I’ve been playing with my new coton a broder threads: they are delightful, glossy and strong and bright. I bought a handful of colours and some lovely linen twill from Hedgehog handworks. They took a while to fly their way here from the US, but it’s all so beautiful. I doodled some little test ideas on a small piece of cloth, but now I’m in flight on something slightly more substantial.
But I’ve also decided that it’s time that some of my doodling was my actual work, and my work was doodling. I’ve been overplanning… even procrastinating starting because I’ve been afraid that my work won’t be perfect. This has to stop.
I’ve always worn my “Hello my name is A Perfectionist” badge with an air of pride. I now realise that this is foolish, as it’s stopping me from doing what I enjoy: stitching, blogging, everything. It’s time for creating to be a joy again: an act of experimentation and learning. I need to *stop* saying “I can’t start until it’s all planned out”. I need to be spontaneous. I need to be improvisational. I need to play.
A few things have lead me to this place. Strangely it was discovering Iris Grace‘s art work that started the cracks in my facade. No fear, no inhibitions. Joy, playfulness, beauty. Why couldn’t I do this?
One thing led to another and I was reading Robin Atkin‘s free book “One bead at a time” and it resonated within me. The cracks grew.
The next and chink fell when I discovered Karen Ruane‘s amazing embroidery. It was an epiphany for me. Spontaneous, playful, beautiful work could still be structured. I can still create coherent pieces that speak to me as they grow that have the order, rhythm and repetition I crave as I work.
And finally today, this article from the Slow Stitching Movement appeared on my blog feed “Letting go of Perfect and Jumping into Creative” (via Nuts about Needlepoint). The camel’s back may have found its straw.
So. Back to my current piece. I’d been putting off starting for so long as I didn’t have the perfect ‘circuit board’ in mind, sketched, charted, planned. After days of procrastination my partner finally suggested I just lay the components out as if they were decsontructed: pullled out from a circuit. “Then you can lay them out however you want” he said.
“Then you can lay them out however you want.” This shouldn’t be a revelation, but it is. So I’ve started. I’ve roughly tacked out some areas to guide me, but I’ve already ignored them a couple of times when they didn’t suit me. I’ve stopped when I feel like ‘that’s enough’, and changed colours on a whim. Just because. I’m enjoying the satin stitch capacitors so much I may make a lot of them. Maybe hundreds. We’ll see where the piece takes me.
I’m enjoying stiching again.