First draft

The first few “marks” on yesterday’s boring canvas. A good time to step back and look afresh. Many changes ahead. 

Also the first work inspired by my recent travels. I feel great pleasure in moving from the sketchbook to the fabric board at last. 


Life as a working artist. Part 6, Delivery

Today I delivered my first artquilt commission to very happy clients. I’m rather happy myself.

The work looked great, met/exceeded expectations and was ready slightly ahead of schedule. 
This project was a gift in so many ways: Recycling my professional skills in project management, client relationships and service delivery management.  
Working with people I respect, admire and enjoy spending time with.
Making something unique and beautiful, inspired by a joyous event.

Can’t share the whole thing, but here are the last stitches going into the binding.

So, today is definitely a day living the dream and feeling truly grateful.

I am my mother-in-law.

I realised today that my quiet, no-fuss, engineer husband is even smarter than I thought he was.

Not only was he smart enough to recognise and secure unto himself the marvel that is me, he has also Married His Mother.
This realisation has been dawning on me for a while. Spent the last 24 hours with my lovely mother-in-law. If course she’s lovely, she’s Just Like Me!
*we like the same breakfast
*we find the same things funny (almost everything but especially the male members of the family)
*we are both crafty needlewomen
…the list could go on for some time.
We had a super-fun day together, sewing, knitting and playing with her extremely flash embroidery machine. Now I know I don’t need one myself, I’ve got a pal who loves to share.
The blokes didn’t get many words in edgeways, but the clever chaps like it like that.
Being able to be friends with the in-laws is a great blessing.

The legion of teachers

I’ve learned a lot from books but more from humans.

Almost every skill, piece of knowledge or strong memory has a person attached.
Maybe this is a result of my gratitude practice Each time I exercise a skill, use some knowledge or review a memory, the person arises from my memory and I thank them silently.
Chris, who clarified depreciation accounting; Annette, who gave me the key to perfect mitred bias binding; Julie, who taught me how to find my “head voice”. There must be hundreds of others. 
I think of you all as the benefactors of my life. I honour you by using your gifts as well as I can – and by sharing what I have received.

What I did on February 1

There are three perfectly good posts I’ve written tonight, and they can all wait because I’d rather give you the truth in my heart right now

My overflowing joyous pain-clotted leaky heart
It’s been one of those days with a lot in it. 
Beginning in easy harmony with a dear longtime friend — doubting my own judgement — walking hard up the high hill, alone and pleased to work hard — smelling the scent of roses in the stone-terraced gardens — friendly chat with strangers — being cross with myself — finding a good cup of coffee — getting irritated with beloved people — finding a tactful way to be alone — watching Aotearoa slip by beneath the plane — nurturing the seed of a plan to see more — maintaining discretion — saying goodbye to three dear people, not knowing when I will see them again — dreading that yet more choice and change will be upon me soon —  realising i can have my cake and eat it too — messing around and wasting my own time — driving far too fast to arrive on time — hyperventilating with anxiety because nearly running out of fuel, having to stop to fill — relieved to not be late anyway — coming to a favourite place and finding myself quietly accepted — enjoying my sewing project — hating my sewing project — enjoying it again — feeding the kitten —  talking, listening, laughing, embracing, kissing — sharing pain and fear and grief — eating the delicious dinner — enjoying a moment of pretending i belong to a family — helping with a simple chore — discovering new connections and ideas — wishing that everything were different — mocking my own self-pity — finishing a project — planning a next-time — being peaceful — seeing a shooting star — knowing that despite all the difficulties: 

If you, dear reader, were part of this day, thank you for all you gave 

gratitude, again

I’m sure I’ve written about gratitude before. It’s still a somewhat selfish activity – most times I’m deliberately practicing gratitude because I know it’s one of my best strategies in the battle against gloom. There is nothing more effective in quelling a pity-party than counting your blessings, speaking aloud an audit of beatitude.

But sometimes, there’s a spontaneous magical moment of simple joyous realization of how good and beautiful life is.  I like to think those moments come as a result of deliberate practice.

Thank you, holy universe, for those moments.

Solitary no more

I’ve been house-sitting this week, with the bonus of a tiny wee kitten to care for. She’s been just enough company. I’ve seen a handful of friends – exactly the right people and the right duration – otherwise a most blissful solitude.

Tonight the family returned, late in the evening, after a long drive. They’re all in bed now, but it’s incredible how the feeling of the house has changed. Solitary no more, a new energy.