Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My First Sewing Class!

I am the Queen of the "Multiple Projects In Various Stages Of Completion" when it comes to my Creations.  And it's not because I want to be... I'd LOVE to be more prolific since I have so many Ideas swirling around in my head trying desperately to get out into an Artistic Project!

But since I'm self taught and do everything entirely by hand it is a slow laborious process.  And since the luxury of Time is at a premium when you get down to Life in general, the blocks set aside for my Art just aren't sufficient to be able to complete a lot of it each year.  And that is often frustrating to say the least.

Especially since I was displaced from my Cottage Studio when The Son moved back in... and so I don't have that set aside place I can sequester myself into away from the Family without interruptions and distractions.  A place where Projects can be spread out and worked on without anyone getting into them or having to put it all away each day.  A Space strictly designated for nothing but Inspiration, Creativity, Art and Zenful Moments!  When you're slow anyway, that quite often just grinds things to a standstill.

And so for 2012 I had Hoped to turn a corner in the Creative Process by taking some Classes and being more formally Mentored and trained in the Creative endeavors I enjoy the most... mainly Fabric Art, Altered Art and Jewelry making.  Classes can be expensive though and the budget right now is lean for such luxuries so I needed to discern what had priority to learn first?

That was going to be a tough one... I knew it... my Passions run far & wide... and I was leaning more towards the Altered Art Classes.  Only because I can already sew my Creations by hand and previous attempts to learn to sew with a machine were not so smooth.  Machines often frustrate me, I don't find them to be very Zen in the Creative process like working with my hands. Too much can & often does go wrong when your skill set is at Novice levels & my memory often fails me about how to utilize a new machine's various functions until I've done it numerous times!  *LOL*

So my Sewing Machine had just gathered dust in Storage... though I knew that if I could learn to use it effectively and efficiently I could Create so much more of my Fabric Art.  I knew I'd have to bite the bullet and learn if only I could find a Teacher patient enough to Train me and allow me to work on what I wanted to make instead of some Project I could care less about.  You see, if I'm going to learn to do something, what I'm Creating has to mean something to me or my interest level is out the window!

Yeah I know it shouldn't matter what I'm learning to make if I really am intent to just learn the Skill Sets involved... but it does matter.  If I had to sit through making a placemat or some other mundane Project I abhored and know I'd just throw it away because I don't even want it, I just lose interest... completely... my mind goes into doze-mode unless I'm Creating something I want to Design and I have a Passion about making to keep, Sell or Gift and be proud of the outcome of.  That's just how I roll... and so... until now I'd just kept plodding on by hand and keeping folks waiting for their Creations far too long.  So I'd come to the place where I'd lifted the situation up in Prayer on what I should do? 

Yes, though my Art had initially begun as Bliss and so it didn't matter how long Creations took... it definitely took an unexpected turn when other people began asking me to Create something for them.  And it caught me off guard so I wasn't prepared to Create a lot or have deadlines.  And so I had reached a crossroads... a decision had to be made.  Would I just say No to any more requests... or would I Learn to be more expedient at the Creative Process and actually be a more prolific Artist and get all of these Ideas out of my head and into actual Creations... which would be very satisfying and gratifying to me as an Artist.  I'm certainly not opposed to Creating more... there's so many things I WANT to Create in fact that the possibilities are endless and that excites me!

And then of coarse there was the "M" word... since Family & Friends have been at me for some time, that even though I've never Created for Monetary Gain because I'd Create whether I ever made a penny off of my Art or not, this could be a Source of much needed revenue for my Family.  And sometimes I feel a bit guilty that I could be earning some income off of something I Love to do...

Yes, Money was definitely a factor not to be ignored... not only to be a Blessing to my Family, but also because raw Materials for Creating are becoming more of an expensive outlay and so to continue to Create for Bliss, making Money off of some Creations certainly makes economic sense.  They had a host of legit points... and they couldn't understand how or why I'd devote so much time & talent to do anything that I wasn't making some profit out of... especially when I could... the Starving Artist thing when you have a Family to support isn't responsible use of Talents...  

 So why do I not Create more work to Sell?  I don't really have a difinitive answer to that one... I've contemplated why I didn't have an answer for them actually when I'm confronted with the fact I haven't taken it to the next level... but I'd be lying if I told you I even knew why I've never desired making Art a serious Business proposition or Career move & not just a hobby.  And after all, in order to be profitable you have to have Product and at this snail's pace that wasn't happening... I'd certainly be more comfortable having completed pieces to offer rather than Special Orders on a long waiting list! 

Certainly I enjoy Art Created by other People that is offered for Sale and I have had the opportunity to own. I'm in awe of prolific Artists in fact, where DO they find the time and energy I wonder to Create so much, they have busy Lives too!?!  And really, if someone wants a piece of my work it is flattering, I'm honored and it is a Joy to Create it and present it... if only it didn't take so long and make me feel somewhat pressured to produce & perform!   I never want to shortcut on quality over quantity of whatever I Create just because there is a demand or I could make a buck... but surely if I could learn to master a Sewing Machine perhaps I could be more productive & still be proud of my work?

And there is so much more that I want to Learn to Create with Fabric too... and am constantly Inspired by the Creations I see when I'm out Junquing.  So, yes, I'd firmly decided that a Sewing Class to learn to use my Machine was definitely a high priority in 2012.  And since the Lord always knows the Heart... He wasted no time in presenting me with the perfect opportunity right on time and for FREE, so the price was definitely right!

We live right next door to the Salvation Army Church, they are our wonderful Neighbors and I've worked with and for them for many years now in Ministry... and attend Services there.  And this past Sunday a Dear Lady that Winters here in Arizona and attends regularly, who is a Gifted Seamstress and Fabric Artist... well, she has Volunteered to Host a Sewing Class each Monday Night for those of us who want to learn to Sew, Quilt, Crochet or Knit!!!  Hallelujah, Thank You Lord for answer to Prayer!!!  I was elated!

She seems like a very Patient and Sweet Lady too, so perhaps she can even Teach ME how to use a Sewing Machine and remember how to thread a Bobbin?  Yes, it's shameful but True, that is my downfall... a simple thing like that, no matter how many times anyone has tried to show me... by the time the Bobbin Thread runs out I've forgotten again & get frustrated trying to figure it out on my own.  Oh... and how to solve a Thread Jam too?!? *LOL*   Complex things usually come easy to me and Simple things can really be a stumbling block, go figure... I'm probably a Female version of 'Rain Man' I dunno?! *Winks*

So am I excited?  You betcha!!!  Am I a tad nervous, yes, I am, because though the Sewing on a Machine part came easily to me, the Mechanics of a Machine when it malfunctions or runs out of Thread was a Mystery I couldn't wrap my mind around easily & then I feel like an idiot & perpetual Student. *Le Sigh*

The irony being that everyone I know is impressed that I make all my Bags & Fabric Art entirely by hand, which is so easy to me... and I'm impressed that they make all their Creations with a Machine that I can't seem to get the hang of, and yet is so easy to them!  But perhaps I'll be changing the ending to that Story soon!?! *Fingers Crossed!*

And then, instead of having to pass on great finds like this fab Vintage Fabric covered Dress Form, which I still haven't gotten over having to leave behind... *Le Sigh*...  I will have the means to just Purchase it or work out a Gypsy Trade with the Seller because I'll have enough of my Creations amassed to Sell or Swap to get whatever I need or want... and that my Friends would be Bohemian Valhalla!

Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Oh Dawn, I so understand...I could have written this post myself. I just decided finally, and I do mean finally, to learn to sew using a good machine, which I used to use for myself, but there is so much to create I really need a machine to get them done. I'm in the market looking now like a complete blank ignorant for laces, and linens. I've had to go into thrift stores which I never really liked...but I must find those $1.00 deals because I live on a fraction of what I used to. yuck...so the M word is also something I need to conjure up too. Keep us posted. However, I too have tons of Beauty to create! *grins* blessings, Lady

  2. Those pillows are so beautiful. It's always fun to stop by and see what you're up to and feast on the photos. It must be fun to take a passion like yours and turn it into something beautiful. If you can make money with it, all the better.

  3. Dawn thank you for your comments. I sooooo understand what you are saying. I say go for it, but do it at your own pace in your own way. I had a conversation last week with a friend about just these concerns you mention and the 'how's' and 'where's' etc, and it proved to be a toxic conversation....the business end of art is usually a sickening part for us, yes? LOL. As far as I'm concerned I will use the creative gifts I was blessed with and God will have to take care of the ''how''...that's really not my part. I also intend to just create what I love and see what happens. blessings, Lady

  4. There is so many things I could say regarding sewing having done so all my life. One little nugget of advise I would offer... Persever through what might seem mundane and ordinary to gain and master some basic machine skills and your art will flourish beyond your wildest dreams. Think of it like learning to play a musical instrument... practice makes a world of difference. Patience and perseverance I wish for you.
    Have a great day,
    Always, Queenie

  5. I just say also: Go for it.......and see what happens.......
    Like your dress form so much....really beautiful.
    and do I see a bag from an old box of cigars.....?
    You are so talented......

    Fine day

  6. Yes, we as artists all share the same issues - TIME/MONEY/Too many Loves. Like you, I have so many things I love to do and sometimes there are so many I just sit here wondering what I should do. The spinning doesn't stop long enough for me to focus and I certainly don't have enough space to keep it all laid out to just rotate around. I used to sew small things, but really I find it easier to WELD!


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl