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practice and the creative genius :: a response to the Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk.


Does artistry always lead to anguish as is custom in much of our Society?  I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate this brief talk by Elizabeth Gilbert.  In February, I was back in the saddle showing up for my job as she puts it.  Everyday I woke early, did my household chores and then clocked in to work on either a design or fine art project. At first it was exhilarating. I had survived. I was BACK!   You see when you've had a stroke and your body is left paralyzed, you can't talk, you can barely read, your whole existence seem to disappear at least the world as you knew it, but unfortunately you are left with enough memories of life before the stroke to tease and taunt you.  Well, I was back, but only at half level.  I was tired all the time, living on coffee and depressed as all get out.  Could I chase my genie, that allusive fairy who kept teasing me with flights of creativity.  Or was it all over?  Had my life stopped in February 2014.  Well, I want it known for the record, that it hasn't stopped.  I am still showing up every day to do my job as an artist.

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what I've learned from watching the Voice


Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal. -- Pamela Vaull Starr

Every week I have been glued to the television watching The Voice on NBC.  The show gives me such hope.  It is inspiring to watch talented artists go out on the stage and give it their all to take a shot for their dreams. I can't begin to understand the nerves of steel they must develop, especially these last two artists who had to slug it out at the end.  They both were so graceful and composed despite it all.

Since my stroke, I 've lost a bit of my nerve.  I revved up in February with several design projects and an exhibition opening.  The stress took me out and it took most of March to recover from the medical fallout. So I am having to learn my new norm which is so weird.  I am a middle aged artist whose paid her dues and thought she had cut herself a clear path, but no.  I have to keep slugging away to reach my dreams even though I don't always have the energy to get out of bed.  But I do, even if it isn't until 1pm and I end up working in my pajamas the entire day.  That's okay, it's part of my new normal.  You can't give up on the very thing that fuels your spirit. 

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Free Pattern: How to design a custom fitting knit hat

Obermeyer - Circumference-Custom-Fit-Hat

I often receive requests for my hat patterns to be redesigned for another size head. I am happy to do this from time to time, but I would rather you dear reader gain the skill for yourself, so you may have total control over your knitting.  So let's get started.

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Free Pattern :: Easy, Quick Crocheted Floral Dishcloth



Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

These quick dishcloths are made using basic double crochet stitches in rounds. The rounds increase gradually to keep the circle flat and finish with a pretty scalloped edge to give them the appearance of a flower. These cloths are soft and absorbent. They are a cute addition to the kitchen and make a great hostess gift. Use them as a hand wash cloth and give as part of a spa gift with gorgeous smelling soap and bath salts.  Consider helping others and make these to donate to a woman's shelter.

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Free Pattern: Quick Knit Baby Blanket


The jewel of the sky is the sun, the jewel of the house is the child. – A Chinese saying

This baby blanket is a larger version of my dishcloth pattern, same principals, but enlarged. I had loved making the dishcloths / facecloths that I thought I’d see if the pattern would make a good blanket. It does! I will be giving this one to my knitting ministry to be blessed and given to a family in need ( and yes, I need to block it!) This project is a fairly quick knit. I consider it a weekend project or an hour at night after work and done by the end of the work-week.

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