In all fairness, I had other things taking up my time. Like teaching, and spring, and play rehearsals, and vehicular accidents (no injuries!), and general life stuff. Priorities. We all have them, so no apologies, no obligations. However, other than keeping up with the hockey news, I haven't been reading anyone this past week. So you know what I'm doing tomorrow. :-)
I have been sewing, amazingly enough. A paper-piecing workshop at last month's Modern Guild meeting led to a scrap-busting explosion of hexagons in my living room. This is what 400 of them looks like.
|All from scraps. Randomly pieced.|
Yeah. Since I ran out of my purchased hex papers about a week into this, I ended up making a crap-ton (yes, a crap-ton!) of my own. You can read more about how on the guild blog here.
I still have some edges to fill in and a border to do but I'm pleased so far. It's going to be a table topper. You'd think after all of this hand-sewing, I would have mad skills when it comes to the whipstitch. I should have a wicked whipstitch. But nay, good folks, nay. It still looks a little like I did it with a chicken bone for a needle and with my eyes closed. Oh well, maybe some day...
I was working on this piece at my other guild meeting (there are two different guilds in town - I belong to both) and a fellow member, whom I'd never met, snarked me, "Well, that's just compulsive!" Fair enough - there is a nugget of truth in that, my mother would certainly agree with her, but handwork helps me focus and keeps my hands busy during stretches of time where my attention would otherwise wander, like the occasional guild meeting, and I'm therefore less likely to run around like a four-year-old dragged to a tupperware party for lack of a babysitter. To my credit, I did not snark back, because I don't know her and wouldn't want to inadvertently offend her while trying to crack a joke to prove I have a sense of humour. (However, blogging about it might have devalued that credit somewhat... Oops!) I couldn't help but feel though, while not offended, that there was a different way to offer that opinion that didn't make it a personal attack. "I personally don't have the patience for something like that" or "I can't be bothered to do hand-sewing or something that small" or even "that kind of thing is not for me" would all have come across as more supportive or polite than the undertone of "there's something wrong with you!" implied with the word compulsive.
|Of COURSE it's compulsive. Look at this.|
I had a pretty good laugh about it. I'm fairly sure she didn't mean any harm. I'm not generally bothered by criticism. In fact, I think constructive criticism is key to growth and development, and our tendency to over-nice each other, particularly in the quilting community, detracts from our ability to deliver or accept such criticism without taking something personally. What made me laugh was that the comment wasn't even about the work (too many colours, poor whipstitching, inaccurately cut or sewn hexagons, or not to someone's personal taste), but that the statement was a value judgment on ME, and not the work. Now, I get called crazy all the time, (there probably IS something wrong with me - lol) but usually by people whose first names I know, and who I have an established rapport with. I have called fellow bloggers crazy in a loving way, particularly when they are exceedingly prolific or unjustly hard on their own work. I guess I've become more aware as a teacher that what we put out there can have a impact on people. Imagine if I'd told another artist, a potter, that pottery was a useless art, or a child whose room is covered in pink, purple and sparkles that only losers like unicorns (or apply it to weightier subjects that I won't get into here). It might roll off them like nothing, or it could stop them from enjoying something that had previously. For the record, I think pottery is amazing and the skill level some people have achieved is staggering. I also have no problem with unicorns, though I don't embrace them as strongly as would your average person on the street. And I LOVE constructive criticism. It helps me get better at the things I do. I could not survive as a teacher without giving and getting constructive feedback. But this has been a reminder for me not be conscious of applying value judgments in that criticism.
I guess you can say I DID learn something from the comment after all.
I've got other things I've been working on but that's what's tickling my mind today. Hope you didn't mind the musing. Maybe it gave you something to chew on.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!