Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another month gone...

I'll finish up the month with some of the inspirational titles I've been reading. The first, pictured on the right, was written by Brenda Ueland in 1938. According to the bio in the book, "Brenda Ueland spent many years living in New York, where she was part of the Greenwich Village bohemian crowd that included John Reed, Louise Bryant, and Eugene O'Neill." She spent most of her life as a writer, editor, and teacher of writing. I've seen quotes of hers in books like The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and thought I'd go right to the source. Her first chapter is "Everybody is Talented, Original, and Has Something to Say" and a later one is "Why Women Who do Too Much Housework Should Neglect it for Their Writing." Doesn't she sound like the little angel you want sitting on your shoulder? She continues in this very positive and funny, straightforward way for the entire book. She is a big advocate for "dreamy idleness" because "the imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering." She uses quotes from William Blake and Vincent VanGogh as examples to support her theories on truthfulness in art. Some inspirational quotes from the book: "the only way to find your true self is by recklessness and freedom" and "think of yourself as incandescent power, illuminated perhaps and forever talked to by God and his messengers. Remember how wonderful you are, what a miracle!... since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable." I borrowed this one from the library, but it may be one worth owning and rereading when you're feeling discouraged!
The next two books I dipped into were both written by Barbara Sher. I saw her speak a long time ago on Public Television and I found her to be not only INspirational, but also very MOTivational. In the first title, pictured below, there were three writing exercises she wanted the reader to do to get things going. I always balk at those little exercises - I never seem to get much out of them. So I skipped the first two, but did the third, which was describing "the job from heaven." Sometimes I answer these things automatically, from habit, but maybe not totally truthfully and from the heart. But I think this time, I came closer to what I'd really love to do with the rest of my life. (I'll share more about that later...)

Without reading any further into the first book, I dipped into the second one, pictured on the right. This book is geared towards people the author has dubbed as "scanners." She describes them like this: 'To Scanners, the world is like a big candy store full of fascinating opportunities, and all they want is to reach out and stuff their pockets." I do seem to have so many interests and hobbies that it can be daunting trying to focus on just one. This book promises to provide guidance and tools for using all your interests in talents in your life and career. I'll keep you posted. Barbara Sher has so many interesting titles to her credit, after I peruse these two, I may have to seek out some of her others. So many books, so little time!

Meanwhile, I'll share is a shot of my work table last week, where I had a few projects going at once (as usual). I can't give away too many details about the larger pink project in the picture - it's for a challenge we're doing in the Fiber Arts NE group. At our June meeting, we randomly chose partners and then pulled a word out of some the group had brainstormed. My partner and I got the word "facetious" and our challenge was to make a quilt to illustrate it! We were not allowed to discuss anything other than the size of the piece. We're sharing our work at our meeting this Thursday and mine is almost finished - still a few details to tie up. I'll post it soon after the meeting.

The other project I decided to have a little fun with was making lavender sachets (remember I did that in the fall of 2008?). I recently cut this summer's crop of lavender, and realized I still haven't done anything with last year's crop, which still smells as good as the day I cut it! I didn't want to use the same process I used last time (see samples here) so I opted to make little bags. I can still use several different fabrics and trim them up with ribbons, lace, and fancy stitches to make each one different. Today I had the rare chance to visit JoAnn's fabric's and pick up some new lavender fabrics and notions. I'm looking forward to making a whole bunch more of these little sachets to give away come holiday time. I do love the smell of lavender!
Now tomorrow we begin a new month and a new school year. I'll take my daughter's to their respective schools to find their classrooms, try out their locker combinations, and maybe meet their teachers. School officially starts next Tuesday, so we still have the long weekend to enjoy and pretend it's still summer! But I do secretly enjoy the fresh start September always brings, the invigorating crisp breezes that clear the head, and the sales on school supplies which taunt me with the possibilities of new things to learn and new things to create!

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