July update

geesh, it’s July already. How did that happen?

Scheduled for this month-

7/6- 7/17 I will be spending every afternoon taking a class in Adobe Suite– stay tuned for vast improvements or total meltdown in my web presence.

7/11- Boston Handmade Marketplace in Union Square, Somerville. Click through for all the info.

7/26- 7/31- I will be in Orlando, Florida at the CHA show, helping my sister-in-law. I have no idea what this will be like. I may not have a minute to spare, or then again, maybe I will. Suggestions for interesting places and possible meet-ups would be great.

I seem to have misplaced my creative juice, muse, mojo, juju, whatever you want to call it. I have one doll finished that I haven’t photographed yet- I will sometime when it stops raining.

I’ve been working on the room-

It moves forward. My daughter is coming home for a visit at the end of July and that needs to be my deadline- hmm, I seem to  make these deadlines all the time- otherwise, I am not sure where she will sleep. I have covered up any possible sleeping surfaces with stuff out of this room.

I have also been doing some dyeing and over-dyeing, hoping to get inspired again.

It has been fun. And positive in several ways- mostly it fills the need to create and so keeps me from the funk that I fall into when I do not. It keeps me from going to the thrift shop and buying more woolies- which is not so bad except that since I am going to be moving my studio, I shouldn’t be bringing more stuff into it right now. And, I am taking fabrics that I won’t use-ie yuck colors or previous dyeing mistakes or just boring- and turning them into something terrific. And, that red on the left- I used some old dye that I picked up somewhere… did someone give it to me or was it from an estate sale? The box cost 15 cents and the illustration style makes me think 40’s at the latest. Maybe later I will post pictures. Anyway, such fun using up the old stuff.

5 thoughts on “July update

  1. Fortuitous post, Mimi. I’ve developed an interest in dyeing just recently, although I’m not aiming anywhere near the level of skill you have attained with your woolens. Yesterday I experimented with tea and coffee, trying to get some muslin to just the right shade of pinkish-yellowy-tan for a rag doll. Though I loved how my kitchen smelled like Starbucks, the muslin ended up more yellowy that I hoped. Is it possible to buy ready mixed dye that will get cotton to that perfect vintage shade?

    Oh, by the way, I have pieces from a heavy dark red wool coat that I cut up, and I have way more that I’ll ever need. Can I send you some of it?

  2. You haven’t lost the mojo, juice, muse, just misplaced it whilst you are recreating you space. I have seriously lost mine however and don’t see it coming back until we manage to sell the house and move. Its very frustrating and I have seriously considered renting a studio space if I can find one. Not so sure that my husband would be too thrill if I did that though.

  3. The question of mojo and the waning thereof is a serious (and fascinating) one. When is a drop in enthusiasm/productivity just part of a natural cycle and when is it something else? (And what else is it?) I began the year very productively, and now working on my dolls feels very much like “work.” The thrill is gone, as they say. And of course it IS work, and I suppose it shouldn’t feel like fun all of the time. I once heard it said that the human condition is a constant striving for equilibrium and then for dis-equilibrium, for pattern and constancy, then for novelty. I get jolted into a better place by thrift-shopping (and, yes, Mimi, then there’s the question of where to put the stuff!) I’m new enough to doll-making (piddling at it off and on for decades, but committing to it only this year) that there is always a challenge of technique and a problem to solve. I think my trip to NIADA in September will light me up again. And, as I am having a doll critiqued, I do have a goal of making my best possible doll by then.

    I’m sure the disruption of your work space contributes to your struggle, Mimi. I wonder, too, if there is a sameness that is somewhat enervating–you post a doll, we all say how wonderful it is, you post another doll, etc. Is the economic down-tick a factor? When we aren’t making sales, do we lose motivation? I am interested in your evolution as an artist, Mimi, if you are interested in sharing–what led you to where you are now from where you once were (I’m thinking of the dolls in the photo at the top of this blog, and how your work has changed). Is there a question of how we OOAK dollmakers fit into 2009? The question of community. I know you have an active circle of artist friends; it’s something I miss here in rural New Mexico. I wonder about Twitter. I know you are on Twitter, and I am as well, but I don’t know how to use it, really. Most of the tweets I get are from people trying to sell something, people on the make. I love this blog (and have read all of the archives), but I also wonder if you are getting from it what you need. (I get a great deal from it myself–from seeing your work to following your links.)

    Since I don’t know you, this may all be rather presumptuous. But I’ve been mulling this for a couple of days and decided to go ahead and send it. All the best to you.

  4. I think a lot about the wax and wane of creating. I have gone out of my way to not make art my work- I make a nice living as a nurse and I am not prepared to have two jobs- one as a nurse and one as an artist. I won’t make anything on commission, and I very rarely sell anything even when asked. It is easier to be flattered that someone wants to buy some work than to have to actually go out on a limb and promote my work. I’m happier, at least now, having my job be something that the employer defines, and art being more of a private endeavor. I’m a little too addicted to the regular paycheck and health benefits!

    That said, when I get stuck I tend to either dye stuff, fold stuff, sort stuff, or push through the series that I am currently working on. I think working in series is a good way for me as a non professional artist to push myself a bit, and give myself some direction when I am flagging. Sometimes, though, I just need to go dig in the garden!

    Like the commenter above, I have no group or artist friends. Odd considering that I live in a major metropolitan area, but there you are.

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