Art & Patience

Patience. This is something that is definitely not in my genes. When I was little, whenever my dad went away for business he would bring a little something back for my brother and I. One time he brought us back these little rocks with a word written on each - mine said "Patience." At the time, I think I took it as a bit of an insult, but these days I'm very aware of how I constantly need to remind myself to be patient.

Like my mom, I like to be busy - it's hard for me to just sit and do nothing (in fact, I'm incapable of this - just ask Ian). I have to be busy with my hands, crafting, making a list, somehow feeling like I'm moving things along. At work, I barrel through my to-do list so much that I wrote "PATIENCE" above my computer so I'm reminded to SLOW DOWN!
Nowadays, I'm needing to be especially patient at work because my head is brimming with creative ideas - I have to try this, I have to try that, I need to make this, what if it was with this fabric, could I try that, can I do that with my machine...but I have to wait until I'm home to follow through on anything. I end up coming home with 5 lists of ideas in my planner because that's all I can do to move my art forward during the daytime.

And then when it comes to creating the actual projects, I also struggle with patience. I can easily work through the entirety of Sunday on a single project, forgetting to get dressed or even to eat. But once I finish making one of something, I'm ready to move on to the next project. I rarely make the same thing twice because I feel impatient to try new things, build my skills, keep moving forward. This is a problem when it comes to creating some inventory to sell. If I start to make a "batch" of something, I start to feel like a robot, not an artist. I remember pumping out 60+ milk carton coin purses for the Providence Art Festival...it got old pretty fast. I guess that says that art-marking is more about process than product for me. But product = profit, right? I'm trying to split my time now between inventory and new projects (I made a priority list, of course), but time is so, so limited!

Knowing that this is something that I need to work on, I'm giving myself a little "patience challenge." I was inspired by Sew, Mama, Sew!'s Scrap Buster Month projects - especially Sew Take a Hike's "A Little Help From My Friends" Quilt. I've never truly made a quilt before. I think the patience thing has been a bit of a road block for me. So, as you can see in the photo above, I've started work on my own scrap quilt. Little by little, I'll get there. This one will probably take a few months. It's almost painful for me to write that. But I'm going to be patient! True to the spirit of the tutorial, I got a little help from friends to get this quilt started - Tiffani at work helped me to cut the paper squares for it, and one of my students at New Urban Arts especially encouraged me to take on a project that requires lots of patience. We'll see how I do. Any tips?

Going along with the patience theme - just like corporate America wants me to feel, I'm impatient for Christmas! I made this Christmas apron from a scrap bag of fabric that I got at good will. I'll be posting up a tutorial on Wednesday, so come back and check it out!

Carole Ann

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