Practice samplers


Why is it so easy to get stuck when detouring to take a different path than expected?

Why is it so easy to get overwhelmed at just where to start?

For three daze now, I’ve been moving from chair to chair and table to table trying to figure out how to Set Up Shop for my primary longterm projects. If I make a clever plan, I’m thinking, I won’t have to move everything (especially the heavy stuff) three times more. In the three years I’ve been here, I’ve moved all more than that and Dora has reset the Haberdashery again this last year!

Adam Savage has a great video tour of his latest workshop spaces. I’m trying to follow many of his strategies for tools and materials being visible and accessible. I get stuck when it comes to light, air, and access in and out of workspace. I’m InAndOut often, for animal care, for the cash-flow businesses, property care, visits to Kathy and Mama, and a few AboutTowns. Also I get stuck because Adam Savage has a troupe of interns and helpers, and I’ve got the effects of gravity on my best intentions.

For three nights now, I’ve been working on Practice Samplers. These are the equivalent of those blank page exercises recommended for writer’s block — freewriting. I call it Freestitching. I’m doing practice samples on hems and unexpected edges and areas of other small pieces including Baby Girl’s receiving blankets, trimmed collars, mending. Similar to Freestitching is Small Knitting; fingerless cuffs and other projects that just keep your hands moving and creative thinking going. I always want the Practice Samplers to be useful items; coasters work for practicing new stitch patterns and seeing how colorways in yarns progress. Baby Girl goodies and Treasure Pockets are good practice samplers, cuffs and elbows of old soft shirts are another favorite sample canvas. 

I’m not sure how to display a design portfolio of samples that includes mug rugs and cushion covers, pockets pals and binder covers. But I know that keeping hands moving, making something, making anything, ordinary or extraordinary, moving from color and fiber to objects of need or use or desire is the antidote to creative inertia all crafters and artists must find everyday. 






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