Sometimes if I wonder if I can make it through a day without having to say “I’m sorry,” to someone about something.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cut in front of you.”
“I’m sorry, for interrupting.”
“I’m sorry, for the confusion.”
“I’m sorry, you tripped.”
“I’m sorry, for my coffee breath.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.”
“I’m sorry, I unfriended you on Facebook.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see your text.”
As creative slow stitchers there are things that we should never apologize for, ever. Here are a few examples:
Buying the Best you can Afford. One of the tenets of The Slow Stitching Movement is to buy the very best materials you can afford to support your current, creative endeavor. Buying the best, and taking care of it, means that your tools and projects will last and serve you for a long, long time. Of course, using the best tools, yarns, needles, threads, and fabrics for your slow stitching will make your entire creative and stitching process much easier. High-end fabric has a much better hand and often uses dyes rather than simply top design stamping/printing, for better long-term wear and richness. Think of fine wool and silks instead of acrylic yarns or acrylic blends. Expensive, high quality scissors, for instance, will last several lifetimes (buying the best tools means you won’t have to replace them often, if at all). The result of using better scissors, knitting needles (like Crystal Palace or Addi), crochet and rug hooks, etc., and will cause less hand fatigue, give you more control, and practically banish technical frustration. In the end, the quality of your stitching project will be much improved.
Scheduling Slow Stitching Time for You. Giving yourself the gift of time is really giving yourself the gift of investing in your creativity. Having alone time, real alone time to spend with your creative process, is one of the simplest, and medication-free ways of reducing stress in all of the areas of your life. With regularly scheduled slow stitching creative time, free of the pressures of housework, the office, your children (as the parent of a 22-year-old, I get the feeling this is never going to end), and the needs of your spouse, your brain and your body and your emotions are permitted to unwind and completely relax. It is the relaxed brain, through slow stitching, that allows you the opportunity to think more deeply, become more creative and open to new ideas, and allows you to absorb the gifts that The Slow Stitching Movement promises – personal creative growth and the management of your physical, emotional, financial, creative, and spiritual life.
Writing Your Morning Process Pages. Every morning I wake up and write in my journal — three pages of unstructured and unedited thought process. Based on an idea by, Julia Cameron, author of The Artists Way, and an important, time-tested, tool in 12-step programs, this practice affords me unimaginable creative and emotional benefits. In my writing, I find it helps me clarify my creative goals, quiet the ugliness of my day-to-day life (and we all have that kind of ugliness), and opens me up to new and exciting ideas and inspirational prospects. Look, I am not going to lie to you, this takes discipline – something I have very little, to none, of. That said, if you want more imaginativeness and inspiration, not to mention the benefits of a stress-free and creatively open life, then without fail, you will wake up every morning and write your three pages, like I do. After all, discipline only means taking the best care of yourself even when you don’t feel like doing or taking care of anything. Discipline makes people thin. Discipline makes people healthy. Discipline makes people productive. Discipline takes a germ of an idea and turns it into a magnificent work of beauty. Discipline can move your pent-up and creatively frustrated mountains! Start gently and with tiny, little, baby steps. Just write. Do not look for results and do not expect grand illuminations (although I have had them). The important thing is to begin and to continue and to allow your unconscious writing an opportunity, over regular and unceasing repetition (i.e. discipline), to change your creative slow stitching life. To paraphrase something I once heard: Do I know if it will work for you? Who knows? But I know not doing anything at all isn’t doing much for your creative resourcefulness, or slow stitching, either.
Taking Creative Classes. I was sitting in my studio the other day and realized it had been years since I had taken a class in quilting, or needlepoint, or painting – years. Let’s face it; unless you keep adding chips to your creative bank, you’ll end up creatively bankrupt, right? The more you learn the better your craft. I love that part of The Slow Stitching Movement that directs us to create our stitching work with focused intention and to execute it with excellence. You know and I know that to become “excellent” in our stitching work we must keep challenging ourselves creatively and learning and experimenting with new techniques and ideas. Although I like to believe this is not true, it is impossible to know everything! Taking classes to enhance your stitching can put you on the path from being a student, to being a teacher, to being an inspiration, to being a respected and invaluable sage. Increasing your technical stitching skills will set you free creatively and will give you the opportunity to challenge yourself and cement your place within the creative and slow stitching community.
Ripping Out Your Stitching. One of my pet peeves is hearing people complain that they have, “made a mistake” when having to rip out seams in their quilting, or undo their crochet, unravel their knitting after finding a skipped stitch, or ‘frogging’ (Ripit! Ripit!) because of miscounting on cross-stitch linen. Please hear this loud and clear: Ripping out seams, rug wool, yarn, and recounting cross-stitch is never a mistake. It is part of the process of that particular creative discipline. Let me say it again: ripping out your stitching is a part of the process of stitching and not a mistake! We learn from our mistakes. Making errors in our stitching, finding them, and correcting them, is an opportunity for creative learning. Look at it this way, mistakes make you brave. Errors in your stitching make you fearless and gutsy because it allows you to let go of the dread of not being perfect, or making a ‘mistake.’ I love this quote by Rumi, “Within tears, find hidden laughter. Seek treasures amid ruins, sincere one.” There can never be creative stitching success without uncreative stitching failures. That’s just the way creativity and process works. These “mistakes” forces us to reevaluate our creative stitching, to learn from it, and to make it better by slowing down and “becoming our stitching,” grasshopper.
Gathering with Your Slow Stitching Friends. Creative collaboration is a perfect and reasonable way to enhance your slow stitching and to celebrate your creativity and work. Being a part of a gathering is not only helpful, but it is imperative that you surround yourself with other slow stitchers as an opportunity to keep your ears and eyes open for new ideas and inspiration from everyone you meet. I suggest that you create a group, a salon, if you will, that meets regularly to discuss creative plans and goals, and to free yourself from slow stitching alone. Working alone is wonderful but getting outside of your workspace can add some equilibrium, creative tension, and energy to your slow stitching vision. When you meet regularly with a diverse group of stitchers, not only are you are exposed to new techniques and ideas, you will gain insight into your own strengths and weaknesses, stitching ability, accomplishments, competence, color and texture analysis, and the potential for greater personal artistry.
Being Tenacious in your Slow Stitching Practice. There have only been 50-gazillion studies conducted over the years confirming that those of us who set our creative goals and have a clear vision about the stitching outcome, will reach our goals much more often than those creative personalities who create without an end result or goal in mind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like you won’t falter and backtrack along the way or even have some slap-happy playtime within your slow stitching process, but those slip ups allow us to keep reinventing our process and our routine, over and over again, especially when our vision changes or what we’re working on just isn’t working out for us! We have all heard the phrase, “use it or lose it.” Well, here’s a phrase for you slow stitching creatives: “Stop and you drop.” Being stitching-persistent helps you stay motivated throughout your creative stitching process. Again, this goes back to what I wrote about earlier – discipline. I am one of those people who love the end result and the fantasy of stitching immortality, and yet I’m not so good and the long-term without the persistence of slow stitching a little each day. That’s why I break up my slow stitching into small steps – a few minutes here and a few minutes there, as well as scheduling alone creative slow stitching time for myself every day. Only through ‘one step at a time’ can I achieve my creative goals plus reap the benefits of the slow stitching process. Don’t forget that the whole intent of slow stitching is to garner benefits beyond your end stitched product. You are not in a race, and your slowing down and stitching with intention will help you appreciate not only your creative work, but also your creative slow-stitching process and your life outside of your slow stitching routine. Be tenacious. Slow stitch a little excellent work every day instead of stitching quick spurts of fabulousness then fizzing out.
Textile artist, Michael Field, talks about his Slow Stitching in the PODCAST section of The Slow Stitching Movement website. www.slowstitching.com
Art Quilter, Judy Dales, talks about her Slow Stitching process in the PODCAST section of The Slow Stitching Movement website. www.slowstitching.com
If you would like to talk about your slow stitching process, or would like to hear a particular stitcher talk about their stitching process on The Slow Stitching Movement Podcast, drop me a line at email@example.com
THIS TUESDAY, 1 PM EST
Live Web Seminar:
November 11, 2014
1 p.m. Eastern
Quick, fast, easy. In our busy, multitasking world, those buzzwords capture our attention. But speed can kill creativity and the enjoyment of our creative pursuits.
Maybe what we really need to do is slow down, enjoy the process, and create knit, crochet, and needlework projects that we’re really proud of. But how?
This NEW and ILLUMINATING web seminar introduces a revolution within the yarn and needlework industries: The Slow Stitching Movement, launched by international quilt and fiber art personality Mark Lipinski. With Mark as your inspiration and guide, The Slow Stitching Movement web seminar will prepare you for a higher form of creativity and important knit, crochet, and needle crafts.
With this webinar, you’ll learn:
Approach your yarn and needle projects in a totally different way.
Recharge your passion for patterns.
Engage the connection between your body, your fiber art, and your legacy.
Expand your creativity, self-esteem and even your spiritual journey.
Tap into your right brain, to train and develop your imagination.
Find the creative genius in you.
Implement your creative thought in today’s too-fast world.
Heal your life, emotions and boost your physical health.
Create groups and habits to support your creative vision.
If you’ve hit a creative wall, if you have more yarn and thread than you do inspiration, if all of your projects are beginning to look alike, or if you’ve been knitting, crocheting, and/or stitching for years and have nothing wonderful to show for it—The Slow Stitching Movement is for you.
Mark brings years of professional and personal experience to the seminar, as he explores with you informational and transformational message of The Slow Stitching Movement.
There will be an opportunity for discussion through a question-and-answer session during the web seminar, and after.
REGISTER HERE: http://www.interweavestore.com/mark-lipinski-presents-the-slow-stitching-movement-for-knitting-crochet-and-needlework
The sentence “Giving yourself the gift of time is really giving yourself the gift of investing in your creativity.” made me double-check the date of your post: it’s 9th November. On 20th November I decided to make “The Gift of Your Time” the monthly theme for December.
So, obviously, time as a gift is in the air, just a bit slow in getting round… 😉
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