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One of the hardest things to admit to myself as an artist is that even I make mistakes. Perhaps that’s one of the hardest things to admit as a human being. I err.
As an artist it’s difficult because I have to eventually put down the mistake and admit defeat, and try again. This is frustrating because an artist puts so much hope and creativity and life force into the things they make, that giving up on something we’ve made feels much like giving up on ourselves. Of course we have to re-align our way of thinking and remind ourselves that a mistake isn’t a bad thing- it’s a learning process.
I have never seen a blog post done about someone making a mistake, though I am sure they exist. So far, my blog has mostly been a tutorial of things to make and to do. Well, today this blog post is about something you should not do.
I attempted to make a rag rug for my best friend’s new baby, and without looking at any tutorials or books, I went for it, and… disaster!
I started by cutting strips of fabric and braiding them together.
Then I started curling the center of the rug, sewing it with needle and thread on the underside.
I kept spiraling outwards, the rug growing ever bigger- and after it had reached the critical mass of a decent rug size, I realized that there was no saving this rug. It was bumpy and rumpled and would not for the life of itself lay flat on the floor! Hardly what you want in a rug! So I stopped, took a deep breath, and convinced myself that this was a good learning experience, and it was time to follow somebody else’s directions.
I have been busy carving a new rubber stamp for a project I’ve been working on for a month, now.
I needed a large bicycle stamp, and couldn’t find one I liked, so I made one! I’m almost out of the large sheets of rubber I bought in Japan. I don’t know where else I can find this stuff, so I’m getting a little worried.
While I was testing the stamp, I remembered that I signed up for a postcard swap over at ihanna, and I needed to make 10 art postcards. I realized this bike was the perfect size for them, so I went to town on a stack of old cereal boxes with sheet music and a few other hand-carved stamps I had around. Toss on some punched-out lilacs, go one round on the sewing machine and wa-la! Postcards everywhere!
Now to send them off- looks like most of them are going abroad. The Netherlands, UK, Germany, Canada, and a few in the US. I hope they find their homes!
I wrote on the back an excerpt from one of my Great Grandmother’s poems,
“I must have a lilac’s purple promise to tell my winter-weary soul that spring has come and all is well.” -Helen Lowrie Marshall
Those words always come to me in spring- and I’m always so thankful that she wrote them. I’m tickled to have the opportunity to share them with others.