Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My inner voice is speaking

Throughout my life, people have told me that I should paint, knit, sew, etc for a living. I don't have the right mind set to be commissioned to make things and charge for them. The comments I've heard at craft shows while sitting with friends who were vendors made me want to scream. Someone who has sewn on a few buttons and bought 3 yards of lace for $1 from the bargain bin thinks a hand sewn, smocked baby dress made of Swiss batiste is overpriced at $50. That price doesn't cover materials and the hours put into it, even at minimum wage.

My creative hobbies are almost as important to me as breathing. I have never spent more than a few days away from creating something.  I learn while creating even if I occasionally want to scream and rip things apart, figuratively and literally. Sometimes an effort is "good enough" depending on the item's purpose, but if a person always stops at "good enough", you don't really grow and learn.

The woman who made the beautifully smocked infant's dress might not have made mistakes on that particular gown that needed to be undone and restitched, but she had many dozens of that style completed in her history of sewing and smocking, not to mentioned hundreds of hours of teaching both. She smiled at my frustration with the comments we overheard. She had learned to tune them out and listen to her own voice.

What does my voice tell me?

When I look at a finished item,  it is okay to appreciate it for what it is and how well it is done, perhaps the biggest accomplishment sometimes being that it is FINALLY done. A recent sweater threatened to be on needles forever...or so it seemed. But that voice inside? That voice said forget about "seems" and look at the arm seams. They aren't terrible but they could be better. Taking them out and restitching isn't the answer because the problem that I see was in the knit pattern itself, the way decreases were shaped, started and stopped. If that made no sense to you, just know that many things in life aren't obvious until after you've gone the distance. I'm not going to knit new sleeves, I will just know to do them differently next time.

I'm not being negative by seeing my mistakes, or if not actual mistakes, areas that could be improved. If I were a negative person, I wouldn't pick up the needles, brushes or scissors again. My inner voice reminds me that I am not in competition with anyone but myself. My goal is to try to be better today than yesterday, and that applies to everything in life.

Getting better one day at a time has led to Weight Watcher success (my weight loss journey is here), improvement through practice and repetition in my crafts, and in my outlook toward the world. If you aren't careful, the media and angry voices in social media and on the streets can make you think the world is coming to an ugly end. It isn't though, not any time soon because I have too many projects to finish and techniques to perfect!

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