Necessary Tasks

I’ve been off my game of late. For those of you who have noticed, I apologize. I’m working on a project that has a hard deadline and it demands all my attention. Well, not really attention as it isn’t difficult, in fact it is very easy; too easy. And that is the problem.

A friend of mine has a business dyeing yarn. For those of you outside the yarn world, there are many talented people who make their living artistically dyeing soft, lovely yarn for knitters, crocheters, weavers and other fiber folks to use in their chosen craft. I am fortunate enough to know several of these talented folks. I agreed to crochet a sample for one such dyer for an upcoming fiber show. Crochet. Easy peasy, I can do that in my sleep. She got the project to me with plenty of time; the fault is not hers. No, I am the only one to blame for my current situation.

Boredom nearly always leads to procrastination which in turn leads to panic. And while I am not in a state of panic, I am not able to do, or think about, anything else at the moment. It is a dreadful situation. But, there is light at the end of this tunnel. I am nearing the end of the yarn which also means the end of the project.

When I am finished here, I will take my cup of tea into the kitchen where I will prepare a small breakfast to nourish my body for the work to follow. Crochet is work to me. I enjoy crocheting, but it always feels like work. I don’t blame the crochet, I have cast this dastardly shadow on a perfectly lovely activity by always trying to turn everything I enjoy into some kind of a business. When will I learn? Probably never.

Until next time, keep looking up, embrace today and go find some fun.

Heart Art

Just as no two people have the same fingerprint, we all react to the world around us in unique ways. We all have a different ideas about what is and isn’t art. Different musical tastes and senses of humor. Thank goodness for these differences.

I spin yarn. Then I make things with my yarn. Sometimes I begin with the raw wool, dye it and then spin it. Other times I use wool that someone else has dyed and then make yarn. There is nothing mass manufactured. Whenever possible I buy wool from small farmers who lovingly tend their animals, carefully shearing them once or twice a year, making the wool available to fiber artists such as myself. It is truly a beautiful circle of life.

Most people think wool is itchy and don’t want it anywhere near their bodies. That is only because, back in the day, all we knew was coarser grades of wool used to mass manufacture clothing. Today, much work is put into carefully breeding animals for the best possible wool.

Not all wool is created equally. Not all sheep are created for the same purpose. Some sheep are primarily raised for meat. Some for wool. And some for both. The “softness” of wool depends on breed, how they are raised, feed, and loved. Stress has a negative impact on the quality of the wool. Think about how poor health and stress can affect our bodies, hair, nails and overall appearance. Sheep are no different.

I adore wool and have so much more to say about it. But for today I just wanted to share some of my art. People look at my little hearts and ask me “What do I do with this?” Must everything have a purpose? Can’t it just be? I love looking at the colors and textures; I love moving it around my home, tucking it into a little vignette somewhere just waiting to surprise me when I’ve forgotten it is there. It brings a smile to my face. That is its purpose.

What do you have in your life that just makes you smile? We all need a little something special. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It just needs to make you happy.

My challenge to you today is to look around and find a little something that fits this criteria. If you don’t find anything, go make or buy something. Have fun moving it around and experiencing the joy of the unexpected.

Thoughtful Thursday – Finding Authenticity

Yesterday I introduced you to a little girl named Alice. Alice is a complete work of fiction. I made her up as well as the story I told about her. I must admit that when I was writing the story my youngest granddaughter was constantly on my mind. She has Alice’s determination, imagination and self confidence. The rest of the story just flowed from there. The moral of the story is that we must all just be ourselves…everyone else is taken. But knowing who we are and separating ourselves from public personas and the momentary perfection of Instagram and Facebook is a daunting task. This is the intersection of life in which I am currently residing.

I have spent the better part of the last twelve years concocting different online personas. I realize that sounds really, really creepy. Believe me it was all innocent and began with the website Ravelry, a social media platform (and so much more) for knitters, crocheters, spinners and all fiber art addicted folks. I had to choose a user name. Really? I get to pick an identity? The power was intoxicating.

Who would I be? The rebel: a crocheter in a knitter’s world? One of the crowd: knitter following all the famous designers? The denier: Oh, yes, I crochet but I’m really a knitter now. Well, now I weave as well, what is the commonality? Yarn. So I went with a more craft generic name: sheryluvsyarn. Amazingly someone had already snagged sherylovesyarn, This is where I remained for several years.

Now, in the beginning, Ravelry let you choose a name and then change it twice. Once a name is used it can never be used again, even by the original owner. I understand their position, yet once I had used all three names I was stuck. I was planning a yarn spinning business and I wanted consistency across all platforms, thus The Twisted Spindle was born. Since I was out of options with my original account, I just started created a brand new one! Insanity! Things were out of control. The dye was cast, so to speak.

And, in no particular order, here are a few of my logo designs.

These are just the logos I still have access to. This does not represent the ones that are lost in cyberspace somewhere. Now that I have closed and or rejected these business ideas, I no longer need those alternative identities. Well, maybe except one. There is one that is not a fabricated identity completely separate from who I really am.

As I uncover the layers and discover the real me, I find that this logo just seems to fit. It was designed for me. It is me and I am it. I have a deep sensory connection to wool and wood. Both are from nature and both can provide comfort, protection and warmth. That is deep symbolism to me.

This journey began in May of 2017 when I closed my yarn shop. I thought that was the perfect place for my combined loves. I outgrew the business model, but at the time it just felt like failure. The path has been long, winding, and rocky and I have not reached my destination, but I’m making progress. I’m not seeking perfection. I am seeking authenticity for myself. It is harder than it sounds.

To be continued….

Until then, keep looking up, embrace today and go find some fun!