Friday, October 24, 2003

When Hands Don’t Work.. Or I Am My Own Worst Critic...

Erin had another rough day. She seemed fine this morning and even played with her friend who also has had chicken pox this week at our house so that the other mother could have a break like I did yesterday... but then by mid-afternoon she had another painful “flare-up” and was running a low grade fever again.

I’ve been working on some illustrations, because it is easier to draw near her than be down in the basement office on the computer, yet my hands just are not cooperating today and it is VERY frustrating. This is one of those days where I can see the images so clearly in my head... yet I am just not satisfied with what is coming out on the pages before me. Drawing is like that sometimes. It’s not really a block, just a sense of regret that my hands don’t seem to be living up to the images I can see in my head. Nick always tells me I am being picky at this stage... but I can’t help it!!

It’s also been a few weeks since I have drawn on anything but graph paper... and there is no doubt that it is a transition back to pencil, pen and ink. I often think that I should find an hour each day to just draw... so that my hands will keep limber... but where do I squeeze it in?? I shall just push on and know that either the flow will be easier in the next couple of days, or I shall get an outside opinion to tell if I am being too picky or hard on myself.

But those beautiful images in my head still haunt me... sometimes it is so hard to be able to see one way and have my hands feel so clumsy trying to bring them to life. It is like trying to hold on to a shimmering soap bubble or a summer afternoon or the last hug with someone you love before they leave...

Thursday, October 23, 2003


Erin is finally feeling better enough to drive us both crazy today. Actually, that isn’t really fair. Considering all the itchy-scratchiness she’s been through, she’s been a real trouper ...but it has been grey and rainy and cold here all week...she misses her friends and she is starting to get a bit bored. She did go across the street to play with her friend who was 12 hours behind her catching chicken pox, but they both got a bit tired and cranky.

I keep peering at Bethany in the bath at night watching for spots. It is so much harder with the second child!! With Erin, I knew she was a bit “off” on that last day home with me before Toronto, but I never imagined it would be chicken pox!! Now we know that Bethany has been exposed to them, and are truly hoping to just get this over and done with, she is getting just a wee bit tired of Mommy pulling up her shirt to see if she has any spots yet, and yet also hoping for her turn to stay home and “be sick and spoiled by Mommy”!

I’d best get Miss Erin some paper to draw on or a mug of hot chocolate... but at least I had a chance to check e-mail while she was out and can now stitch on something while she watches a movie! I’ve been trying not to do work in the evenings this week and just knit on the scarf I am making with the BOA yarn. It is much more fun and relaxing to “play” than work in the evening!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Back From Toronto To Save Super Dad... ‘Cause What Are The Odds?

I got in from Toronto late last night to a bitter wind and the sight of softly falling snowflakes as I was driven home from the airport. Nick was waiting for me eagerly... because, as those taking classes from me this weekend heard, Erin broke out with CHICKEN POX on Friday night!!! The poor thing has got a very bad case indeed and is not only covered from head to toe in the telltale red spots, she also has waves of getting huge welts and sudden almost shingle-like rashes whenever the Benadryll wears off. Yesterday morning she could hardly move her hands because they had swollen so badly, but Nick took her up to the clinic to be seen and they said to just keep doing all the things he was. I know that he’s glad to have me home to help nurse her through this, especially since Bethany may be a few days or even weeks behind, but right now doesn't understand why pestering her big sister reduces Erin to tears. Poor Nick... what are the odds that he’d have to cope with this on top of just being a single dad for the weekend?? At least that explains why she was feeling so sick on Thursday as I was getting ready to head off to Toronto!

The show was SO much fun!! I truly enjoy spending time with stitchers, seeing familiar faces and getting to know people face to face when I’ve only had a chance to talk by e-mail. I found it a bit grueling on Friday and Saturday to be teaching 2 classes each day, so I am going to be more careful next year when I submit my class proposals. I also really valued the feedback that many stitchers/students shared about what they like, what they’d like to see in the future and what keeps them passionate about needlework. While I never had the chance to meet her, I did hear about one woman at the show who had won some money in the lottery and was there to spend her winnings on things that she’d always dreamed of but never been able to justify. Sound like the ultimate stash enhancing experience and a dream come true if I ever heard it! The most incredible thing about the CSNF in Toronto is that it combines SO many different things in one show; quilting, knitting, sewing, weaving, beading, needlework, crochet, doll-making, teddy bears, soap and candle-making, scrap booking, tole painting and much more!! I simply don’t have enough lifetimes to do all the wonderful things I saw in 4 days!!

I also really enjoyed the intimacy of teaching/spending time with a limited bunch of people for a 2 hour or half day class. The camaraderie among stitchers, to be among people who share the same love of seeing rows of colours or discovering new fibres or techniques, really does recharge my creative batteries on some deep level.

Even now that I am considered a more “established” designer, I still incredibly humbled by the fact that people want to spend time with me or consider that a big deal! (I guess since I live with me 24/7, I don’t see what all the excitement is about! ) I am just another human being, more scatterbrained that some... a bit less shy and demure than others... but still just a person following a dream and working hard to make it a reality. It is I that should be thanking all the stitchers out there who stitch up the designs my crazy imagination has come up with!!

Now that I have caught up on the blog and downloaded my e-mail, I am going to take the rest of today and just spend it with my two girls... who have been down about 3 times to check on me as I write this. It is cold and grey and rainy, so I think perhaps some warm chocolate chip cookies are in order.. and tonight I will look forward to knitting with the incredibly cool BOA yarn (Nick thought it would be CONSTRICTOR colours... not fuzzy like a feather boa!) that I picked up in Toronto at the show.