Well not really good enough to eat, unless you enjoy a mouthful of wool?
This morning I went looking for some sock/fingering weight yarn for my next punch needle embroidery project and what should I happen upon but this hugely expensive, luscious-looking hand-dyed skein. I'll be building my next textile piece around the colors in this yarn. Plus a few other colors. Stay tuned. I hope to be back to full speed soon, with more rug hooking, rug punching, yarn dyeing, drawing, and who knows, perhaps even some beadwork.
I don't own undyed yarn in this weight, so I can't dye any myself. This gives me a great excuse to stand in the yarn store and drool over what other people create, and then buy some. Hey, anything to buy more yarn, right? I will file this under the inspirational category, Other People's Work. Gorgeous!
While I'd love to be moving full speed ahead into my former art activities, I can't. I can only do what I can do (isn't this always true?), so today I surprised myself by getting back into the old punch needle embroidery piece I was forced to abandon a bit over three months ago. And: YAY, I am well enough to do this. Finally. So I've been working on the border.
What you see above is unfinished. It'll need a lot of poking and trimming and filling in spaces before it's done, as well as a final hemming and steaming. It will never be perfect, as nothing hand-made can be perfect. But it will have "the perfection of imperfection," the irregularities all handwork has. There are so many parallels to our human lives--I don't even have to say them here; you already know what I'm saying.
The steady rhythmic punching is the ultimate in meditative motion. I find the work incredibly soothing and have missed it during my enforced rest.
It feels absolutely wonderful to be working on this again even though I'm nowhere near done. Perhaps within the next two weeks I can begin more frequent drawing and even rug hooking. A routine, non-serious medical issue forced me to give up all art projects. What a relief to be able to pick them up again.
Forced rest. What a concept!
This falls into the "you never know what you are going to get" category.
When your ScratchArt tiles are all ten years old or older, you can be pretty sure that over time the black coating will have adhered itself like super glue to the surface of the paper and scratching will be about 40 times harder than it should be.
Such was the case here.
Using an extremely dull piece of wood was also a factor.
As was lack of practice.
Result: a vibrant candidate for the Museum of Bad Art. (Which is one of my all-time favorite places to go when I need a mood booster. Do check out that link--it's a real place.)
And I am still laughing.
It's similar to meditation: the process can dig up some very stuck stuff and the results aren't pretty at times (even when run thru an iPhone filter, which, alas, no meditation app can do).
A sense of humor really helps.
Yup, I'm gonna keep on practicing. Stick with me, ok?
PS, if you'd like to try your own hand at ScratchArt, click that link to get the cheap stuff at amazon. Note that my set is so old it doesn't even look like this anymore but it's by the same people. If you prefer to work with better quality materials, just google "scratch art paper" and you'll find some high-quality options that will make a huge difference in the quality of your finished product. Tools really do make all the difference. Search the web and you'll see some stunning art made this way, using better tools (and more consistent practice).
Ok, that title is WAY more dramatic than what is actually happening. In fact, I'm doing well in real life but am just barely beginning to think about doing anything other than reading. My little "medical adventure" took 2.5 MONTHS away from normal life, and the single thing I could do was read. 50+ books in 8 weeks. But as I heal, I hope to be back on track.
I have been extremely eager to tangle or do some textile work over the past month, but have been unable to get comfortable enough. Only in the last few days did I think I might be able to draw soon, and today I sat down and gave it a try.
This is what happens when you are unable to practice for a long time:
Wonky wonky wonky!
After nearly 3 months, it's just wonderful to be tangling ANYTHING, even if I've lost a lot of aptitude. As I said in the header to this post, you gotta start somewhere.
Very similar to meditation--after a time with little to no practice, you gotta start somewhere. The big lesson of meditation is "Begin Again. And keep going." It's the same with Zentangle®. Just start again, and keep going.
Practice will never make perfect, so give up that idea. But practice will prove itself to be worthwhile over and over. Practice makes for noticeable improvement.
I'm on it!
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