Saturday, May 23, 2009

"You can have anything,. . .

but you can't have everything." I have always remembered this quote that was spoken by a relative. There are so many things implied in this statement. If you work hard enough, are passionate enough or save enough money, you can have anything. But if you want everything, you won't have enough money for everything. Or if you are focused on many different things, you might not get anywhere. Anyway, you get the point?

So, what does this have to do with art? There could be many interpretations. But for me, it means I have to focus on one thing. Ever since I was a child, I have loved art (and crafts). I enjoy taking classes and learning new techniques. Each new art or craft, I tend to embrace whole-heartedly (except for throwing ceramics on a wheel - that was too frustrating for me). Over the years I have been into fine art (of course), cross-stitch, scrap booking, rubber stamping, sewing, dyeing fabric, felting, needle punch, etc.

What I realized a couple years ago, is that I can't really do all these things at the same time and make art. I kept thinking that someday all these things would meld together in my art. But they haven't yet. They also became a procrastination technique for art, as well. Yes, they are creative, which is why I like them. But I decided to cut back. I don't do cross stitch much anymore. Although I have one big piece I need to finish and I still have some patterns, but I am not making any conscious effort to do it. I'm years behind in my scrap booking and don't do rubber stamping much, unless I need it for an artwork. Simplification is good.

That is why when the knitting craze hit a few years ago, I decided I was not going to get into it. I do not need to collect yarns and have another distraction from art. But, . . .

Anna received a knitting kit as a gift some time ago. One night I came downstairs and found Frank trying to teach Anna how to knit by reading the booklet that came with it. He gets an A+ for effort, but since he didn't know what he was doing, it didn't work out so well. I said we need to get Grandma Peggy to show Anna how to do it.

One time while Peggy was visiting, I remembered to ask her to show us how to knit. Since Anna was at school most of the day, I said Peggy could show me and then I would try to teach Anna. I got it, but then did not practice after she left and, hence, forgot how to do it.

On her last visit, I decided to video tape her hands while she was knitting so if I forgot, I would have a reference. So once again, I tried to learn knitting. I also ordered a book (seen below) that SouleMama had listed on her blog. It said it was for "kids of all ages".

I have been practicing and have managed to show Anna how to knit and purl. She is excited by the book because it has a pattern for a cat washcloth in it. We have not gotten that far yet. But you can see my practice squares in the pictures below and Anna's practice square on the cat needles. So, I guess I have been distracted a bit from my focus.

And I would definitely recommend the book. It has good, illustrated directions and some nice, fun patterns. (Peggy, if you are reading this, it shows how to knit on like you do.)

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