Sunday, 6 January 2019

New Year Textile Resolutions

I have had three weeks away from my studio and practice which has given me a little time for reflection in between long walks, good food and the company of family and friends. These are all important but I long to get back to my own work and especially be able to use the limited day light hours as I find it almost impossible to see colours accurately at night. I can't make diet, food or clothes decluttering resolutions as I know I will break them but here are my thoughts of what I want to do better in 2019.

Threads. Keep my threads tidier. My machine sewing threads are a tangled mess because I never slot the end of the thread back in to the notch at the top.I will do this! Over Christmas I have organised all my embroidery threads too in to little boxes of colours and types and I have thrown away the tangled messes in plastic bags that I have bought in charity shops as I know they are weighing me down and there are more important things to be getting on with rather than trying to get them on to little bits of card.

Fabric. I have a cupboard in my studio where I keep my quilts and then 24 under bed storage boxes for my fabrics. Every January I go through these and have a big throw out. This will be underway this week but seeing the amount I have I realise I must live by the rules I set out in my book and use what I have already got which is enough to last me for the rest of my life time. My excuse is that I am just "saving" something for students in workshops but this can't go on. I also waste time reading Instagram posts about vintage and antique materials that are for sale ( or almost certainly SOLD) so I need to delete all those I follow who are selling things and then I won't know about it or be tempted. I don't like the way Instagram is turning into a market place for sellers so will try and edit it so I just see joyful photos of things that people have actually MADE or are inspired by rather than are selling.
Keeping this quilt by the way!

Plastic. I think 2019 will be the year we all need to address this. I do use the same shopping basket every day to take things back and forward to the studio but am guilty of having a roll of freezer bags on my desk and putting different little projects in them to travel around with. I have already started making simple little bags  out of my old and lovely fabrics and will have a basket of these so will store projects in something lovely rather than something that is destroying our environment. I am afraid though that my blankets, tweeds and wool threads will continue to be stored in sealable plastic boxes that I already own as at the moths can't get in there!

My own work.  Yes it is often at the  bottom of a list. Every year I say I will teach less and do my own personal projects more but just look at my forthcoming workshops and you can see this is not happening. Thing is I love teaching, preparing for the workshops making samples and gathering materials and above all enabling others creativity. It has to stay but I am saying NO to more workshops  held further from home. What maybe has to go is making so much for sale even though this significantly contributes to my business finances. For now you are not going to see much of my work for sale in my Etsy shop though I will continue to bring things for sale to workshops. It is a distraction from what I really want to do!  I have two or three major projects on the go at the moment and want to  really push what I am doing, particularly now that I am a member of the Textile Study Group with the opportunity to network, gain feedback and learn from other committed artists.

If you are reading this and are an artist yourself I hope you too use this time of year to think about what your priorities are. I suspect that all of us are looking inwards a bit at the moment as what is happening outside seems catastrophic. Anyway I wish you a Happy Epiphany and lets think about wise women instead of the wise men!

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