Monday, August 22, 2011

On My Own

As I recently mentioned -- copying someone else's design (Paul Klee for example) did not seem to work for me. I've been thinking about this over the past few days.

Although getting inspiration from others is a true gift -- copying a picture or even working directly from a pattern seems to take something away from my own creativity.  I am definitely a 'process' person - the process is what I love.  But along the way I've realized that creating the design 'on my own' is also an important factor for me.  There are a lot of punchneedle patterns from which I could choose.  It would be easy to start punching a pre-made design that has already been printed on the fabric.  It would be easy to go out and buy the threads that the pattern designer has specified - or even easier to buy a pattern that comes complete with the threads.  But for me, that would take most of the 'fun' out of it.

I don't consider myself an 'artiste' -- but I do like to dabble in the art of making original designs.  How much fun would it be if everything was there in front of me and all that I had to do was punch?  I love drawing the designs (sometimes over and over again) and picking out colors that seem to represent the design in ways that reflect my own thoughts.  I love having to run over to Sandy's X-stitch to pick up the colors that I run out of - or to find new colors to experiment with. 

In my past lives I have often used patterns -- I could no more sew a shirt or cross-stitch a picture without a pattern.  I have depended on the creativity of others all through my life.  I love it that I am at a stage now whereby I pick up a piece of paper and start to draw; I see a thread that I know I must incorporate into a design; I get halfway through something and completely change the whole pattern.  This is freedom and I'm loving it.

"There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself.  It is the only true guide you will ever have.  And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that someone else pulls". - Howard Thurman


  1. You're on a new path Penny!

    ...just go with it, and love every step :-)))

    x Chris

  2. Penny, you don't know how many times I said yes, yes, yes, while reading this post. Just last week I was having a conversation with *our* favorite bead mentor about this very same topic...the "paint by numbers" approach to creating. We sort of came to the conclusion that those of us who get supercharged by working "improvisationally" are the very same ones who couldn't finish all those paint by numbers projects as kids - we just got bored and moved on to something else. I bet that happened to you ;>}

    Like Chris just said, you're on a new path...love every step. Good words! and you already know how much I am taken with your own special designs...


  3. Using someone else's patterns is a great way in to all sorts of crafts for people who are new to them, or nervous. Only some people develop the interests or the skills to move on to creating their own pieces. Congratulations - not only on the achievement, but on the realisation of the new stage that you have reached.

  4. OK, so I've slept on this (perhaps twice ;) and am now ready to comment about working on one's own and not following a pattern or instructions. We need those to complete some tasks, but that's all they are -- tasks with directions that anyone could do. I think that fulfilling an urge to create something requires absolute freedom. As long as we are loving people, contributing to society, not breaking any laws, and not hurting anyone, I think plunging into being as free as our spirits will allow is majorly important. It shows in your art, Penny, and perhaps that's one of the reasons it always touches me so much.



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