Saturday, June 18, 2011

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

I was made acutely aware of living my life too fast when I was recently pulled over for running a stop sign.  Well, I didn't run it, I did a Chicago roll through it as I always do through that intersection. No ticket, but a stern warning.

Love this detail on the side of a duplex.
Made me realize how seldom I slow down - how fast I live my life.  I'm now aware when I come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign.  I multi-task all the time at work - it's nearly a requirement since we have had so many positions cut.

Took a nice relaxing week off and went to Oak Park to care for my sister's pets.  I went with the objective of reading, beading, and drawing at the very least with some movies thrown in.

A redbud caught in transition.

I ended up watching very little tv, spent a lot of time listening to music and focusing on the task at hand (although if I was truly focusing, I would have turned the music off.)  I also drove around town with the intent of noticing details.
Beaded beads - the same pattern, different beads.  I enjoy playing around with different bead shapes to see how they'd turn out.

Got back to work and really noticed how frantic and frenetic people are to get things done.  At first I was telling people to slow down and breathe.  They thought I was nuts.  I was able to focus on one thing at a time, but by the end of the week, it was becoming difficult for me to focus on one thing at a time - you get pulled so many different ways.

This past week I found myself becoming frantic and loosing my concentration.  I made a little sign that reminded me to be present.  To focus. 

View from my window at work.
What I find distracts me the most is having creative thoughts run through my mind.  I guess I'm a day dreamer which makes concentrating on numbers difficult at times.

Today's quote comes from Marilyn vos Savant:  Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself.

And another quote from Ms. vos Savant:  A good idea will keep you awake during the morning, but a great idea will keep you awake during the night.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


At what point does our "stuff" own us instead of us owning it? 

I guess I've always had a hoarding tendency - "that'd be cool used in..." So I'd save pieces of paper, telephone wire, anything that I thought might be cool used in a piece.  I often don't have a piece in mind when I buy the stuff, but think it's so cool that I must have it!

I recently got one of my father's desks.  I love it.  Underneath the top (which used to be part of a couch that Dad built when I was young) is an artwork done by a child in orange crayon.  Circa 1964, I guess. 

See all the stuff that I've collected to make Art?  That's only part of it.  I have much more that is out of the camera's view (on purpose).  That stuff crammed into the shelves behind the desk is not beading stuff - mixed media and paint. 

I finally began to tackle sorting my beads.  I knew I had a lot and wanted to go through them to let some of them go if needed and first and foremost, to put them in some sort of order so that I can put my finger on them when I want a specific bead type.  

I found that I'd bought the same bead, same color over and over.  Funny.  At least I'm consistent.  
This is a shot after the first gross sort.  Didn't take as long as I thought it would, but then a simple gross sort shouldn't.

Not done yet - I have 4 carts filled with beads and thread and tools to add to the sort.  

I think the finer sort and then storage is going to be the challenge for me.

I've seen the hoarding shows and Clean House shows on tv where they treat clutter as a negative thing.  

Is clutter and having things around you in a sort of chaos wrong?  I don't think so.  I think that there should be some sort of happy medium - isn't having no clutter at all also some sort of disorder?  

I know that I need a bit of chaos around me in order to create, but I also need to be able to put my finger on things when I need them.  I see some people's studios that are orderly and clean and I think of Einstein's quote: If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, Of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

Today's second quote comes from George Orwell:  Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Been thinking a lot about commitment lately.  

I've committed myself to many things - serving on the board of my society, exercising, and lately, making art.

For me it was the commitment part that was my stumbling block.  

After work sometimes it was the last thing I wanted to do, but for the past couple of weeks I've made a commitment to work on a kit that I bought years ago.  

It felt good to work towards completion - I'm not quite there yet - the instructions left something to be desired, so I will rip out a good deal of it and begin again.  At least I am not disheartened.  It is my current Mount Everest and I will make it to the peak.  

Nearly time for the tulips to bloom.
I think that I may put it away and work on something else for a little while, but for the time being, I have made the commitment to do something creative everyday.  After all, sometimes it is the journey and not the destination.  I just made a side trip, that's all.

Two quotes for today - 

The first is from anonymous:  There's a difference between interest and commitment.  When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit.  When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.

The second is from: Peter Drucker:  Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.