We are nearing the solstice, and the dark days of winter are upon us. Our circadian rhythm changes. As soon as the light fades in late afternoon, some of us are ready for bed. Some say it's depressing. It can be. It's a mindless act to turn to t.v. or the internet for entertainment, but those can be unfulfilling. Add to it a month of holidays across several religions, and it's a pretty good reason to stay in bed.
If you live in the northern climate, and most of your day is spent indoors, inspiration may be hard to come by. Nature and light seem to be big sources of our happiness and energy, so how do we maintain our creativity through long, dark spells?
It's a question I've been asking myself for months. How do I push back, and make good use of this time that hasn't always been good for me? How do I not feel like I'm just getting by while waiting for spring?
I am a driven person when my life is full of novelty--novelty as in change. Most people don't like change, and fight it. I agree there are some day-to-day routines that are good. They are the structure in our lives that propel us without having to make lots of little decisions every minute. I also believe we can feel stuck if we never make any changes to that routine. It would be like walking into Archie Bunker's house today, knowing that his and Edith's chairs would still be side by side in front of the t.v. Even as a child I wondered why they never moved those chairs. My own mother moved the furniture all the time.
Newton's First Law: A body in motion will remain in motion unless an outside force acts upon it. An outside force my be referred to as an unbalanced force.
Source: Memorized in 7th grade science class
I have devised a plan to become unbalanced.
How hysterical is that?
I am changing my feelings by changing my thinking. But in order to change my thinking, I have to change the path it's taking. I need to DO something differently, and sway the balance. One way is to tap into my creative side, and poke that part of my brain. I can replace the feelings of 'Winter Sucks' with good stuff to think about!
I can take some UFO's, and turn them into usable objects.
This quilt was sitting on the shelf for some time. I had no real idea what I was going to quilt here, but I loaded the quilt and committed to it anyway. It will be beautiful, and it will be done. I pushed back.
I've never been a great lover of batiks, but lately have been drawn to them. I didn't have a lot of time to play yesterday, but I did some improv sewing with this little mug rug. I sewed some strips together from scraps that really didn't go well together, cross cut them randomly, and sewed the checker board. Improvisational sewing just seems to make me happy, and it actually looks better like this! I thought one daughter would like the composition.
The backing was a scrap from her great grandmother's stash.
I had to knock dust off my Janome to do some quick quilting, and was shocked--to say the least, at how rusty I was at FMQ on a sit down! There is a different set of muscle memory than on my Avante obviously. Oh, well. I still like it, and it's not a contest, but it did shake up my brain.
Do you have a plan for not letting winter get the best of you?
My old art supplies are out as you can see above. Along with sewing and quilting, I'm pledging to journal through the month of December. Bloggers often talk about maintaining privacy, and how much of themselves they believe they should share with readers. I'm going to be as honest as possible with you because I think creativity is a touchy-feely subject that many of us think about. It's tied right in with our emotions, and this season has a big impact on how we feel. I'll be here every day, and would love to interact with you here if you have something to share.
I have a stack of books, some old and others new, that I'm looking to for ideas and inspriation. Why graphic design? I think all these tie in tightly with quilt design and blogging.
By the time my little Clematis paniculata has shed these seeds, I'll have new ideas planted, too. I'm looking forward to a spring full of seedlings in myself as well as those germinating in my garden. How about you?
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