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My Art Therapy Journey

Posts tagged creation

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I’m back in business!  At least to some degree.  Yesterday I went to my previously scheduled Monday night sewing class and felt better for it.  I’ve been working on this darned stuffed cat for months.  Of course, I did just successfully thread my sewing machine by myself last week.  Next up: Bobbin Winding?

So proud I learned to thread my own machine!

One step at a time.  That’s what I’m always telling myself.

My awesome (and she really is completely  awesome!) sewing teacher announced to the class last night, while talking about when you’re learning to sew,  you just start at step one and go from there with one new skill at a time…And then continued her announcement with the exception for me here, who started on about step 4.  : )   Whoops.

But I swear when I found this cat pattern I thought it was so cute and it wasn’t that big, and besides, don’t babies play with stuffed animals?  How hard could it be, really?!

So…I toted in this (non-beginner) pattern to my very first sewing class and in the past couple of months have fallen in serious intense like with sewing.  It’s teetering on love, I think.  I’m trying to keep it on the down-low though.  I don’t want to get tooooo excited about it just yet.  My sweet kitty is still not quite done and she might not love me back…?  Oh, I hope she loves me!

If she doesn’t I don’t think I’m going to give up on sewing just yet.  I’ll try a stuffed teddy bear next, maybe.

**

There’s more.

I noticed something else about sewing last night though.  And I think it’s an awareness that has grown from the beginning of my stuffed cat project.   But last night it was all in the right place and came together and YES, definitely this cat is a representation of me.

Maybe not the cat, per say…but the process of this cat becoming a cat…The cat becoming/forming/growing into what/who it is.

I’m sure I’m taking my connection with this stuffed cat a bit too far for some people’s comfort level, but I’m always looking for ways to connect and, more-so, ways to express the way I’m feeling inside.

And last night at the tail-end of my class this is how my cat ended up…

inside-out cat-arms and tail folded inside, detached legs, pins that once held it together still sticking out after sewing the body

Of course, I identify with the pins in the body right now due to my recent surgery…and the stitches. The stitches…of course.   And I watched as my cat’s arms and tail went inside and the “beautiful sides” (my teacher refers to them as the beautiful sides!)  were pinned together before sewing…  I thought to myself, “Yes…just like that.  Nobody can see. what’s in there.”

Inside that’s the way I feel…(but I don’t necessarily feel beautiful in there.)  I am all tucked inside, facing a needle, facing surgery, facing life, facing the unknown.  And nobody can see me.  “Nobody can see that I actually have a face under here…if they could see inside me here they would see my face!”

Now, I know sometimes people see me.  Sometimes people are even there when I’m a bloody mess, all contorted and turned certain ways.  But deeper…deeper hidden and hiding is how I sometimes feel.

Having the surgery and the following restrictions on my mobility and the fears about a repeat emergency surgery happening if I don’t follow the rules…and all my body image issues…and the control, or rather the loss of it….has had me pretty “triggered.”   I’m primed and ready to go.  Anxiety…check.  Depression…check. Body Pain…check.  NO CONTROL NO CONTROL NO CONTROL….checkcheckcheckcheckcheck!!!!

It’s not true.  I know I DO have control over myself.  I know that I’m going to be ok in the end.  I know that even if I did have to have surgery again I’m (pretty) sure I’d live through it…even the part that comes after where I can’t get my blood pressure up, walk around,  pick up and play with my daughter and do my projects.

And I also know that I have my attitude at my disposal.  I can choose to stay positive and hopeful at most times.  I can keep the faith.  I can see the bigger picture through anything.  I can do all that!

But then, sometimes…well, sometimes I’m just wrapped up tight inside and it feels like I’m not in my own hands.  Maybe that’s just the place we’re all supposed to be sometimes mid-process of becoming who we are?

And it’s then that I’m really thankful I am a human…and not a stuffed cat after-all.

And I’m completely  made as me. Lovable, huggable me, already!  (Even if I do hide inside sometimes!)

(And I super-super know I am eager to love my creator back…and my creator will not give up on love…because creation doesn’t give up on itself!  I didn’t even plan on that…I’ll have to think about this!)

The end.

No, not the end!  But just the end…for now.

(I wrote this stream-of-consciousness style so I can’t guarantee all of this completely makes sense…have mercy on me! 🙂

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There is something about creating that helps me feel complete.   It doesn’t always even matter what form the creation takes. Whether it’s making a meal or cake, assembling together found objects or piecing together fabrics…or turning a bit of what has been a place of darkness  in my life into something with more light.

The thing about creation is that it seems to follow you everywhere.  That’s what is so awesome about being alive.  For me, when I’m able to connect to creation in all its varied forms,  it makes living feel ok.  When I can open my eyes…when I am brave…light is everywhere in my life.

And I’m safe to feel.

***

This weekend I finally was able to complete a shelf I’ve been in the process of making for the last several weeks.  My projects still take 10 times as long as they potentially could due to all the creating I do as a mother. So, when something outside of  my  time creating as a mom is finished it gives me quite a rewarding feeling of accomplishment!

I’ve wanted a shelf for above our bed since we moved into this house.  It’s super simple construction, but simple and clean is what I was going for.  Well, simple and affordable really.  ; )   I had fun making it and I love all the little trips to the hardware store that even the teeniest projects (especially the building/woodworking kind) seem to inspire/require.

I LOVE hardware stores!

Here it is!

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By the way, I picked up those metal letters on HUGE sale at Hobby Lobby.  I know they have good sales pretty often, so if you like them and want something similar, or to spell out your own word, I’d check in there and wait around a bit for one to come around!  It’s like Pottery Barn on the a la’ cheap.  So you can make the furniture at home, all the while getting a bonus “creation high,” and pick up the accessories for a fair price!

Me and my daughter went on another photo-taking extravaganza today, and it’s final…I’m thinking of moving to Instagram.  Because everything is cool in Instagram.  I think my eyes have acquired Instagram lenses.  I think in Instagram.

Now, I know I am a little behind the times.  I know Instagram is probably old news to some people, but I, for one, sometimes find myself in losing battles, lol.  Like…digital photography, for instance.  I took a photography class in 2002 and learned how to do the “real deal” and vowed it was far too amazing of a world to cheapen it with instantcy. (Which I think might only be a word because I just made it be one.)

But now, well…look at me now.

Now, I am not only in favor of digital…but iPhone digital?  And Instagram?  Like a cheap, uneducated version of Photoshop!?  Oh my goodness, I’m sure I’m offending someone right now.  Am I?  Omg. I’d like to make friends here!

Well, anyway, imagine I never offended you (if I’ve offended you) and imagine I just said…”I’m old school.”  Because that’s what I really mean.  I like to get my hands dirty, or in the case of photography…clean.  I like to dip my hands in chemical and feel the rush of it right up into the cells of my brain and then wash it all away with water and watch things transform in my hands.  I probably have some kind of God complex.  Is there such a thing known to exist?  I mean, there is something SO powerfully wonderful about creation.

I’m not saying digital isn’t creation and isn’t wonderful.  It is!  I even want to  live in Instagram, for goodness sake.

I think I’ve said  enough.

Yes, enough.

On with the show!

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(Note: Many of these photos tell a story or have a string of words behind them, so they may reappear at a later date with more to say here.  For now, we’re doing good (and I’m so grateful)  to have the time to get this far!   : )   …But, until I’m back with my stories, feel free to use these photos as prompts for your own! 🙂  (After all, I don’t want to keep my God complex all for myself.)

A whole month since my last post!?  No wonder I feel a little shy.

Life With Light has definitely been active with posts within me, though.  Ever since my last post when I was exasperated with myself that I couldn’t seem to juggle 10 different full-time jobs, pastimes, and volunteer positions at once and be my daughter’s primary caretaker 150% of the time I have been busy working out a way to make my life feel a little more…well, workable!

It finally dawned on me that all the working women artists in the blog-o-sphere are more than likely not creating sellable art  and running a business and cleaning the house and cooking dinner and looking pretty (a.k.a. getting a shower in) and taking care of their child(ren), and staying alive without some help, at least some of the time!

I vow, from here-on-out, to never ever leave the fact that motherhood and artistry co-existing together on an even semi-regular basis does not come without some designated help from somewhere else outside of me.  I believe it should be acknowledged, and in an easily accessible place like the “About Me” or “Bio” section so that every desperate new mother/creative who may find me here creating in the future will not beat themselves up for days, months, or years for not somehow sprouting wings and 15 extra pairs of hands and feet to accomplish it all at once all by themselves.

So…since my last post I set about finding some help.

Starting next month, toward the end of June, I will have one dedicated day a week to be in my  home studio and perform other developmental creative doings while someone is here to watch and help me care for my little one.  I expect these pages will begin to be filled more with my art therapy journey on a more regular basis then.

Until then, I have decided this blog needs a form of CPR.    I’ve taken CPR and passed many-several times, so hopefully this will be a success.  I am a practiced student of CPR, but I just came up with this idea as I was taking my daughter for a walk at our local park and sneaking in some Instagram photos with my iPhone.

I thought, “I know!” (Good start, right!) …  “I know!  I’m certain I can at least commit to taking one photo a day that speaks to something connected to my art therapy   that I can post on Life With Light.”  A daily resuscitation for when I haven’t had the time, space or energy left over from motherhood-ing to create or when whatever I’m working on creatively is not ready to be shared yet.

There is no “Life with Light ” if the Light goes all the way out.

I actually have been very busy, even creatively at times, even with the logistical challenges.    I have made a small sculpture, and I am taking sewing classes (awesomeness times infinity!) which has resulted in the completion of half a stuffed cat so far.  As it goes, I am currently a little (WAY) slow in the completion of these projects!

But Omg!  I didn’t even post about my completed bookshelf yet!  I actually finished it and it has been happily doing it’s job for weeks!  So I’ll be posting about that soon as well.   But that will have to wait for at least tomorrow.

I am going to play catch up (and do a little CPR)  by sharing some images I took while I was on my walk with my daughter today as I was thinking about blog-sharing cpr…accompanied even by a little blues, if you like. Enjoy!

 

I was sitting, thinking the other day which doesn’t happen very often…sitting.  Of course, I’m sitting here typing now, but it’s a luxury called naptime that also seems to be very short-lived.  I was thinking, wondering how in the world there are so many blogs written by so many women with children…mother artists, mother writers, mother seamstresses, mother crafters and cookers and bakers and sellers of creative wares.

What the heck!?

That’s what I was thinking.  How on earth do they do this and all that too!???

And then I was thinking about my blog and thinking…ok, so I collaborated in making a baby.  Is that not creation enough for a good long while?

Of course, no.  Babies are a whole other topic.  But still…

I feel sick if I’m not  thinking about making, prepping something or flat out creating (my favorite.)

 

I was so sick of sitting there.

So to make myself feel better I got up (even though I’d just had  (minor)surgery less than 48 hours earlier) and started to build me and my husband a bookshelf/dvd/xbox shelf for our bedroom.  The cords have been all over the floor and even though it’s great that it’s been an aid in teaching our 10 month old the meaning of “No cords.” it’s getting a little worn out now!

 

It’s time something be done.

 

Magic Wand...my style

 

And did you know…Home Depot is open on Easter Sunday!

God knows me so well.

And my husband was home to hold the baby while I got down and dirty.

Hopefully, if all the rest follows in my favor I will have a completed project in the next day or two!

But I still am on a mission to figure out how those other mothers get so much accomplished…because my baby just woke up!  How do they do it!???  There will be no time for editing today! (And definitely not photoshop.)

Painting 2 x 4's ...Anything is possible with some 2 x 4's and a little paint...and someone to hold the baby!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dremel Baby!

Look at what showed up on my doorstep today!

I’m pretty sure I love power tools more than my husband, considering he had this sitting around his office at work for two years and asked me today if I was interested in having it!

Are you kidding!  If the way to a man’s heart is food then the way to my heart is a multi-functional power tool.  Hell yeah, bay-bay!!

I’ve looked at knock-off Dremels for at least a year, debating on buying one, trying to find a convincing enough reason I just had to have it.  So now that I have this sweet one in my arms I am convinced I have to put it to use ASAP!

I wonder if he’ll find any metal fabrication tools sitting around anytime soon!?  And maybe a nice welder?  Oh, a pottery wheel and kiln wouldn’t be bad either.

Anyone up for a Dremel Challenge!  : )

This recent addition is definitely lifting my spirits.

 

Edit: oh no, I hope this is not something subconscious coming to the fore.  I just read what I wrote and I did not mean I love power tools more than my husband.  I meant, I love power tools more than my husband loves power tools, ha.  Whoops!  Freud, get lost!