Friday, September 10, 2010

Simplify

I have been simplifying. My home and studio had grown very cluttered in the past few years and now I am ready to share what I really don't need, even some things which are difficult to give away.

A few years ago, my sweet aunt died of cancer. My uncle knows how much I love to create and he gave me her amazing collection of quilt fabrics. She had bought many fabrics and sorted them into neat bags for her future quilts. She had bought sewing machines and quilting templates. But she didn't have time to make any of these quilts before she died. It was sad to look at the projects she had planned, especially something she had planned on making for her grandson. But I feel she lived her life fully and I sense that there was nothing important left undone. I feel so lucky she was my aunt and I had the chance to love her, be loved by her, and to watch her throw her beautiful light all around.

I have been keeping several boxes of these fabrics in my studio but I slowly realized that some of the colors weren't right for me, and a few days ago I bravely sorted them out and donated them to a woman who teaches sewing to children. They shouldn't be sitting in boxes anymore.

What I have left are the colors I love, from my collection, (some of the fabrics are from when I was a girl!) my aunt's collection, and my recent discoveries. The theme is color, beautiful, beautiful color! I organized the colors into neat piles in the big hutch in my studio.

These are all colors I can see myself using. No more browns, very little black, very little beige, no grayed down colors, just pure, joyful color.

I see toys, dresses, baby clothes, and quilts in these bright stacks. But I won't be selling the things I make from fabric anymore. Today I started working on a doll commission and I realized that I am ready to move on. I have been making dolls for a few years and creating dolls for children to love has been rewarding work and helped rejuvenate me after an intense fine art project. But this will be the last doll I create to sell. I want to throw more of my energies into fine art and my portrait work again and just making crafts for loved ones.

Vibrant color frolics through my craft work, and I want to set the colors free in my art.

No more brown, black and gray. A future in color, color, color.

11 comments:

KeLLy aNN said...

I have three bundles of fabric from when I was a child that are very special to me.
One is a bundle of blue silk from India, that my father was given when we lived in Kuwait.
The other two are bundles of a lovely gauzy flower print from when we were living in Turkey.
Your fabrics are very beautiful, alive. I can't wait to see some of the things you create with them.

Linda said...

Dear Beth,
Sending love to you regarding your Aunt:) Such beautiful fabric colours... I know it is difficult to let go of things at times, especially when we have formed an emotional attachment to them and they are special to us, but this makes way for the new things in our lives to flow in and re-inspire us.
xo
Linda

ONe PiNK FiSH said...

All your fabric is so pretty. i love the vintage feel to it all.

Moogie said...

Wow those are some big decisions, giving away the fabric AND choosing not to make anymore dolls, decisions which I am sure will make you feel all light and skippy.
Enjoy,and I hope to see all your wonderful creations on your blog.
Here's to bright colours :o)

Bec said...

Gorgeous fabric! How lucky you are to have had such a wonderful Aunt, and especially one that can hand down bundles of beutiful fabric for you to create with and remember her through.

live, laugh, inspire said...

How joyful is coulour! A few days ago I blogged about the fun my children and I had while sorting the mountain of fabric scraps I have collected over the years. I am always amazed at children's ability to turn work into play. We ended up with a beautiful rainbow arc of colour across the lving room floor which the children then insisted on leaving there. For several days we tiptoed around the rainbow, told stories beneath it and the dolls had a great time playing on it!

Simple Mama said...

Such a joy to look at. I feel the same way about wool as you do fabric.

Amanda said...

Congratulations! It sounds like you are embarking on a new era in your life. Many blessings to you on this journey.

Amanda

Beth said...

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your kind words snd encouragement. I do feel just wonderful, light and skippy, indeed! I love it when I hear a big resounding "yes" or "no" from inside which leaves no doubt about what I really want! love, Beth

Shona Cole said...

BEth, all the best as you branch off. it seems like a big move. I love all the color piles you made, enough to be a call to create!

Shona

Appleshoe said...

Oh Beth- This is a beautiful and touching post. I’m sad to hear about your aunt and that you will no longer be making dolls. I do hope that I can pull you out of sewing retirement in a few years if we are blessed with a child. Your dolls hold a little bit of your love and warmth in their stitches and I will be sad to see them go. Good luck on pursuing your dreams. I am sure you will be splendid in whatever endeavor you take up. With love