I'm a list maker. I love to make them and am enamored with crossing things off them. I keep a running notebook full of dated "To Do" lists. It's a journal of sorts that documents progress (or lack thereof--some things NEVER get crossed off). To keep up my momentum in life and in business, I make a point of listing my three MITs (Most Important Tasks) first thing in the am. When I get those crossed off, I count that as progress and a day well spent. If I want to eat bon bons the rest of the day, I am allowed once those three MITs are off the list.
Looking back over my lists, I noticed recently that I rarely include creative ideation on my MIT list, and I think that's a mistake. I think it's important to spend time just playing with whatever medium you work in, without regard for the outcome or the end result. I think it's important to explore your materials and be open to letting them speak through you about their nature and what they want to become. I think it's important to play, in whatever form that takes for you, in order to stir the pot and break out of ruts. Even though any time I sit down at my wheel it feels like creative work, I try to remember that even that can slip into the realm of mechanical more easily that one might expect.
So this week, I tried something new. I designated Sunday as my Creative Noodle day. I still made my list, but my list was only for creative noodling. It looked like this:
Here's how it went down.
- Play with color.
- Spin art yarn.
- Card some batts.
- Play with poncho & wrap designs.
- Play with product photography: light/location/props/time of day/etc.
PLAY WITH COLOR? CHECK
I broke out my Caran D'Ache water soluble crayons and my Kuretake Water Brush and blended and mixed some colors I'd been thinking about on my walk in the woods the day before. The idea came from an orange dye job gone bad, then resurrected with a little swim in some dilute sapphire dye. Everything just calmed down a bit and bad fiber was made good again.
I hear Caran D'Ache. One day I'll have the 144 color tin. One day.
SPIN ART YARN? CHECK
I'd show you the "before" picture, but it would put your eyes out.
First there was an epic fail and a vine-full of sour grapes about how I really don't like Tail Spun yarn anyway. And what do you know? I don't have a picture and I'm not running downstairs to document that hot mess. (Another time, I promise). But I remembered author Anne Lamott's sage advice in Bird by Bird about being willing to write "shitty first drafts" before getting to the good stuff. I cast the "shitty" tailspun yarn aside and got busy playing. Look what I made!
FOR THE SPINNING GEEKS:
It's a bit of a fusion of boucle, the autowrap and tornadoes. It's a 2-ply core (mohair/shetland from resurrected dye job mentioned earlier). I was autowrapping with commercial mohair and metallic copper thread as I plied, but that was not going well, so I manipulated the autowrap as if I were making a boucle (that's what all the little nests of purple mohair are). Finally, I plied it again with the copper thread to fix the boucle nests and there it is. A sweet little skein of whatchamacallit that makes me smile.
CARD SOME BATTS? NOPE. MOVING ON.
PLAY WITH PONCHO & WRAP DESIGNS? CHECK. KNIT? CHECK.
Two for one, here. Two years ago, after huddling under my friend Pattie's poncho at 3 in the morning after a raucous night of Moogfest (it was cold, it was late, there were no taxis answering their phones, we called my beloved husband in the middle of the night and he showed up, as he does, because Ralph is Top Ten), I decided I needed a poncho. Finally, this might be it. It will be more decorative than utilitarian, designed for the warmer winters and to show off textured yarn. When it works out, I'll share the pattern. I'm knitting it on size 50 needles! It's like knitting with hot dogs! As for Moogfest...the next night, and the next year, we rented a room at the Radisson and Ralph slept soundly through the night. The End. No more Moogfest in Asheville.
PLAY WITH PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY? check.
Here's my latest set up. If the sun is out, and the time is between 9-11 am, and venus is in mars, and the daffodils are blooming, and the moon is full, and it's the year of the dragon, and the Magic Eight Ball says "yes," THEN my photos will be right on.
So, there it is...a day of play and exploration and, not surprisingly, rejuvenation and recommitment. Sunday is my new favorite day.
How would you spend your favorite day?