Tag: systems

It’s Not That They’re Not Cute, but . . .

Iool3a

I’d just never make a good hamster, running around on that same wheel day in and day out. Living in that well-lit but tiny little castle. No lists of things to mark through to make me feel productive, like I’ve accomplished something. I’d be cranky, real, real cranky.

So when I’m stitching one of the In Our Own Language pieces – the series in which I stitch every single one of Nancy’s drawings* – I create a system or risk shopping for sales of bales of cedar shavings to stuff in my pillowcase and socks.

There were 167 drawings in In Our Own Language 1; 454 in In Our Own Language 2; and 271 in In Our Own Language 3 (I’m currently working on IOOL 3). Now it’s true that 271 sounds like not so much after stitching 454, but I get discouraged rather quickly. I need traction, so here’s what I do:

System2

I divided the drawings into groups of 50, putting each group into a separate envelope. Manageable milestones, you know. Markers. Attainable bites of the elephant. Then I set a goal of stitching a minimum of 25 drawings each week**, and I track my progress by logging the date and the numbers on the envelope. I also note the time spent stitching so I can estimate how long it takes me to stitch each drawing – that’s just for my own interest. And to maybe offer as bonus points on any pop quiz I toss out. I’m bad to do pop quizzes.

So now you have it: Jeanne’s Anti-Hamster System. Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you a bedtime story about the actual stitching. Or maybe I’ll just bring you a glass of warm milk. We’ll see.

~~~~~~~

* Nancy is my 54 year old developmentally disabled sister-in-law. Every time we visit Nancy, she draws, and I bring home those drawings and stitch each drawing in the set, then each set becomes a cloth in the In Our Own Language series. Said another way: she draws, I stitch, we collaborate.

** I can usually stitch more than 25 in a week (even when traveling), but I don’t want to set myself up to fail, so I shoot in the medium range and treat it like I do my walking: my official goal is 10k steps a day, but my actual, unpublished (till now, anyway) goal is 12,500 steps/day. Why don’t I change the goal to 12,500, you might ask. Because I’m a sucker for the “You’re such an overachiever, Jeanne” messages my fitbit sends when I get over 10k steps.

three hundred sixty-five

Heartrock4

it’s taken me a while to discover what i want in life,
to sort out the song of my heart
from the tunes of everybody else’s.
oh sure, i can tell you what They want in a snap,
but ask me what i want my life to look like,
and i drew a blank.

until now.

Chakracolorcode

because when you get right down to it,
every day is a new year’s day,
and because like my friend says,
dailiness is alchemy,
i began keeping a Book of Amazements on 11.12.12
charting daily accomplishments
in a color system that coincides with the chakras.

this year,
wanting more clarity
and more simplicity
as well as something tangible
and visual,

Evidence1b

i’ve pared down from 7 colors to 4,
each color representing an element of a perfect day
and ultimately a life of accomplishment:
red = moving
orange = making
aqua = marking
purple = laughing
and in addition to the
Book of Amazements,
i am creating an accompanying cloth called
Evidence.

i started on 11.12.13,
of course,
and now
one month and two days later,
the cloth measures
26.75″ wide by 60″ long
you can check my math,
but the answer i get is,
60 times 12
equals substantial
IF i color in my days
the way i want.

(and just so you know,
i happen to like substantial.)

. . . more soon . . .

Failure (in this case: Stopping) Is Just Not an Option

Stitchingcase

There are so many things I want to do, create. I have a sketchbook with designs for more than 52 more cloths, a number that is probably low by comparison to others who’ve been doing this longer. It’s easy to take the small pieces with me, Nancy’s drawings pinned to pieces of cloth that I can whip out and stitch wherever I find myself. I have a little bag – my American Express, I call it – that goes with me everywhere I go – I even stitch in the car as we scoot around. But I feel perpetually behind, almost breathless in my desire to get cloths done – a feeling I don’t like one little bit. As I see it, I have 2 options: keep stitching or stop. And stopping is just not an option. Getting up earlier might be, though.

p.s.:

Needlecase

Did I show you my needle case? It’s a felt doll jacket I found in an antique store a while back, and it makes me smile every time.