Did this today as part of a fundraiser to send aid to Ukraine. There is so little we can do as individuals, but together we raised a considerable sum to help those under siege. The phenomenal Jo Quincy from Wales in the UK organized this (Zenjo). Thanks, Jo.
I had a problem.
With sewing machines.
Other than my ancient old Singer treadle, which I somehow managed to "misplace" during one of my Year of Seven Relocations (don't ask: an unhappy time many decades ago) I have always found sewing machines super-challenging.
Oh how I loved that treadle; it was just my speed, even when I was young. It was reliable. It never snarled up or gave trouble. Photo of a similar machine at the end of this post.
After the Year of Seven Relocations, I bought a small, inexpensive Sears Kenmore that had some basic bells and whistles and looked portable. I used it a few times, had the usual issues (snarled up threads causing endless cursing), buried it at the back of a closet and forgot it.
Fast-forward forty-five+ years to 2017. Having relocated yet again, I finally brought the Kenmore in for a complete tune-up--cleaning, oiling, and a bit of general loving. It was sorely needed. (Ya think?) I had not used it once in over 40 years.
Since 2017 I've only pulled it out a couple of times but now it positively hums and performs flawlessly. It's a joy to use. I used it this afternoon to zig-zag around the edge of my latest rug, and enjoyed the entire experience. It sews like a dream. It's a trooper, after 5 decades.
What a far cry from 50 years ago. I'm sure its tune-up helped, but I know that I'm actually the one who's had the major tune-up since then. I realize now the trouble was never with the machine, which in fact is extremely well-made. The "fault"--though I wouldn't use that term now--lay with my own inner unhappiness at the time. The impatience. The self-doubt. The insecurity. The determination to blame something or someone else, never taking responsibility myself.
A little meditation (OK, a lot of meditation) and an education in the School of Life have tuned me up quite a bit! It turns out I have always been the owner of a very well-made sewing machine, and only needed to grow up enough to use it.
Yesterday and today I have been experimenting with using a 9-pointed star as a string for tangling. Below is my first attempt, done with Tomomi Galliano, CZT of the Pebbles and Drops website.. And underneath that is today's try. I like this 9-pointed mandala a lot. Nevertheless, first tries are just that: first tries. I can only get better with practice, eh?
Once again I've been immersed in a large textile project so it was fun to break away today and work on this small drawing.
It's based on a free video by Romi Marks, CZT which you can view for yourself if you would like to try it. Romi (a prolific artist) recently spent time in Hawaii and was inspired by the beauty there to create this. And she was kind enough to share her inspiration with others for free.
Short, easy, and relaxing. Give it a try!
If you're a runner, you'll certainly recognize what this refers to.
(The dime is just there to indicate the size of the piece)
I punched this with Valdani thread as a prototype for a friend who wants to learn to punch. This teeny piece is relevant to a project she is creating. Before I teach her, though, I needed to figure out the right tools to loan her. She will be punching many small pieces for her project and I wanted to make it as easy on her hands as possible. After a few hours of testing various threads and needles, I think I've got it worked out. A little textile mystery that was a very fun experiment.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society