Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What's Up with Me?

I don't know why I am so reluctant to post anything. Perhaps it's the overall lack of deadlines and pressure that has me in a lull. Maybe that's a good thing ~ nothing pressing, time to relax and just do what I feel like doing. Yet I feel a little lost with something shouting at me saying, "Finish", "Deadline!!!!, or "MUST DO NOW." So I think this will be a philosophical post, not a "what I did this summer" post.

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a place where I could wax poetic and write all the things that they keep editing out of my books. Share the wisdom, so to speak, with anyone bothering to read my blog. Yet it quickly fell into a "I've been here, "I did this" kind of blog, and that's not really me.

Yes, I was more than eager to share the elation over my new granddaughter, Kathryn, and yes, it's fun to show off the beautiful scenery from places new to my eyes. I like to show you what I see, it's part of the wonder that I like to think I have never lost.

I still feel like a kid inside, do you? I am grappling with what I see in the mirror, which is no longer a true reflection of who I think I am. I look old, tired, and the dreaded word, haggard. I entertain the idea of coloring my hair, but then remember all the times people (like you) have said it's my trademark. I do the oh-so-typical pulling up of the face, the facelift, gesture my Mom always used to do. My kids say I'm silly, that I look beautiful, but what I see no longer reflects what I feel. Drooping jowls and lines etched in my face from too many smiles, now make me look as if I am frowning all the time...


OK, that's what I wrote on Tuesday. Today is Saturday and as usual, my mood, my outlook has done a 180 degree turnaround. And I know why. I have been back in the studio creating. See, that hole I was in was because this was the week I had to a) file my taxes after the 3 mos. extension we had, b) shop for auto insurance (ps, I saved a lot of money switching from Geico) and c) renew health insurance. All of those things required a lot of comparison shopping, analyzing and dealing with the M word - money. Definitely all left-brain activity and for sure NOT FUN.

But, when it was over, I walked into my newly cleaned and organized studio, began to create and fell in love with life again. It was that simple. "Your studio?" you might say. Well let me backtrack. We had Kathryn's christening here August 5th, so that meant making the house presentable. My "studio" is really a small back room, perhaps intended as a breakfast room when the house was built back in 1933. It's really too small for anything but what you see, the one table. When the kids were little it was the TV room, and I sometimes still refer to it as the old TV room. Then it became unofficial storage space until one day I claimed it - painted the walls my favorite green, threw up a floor to ceiling toile-covered cork board, put the table in, added a very artsy lamp and called it my own. I'm not sure if I ever really spent time there. It quickly became storage space again, for all of my teaching supplies, class samples, incomplete projects etc. The table was buried. It was a mess.

But on August 4th, it became an inspiration again. This week I have actually sat at the table and worked, serene, thrilled even to have a clean tabletop to work on.

Oh, I haven't abandoned my bed. I've been up there too, making Fragments, stockpiling them for the fall, when Mary Engelbreit Home Companion comes out (I'll be in the Nov/Dec issue, out in October). I want to have enough to put a new gallery online and still have some to sell when I go teach.
Life is not a path of coincidence, happenstance and luck, but rather an unexplainable, meticulously charted course for one to touch the lives of others and make a difference in the world. ~ Barbara Dillinham
Now this next part is the "what I've been doing" section - only because I want to let you kow about the wonderful women I've met recently. I could be out meeting people for lunch almost every day of the week, but I limit myself to one a week so I don't loose time in the studio. So the first week of August I met with a very talented former student, Kay Bailey who left the left-brain world of law to make beautiful fiberart. She wanted to pick my brain about marketing her business, Fiber of her Being - and if you look at her website, you can see she is well on her way. The following week there was a delightful lunch with Melissa Hackmann, a local woman who saw my work in Lynne Perella's Artist's Journals & Sketchbooks. Melissa wanted to pick my brain about teaching a journaling class. Melissa is a very charming, talented graphic designer who I expect we will see more of in the future.

Then last night I had dinner with the editor of Doll Crafter & Costuming magazine, Pat DuChene. I have an article in the current issue and Pat was in DC with the Doll Expo. It was a perfect night for outdoor dining and the meal at Medaterra was perfecto! I had my first taste of a Chocolate Martini - a great dessert that tasted like a chocolate milkshake...dangerous!

Blogger is not cooperating with my attempts to upload any more images right now, so I'll be back soon, I promise. In the meantime, if you're feeling down, confused, agitated or just plain bored, GO MAKE SOMETHING.

14 comments:

Jan said...

Thank you for this post, Lesley! It's exactly what I needed (on several levels) today.

I need orange said...

I work, and when I come home in the evening, the thought of "getting out everything" is daunting, and I don't have adequate lighting..........

I am finding that Photoshop Elements is saving me. No mess, no set-up, no clean-up, nice bright images I can see just fine. I can mess with stuff to my heart's content (and that is just the right description!).....

I can make something out of tangible materials on days when I don't work and can sit by the window in daylight, and I can make something out of bits and pixels after it's dark outside.

-- Vicki, like you, venturing into crone-hood, and surely not liking the parts of it that mean my neck sticks to itself when I am hot (as I am, all too often!), the sore feet, the not being able to see as well as I used to..........

nina said...

i love you just the way you arrreeeeeeee..........xoxoxo

Jeannie Evans - Van Hoff said...

Isn't it amazing how letting the creativity out of the storage box changes your whole outlook! Yesterday I started on a project and suddenly ideas started flowing and I felt whole again. As to the aging ~ I just spent 3 days with my aunts who are all in their 70s and I saw them all as beautiful. The wrinkles, gray hair, tummys and thunder thighs were all there, but I saw their inner beauty and the joy in their eyes. (Now if I could only learn to look inward instead of what I see in the mirror.) Perhaps accepting oneself, wrinkles and all, is part of the wisdom we gain as we grow older.
Cheers,
Jeannie

Elle said...

I love your bright green walls...

Liz said...

I always forget that little fact... when feeling down go into the studio, and it's the one constant that always makes me feel Myself again. Why is it that like so many, I forget this very well know happenstance...

Thanks for a great thought provoking post.

Barbara in Ma. said...

Oooooh Leslie. I did the hair thing...even tho' people (hairdressers too!) said 'but I LOVE your grey - it's a great grey, etc.' Costly, unpredictable, and after 4 trips in 5 months - STILL not a color I really like a lot...but I had job interviews looming, and I didn't want my hair to say so much about me before I even opened my mouth.
That mirror thing on the wall really does a number on us. Maybe we should approach it with our artwork in hand and let the reflection tell the WHOLE truth.

Lisa Cook said...

Oh goodness, Lesley, you are such a remarkably down to earth woman. I so appreciate you "letting your hair down" so to speak and showing us that you too have doubts and sighs about life. I would love to have grey hair! I would love to have hair! I am one of those women who is going bald and it is horrible. (let alone all those other skin things...as a child I remember playing with my mother's flabby arms and thinking - "Why does she let them get this way?"...)
You are right - creating does give the soul a boost. I best go to my studio tonight! I need it too!

Thanks,
Lisa

Lynn Simpson said...

I love you just the way you are too!!! BUT-I felt down too when MY hair became too grey and I went and bought some NICE AND EASY from the Drugstore and picked the colour most like my own when I was younger-not as expensive as a hairdresser and sure helped!!!I also get a manicure,pedicure and brow wax regularly-it really helps the mood and makes me feel good aBOUT MYSELF AND CONFIDENT!!!You don't need any help in the confidence area-you are an inspiration!! But do the hair colour and nail trick-helps me EVERYTIME I feel old!!!! And trendy earrings and beads help too!! I love ya kid!! Lynn

Loretta said...

Lesley, you are a stunning woman! Your skin is luminescent (sp?) and your hair is beautiful. Everyone at the workshop spent the dinner hour wondering how you and your DH could be old enough to have grandchildren!

But - I firmly believe that women should do whatever makes them feel good about their appearance.

On another note, I'm back from vacation and ready to rumble! I LOVE your green studio and may steal the color for myself. Actually, thinking of it, it's the color of my kitchen!

Sue Pieper said...

Thanks for the reminder, making something always makes me feel better, too-I just have to remember that! And the grey hair is just fine, I gave up coloring mine years ago.

Dianna in Maui said...

This post is precisely what I read blogs for...a glimpse inside the mind of the person. Real thoughts. Thanks for saying what you did.

annie said...

okay...now i know we must meet...we absolutely have so much in common...#1...your hair is to die for...(n.p.i.), that is not something we have in common but something that i wish i could go cold turkey and let mine go a~la~ naturelle...i think because we have so many irons in the fire with our families...and you do have an age spread in yours/unlike me...but that is a good thing...i have a friend who has done that and it keeps her going to soccer and such...i wish i did. your creativity is contagious...the thing that i think of when i am feeling a bit haggard...i try to think of the most interesting, strong, passionate,inspiring old women that i have ever met...i have some pretty interesting ones right in my own family...all gone now...but wonderful memories of who they were...and those that just happen to cross my path...i do say to myself..."i hope i am like that when/if i get there...i know that our creativity is what keeps us in touch with our core...our heart...our eyes...the windows to the world...and that is what others see...and feel...i can't wait to meet you face to face...take care...annie

tejae said...

I didn't get to the end of your post yet...only made it to the "haggard" part...girlfriend, you're beautiful. You have a wonderful sharing spirit and we really really enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing...now back to the rest of your post...