Thursday, March 24, 2011

enter the world of the blog

Ok, so first things first: I admit that this is a whole new world for me, reading blogs in general, and also writing blogs specifically.
The thing is there are so many interesting things out there that people have to say. Brilliant. Wise. Insightful. Humorous. Inspiring. Thought-provoking. And that's just from today. From 2 posts.
But here's the other thing: I DON'T HAVE TIME TO READ A FREAKING NOVELLA.
About anything really. Life for me is a real time activity. Doing real things. The time spent at my computer isn't the real stuff that I crave.
Am I missing something? Maybe. But if I am I'm blissfully unaware.
So, I commit, here and now, to short posts. Thank you for reading my rant.
Amen. Time to go make some art.

Joann Tomsche 3/24/11

my big mistake

"The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy."
That's a quote from Malcolm Forbes. Now I don't really know anything about Malcolm Forbes, other than that he was a publisher.
But the sadness I feel at reading this sentence tells me that I'm one of the people he's talking about.

For quite a few years working as a graphic designer did satisfy my soul.
Then I got this overwhelming desire to make art that satisfied me, rather than a client, so I quit.
I've made art and sold art while I've raised my kids, and for a large portion of that time I had the support of a spouse. Now that I'm still raising my kids as a single mother I find myself at the "day job". I've never really had what I considered to be a day job before - I've always worked in the arts - and the disconnect I feel from my aspired-to creative life is, on some days, numbing.

I ask myself on a daily basis - how do I keep doing this, day to day?

But really, the question I need to be asking is "How do I shift to doing what I love for a living?"

Doing something creative each day helps. Practicing yoga helps. Meditating helps. Using my art as therapy helps. Airing things out with friends and co-workers helps. It's not all the way there but it's a start. And the cool thing is that the more honest I am, the more my mind opens up to new possibilities.
Do I want to make a major move? Could I consider it? Can I imagine and accept feeling totally supported by the universe in my desires?
I don't have the answers yet. But I do have some ideas, and some new openings in my brain that are receptive to other ideas - and that's a start. Stay tuned.

Joann Tomsche 3/24/11

Monday, March 7, 2011

V stitch (dbl,ch,dbl)

Women on both sides of my family taught me needle crafts starting at a young age. Embroidery, crocheting, sewing - those all stuck. Grandma Anna attempted to teach me to knit at age 8 but I didn't quite grasp it. Maybe I'll try again soon - 42 years later.
My ancestral women also tatted, cross stitched, rug hooked and quilted. No wonder I so enjoy fabric and thread and yarns. But whereas they were very careful and meticulous, I'm really attracted to loose threads and mismatched fibers.
I've been crocheting a blanket from random left overs and donated yarns - a real mashup of fiber contents and I love it! The V stitch (dbl,ch,dbl) is probably really common, but my friend and amazing needle craft artisan Leslie gave it to me.  My friend Heather who's a number person says she does V stitch with a count to 7: double crochet (1, 2, 3) chain (4) double crochet (5, 6, 7). I'm more visual so I'm always glancing down to see if I got the entire stitch.
I've been noticing crocheting a repetitive pattern is a meditation of sorts for me. Breath in, breath out, pay attention to the stitch. Then, just like in meditation, my mind wanders: I hope my son gets home safely. (dbl, ch, dbl) What's the next step in getting my divorce finalized? (dbl, ch, dbl) Oh! What a beautiful patina on that wood! (dbl,ch,dbl) Always back to the stitch.
I like the idea that I'm stitching these questions and worries and random thoughts into the fabric. As if this colorful mashup really is my life in a physical form all it's own that is unpredictable but always, always my own expression and really so beautiful.

Joann Tomsche 3/7/11