I missed the Julian New Year. I missed the Gregorian New Year. Thankfully, there was still Chinese New Year. Not that I am Chinese. But I have a few Chinese friends who have adopted us as friends, so I feel somewhat entitled to use it.
Usually at year end I tidy my sewing room, review my unfinished projects, and get organized.
I did tidy. I did review my unfinished projects (more about that another day). I tried to get organized.
As for resolutions, cross off 2016. Insert 2017. My New Year’s resolutions for 2016 were so good, I am going to repeat them in 2017. Without the numbers.
Exercise mind, body and soul.
Exercise the mind. More specifically, the right side of the brain.The original resolution was to ‘look for art everyday.’ At the beginning, I didn’t know where to start with this resolution, so I just took pictures – of reflections on the wall, of food, of snow.
Then I realized as you focus on something like art, it just appears everywhere around you. Tidbits can be picked up from people, from books and from observation. The key is to pay attention.
Art is on my list because I feel somewhat deficient in this area. Seldom do I look at one of my original projects and think – Wow, I really like that. In 2016, the postcards were a great place to practice art on a small scale. In addition, I did 3 art quilts – one was okay, one was cut up (because one bad decision in the end ruined it), and one is sitting in the “what in the world do I do with this” pile. There is still hope for that one – barely.
So, this exercise is about continued learning, absorbing and practicing.
In this coming year you can expect to see more art exercises, posts of my discoveries , my musings, more ‘mad scientist experiments’ and non-quilting art projects. These I consider cross-training.
Exercising the body is about quality of life. Long term. Quilting is a sedentary activity, with risk of repetitive strain injuries. We should do whatever it takes to get us moving more.
I had great plans in 2016. 5000 steps a day (half of the recommended 10,000); at least one 10k; stretch bands for strength training, and a strategy for sewing that included an ironing station at the other end of the house.
That didn’t happen. A fall on ice, a poisonous spider bite, and many weeks travelling took its toll on this goal. However, exercising the body is important so this goal will always be on my list. Maybe numbers aren’t important. Variety is. I belong to a fitness center that is very inclusive and has great classes. University students along with seniors, the abled along with the not-so-abled. All are welcome. Classes mean I don’t focus only on the things I like, to the neglect of things I don’t like.
You won’t hear much about this goal after today; it is more on the personal side. But writing it down makes me accountable. This time, I REALLY did not feel like starting at ground zero again, but I have learned not to beat myself up when things go south. I just try to go back to the basics when I fall off the wagon. A little is better than nothing.
Exercise the soul: Admittedly, the above 2 activities feed the soul. But this goal is about application. It is about creating. It is about expressing something inside and using fabric to do that.
Patterns have their place. Kits have their place. Pre-cuts have their place. And I will continue to use all of the resources out there when I want to make a quick quilt or when I want a greater chance of success, but they are not part of my resolution to exercise the soul.
Quilts that exercise the soul require a vision, a purpose, and lots of personal investment. They are more likely to be an art or wall quilt; they will express a concept, a story or a thought. There is risk involved. Things can go wrong at any step in the process. In the end, these projects may or may not see the light of day. Do I have the nerve to share bad results with you? Of that, I am not sure.
Hopefully, my first goal of exercising the mind will eventually help get me to the point where successes outnumber the failures. My goal is simply to finish one of these quilts this year – and love it when it is done.
But for now, have a great week! Happy New Year! Gong Xi Fa Chai! Welcome, Year of the Rooster.