Jane O. M.

Thursday

I decided to cut a 2x4 inch piece of fabric for each year of my life, which would be 77 pieces. I decided they had to come out of my box of scraps, and there must not be any duplication of fabrics. I decided to sew them end to end, with a decorative stitch on my sewing machine.

Went into the studio and got to work. I got into a good zone, and rummaged and cut and trimmed and ironed and stacked and sewed for hours. Pleasurable hours. Definitely got a little obsessive – down to lining them up and auditioning them for placement so I wouldn't have five green ones all together, etc.

Didn't get finished today. It will be interesting to see what my rested brain thinks of it in the morning.

A haiku reflecting on the meaning of my strip:

As years follow years

My path of life flows along

Filling me with joy.

What did I learn today? There was no frustration. I had a clear plan. I had a box of materials to work with. I have sewing skills and equipment. It just flowed. As I have begun the work of making art, being creative, I've experienced great frustration. I can't envision what I want to make. I have extremely limited experience and skills. I just can't conceive of myself as an artist - but I know I am an excellent sewer. This makes me think I set up demanding unrealistic expectations of myself, that I jumped into the deep end of the pool before some swimming lessons. The strip project was a combination of old and new, an original idea but using old skills – I think that is why it was satisfying, and do-able.

Friday

Finished up the strip. I want to dig through old photos and find a baby picture and attach it to the first strip – that is the one with butterflies. Each year I'll add a new piece.