Balancing creativity...

Mother-Daughter ScarvesBy Amelia © May 7, 2010

Every so often, I lapse into a "meta" phase of considering my direction and environment. A step back really helps me evaluate, improve, and re-energize my goals.

Henry of Wake Up Cloud recently helped with that, asking what the biggest blocker was in pursuing my dreams.

My current goal is to explore weaving and find what I like most about it, as I continue to explore the ins and outs of spinning.

Having been spinning for 9 years now, and mastering a variety of skills to the point of teaching and selling handspun, I enjoy the activity and continue to find ways to expand my skills. I would say it's only in the last few years that I've finally developed a rhythm for consistent singles. My forays into fine spinning have been developing to new lengths (pun intended!); that aligns nicely with my desire to weave fine threads.

Weaving is a fascinating art as well. The perfectionism of weaving fabric provides a nice balance to the more care-free nature of spinning. I have, of course, thrown my handspun on the loom in a variety of ways (perhaps not quite as care-free as WeaveZine's silly string method...) and luckily had success with that. I know my future weaving will involve handspun.

Garland Takes in the ViewAs with all fascinations, these interests of mine can overwhelm the day-to-day living of raising a family and caring for pets, flock, and home. My current meta-goal, then, is finding a balance -- keeping family and all content while continuing my fiber explorations.

Sometimes it means teaching my children a bit more cooking and cleaning so they can help out on the family side. They're used to mom teaching them things, being spinners themselves and exploring needle-arts, felting, dyeing and weaving alongside mom. Since we all enjoy that, it's perhaps no surprise that they are happy to learn cooking and take great pride in the meals they've prepared.

Sometimes it means taking personal time -- this weekend, for example, I'm attending a workshop by Anne Field on Collapse Weave. A few years back, I might not have let myself go away for 3 days; but now I know the family will do well and even benefit from the time without mom at the tiller.

I know I'm not the first artisan to go down this path ... I recently read Anita Luvera Mayer's books and was struck how, in the forwards, she grew as a person. In her first book, she notes how family needs and wants kept her from the loom for many years. In her second, she mentions the difficulty of leaving them to go to shows and workshops. And in the third, she celebrates the growth of herself and her family to function both together and apart. I plan to continue reading her books, "I don't do guilt anymore" really sounds like it will be a fun read from a woman who has definitely arrived.


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© May 7, 2010 by Ask The Bellwether, posted at

1 comment:

Birdsong said...

What a delightful and thought-provoking analysis! I do think this is one of the age-old challenges for women, especially, to be creative and to have balance. Thank you for sharing!