Archive

(un)productivity


So … I’ve been thinking about stash… (above is Kaffe Fasetts poppies pattern done in stash acrylic and not finished yet but then it was a sort of experiment). Thinking about the thriftiness of using up stash and reusing. I’ve been unravelling yarn which has been donated to me from other people’s projects and thinking what I can make with it. I’m also trying to make my first cardi but am having worrisome worries about the pattern and getting it to fit me. And and and. And stash. Then my mind began to think of other resources like energy. and I began to think about how I’ve over used my stash of energy at least for nearly two years now possibly longer. I’m unwilling to admit where my limits are in terms of energy. I make plans – I follow through – I am responsible. Even if the result is that I lie around feeling like death warmed up. I am emerging very very slowiy from a bought of illness. And even then I saw a tweet about a conference on Monday in another city and thought ‘oh it would be so nice to go’. Sheer MADNESS!!! So when will I learn and what do I do to create my own stash of energy? I’m trying to read more books. Cut down on things. One thing a day must be my mantra. I use my kitchen timer so I pace my housework. I try to eat well (but cooking  preparing and buying food all consume much energy). I’m thinking about Julia Cameron’s exhortation of the artist to ‘Fill their well’ and I’m trying to think of things that do that for me. Playing with colour without the expectation of productivity, reading enjoyable books, staying off the screen more, pottering slowly and gently.

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Standing infront of a Fringe hoarding tonight in Edinburgh with a friend guesticulating rudely at the sight of 3 male comics advertised infront of us. Where are the women? And frankly Edinburgh’s pretty well over the comics too. ( You can tell the festival is coming a sleugh of London types are starting to follow me on twitter.)

Leith is full of young men cycling on pavements. They are drug couriers – a friend of mine yells after them ‘Ya mammy no let you on the road’ to try and embarrass them. Leith Polis in the style of getting Al Capone via tax – make the wee buggers bloody walk.

I’ve spent 24 hours trying to get the Fat Black Cat to pee into a litter tray to get a sample for the vet – she is most affronted and plotting to phone Catline.

I went on holiday to Galway and hurrah! the last vestiges of the desire to achieve have left and spent it pottering around quietly mostly in this awesome bookshop.

While I was having lunch at Ard Bia the owner came up and showed me a photo of a lady with a crocheted shawl and asked if I could make one (I was crocheting a shawl for the person I was going on to stay with) which lead me to look at photos of shawls on the Arran Islands.  I’m definately going to rock the shawl, scarf, black dress and sensible shoe look this year.

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Two kinds of Enough. One is Enough Stuff the other is Enough Doing.  And today I was planning to get rid of lots of Stuff. And do the washing up backlog and make the house a minimalist paradise. Instead… well I’ve gone two loads of washing up and I’ve surfed a LOT.  The shouty voices of beration are well very SHOUTY.

But is that true? It is true that I did not turn the house into a spick and span minimalist paradise but I did 1. dash up town to go to demo outside the City Chambers for a planning committee meeting 2 return home and listen to a live feed of it 3. develop apoplexy 4. speak to a friend who’s dog was in for an op. 5. Listen to an edited version of my talk at the (un) productivity  conference to ok it before it goes out this weekend (sign up here to hear my dulcet duchess like tones). 6. write a fairly long email to a friend in the north 7. move a light bulb from one room to another (long story) 8. cook twice 9. get another phonecall update on dog op 10.  make a mini banana loaf 11 finish a square for an orphan. 12 throw out one bag of rubbish and 13 put out and bring in a load of washing.

Humm… yes I did spend WAY too much time online… and have that itchy unsatisfied feeling as a result but it wasn’t a total washout of a day – just not the one I was planning.

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Granny Square Baby Blankets Holga

It’s Friday night and I’m about to settle down to a rocking evening of crochet + something undemanding on the iplayer. I’ve spent a day wrestling with gatekeepers in the accounts / finance departments  of UK industry and a server which kept on conveniently breaking down (Crochet break yay!) So tonight I’m aiming for the Joy of Completion. Many years ago I was hell bent on becoming the most awesome filmmaker in the history of film and spent years writing scripts, proposals, going to beg for funding! occasionally making a film! (working for free on other people’s films! ) but only probably twice and occasionally had fleeting experience of the Joy of Completion. The first time I had it after an edit at STV studios in Cowcaddens Glasgow I walked down to Sauchiehall Street and had what I can only say was a mystical experience. Seriously. I looked at all the rag tag of people walking down that road and felt  complete, whole and totally at one with the world. Of course I then fought like hell to replicate that amazing feeling with little success. It is only now as I have become a MAKER I realise I can now access that feeling on a regular basis. Instead of waiting for someone to allow me to make something or wait for permission I just go right ahead and do it. All I need is to regularly turn up ( or in my case lie down as a huge percentage of my making is done in bed) and do the next stitch. I’ve completed  7 blankets this year, contributed to 2 collaborative blankets, I scarf  and made 10 textile art works and its only half way through the year. (I cannot help but wonder if it is precisely that craft has few gatekeepers is why it is so despised? )

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On Friday last I went to Glasgow to stay over night before the yarn dyeing adventures. I waited outside this cafe for a friend coming from work. Luckily I didn’t overload myself with a long list of things to do and see beforehand so I sat for an hour with my crochet just enjoying the passing bussle. Loads of hipsters, dogs, teenagers coming from school, students, babies in push chairs. It was just lovely to enjoy the passing theatre.

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So I just did a guest podcast for Michael Nobb’s One Thing Today on the subject of creativity. I talk about doing it stitch by stitch. This blanket was started about two years ago. I just made a whole pile of circles. Then stopped when I ran out of the right kind of black yarn to border them. Then a few months ago pulled all the squares together, counted them, made a few more and hunted out the right kind of black yarn to crochet them together. Pattern is one I made up myself but the circle is explained at Purl Bee.