Friday, April 3, 2020

The Projects In Progress Box

The rest of this week has gone well, much better than Monday. I've been doing some of my favourite things and that's a lovely way to spend the day. I am grateful. It is helping me balance the quickly changing and rather stressful news each day. I am so glad I only watch once.

After today's news, I had mixed feelings about writing the blog as if it might be something too frivolous in such serious times and yet, more than ever, we need to support and encourage each other and this is one way that I can support others and myself at the same time. Creating keeps me sane. Documenting and sharing it keeps me busy.

One skill I learned with textile art and creative clothing that has transferred to jewelry making is to take the parts and pieces of something that is not working and work them into something else that might. I say might because it could just as easily not work out only the process is so interesting that this has become my preferred way of creating - not knowing what I'm making but just following the journey of the unknown as it unfolds before me.

The picture above left is of two "scrap" wire wrapped sections. Wire wrapping takes a LONG time and I don't want to casually throw something way that could be useful. The picture on the right is of the three elements I turned those scraps into. These may go together or they may become the starting point of three separate items. Either way, they were not wasted. YES YES!

At the end of each day, I like to clean up the jewelry bench, put away the tools, and prepare the work that I will come back to, starting again clean and fresh. As part of that process, I put any useful scraps into a jar and wrap the rest in small bundles that I then torch and melt down into nuggets like the one on the right. The nuggets are...

... solid copper and can be hammered flat into disks or used in nugget form as I did in this earlier piece. The copper can be polished to a shine or a patina added as above. It's an organic process that creates interesting parts that are truly one-of-a-kind and I really like that.

Another of my favourite things is learning, especially when I'm exploring a new subject. Pinterest, YouTube, and online workshops are a treasure trove. These two pictures show how to support cabochons without drilled holes or larger beads with drilled holes. I am thankful for those who are willing to share information so that even though I am staying at home, I can still keep my brain occupied and grow and develop my skills.

AND... I can share too. It was really grey out when I took these pictures so the lighting is not the greatest. They are from a pattern I made by copying a pair of ready-to-wear, Oska brand pants that I bought at a consignment store. Oska has some absolutely fabulous design lines but their prices are higher than I want to pay so buying second-hand and creating my own pattern is win-win.

I've since transferred the hemming method of the original pants to many patterns. It's a simple bias edge. I sew the side seams together on each pant leg and then attach a bias strip to the bottom, turn it to the inside, and top stitch it in place. I chose not to turn under the raw edge and simply serged it and pressed it to the inside because it doesn't bother me but if it bothered you, you certainly can turn the edge. Once the hem is stitched in place, the in-seams are sewn and it's complete.

I have - a to do list. Who would think I'd need that right now but I am spending a lot more time talking to friends and participating in on-online groups and I want to remain organized since it helps me stay centered.

My blogging goal is to post twice a week on Tuesday and Friday. I typically write the post the day before and schedule it for the next morning. Before writing this post, I needed to prepare for a phone appointment this morning and since there is a three hour time difference, emailing that info came first. After I finish writing this post, I want to alter the pattern and cut out the pieces for a pair of pants that I want to start sewing this morning.

Edit: See Saturday's posting  - for what I actually did on Friday. I started the pants on Sunday!

Every morning, I spend half an hour having coffee and then work in my studio for what I call The Morning Hour. Afterward, I get dressed, go for a walk, come back to journal, have breakfast, and start on the to-do list. It's my routine. I've done it for years and it starts the day positively with an activity that nurtures me and right now - with the pandemic - it's comforting to be functioning as normally as possible. What is not normal...

... is this new addition to my studio. It's the projects in progress box. Two of the large zip bags contain the parts for purses that I cannot finish and the third contains the parts for a pair of pants that I - gasp - do not want to finish. I started them as part of my workshop wardrobe for a class at the end of April that is now not happening and there's something just a little too sad about finishing the pants so I will finish them later when I am going to a workshop. Instead, I want to sew something for here at home.

My twenty-year-old-self, who battled hard and won the war over an avalanche of unfinished projects, is hoping this is not a slippery slope back to a bad habit. That's one of the reasons I chose this basket. It will limit the number of bags possible and setting limits is familiar and a process that works for me.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - long conversations with friends

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