I have had a TERRIFIC week off - my first week off since I started the project back in August 2009. It was long overdue and very much needed and I'm SO glad Josh convinced me to take a break.
It's not usual for me to make a big deal about my birthday or to do something as drastic as taking a whole week for myself, but today Robin from Nestlings by Robin put it the best way:
I realize it may not be proper to tell everyone how much I love my birthday but I don't care. Women diminish so many things in our lives because it isn't ladylike to sing our praises....it isn't humble to want the spotlight.Robin managed to capture exactly how I'm feeling in those words! I, too, love everything about quilting and I love that I've built a business with it, but I also needed a break to celebrate myself too.
Sorry....I do want the spotlight and I enjoy having one day a year where attention is paid to me and gifts given to me. While we are at it, I love winning ribbons and making money from my art. There I said it out loud and I firmly believe there are many others just like me. I may not be very good at taking compliments (they make me very uncomfortable) but when I know they are sincere, I glow on the inside.
By the way, did ya'll enjoy Josh's posts or what?! I though he did a terrific job, so I'm planning on starting a new theme day just for him. It will be Josh's Recipe Thursdays and hopefully we'll start the first one next week!
As for my week off, there is something about recharging our batteries (in my case creative batteries) that needs to happen occasionally. With the weather changing, I'm going into an almost hibernation mode - taking a nap around 3, waking up late in the morning and not wanting to get out of bed because it's slightly chilly in the house.
Already I can feel the lack of sunlight in the basement where we work and I quilt. The winter is a darker time and I really needed to take a few days off to prepare for that change.
While the chilly weather is a wonderful sign that winter is on its way, I've noticed how dramatically the lack of light through the winter months effects not only my mood, but also my creativity. Maybe this effects your quilting too?
So during this week off, I decided to start displaying projects, images, and fabrics that I find inspiring or that I wish to finish / create a project with. This landscape has been on my list for 2 years now, but because it's been hanging up with my fabric stash, it's been very easy to ignore!
One of them is Furoshiki, or fabric gift wrapping. It's super easy to create (who doesn't have a bit of extra fabric?!) and can be reused year after year. The cool thing is creating these furoshiki gave me the excuse to pull out my Shiva Paintstiks and play with a few new rubbing plates:
This has been one of those projects I've wanted to play with since July, but for one reason or another, I kept putting it off. It was so nice to finally ditch the excuses, pull out the paintstiks and just have some fun!
Speaking of having fun, I also spent a good bit of time doing handwork and watching movies and TV shows. One of my favorite shows is the BBC car series Top Gear. I know absolutely nothing about cars, nor have I ever driven a race car, but this show makes it fun and entertaining for everyone!
So while watching several episodes of Top Gear, I pulled out my Flower Origami book. I've enjoyed origami since the age of 6 when a sweet crafty lady taught me how to make origami boxes:
I've found, however, that it's a good idea to try out the patterns on paper first to get and idea of how they work because fabric can be a bit fiddly and tricky to manipulate. Here are a few of my paper creations that I will soon try in fabric and thread:
To be perfectly honest - this really bothers me.
When I first started my business I had many preconceived notions about the quilting industry and assumed that I would be able to run my online business, blog, travel, teach, and write books and occasional magazine articles all at the same time.
I assumed that I would not only be able to do all of these things, but that I would HAVE to in order to be successful in this industry!
Reality check! I have managed to do all of these things for the last six months my stretching myself so thin, I nearly broke.
It's simply not possible to do ALL of these things GREAT. I can do them all mediocre, but I can't put my heart and soul into everything all at the same time.
I recently wrote to a quilting friend:
"This industry seems like it could destroy a person's creativity just with the abundance of it all. I have to remind myself daily what is important (my family, my normal life) and how to say "no" to all the distractions and paths that will take me away from what is truly important."
One day I had to sit down and make a decision: what comes first?
Ultimately my family has to come first. I saw so little of James and Josh during this past summer while I was crazy busy writing From Daisy to Paisley that I might as well not have lived in the same house!
I personally don't think I'm asking too much to want to see and enjoy these years of my son growing up. I think that's the least selfish desire I could have, but it does create a choice: travel and teach or stay home with my son.
I'm absolutely NOT sorry to say - my son wins, hands down.
And ultimately this blog - this project - this connection with all of you wonderful quilters from all over the world - this is the thing I absolutely, bar none, love about quilting.
I love the connection the internet has given me to so many wonderful, inspiring quilters just like you! I can't stand that other obligations have taken my focus, time, and attention away from this project, and I mean to rectify that situation as soon as possible.
Ultimately I've made the decision that I'm not going to travel anymore. I'm also not planning to write for magazines for a long while, or create any new books or DVDs for at least another year. I simply want to devote myself to one thing - this blog and online business - and do it not just great, but AWESOME.
Of course, the quilting industry being what it is, I'm booked to travel in advance, so it will be a few months before I'm able to settle down completely.
I think ultimately everyone has their niche. Some quilters travel really well. Some quilters write awesome books or magazine articles.
And some quilters like me work best online.
I'm just so happy that I'm lucky enough to do this and share it all with you.
Let's go quilt!