Saturday, 28 February 2009

Savouring the moment

The work I do involves coaching others. As part of the ongoing training for the job, we have been introduced to the concepts of Positive Psychology, so I have been working my way through the book Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman. The chapter that has resonated with me relates to savouring the moment, being mindful. I think the appeal lies in the fact that creativity, for me, relies on slowing down and being mindful. I'm trying very hard to apply the principle to more of my life, because it's something that makes me feel calm and relaxed.

As part of applying the principle, I have been deliberately slowing down my reading. I've always been a fast reader - I can read a book in an afternoon. So, I am taking my time, and considering passages that appeal. I'm currently reading The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers, and the following passage really made me stop and consider -

I've always thought it remarkable that, while our bodies stand in the visible world, we ourselves are not in the world of three dimensions and our inner life has no direction in space. And, equally, how little of another person's reality is visible to us. We see their form, their features, their shifts of expression but all that constitutes their sense of self remains unseen. And yet this visible self is what to the individual constitutes their real identity.

Just typing this has made me resume my contemplation of this statement...

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Normal service should resume shortly...

Despite appearances, I haven't disappeared from the planet. I've just been rather sick for the last few weeks. Fortunately, I'm improving day by day, but today is the first time I've had the energy and enthusiasm to return to some embroidery. The piece I am beading is far from finished, but I'm giving you a peek at one corner, just so that I had something to share.

The buttons are the same as those on a red cardigan which my grandmother knitted and wore for years (she must have had a few buttons left over, because there's no sign of wear on the ones I have). Those of you who remember the red, translucent cough lollies called Throaties, will realise why Mum and I always referred to it as her Throaties cardigan.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Number Three

This is Number Three in the series of abstract beading that I've been doing. This one seems to have taken forever, but the beading has had to take a back seat on a number of occasions - work, family obligations, fitness routines, etc, etc, but it's finally finished! It's intended as a gift for a sister-in-law's birthday, and I'll be framing it in a similar way to the ones below. A local framer made a number of frames for me a few years ago, to frame the mixed media embroideries that I was making and selling at the time. I still have a number stashed away, so I've put them to good use. Once again, I've raided Grandma's button jar, but I used a few of the very pretty glass buttons this time, and a bottle green silk for the fabric background. It uses colours that I know my sister-in-law likes.

Here are the last two that I've done, framed and hanging on the wall along with a goldwork dragonfly that I made a few years ago. There's a close-up of the dragonfly below. I cut the mat boards myself for the two lower ones. I used to be able to buy ready-cut mat boards in this size at Crazy Clints for $1.50 each, but they no longer stock them. A friend has a hand-held mat board cutter which I used to borrow to make larger mats, and it's fairly easy to use with a bit of practice. So, I've invested in one of my own. It makes it easy to do my own framing, and saves a lot of money on framing costs!

As you can see, I've changed the orientation of the blue and gold one. I think it looks better this way around, with the beads "exploding" at the top... (the mat board surround IS even, although it doesn't look like it in this photo, because it's on a bit of an angle.)

And here's the dragonfly.