I have so much to think about this week that my brain is racing faster than I can really think - and it's not just the tea and coffee I've been drinking all day. Rather, it is all the interesting and inspiring blogs I've been reading. Add to that the new things I've been reading up on for work, and well, you have one busy brain.
To start with, I've noticed that since I started my out-of-the-house part time job I've had alot more mental energy. I've had to read up on lots of new technology and start using it as well (Sharon B's Mindscape blog has been helpful for this). And I've had lots more face-to-face interactions as well, which has been nice. Despite lots of professional reading, I'm actually feeling more creative.
So then Sunday I see the most amazing piece of stumpwork imaginable. It is a large alphabet sampler by Donna at By the Bay Needleart. First she teases us with a few shots for Mother's Day. But after I wrote wanting to see more, she posted a photo of the whole piece. Donna has been working on it for a year and as well as the inspiration of seeing the beauty of her piece, I am inspired by the time she has taken. I mentioned it to a couple of members of my EGA group last night and they said they had pieces that have taken longer - in rotation with others. I have often slipped small pieces in with a larger piece, but my one big piece was not rotated with much of anything. I've been thinking of doing another big project but I felt I didn't have the time, but I realize now that maybe I just need to be willing to rotate and not set a deadline or deny myself different things while getting one thing done.
Elisabeth at Sew in Love had this problem a while back with her dog needlepainting and I voted for the finish is and get it over with plan, although she decided on the rotate it with other things plan. And now I'm thinking that maybe I was wrong.
Which leads me to one of the gapingvoid tips: Don't worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually. If I worry too much about when to do something, I won't be ready for inspiration.
Sharon B, crediting Serena of Layers of meaning , pointed us to this wonderful list of tips from 2004 (before I was blogging). I like Sharon's choices, but I also enjoyed reading Sarah E's list because I too have times when I want to ignore everybody.
I think, given my own experience, my favourite one is: You are responsible for your own experience. There have been times in my life where I just did what had to be done because it seemed so overwhelming to take care of everyday life. I started to make time for needlework and then my husband gave me a classical guitar which brough music back into my life and it was funny how I was able to do those things and still take care of everything else. I can't say the cleaning suffered because I was never really cleaning all that much, so I'm not sure where the time came from. And of course now I feel better as well.
Just to give you an idea of where the inspiration and creativity can all lead, here is my crazy idea for this year (last year it was having every child at the elementary school plant a plant for Earth Day - it worked, but was exhausting). This is a map commemorating Jamestown's 400th anniversary. It was inspired by Catherine Jordan's Jamestown map and the EGA National Tapestry I saw at the National Seminar in October . The version done by my daughter's art club has a painted map with embroidered motifs designed by the kids (done on muslin and then stitched onto the map) and satin stitch lettering. Very little work has been done by the adults (the art teacher, my EGA chapter president Wendy who has been helping, and me).