Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Complete and Utter Block

Here I am, completely blocked!   This has been going on for some time now.  Remember me?  I regularly resolve to stitch a minimum of 15 minutes per day and stick to it year after year.  Now I have not picked up a needle in months!

What do I do about this?  At first it was exhaustion that kept me from stitching - gut wrenching exhaustion from working two jobs all summer and running myself into the ground.  Then one job ended for the season and the other picked up.  Since I am a sucker for punishment I found another job and planned to work two at once again but my regular employer questioned me dedication since I was planning to moonlight so I left that job.  I am now housesitting/babysitting for a couple weeks and after that I will be unemployed.
 I am actually relieved about my upcoming unemployment.  I have been so exhausted since the summer I have been nodding off at the wheel of the car, falling asleep sitting up and unable to concentrate on anything.  Exhaustion bred depression and depression enhanced the exhaustion until I was completely immobile.  I have now been sleeping and little else for ten days or so and it is time to either start stitching again or give it up.
How to start???  It seems that my muse has passed away quietly over the last few months and I am not sure she is coming back.  Advice anyone???


shawkl said...

Oh, I have so been there!

For me...I go to my book shelve and take down some ribbon embroidery books...several..not just one or two. I want the ones with loads of glorious pictures! Ann Cox, Di van Niekerk, and Helen Gibb are my main choices.

Then I brew a nice cup of soothing tea, and head to my recliner with my stack of books!

I sip and turn the pages...not planning...just admiring the beauty of all the ribbon and the talent of these wonderful teachers.

Before long, I'm rejuvenated and ready to create something...even if it's not made of ribbon.

Actually, some of my beaded jewelry books are inspiring to me as well!

And, once I start to stitch all is well in my world again.



Bobbi Pohl said...

How about browsing through your needlework books and finding something really fun you want to try without any purpose for it except the fun.

Annie said...

I don't know how to get you out of the slump, but I am sending big virtual hugs to you. Hope a little rest and relaxation rejuvenates you and your muse.

Suztats said...

Kerry, perhaps a few artist dates with yourself (going window shopping, to an art museum, a gallery, a bead shop) by yourself, just looking and absorbing the colours, shapes, etc. may inspire your muse to come back out and play. Perhaps all that work has worn you out, and you need a little more playtime. Try playing with plasticene, or buy a box of crayons and a colouring book, blow some bubbles, or lie down looking at the clouds.......make some salt dough and bake some characters......go to the florist's shop and smell the different flower aromas......or to a Christmas shop to see all the delights. Pamper yourself with bubble baths, lotions, and a specialty tea with a little kind to yourself and woo your muse with sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch.
Hope this helps.

gocrazywithme said...

Get your favorite stash out (threads, lace, fabrics, beads, buttons, or all) and just look through it. Something is bound to speak to you: "Use me NOW!" and then just make a block, with no preconceived notion of what it will be for, just pure creativity.

lewmew said...

Read blogs - especially some you don't usually read. Go to Urban Threads and try a totally whimsical design (a lot of them can be done in a sitting!) Try a new technique or one you haven't done in a while. I have to quilt once in awhile, for example. Give yourself permission to have UFOs galore. Do something in your absolute favorite color.

I've been there too - and the good news is eventually, the muse returns.

One last idea - maybe we should organize a small swap - to get us ALL to think outside the box@

Marilyn said...

Ah Kerry, sorry to hear your muse is away for a time. It can be very discouraging when that happens. Sometimes what works for me is to thread one needle with some floss and just doodle stitch until that piece is gone. I know you like to read too so maybe have some reading time - for just total non-thinking reading I like murder mysteries and sci-fi. I don't know if you remember this but "Calgon, take me away!".

Cathy K said...

Oh Kerry, I so understand! I feel as though I am right there with you, and Jo's words of "losing her mojo" keep ringing in my ears! I have just sat down and stitched. Have looked at some books for ideas, but nothing seems to gel, and I am not happy with my work. HOWEVER, I think a breakthrough will come. I have been waiting for something inspirational to happen, and I just received Darlene's "I Love Paris" block in the mail. A blank slate AND an idea!! If it is going to happen, it is now.

My belief is that you, like me, have spread yourself too thinly. The muse has been squeezed to belowdecks! Give yourself some time, browse the books as others mention, and appreciate the little things in life. Inspiration is all around when we slow down enough to appreciate it! Take care, my friend!!

Hugs, Cathy

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about this for a couple of days. What you are describing is caregiver burnout. My first thought was to say get out your supplies and dive in, but upon further reflection I think you have to wait until the physical (and mental) exhaustion is taken care of.

So my advice is care for the caregiver!

Kim in AB

Jen said...

step 1) browse pinterest! And not just for inspiring sewing projects, but for all kinds of ideas. Or if you aren't a fan of pinterest, tumblr, etc. I find inspiration in places around the world, and has a lot of great eye candy for that.

step 2) give yourself permission to do whatever you want, including not sewing. Something else creative that perhaps has caught your eye. Or a variation on stitching? Stumpwork, clothing, traditional quilting, cross-stitch, even something fun like a bucilla kit (well to me that is fun) just to get your fingers moving, and doing something somewhat creative. I also second going through your stash, maybe you will find something you have forgotten about that you got long ago for an unstarted project. Organizing your stash is also a great way to feel inspired, and when will you ever get it done but now, when the siren call of a fun project isnt' postponing it!