Thursday, January 3, 2008

Take It Further and word for the year

This is going to be a wordy's how I tend to design.

January 2, 2008: I just looked up the first Take It Further challenge: "The key concept for January is a feeling we have all had, the feeling of admiration for another. Ask yourself who do you look up to and admire? Why? What is it you admire about them?"
Right off the bat, my thought was my grandmother, my mom’s mother. But did I really know her enough to really admire her? Mostly I see her through my mother’s eyes.
A second thought is a person I work with who gave me a wonderful treasure trove of his ties a year ago and they would be fun to work with again. I admire many things about him. But then this just a "handy materials" driven concept?
I think this is going to take a little more thought...who do I admire and why?

As usual, my first step is to visit a dictionary:

ad·mire verb
Etymology: Middle French admirer, to marvel at, from Latin admirari, from ad- + mirari to wonder, from mirus astonishing 1560 transitive verb
1 : to regard with admiration
2 archaic : to marvel at
intransitive verb, dialect : to like very much synonym see REGARD

ad·mi·ra·tion noun 15th century
1 archaic : WONDER
2 : an object of esteem
3 : delighted or astonished approbation

ap·pro·ba·tion noun 14th century
1 obsolete : PROOF
2 a : an act of approving formally or officially b : COMMENDATION, PRAISE

This puts a bit of different light on it. Marvel. Wonder. Astonish. Esteem. It’s the astonishment bit that I’m finding intriguing.

January 3: This all has been swirling around. Just after I wrote the above, I got up and left my desk and walked about and it popped into my head that the person I really admire and who continually astonishes me is my sister. We’ve spent a lot of time together this year, working on her daughter’s wedding and I’m continually amazed by her poise, organization, focus, just goes on and on. So, Kim it is.

Which led me to a new dilemma. With all the wedding plans and holidays, I pretty much ignored thinking about this challenge. So my next step is to do some backpedaling and think about form. Do I want a consistent object from each challenge, such a as journal quilt page? Do I want to do something totally different each month? And media. Embroidery? Crazy Quilting? Collage? Beading? I feel the need to make some decisions and become a bit more focused.

Which leads me to my “word” for the year. The Fiber & Stitch Yahoo group has been discussing selecting a word for the coming year, instead of or in addition to a resolution. I have selected FOCUS. I’ve been feeling more and more scattered and unfocused and want to concentrate on becoming more focused on what I’m doing at the time and focusing each project I do, too, on some long term goals (like stash reduction, trying new things).

So for now I’m concentrating on what I want to learn from this year’s Take It Further challenge and what to focus on here.

What I focused on last night was the needlepoint sampler. I completed the basketweave band and realized that I kept working later than I should have just so I could type those words here. I don't often stitch on weeknights for lack of time and energy. So just having this blog is providing it's own bit of motivation (and focus, let's not forget focus!)

Addendum: I just realized that paying attention to focus should also help my abysmal photography!

I dug further into mom's notes on her needlepoint sampler and found a date and more information. She began it in September 1995 with the EGA chapter, Fox Valley Illinois. The Canvaswork Band Sampler was designed by Carol Harrison. And the perle is #3 and #5 (not 5 and 8 like I'd thought). It's white wool, which is actually an off-white color, with the ecru perle. Ms Harrison suggests: "If you choose an overall white effect, do not use white perle coton. White perle coton is a much starker white than any brand of wool can match. It will make your wool look dirty. However, if you use ecru perle cotton with the white wool, the perle coton will look white and make the white yarn sparkle." (the emphasis is my mom's)

The sampler has eleven bands total, so I have two to go. It also has instructions for a twisted chain and continental edging to aid in finishing. (The instructions don't specify whether it was to be framed or made up as a pillow or something else altogether.) Mom began the sampler way over to one edge so I'm not sure if I'll have space for the edging rows, but I'd like to try that twisted chain...


Anonymous said...

I liked your mention of 'handy materials' driven concept. I actually managed to avoing doing that (for the first time)- I think sharon giving us something to focus on help me.

Jane said...

Hi Marj,
I didn't sign up for TIF formally, but I am going to pick up this challenge, just because it does speak to me so loudly. The first person to pop into my head as someone I admire (and yes, that I'm astonished by) is my paternal grandmother; coincidentally, I had already started collecting things for a journal crazy quilt for her. She was widowed before her youngest child was born (probablly when she was about 25 years old) and managed to support her family and raise 4 wonderful kids.
The ring bearer's pillow turned out beautiful. Cindy & Paul didn't use the one I made for the intended purpose either; Parker was holding it!
I also hear what you are saying about Focus. My interests and work have been kind of scattershot this past year. I want to do some kumihimo, I got polymer clay tools and supplies for Christmas, I have signed up for a correspondence course that I haven't started, the TIF challenge, the lecture/luncheon, etc. I can see that if I don't focus, I won't get anything accomplished.
Thanks for your help!

Barbara Hagerty said...

I like your method of blogging your thought process. Very helpful.