Saturday, January 01, 2005

Must. Get. Back. To. Routine.

It's been so long since I've posted and I've logged on a few times and then scratched my head about what to write. So, now I'm just diving in. I think I am going to try to make this blog mostly about my creative endeavors... and not so much about my regular life, the house, the kids, the weather, etc. Though, of course, the two do intertwine. So we'll see how it goes.

So, I've been thinking about the Quilting Arts challenge about making a guardian angel "doll." I have thought about entering every challenge they have ever issued, and I did submit an atc to their call for submissions, but I've never really put in a lot of creative thought and action behind a project. Until now. (Right?)

The challenge asks, Who is your fantasy guardian angel and what does she or he look like? Show us in our Fantasy Guardian Angel Art Doll Challenge. The requirments include using fabric, must have wings and between 6" and 12." (By the way, I have often wondered why the Quilting Arts challenges are rarely specifically quilts. I mean, this is totally a doll challenge and we're not talking about Art Doll Quarterly. Though that is also a beautiful publication. Other challenges have included boxes and books made with fabric. Of course, this leads us back to the question of what is a quilt. And we don't really want to go there.)

So, when I think of the guardian angel of my creativity, it's all about time. My mantras include:

  • be patient
  • just do it
  • it will happen
  • no hurry
  • make time
  • tomorrow is another day
  • urgency in the doing -- not the achieving.

These may not all seem to go together, but it's a bit of what runs through my head.

And then I came across this amazing quote in the most recent issue of Somerset Studio.

In this there is no measuring with time. A year doesn’t matter; ten years are nothing. To be an artist means not to compute or count; it means to ripen as the tree, which does not force its sap, but stands unshaken in the storms of spring with no fear that summer might not follow. It will come regardless. But it comes only to those who live as though eternity stretches before them, carefree, silent, and endless. I learn it daily, learn it with many pains, for which I am grateful. Patience is all! --Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

That's much more eloquent than "be patient," don't you think.

So, I'm envisioning a doll body with this quote, probably created by running a piece of muslin ironed to some freezer paper (or maybe wonder under) through my printer. Then lots of beading and embellishment. I want to use a watch face for the head. Great idea, right? Until you go shopping for watch faces. I checked Michael's today. No luck. I even went to the antique mall and browsed through a bunch of booths looking at old junk. I saw a few watches, but none were perfect or cheap. I considered printing a clip art watch face on fabric and sewing it onto the body. Not the same. So, of course, I turned to ebay. I have bids on two lots.

Watch parts which I would use for embellishments, arms, feet, etc

And watch faces which I would hope to use for the head and have extras for other projects or for swapping.

I hope I win the auctions and they arrive with haste. Until then, I should work on creating the body.

Of course, I've got some other projects underway and now that the house is empty of guests and the kids go back to school next week, I can get back to some of that stuff.


Melody Johnson said...

Deborah, I can't help but comment on the Quilting Arts challenges, in general.
There seems to be an unwritten rule in the minds of the readership that all the items submitted must be gooped up with tons of stuff like metallic fibers, embroidery, beads,paint, photos, writing and found objects. It's as if there is only one way to get published in the challenge and everyone must conform. I find the herd mentality slightly annoying and certainly unartistic. Is the winner the one with the most frou-frou?
My suggestion is to look at Fiberarts Design Books (Lark publishers) for ideas and inspiration from artists not under the spell of the Embellishment Establishment. There you will find original concepts and fine design ideas that are outside the box. Compare some of these dolls to the ones that will inevitably be chosen for publication and you will see the difference.

Diane Perin said...


I found your journal through Melody Johnson's blog, and it's not surprising that I totally agree with her comments about the Embellishment Establishment.

I returned to quilting from the world of artist books. I used to adore Somerset Studio and found, over time, that everything started to look the same...heavily collaged and embellished. As much as I like Quilting Arts, I am dismayed at how much the work there is starting to look the same....and to be honest, I shuddered (a "been there, done that, gotten sick of that, grown to hate that" sort of shudder)when I picked up the first issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors.

I'm finding more inspiration in non-quilt books these days (general art books) and in Quilts Japan magazine, which I love for the creative use of colors and shapes.

I'm enjoying your blog!