some more room for all that set-up. it was mesmerizing working the soft molten glass in the flame.
I loved glasswork, and I won’t be sad when I’m old.
Still, when I’d go to bead conferences, if someone asked me what I was, I’d say a weaver.
Weavers love crafts from long ago, so of course I was drawn to handmade soap.I always imagined making soap meant stirring some sort of fatty, ashy mixture inside a big black cauldron over an open fire. Of course in the woods somewhere.
I had to make soap.
What if when I wasold I would find myself wishing I had tried it out?
I would be so sad.
Well, by golly I could do it in my kitchen.
So I did.
And I bought a bunch of books and decided I’d start a new business, handmade soaps and lotions.
Making these potions was like cooking, but you never got fat.
My favorite part of making the lotions was creating the labels. They were fun to design, and I liked writing the descriptions.
Writing… I had always liked that too…
Through all these years, my day job was teaching. I loved kindergarten, with all those beautiful books, I had always dreamed of one day writing my own.
So, I thought, “Lucy, it’s now or never.”
“You don’t want to be old someday and find yourself wishing you had tried writing for kids.”
“You would be so sad.”
So I took a writing course. Then another. It was a bit of work.
I realized I couldn’t do everything, it would definitely make me old too fast. If I was going to write, no more crafts shows. That was an easy decision because I hated putting up that craft tent anyway.
Now it was all writing.
One of the things I learned was that if you wanted to get published you needed a blog.
A BLOG? What’s that?
So I learned to make a website.
And I learned to write ebooks.
That took a few years.
Now I was all set to sell my children’s books.
I retired from teaching so I could devote all of my time to this blog/writing books dream.
But after being home, pursuing my dream so I wouldn’t be sad someday... I realized I missed weaving.
Would I find myself old, wishing I had spent more time on exactly what I loved best?
So I decided to change my blog.
So here’s The Creativity Patch! I want it to be a place for you to learn weaving and other fiber arts.
Stay with me. We’re going to have fun!
I don’t want you to be old someday, wishing you had tried new things.
You would be so sad.
I made The Creativity Patch to reconnect, but it’s also for you.
If you’re still reading this, you probably like the same kind of art I do.
So... the next thing you need to do is learn to weave.
You don’t want to be old someday and think,
"That was a great blog post I read ages ago, why didn’t I learn to weave?"
You would be so sad.
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And we will still be having fun someday when we’re old…