Thursday, February 14, 2013

Forks in the Artistic Road

When our kids were teens, and we were in the "advice-giving" stage, we'd say, "When you come to a fork in the road - take it! We're always running short of forks." With four teenagers in the house, that was always true. I really don't know, and don't want to know, what they did with all my forks.

My artistic, creative, crafting road has forked many times. As a young person, I crocheted endless afghans and granny squares and edgings on blue jean skirts. When my kids were little, I created a line of animal capes and the story-telling business EsCapades. As my love of dance drew me, I designed first my own and then increasingly elaborate cabaret-style belly dance costumes for sale. I crocheted more than 15,000 Spirit Bells myself and had a business that allowed women to work from home crocheting thousands more. My woven shawls are traveling-on of that fork in the road.

This worked together with my sheep and goats and twin passions for history and farming to lead me into creating my Fleecyful rugs, over many years of experimentation. There've been many side trips over the years. At this very moment, I'm wearing a pair of foot-coverings crocheted from my sheep's unspun fleece. I have lots of one-of's in my closet and in boxes, and many unidentifiable unfinished objects that haven't even made it that far.

There are two paths that have been pulling at my attention for the last few years. One is making handbags with my handwovens. I've made several, tested a few myself, sold all of the nicer ones and have two in the works right now, with materials for many more in a box. I poke myself to work on them almost every weekend now, but haven't quite started yet. I guess I'm just not ready to take that fork in hand.
An unfinished fork in my artistic path

The other is needle-felting. I do it, most of you have one of my needle felted dryer balls. I've done a wee bit of embellishment with needle felt on the handbags I've made, or started. And I have an Unfinished Tapestry (yep, I showed it in a gallery under that title) that combines weaving, wood work, embroidery and needle felting. I have a chance to take a needle felting workshop with an excellent teacher this next week. I just don't know. Am I ready to take this fork?

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