(well… four actually, but who’s counting?)
I’m currently reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I liked the bit about ideas having their own life, and looking for a person to collaborate with in order to be realised. If that person doesn’t notice, or doesn’t pay it enough attention, it moves on until it finds someone who can. Interesting. I have definitely had ideas that run out of steam during the time it takes to find the time, particularly when I had a “proper job”. I’d make notes in my sketch book, draw diagrams etc, fully intending to come back to them when I had the time. Only then to discover I just didn’t have the connection with it when I did. It had moved on to someone else perhaps? What this does is shift blame. Which has to be a good thing. I don’t need any more guilt about not doing stuff. Thinking that the idea has found another home with someone who can do it justice is better.
Years ago… possibly about ten years ago, when I was making quilts and covering sheds and so on, I made a decision never to buy new fabric. And I have stuck by that promise unless I need something special like vilene, or a large piece of something like calico without seams for a particular commission. During this time, I’d cut up men’s shirts from charity shops (and my husband) to make things, and get left with the bits like collars and cuffs that I didn’t want to throw out, but found difficult to use. I made a few things with button strips, and some mini bunting out of the collars, but that’s it. Because I’m a bit of a hoarder, other quilters started giving me their leftovers too.
Move on through the years… I am no longer sewing much. And the sewing I’m doing is small occupational-therapy-fireside-tv-watching stuff. I’m clearing out the loft, a box at a time, and came across the stash of shirt bits. Reluctant to throw them out, I began to think about other artists I know who could give them a better home.
My friend and fellow a-n blogger Stuart Mayes who lives in Sweden is currently doing work with shirts and ties, and I wondered whether a large quantity of collars and cuffs might be something he could play with. Sometimes, having a huge quantity of something, instantly, presents possibilities that might not otherwise have occurred when you only have half a dozen…
So I have squeezed down and packaged up four packages – each around 2kg – consisting of 150(ish) shirt collars and 300(ish) (mostly) corresponding cuffs to post over to Stuart, in the hope that he will throw them in the air, and roll about on them in glee, then come up with an idea that has been floating about in the air, waiting for somewhere to land!
(photos please Stuart! Hahahahahahaaaa!)