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Make a Point

- - motivating the work - -

This past Tuesday was the last session with my mentor - Paula. I'm going to miss our time together and I' m so THANKFUL for what I learned while working with her over the last couple months.

Although it was apparently completely obvious to everyone else, I was surprised to learn how much of my work is motivated by curiosity. Far and beyond any other reason, wondering is what gets me going. In today's video, I show how I took the same scraps from the previous week's bag and made a completely different one. It's work that fits into different series like beginning with the same starting point or filling the same blank canvas form even though it didn't start as series work.

For many people, and certainly for myself, what is the point can be a real stumbling block. I already knew this about myself but talking it through with Paula, helped me come at it from a different direction. If what is the point is important to doing the work, then I need to make a point, to design one that works for me, so I can do the work rather than procrastinating or avoiding. In April, I'm taking a workshop holiday. It's three days long with two travel and one sightseeing days. FIVE days. During the lockdown part of Covid, I realized that the majority of my wardrobe gets sewn for an event and after that, the garments are slotted into daily wear so I've begun really embracing that part of planning a holiday and thinking about what to sew to wear. Twice this week, I've had to do an extra shimmy to get my smaller waistband over my larger hips. It's a heads-up that I've gained about fifteen pounds back. Sigh... I hate that cycle but... fine, it is what it is... however... I won't be sewing larger pants. I'll be sewing the same size and giving myself the time between to get my act back together before I get on the plane. Even five pounds will make the shimmy easier again.

Curiosity is behind these buttons. If you've been following me for any length of time, you know how long I can stay with a question. I've been trying numerous ways to make fabric buttons that are durable, interesting, and well finished for at least three or four years now. I would answer one or more question but not all of them and since I wanted to make buttons from threadwork scraps, that was the most important question to answer. If I used anything else, I'd just be making busy work. I was all set to give up and then I had an idea that came from....

... the Layers & Levels workshop I'm currently taking. Along with possibly answering the button question, I've also discovered a new way of working with polymer clay that is very similar to how I work with fabric. Instead of fabric, there are veneers but otherwise I am still auditioning "fabrics" and shapes and putting them together into finished pieces. This taught me a valuable lesson. I've worked with polymer clay twice before. The first time was not good at all and I donated all my tools, books, and supplies to the art gallery for a fund raiser. I was DONE. Apparently not! The second time, I concentrated on making beads, especially large art beads, and I really enjoyed putting them together into statement necklaces only I became overwhelmed when the pieces didn't sell... which was less about the product and more about the market but my inner artist was too upset to think about it right then. That time, I stored the supplies in the crawlspace to see if they'd make a return.

And they did. Jewelry was calling me so this time, I started with a workshop with an artist I really admire - Lynn Yuhr - not because I knew about her vastly different technique but just to see what could happen. To be curious. I already owned the supplies so why not? I've said before that the waste is not using the things as opposed to using them badly. I learn to do by doing and even though my quality control department is having a hissy fit, I know that I will get better with practice especially as I see a lot of potential with this technique that didn't exist before.

March 1st marks eleven months that I've been in business and while it seems like I should wait another thirty days to celebrate, I've been feeling such a positive shift, that things are coming together, that I really want to be grateful for, out loud, right now. My channel is now monetized on YouTube and I can see some very small but growing amounts in my analytics. I'll never be a big bucks channel and that's okay. I'm happy to be a some bucks channel. I've also just published my first video workshop on Teachable and I'm so excited because I love teaching and this is an all new way. However. Each new thing is a huge learning curve. Creating a YouTube channel led to making, editing, and posting videos which led to learning two different software programs which led to deciding to make a workshop which led to figuring out how to format a workshop in video and learning the Teachable platform. Few words, MUCH learning, lots left out. And I am, at best, a technical dinosaur so it's all huge at first and then comes together.

Right now, I'm working on setting up an online shop which not only includes listing and describing the products, but creating policies and figuring out shipping information and search engine optimization and cross posting on Instagram and Pinterest and... and... and... and finally how to package pretty and get to the post office and on it' way. It all starts with curiosity, with an idea and looking at where it can take you. What about starting a new business has certainly led me along a winding, curving path ,and I'm really enjoying it. I'm grateful. What curious idea are you following. Have a comment to share? Email me at

Talk soon -

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