Advent Interlude 4


This art piece was doomed to be unfinished, untouched for months but still in the range of daily examination.  The aha! direction found me as I drove over the mountains, pondering my child’s life.  “He’s never going to be happy until he learns to dance on the rim of nothingness.” I thought.  “No, it is I that needs to learn that dance.” I argued back.

I returned  to the studio and cut a hole in this work.  I worked quickly, finding materials oddly at hand.  I hummed the hymn, “I’ll praise my maker while I’ve breath.”  I thought about little Mary at the annunciation, her receptiveness to impossible news.

The dance on the rim of nothingness (or everything) is old.  In Advent we wait.  We prepare.  And some of us dance.  Join me.


Accelerate Results

Who wants to create more in the time allotted?

How can that happen?

Running With Scissors
My friend Cathy Stark photographed me in this pose that illustrates, “Runs With Scissors.” When the cutting begins, I am in the creative zone. And while I am more of a risk taker than my high school teachers could have ever imagined, I usually stand still with scissors. However, I do have them strategically placed throughout the house.

My siblings and I, creative, entrepreneurial beings, have discussed this. Paul is making things in multiples. I have been repurposing design components to new projects. Beth, owner of Spencer Grace—a creative communications agency, offers this terrific technique on her blog: make a fast mess. Please read her complete perspective at

Prepare: making a new tool to add ease to my work

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Step 1: Assemble 2″ insulation sheet cut to size, batting, mid weight cotton fabric, poster board, utility tape

Step 2:  Glue poster board to one flat side of the insulation and let dry. Layer fabric, batting, and insulation with poster board up. Wrap fabric around the sheet of insulation and tape into place.

Step 3: Ta dah! This happy textile artist has a light weight print / paint board for table runners, scarves, and clerical stoles.  Actually, I have two.  If the weather cooperates, I will be practicing with these this weekend.

Three Words 2013: prepare, practice, evaluate

“What three words will help you in 2013?”  That was the last sentence of the last post of 2012.  I planned to write this post a month ago.  I had my three words.  But I also had doubt, the kind of doubt that sabotages movement.

“I believe in the power of words.  Each year I choose three words to shape and focus my time, space, and energy.  They usually arrive in my brain sometime between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  I am grateful when they appear early, because I can roll them around and get comfortable with them.” I wrote this in the last blog, too.  I got the 2013 words in late November and they have been rolling and rolling, but there is no comfort.

The words are prepare, practice, and evaluate.  For me, they are derivatives of last year’s “invent,”  the word that wanted more time.  Some days these words elate me.  On dark days, they seem to illuminate my inadequacies.  Elation and illumination.  I like it when my art causes that response in my viewers.  Perhaps these words will make me a more wholesome artist.

Does your work inform and illumine your days?  How does that happen?  Do words help?


Focus Words

I typically chose focus words at the beginning of each year.  The words shape my days.  They serve as a measuring stick for my activites.  They remind me that when I pursue non-urgent activites, I am often doing what is really important to me.

This year I chose play, prepare, and produce.  Recently I added pace to the group.  I have been more mindful of myself during my creative process. Play, prepare, and produce are elements of that process that needed to be brought up several notches.

The addition of pace is to remind me that between pushiness and procrastination there lies a wonderful land of opportunity. A place where unfinished objects can be completed or reconsidered.  A space where two creative ideas can be fused into a good pursuit. Pace is a breath of exploration.  It is the pulse of routine.

A wise man once said to me, “Norma, get moving, but move slowly.”   I am moving.  Now let the pace be appropriate!