Monday, January 11, 2016

Over the past month I've been challenged to stretch myself.  After using the pattern from Skunk Hollow for my little rabbit, I decided I needed to make smaller critters and make items that actually have 'form' instead of the simplicity that I have been making for so long.

I had discovered Ann Wood and her delightful small animal patterns.  I set forth using her squirrel pattern, but reforming it as a mouse.  The pattern involved two gussets and much maneuvering of fabric and thread.  Drawing the pattern, pinning, basting and then stitching these very small pieces together became a challenge.  I began with a series of nine, which quickly shrunk to six, then three.  As I started to assemble the last remaining members of this 'family' I realized that I was NOT pleased with them -- too many small errors which loomed large in my eyes.  

I have learned much about myself from this misadventure!  I give myself kudos for trying to make these little 3" mice.  It was a good experience.  However with my aging eyes and not-so-nimble fingers I've learned a valuable lesson.  At this point in my life, being true to myself is far more important than challenging myself. An interesting thing to learn.

 "Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties." - Erich Fromm


  1. It's quite a balance to achieve - creatives always want to experiment...!

  2. I have the same eyes and fingers, so I understand, Penny. I went through this with making teddy bears using different patterns. The ones I didn't like went into the trash, then I stopped trying patterns I was not accustomed to using. We can't be good at everything, so I don't know if I agree with Fromm. I'd rather that he said creativity requires the courage to leave what we are not good at to someone else. :)

  3. Oh I just love your words of wisdom. I have been battling this very thing for so long. Not so much challenging myself-but certainly being true to who I am and having that come out in my art. So hard for me to do because I love looking at other peoples' art. Just wanted to say-See ya in March-I'm off blogging for a bit-but will catch up later on.

  4. I hve never been able to make "smalls". I'm not too good with precision stitching either. I've never subscribed to the "Work out of your comfort zone " mentality. You know...I hate yellow so why in the world would I want to make ANYTHING yellow except the Sun which I love? Sometimes you just want to make something different, but I have always thought your work is diverse, yet with your own style. I'll have to think about that Fromm quote. I think I interpret it differently than Barbara.

    xx, Carol

  5. I love Ann Wood's creatures, but I don't think I would make them.
    I too love everyone's work and want to make them, but it doesn't seem to work out for me either. I have to do my own thing. Glad to find out I'm not alone.

  6. Susan - I probably knew down deep that something that small and intricate was not my forte but of course 'challenge' is my middle name and so I tried...

  7. :) I love experimenting! Not that I enjoy accepting the fact that not everything I want to do is a match, but as underatopazsky mentioned: No learning is wasted. I'm going to keep that in mind for my own mismatched endeavors.

  8. I had an idea for your small mousie body parts! I can see them assembled and hanging from a balanced mobile!

  9. Bering true to ourselves ... so very, very important ... but difficult to achieve sometimes when other demands, wish to experiment, new ideas, ambitions come into play. Small things and patterns are not my thing so I admire your efforts.


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