Productivity

Nonseries Work

How productive were you in the past 12 months? I was considering this the other day as I prepared for a workshop with Nancy Crow. She challenged us last year to bring in 40 new works and bragged by saying she has 50 done.

I was chagrined to discover, when looking at my quilt log data base, that I completed only two in 2012, and those were both begun in 2011. So, I thought to myself what HAVE I been doing. I know – as well as you – that I haven’t been writing my blog. I have done several charity quilts. We traveled quite a bit – to Australia for five weeks, Hawaii for three. I have done quite a bit of knitting and reading. I have dealt with some health issues. And so forth.

Then I thought WHY have I not been creating new work? I looked at my calendar and found that my time has been fragmented – doctor appointments, singing, social outings, church work, and so forth. But, I think there is something more. After working rather intently on my “Sticks” series I have come to a block. Should I continue with this series? Should I “revisit” former series? Should I do something new?

Start of new quilt

Start of new quilt

I’m inspired by recent articles in Surface Design Journal and Quilting Arts to go in new directions. I’m beginning one and, of course, have several in my head. It’s time to set aside time and get to work in my studio. Wish me luck!

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Retreat and Create

Nonseries Work

2010 09 13_Melisse's Photos 10_0005 I wish happy holidays to all of you, my faithful    blog readers. In these troubled times may God’s light shine on you and inspire you in the coming year.

When the newspaper’s tragic headlines “get to me,” I retreat to my studio and create. When life gets too busy, I retreat to my studio and sort fabric for a creation. When the weather is dark and stormy, I retreat to my studio and create with my brightest colored fabrics. When the old year is ebbing, I retreat to my studio and start to create a new piece to welcome in the new year.

The two things I want to share with you are: retreat and create. If you don’t have a studio (I feel very lucky), find a place where you can retreat – a seldom-used guest room, the corner of a dining room, a closet that you can turn into your space. And if you want to try something new – or a different format of something you already do – or a change your color palate – or anything different, do it now so that you are creating something “new.” I find it a wonderful way to get through the winter slump.

I’ll be back in 2013, hopefully more frequently. Happy Holidays, Melisse

Halloween Resolutions versus Procrastination

Nonseries Work

Halloween resolutions:

  • Keep creating weird off-the-bed quilts;
  • Don’t be spooked by all my unanswered e-mails;
  • Write often in my blog so that readers don’t think I’ve vanished;
  • Remember friends are real, not ghosts.

If you’ve never written Halloween resolutions before, neither have I. Since I’m not very good about keeping New Year’s resolutions, I decided to choose a different holiday. It’s also my way of – hopefully without embarrassment – getting around my procrastination.

 

I visualize procrastination as a cobra-like serpent (I hate snakes!) raising its head and peering intently at me. I also find that procrastination breeds more procrastination. If I put off things – like most of the items on my Halloween resolution list – it’s even harder to get back to them. For example:

  • It’s much easier to create familiar than to plunge into something new, challenging and possibly weird.
  • Unanswered e-mails should be scanned to see if they are still pertinent and, if so, answered without embarrassment. It’s also easiest to keep up with e-mails.
  • You, my dear readers, would like to read my blog on a regular basis, even if I don’t have anything profound to share.
  • Friends are real and they’re always there for you.

How to you handle procrastination? How do you handle plunging into something new? How do you keep up?

 

More thoughts soon. Happy Halloween, Melisse