Little Things Mean A Lot These Days

It’s the little things that make all the difference. We’ve all talked about the major shifts in our lifestyle as a result of the pandemic. But for many of us, living in our pajamas is a real change with less fuss about what to wear therefore, less laundry. Most of all, more time on our hands and most of it at home – even for me, a retired but working artist who works at home.

Well OK, the above pics are from a few years ago, but you get the gist! Cooking for breakfast company is sorely missed. Grandkid visits, nevermind sleepovers, are things that used to happen in better days. How important? I moved back home from California when my sons were about to marry because I wanted to be here for those families-to-be. I moved back up here from Cape Cod so I could be the almost constant babysitter for all six of them. True, they no longer need that but not being able to spend time with them now is a huge loss. One that I know so many of you share.

Better days with the grands and nephews! Christmas 2016 photo extravaganza.

So, how do we fill in these days with many hours to spare?When we have lemons, what do we do? It’s not all bad…

It’s been about nine years since I’ve actually done any carving to create block prints and I found out that’s been the case for quite a few of us that used to be very active in a carving group.

So with all this time we’ve re-emerged as a new group and I’ve begun to carve again. I’m working on my first one but not yet finished so I don’t have a new one to show you. Here’s an oldie but goody, Solstice Bird. It’s a multi-block print; that is one for the blue, one for the yellow and a third for the black. I’m sticking to a single block to begin with. And I’m definitely rusty.

I’ve signed up for two new swaps: A Newbie Oldie Book Swap and a Carved Quilt Book Swap. I’m learning that I forgot a lot.

I’m also taking a couple of online classes: A Blogging for Beginners on WordPress. I was finding the changes they’ve made, switching to a Block format, to be very difficult, but now during my first assignment I’m learning some but I’m struggling!

Also, I’m about to start a Mary Pal Converts to Cheesecloth class. I have used cheesecloth before in my quilts but Mary is a pro at it:

Dream Dispersed, my first foray into adding cheesecloth for texture, also to unify.
Exhibited September, 2019 at Pawtucket Arts Collaborative (PAC) Juried Fall Show TEXTURE
In the visual arts, TEXTURE is the perceived surface quality of a work of art. It is an element of two-dimensional and three-dimensional design distinguished by its visual and physical properties.

Fortunately these are both learn at your own pace because somehow I really don’t have an abundance of well-functioning hours because of my health issues. But I’m a pretty persistent old beech, so I keep on keepin on. And I know I’m not alone at it. At 72, many of my friends are experiencing similar problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome which makes holding onto the pins when sewing impossible, or the carving guage and so on. Debilitating fallen arches make it impossible to go for a walk to take the photos you use in your art. Hip and knees that need replacement in order to get around, to climb the stairs to the studio, stand or sit long enough to accomplish anything have to wait for surgery until this pandemic is over.

So how are you compensating? What kind of lemonade are you making? Let us know – maybe you can inspire someone else!

Speaking of inspiration – nothing inspired me more this entire year, well, perhaps in the last four years, than Amanda Gorman ! This piece by The Painter’s Keys is well worth the read!

9 thoughts on “Little Things Mean A Lot These Days

  1. So nice to see a post Janis. Good on you for rediscovering old directions during this very trying time. I am also going back to some of my many roots, jumping back into weaving and hooking, all be it in other than traditional floor rugs. I am looking for way to incorporate all my textile knowledge into developing my Bespoke Bags brand. Keep us posted!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Janis! I just peeked at your blog via the P2 WordPress course–and I love it! We share some of the same delights 🙂 I’ll be stopping by more often to see what you have posted.

    Liked by 1 person

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