Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Knitty Momma and other Projects

We had a little preview of Spring last week. One glorious day of sunshine and warm temperatures that had Cowgirl and I skipping outside the shops of a pedestrian mall, our arms filled with pussy willows, flowering bulbs for my mother's 85 birthday and honey scented blue flowers selected by Cowgirl for the dining room. After visiting the florist's shop we dashed into the yarn shop as that morning I had the wild impulse to knit Cowgirl a poncho. That weekend. As fast as possible so we could be poncho twins while the weather still holds.

The sunshine didn't last - we had snow the next day and blustery conditions the day after that. But the poncho got made! It was super easy and fast as I knit it on large needles. Now, I knit like I bake: I think I've read through and understood the directions, but always some not-so-minor detail escapes my attention. Like how I was supposed to knit this in the round (using circular needles, not straight ones.) Not wanting to run out and buy the right needles, I figured I could adjust the pattern and just sew up the one side. Well, not exactly. And I still ended up having to dash by the yarn store for the right needles when the blasted thing would no longer fit on my long but not long enough straight needles. Sigh.

But here's the thing: I realized this weekend that what I may lack in skill, I make up for by pure determination and commitment. Somewhere along the line, I let go of the need for perfection which usually halted me from even starting anything new or unfamiliar. My style may be home-made rather than hand-crafted, but things do get made. And I am beginning to love the signs of imperfection that reveal the story within the piece. This poncho will always be my Spring Fling poncho, filled with the exuberance of me rushing madly to embrace the new season.

Other exciting developments include a new space for me to make art. I had been using the kitchen and dining room areas for my projects, large tubs perpetually lining the kitchen island with all my art supplies. Every day I would pull out my supplies and then frantically tidy everything away in time to make a late dinner. (Or rush out to buy pizza!) Reading The Artistic Mother, I realized I really do need a space I can call my own. (Seems like I am requiring more and more space; I already have my yoga room which I am vehemently defending from clutter which now can flow downstairs to the art space.) We have lived in our house for 2 years and the finished basement/play area is rarely used. Cowgirl will not go down there unless someone is with her. My drafting table was down in a corner of the room, transformed by blankets and pillows into her doggy den and I decided it was time to reclaim my workspace.

Once I decided to make the move, I realized how much more practical this space will be. I have a bathroom with empty cabinets and drawers to stash all my materials; an empty chest for pads, papers, stamping materials and books; and a large table that I can use to lay out pieces as they dry. And the stereo system and all our cd's are downstairs. I let Cowgirl pick out a wild sari patchwork curtain for the window and after moving things around a bit, I moved in. I still want to get a bulletin board and hang more pictures, but I was able to start working this weekend and finished the background papers for week one of the Artistic Mother project.

I am loving these pages! So much fun to make and since they will be cut down to scraps for collaging, I can really go wild and experiment. Having seen the work of others (I know, no comparison, but how about inspiration?) I think I can go a little wilder with the stamps. And I've spied many cool stamps that I would like to add to my collect ... ahem ... not that I need encouragement in adding to my stash of art goodies. This week we begin working on a poetry journal which I am really excited to make. One of the goals in my Goddess planner was to write and to read more poetry - two exercises suggested as part of a weekly schedule for Artistic Mother. And here is the schedule form I created as a way of making myself more accountable to my art:

We'll see how much I get to ... the sunshine is finally back and the poncho twins are ready for action!


  1. oh my it feels great to read about and visit your new space!
    ps - when i knit i only 1/2 follow the instructions - much more adventurous and fun that way!

  2. I LOVE ponchos and yours look fab. And imperfections do tell a story and are real and raw and alive!

    "When weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out." Martha Graham

    I'm looking for a book to start making my own collage papers too. Yours look lovely... and yeah, there's room for more crazy there. ;)

    I'm currently using a corner of the dining table. ANY space is special creative space if you claim it as your own. But oh yes, a whole room? with a bathroom? Most excellent.


  3. Loved hearing about your art space. I am considering taking over the unfinished basement because nobody goes down there and nobody will complain about my stuff strewn about. You're lucky to have such a nice area. I'll hang some fabric on the wall, cover the windows with pretty paper, and put a rug down. I'm so excited about it :)

    The ponchos and papers are beautiful!

  4. Dear Lis-thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your kind and supportive words. Just yesterday I was considering shutting down my blog. Not that I am not totally grateful for this scared space that I have created but...I was feeling overwhelmed. I picked up the current Artful Blogger Mag as a treat and I decided to keep blogging. That's how I found BSM. so your kind words mean more to me than you can imagine:) Also-the spring robin is from my sketchbook. I collaged patterned paper and used inks and acrylics etc over top but most of the image was already there. I am going to read through some of your posts too.

  5. I'm excited just reading this post. I love your description of "the signs of imperfection" and the rush of energy and spirit that created the Spring Fling Poncho. My best wishes to the Poncho Twins. The papers are beautiful too. And congrats on your new space. We also have a basement room we never use, but it's dominated by a giant hulking exercise machine that's not going anywhere. Maybe I'll fit myself around it someday soon. Oh, and Sorayanulliah: what's Artful Blogger Mag? Got to hit Google because that sounds like a must read for me.

  6. hello...didn't realise you were in the artistic mother group and i am so sorry for not commenting so far...but youy are now on my list and now i can catch up on your blog with ease...love your ponchos by the wvy...and how lucky to have v whloe basement...i wish...i am trying to organise someting very soon...take care...mandy...xxx

  7. I used to have a woven Mexican poncho when I was a kid. Thanks for the memories :)

    I see wonderful adventures (and maybe some misadventures) for the Poncho Twins!

  8. My Mom made me a poncho when I was in kindergarten. I hated it. Absolutely despised having to wear it--while my best friend got to wear a very cool, shiny, purple quilted windbreaker.

    I would do anything to have that poncho now. Anything.

    I think Cowgirl's poncho is to die for--so sweet--so full of LOVE.

    I don't knit often, but when I do, I find it a great opportunity to practice Japa and to infuse my meditation and thoughts of LOVE into each stitch. I can see that same intention in your craft as well.

    Plus, this week I gave my studio a total Spring cleaning and revamp...and ahhhhh...we are both two blessed girls to have a space to create in.

    Super big hugs!!