Tuesday, January 7, 2014
One of the things I have enjoyed most this past year is visiting Pinterest and collecting images of many kinds. I also post images to share with others. I have almost 2500 pins now and it is a fabulous collection of everything that interests me, inspires me, makes me feel good or just provides eye candy! What is not to like about that?
My own quilts are posted of course, along with quilts that other people have made from my designs. I also have lots of pins of quilts that other people have made which I think are wonderful. I have inspirations for updating my home, garden and studio when I get the funds to do so, lots of images of fabulous places in the world I will most likely never visit, not to mention great recipes and food ideas! I have also been collecting photos of antique quilts and 19th century clothing as research for my book. And of course I have photos of my canine best friends and other animals who give and receive love as if they were human (oh, go ahead and laugh! I am such a softy).
I guess my point is that inspiration and creative energy can be developed almost anywhere and it helps (at least for me) to have concrete reminders of what some of those inspirations are. Please visit me at::
hyyp//www.pinterest.com/caryflanagan/ to see what I have collected and posted.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Golly - I am so embarrassed! I knew it had been a long time since I last posted in my blog, but I recently discovered it has actually been almost a YEAR!! So I have set a goal (I am not into resolutions - just too hard to keep) to post at least once a month to talk about my new designs and my creative process.
So here goes on January 2nd in a new year.
This past year was kind of strange for me. I had a number of "dry spells" in which I felt blocked or stuck. I know it happens to everybody sometimes but I felt like it was happening to me a lot, and it was discouraging at times. I have learned, however, that at such times it helps to walk away from whatever is immobilizing me and set off in a different direction for a while. It usually works pretty well. Here are some of the things I accomplished since I last wrote in between my dry spells.
During the waning months of last winter, I was going great guns on a quilt for my great nephew and was having a really good time working on it. He had explicitly asked me for very bright colors - "bright red, bright orange, bright yellow and some blue", he announced when he was nine. So I had been collecting the brightest and most fun of all those colors and started working on the quilt while it was bitter cold and snowy outside. His quilt kept me toasty warm with all that brightness! When I presented the quilt to him last summer when he came with his family to our summer place in the White Mountains, he loved it! That was the best part for me, though, to be honest, I really hated to give it up. I just LOVED that quilt! (See photo below.)
A few months ago, I began working on a novel that I have been thinking about off and on for years. It is about a young woman growing up in rural NH in the 19th century. She becomes an accomplished quilter and tells the story of her life to one of her grand daughters. I have been interested for years in my own family's history and this story contains many elements from my own and my family's stories of the past. I have been having fun researching life in the late 1800's in the small town near where my family has been summering since way before I was born.
I love the story and the characters I have created, and whether or not the book ever gets published is kind of beside the point right now. It may take me years to finish, but meanwhile I am enjoying living with my characters and the process of creating their personalities and the events which help to shape them. The writing part is a bit harder than I thought it would be, but I enjoy that part of the process also.
I did manage to design a new placemat pattern and get it published in the spring, but I got stuck with most of my other ideas as the year progressed. November and December were the hardest time for me. I always get depressed around the holidays since my family is so scattered. My DH and I decided to give gifts to several important charities this year instead of buying into the commercialism of Christmas and that made both of us feel more of the true meaning of the holidays.
Not too surprisingly, right after Christmas my creative energy came back in full force and I am hard at work designing and making several more quilting projects that should result in at least three new patterns in just a few weeks.
Watch for several photos next time and updates on my new projects.
Have a Happy, Healthy, Creative and Prosperous New Year!