Apparently I have a lot to say these days. Here comes a long photo-less post on a Saturday night. I promise I'm not trying to torture you!! (And I will have photos tomorrow!)
I want to post an update on how I'm finding time for creativity these days.
When we got home from vacation in October, I started a new schedule to make sure I was creative each week.
The main parts of my plan were to have 2 design sessions a week, and to work as a production assistant (to myself) for an hour first thing in the morning 5 days a week.
How has it gone?
I'm really happy with this division of time and tasks. I'm in my studio more often. I'm producing more work. I feel like it's a good balance of cranking out work, stretching my design skills and solving tough problems.
The past two weeks have been a real test of my plan. A holiday week like Thanksgiving obviously has schedule disruptions, but I still fit in my creative time.
During the week that's just ending, there was a death in Jim's family. We traveled a bit for the wake and funeral. But I still fit in my creative time. (I didn't keep up with people very well via email or my blog, but I was able to keep my studio commitment to myself and I'm happy about that.)
I feel more confident that if this scheme can work in weeks like the past two, it has a good chance of working until spring. (And if my friends and blog buddies can stand it, hopefully I'll also be able to keep in touch with them!)
Morning Sessions as Production Assistant
The morning sessions were hardest for me to get into, but now they're my favorite part of this plan. At first, I faced the task of weaving 4 more towels on a huck warp, then hemming them. Particularly during the hemming phase, I wasn't exactly excited.
The beauty of this scheme is that I don't have to be excited. I just have to do it. I don't have to be the most efficient, the best, inspired. I just have to sit down and get to work for an hour. No thinking. No questioning. No wondering. Cranking out work. Definitely "Less thinking, more weaving!"
It's working for me. I've really come to enjoy it. The pluses of that morning time are that when I first get up, the house is quiet and my brain is still partially asleep. The hour drifts by even if I'm doing a part of a project that I don't enjoy. My rules of not questioning and just doing whatever comes next keep me focused and make the time more relaxing. If something really doesn't work, I set it aside until my next design session, and move on to something that is working.
By Monday most weeks I look forward to that hour....I do try to spend Mon - Friday mornings that way....but sometimes life gets in the way and it gets pushed off til the weekend.
My design sessions are a mixture of fun, challenging and hard for me. I am in a rhythm of enjoying that focused time and working on whatever problems I'm trying to solve.
So far I've designed the scarf warp you've heard so much about. Plus I have a secret Christmas project on my other loom, and another project ready for sampling.
I also did my calculations for my two days of dyeing during the design sessions. (I did manage to wind the skeins and actually do the dyeing during other time - not impinging on my studio schedule.)
It's fitting that I'm posting this today since I just had a great design session. I started weaving the first scarf on my 1st-Time-at-WEBS scarf warp. I also figured out what was going wrong on my secret Christmas project. I can start weaving first thing Monday with both projects in good shape.
Right now designing is so new to me that I have trouble keeping my "production assistant" busy with production all of the time. On off days when both projects are stuck, tasks like cleaning the studio, sorting and cleaning all the Texsolv parts of my Toika loom, and cleaning up a gift of shuttles and books easily fill the hour.
I hope that as I get better as a designer, I'll keep my production time productive, and be able to tackle some of the odds and ends that are on the back burner for now.
I guess I'm not really sticking with my "Less Thinking, More Weaving" motto. It's more like, weave in the mornings, think twice a week.
In reality, spending this much time with weaving means that I have great ideas when I'm driving around or out running....my list of different projects I want to do grows and grows. I love that idea phase of weaving (or of anything) the best.
Things Being Neglected
Last time I posted about finding time, a number of people talked about housework. Um, yeah. When I neglect weaving, it's definitely not because I'm doing too much housework!! We don't live in filth, but if I have to schedule time for weaving, I definitely have to schedule time for cleaning and such!
Knitting has kind of fallen off the schedule which isn't great. I have 5 projects on the needles and I need to get back to my knitting group ASAP. I'm such a social knitter! I've just had major schedule conflicts for the past month or so.
I do feel like other things that are important to me are getting short shrift....mostly keeping in touch with friends and relaxing, but hopefully as I get used to working this way, I'll get better at fitting in the things that matter most to me.
The fruits of my labor will be more apparent soon - which will boost my confidence and trust in this plan even more.
Hope you're having a creative December too!!
19 hours ago