Before getting to the Prozac, I want to tell you a true story about my daughter as a small child. She has always been a project-oriented person. When we were young, Craig brought home large listings on greenbar paper (11" x 24" computer printouts) that I would separate and give to the kids for drawing paper. One day, when she was about four or five, she sat at the coffee table and began to draw picture after picture, carefully stacking them up as she went. She continued this for a couple of afternoons. She drew elephants and giraffes, bears and boats, kitties and kites, people and houses. Finally she handed me the stack and said, as only a five year old could, something like "Here, now I have drawn everything. I don't have to draw any more." She has always been a very creative person and this was not a rejection of art. But at that point she felt like she had done it all and was ready to move on!
It took me a lot longer to feel the same way. But when I closed the studio and shut down the web site this spring, I felt like I had created everything I was ever going to create! For years I had not had time nor inclination to do crafts "just for myself". Everything I did was because someone else wanted it and was willing to pay me to make it. Yes, I did do some speculative pieces, but I always had the market in mind.
What next? Would there be a next? Did there have to be a next?
During the last few months I have done a bit of sewing, helped with work on the house, and made a few things for the Alfa, but my creative force has been stuck. Nothing has called to me. I have a degree in art, but I'm not a painter. I like fiber, but am not a knitter, or weaver. I am not drawn to following patterns or kits.
Neither my eyes nor my fingers are much good for really small close work anymore.
I think I found it. When I say it is better than Prozac, I really do mean it. Since I have taken up this new craft I have been much calmer and more relaxed.
So ... what is it?
Needlepoint. Not the small picky needlepoint. Not the "buy a printed canvas picture of cute kittens and fill in the stitches" type of needlepoint.
Big needlepoint, done on plastic canvas with a big needle and regular 4 ply knitting yarn. I'm having fun creating my own designs and images.
Lynne, an Alfa owner, shared some needlepoint placemats she has been working on during one of the Happy Hours at the Alfa Rally. I just had to try it.
I bought some plastic canvas and yarn in colors similar to the Pendleton Blanket we bought at Crater Lake and use to cover the sofa in the Alfa.
After a couple of frustrating starts and pick-outs, I settled on making some small sampler squares using Indian-like motifs and geometrics.
My first project was to sew six of them (plus a separately cut top) together to make a Kleenex Box cover.
I have a bunch of ideas for squares. Beetles, butterflies, fish, dragonflies, and birds to name a few. It's fun to just do geometrics too.
I will probably get tired of it by the time we go on the road, but if not, it meets the size, weight, and cost requirements of an RV hobby.
I know many of you are wonderful photographers -- what other hobbies do you have?