Sunday, May 5, 2019

New Bowls and a Pretty Pointless Cushion

I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think. ― Socrates
It's an exciting time of year in my garden. I'm getting to see all of the surprises I didn't get to see last spring before we moved here. Every day, I notice a new flash of colour peeking out in the greenery. I go out and find the blossoms, and then I stand for a moment just drinking them in:

I've spent the greater part of my week working on one of the projects from one of the workshops I attended last weekend. A lot of my time was spent scratching my head and tipping my project forward and back at different angles, wondering how I was going to achieve the vision I had in my head. I also spent a lot of time prodding at tiny beads with a needle, trying to get them sewn on in a way that looked pleasing to me:

I had originally thought I'd just leave this thing framed within the embroidery hoop, but last night, after tacking down the last bead I could manage, I was seized by the desire to sew a back onto it and make a cushion. I was all gung-ho with this plan and immediately cut a piece of cotton and starting backstitching it onto the back. I reached the half-way point and was immediately reminded that I am woefully unpracticed in hand stitching: everything was uneven and puckering and the cotton was so poorly centred that I'd need a miracle to make it cover the entire piece. 

This, friends, is why they make seam rippers.

I finally got everything cleaned up last night, and then got out my pins this morning and pinned everything down like you're supposed to before I began stitching again. By lunchtime, I went searching for my bag of polyfill.... and it occurred to me that I am the only person I know who buys polyfill by the extra large bag... got it all stuffed, and then did a wobbly ladder stitch to get it all closed.

And voila: the prettiest pointless wee cushion you've ever seen:

I rather like it. The textures are fun to explore: the softness of the velvet, then bumpy beads, and the curves of the couched-in cords. I have no idea what I'll do with it, but I really don't care. I'm quite proud of the result.

Oh, and speaking of being proud of results, on Friday I brought home the result of another workshop I attended a couple of weeks ago. Behold, my own handmade clay bowls which I made at a pottery wheel class:

I've wanted to use a pottery wheel for as long as I can remember and finally having a chance to give it a go did not disappoint. It used a lot more muscle than I imagined as well as an equal amount of steady patience, but dudes, I made bowls!

I get along really well with people who enjoy solving problems: those who can look at something and see the bigger picture and come up with creative and interesting ways to work through an issue calmly, without panic and without putting themselves down when they can't find a solution. I think this is why I seek out a lot of these creative workshops: I get to exercise that part of my brain that can not only problem solve, but to do so with enough self-compassion to keep me from giving up when I stumble. Tara Brach says, "You cannot judge yourself into improvement." I think I'm finally really understanding that.

I think it's time for me to make some dinner. After that, I think I need to take a break from these new skills and rest my brain with a bit of knitting. Have a good week!


Marsha said...

Was that your first time throwing on a wheel? Those bowls turned out very nicely!

AdrieneJ said...

Yes, it was my first time. It was an amazing class.:)