Monday, September 29, 2014

Beginnings are always messy. — John Galsworthy

Most of my life, I have been told that I am messy. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of my mind. So I spread things out and leave them out to remind me to take care of them or to inspire me. A bag of clothes to donate will sit out until I have time to take them to the donation bin; a scrapbooking project will gather dust until I have time to get more blank pages; the ingredients for a new recipe will hang in a little cluster until I have time to dig in, reminding me of what I want to make. I recently read somewhere that this type of “mess” actually fuels the creative mind. And it’s true. When I leave my projects scattered, I can look at them in new ways. The only problem is that I have so many projects and so many tools to make them. I looked around my studio the other day and realized that I have every art-producing tool known to man:

a table loom (a small version of a loom for weaving that sits on top of a table); a book press; a photo enlarger and all the darkroom equipment to develop black and white photos; book binding cloth; a sewing machine; jewelry pliers, wires and beads; everything to make stained glass windows, from a glass grinder to a soldering iron; wood-carving tools; embroidery hoops, thread, needles, embroidery scissors; quilting fat quarters, a self-healing mat, a rotary cutter and years of collected fabrics; rubber stamp carving tools and blades and rubber; a gocco printer; supplies for making dollhouse miniatures; brushes, paints, stencils, bone folders, paper cutters, a paper scorer, all kinds of glues and tapes, paper punches, glue guns...

A few years ago, I got my hands on some dirt cheap miniature gourds. (I think they are called jewelry gourds). They were interesting and fun and I had to make them into something. I happened to lay them down next to my wood-burning tool and they sat there for a few days until I suddenly saw what I could do with them. I assembled everything I needed from my stash and made these Santas — with wood-burned faces — into Christmas ornaments. If I hadn’t been “messy” and dumped the gourds near the wood-burning tool, I may never have seen the possibilities in those little gourds. Bring on the mess!

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