I have just figured out something that bothered me for years. I'm glad I did it before August, when I usually snap over it.
You see, every July I'm at an emotional and physical peak. I'm a summer baby (who turns 42 next month) and I have always loved hot weather. Summer is my absolute favorite season. I love the late summer sunsets, I love all the light, period. I'm on a personal high that doesn't end until October or so.
Creatively, however, I always find myself in a slump. I have all this energy but I can't seem to focus it into amazing projects. I go to a quilt show, and for the first time, I don't buy anything from the vendors. I'm not feelin' it. Perhaps I'm finally realizing I need to use what I've been collecting for 20+ years...just sew the damn stuff, kwim?! But I'm so scattered I just don't find the time. Oh, wait, rotary cutter + sewing machine + toddler = disaster. I'll use that as my excuse (this time...)
Then I take part in an online scrapbooking challenge. Wow! My work really pales in comparison to gals using the latest and greatest (which I have ceased buying to save up for CE08...can't help it). Really, it's embarrassing. My work can't possibly be picked as one of the four weekly winners, and I don't even have the collection they are using for extra "points" in the game, so I have no prayer of winning the Big Prize.
I almost let that get me down today (I went over to Webkinz and took care of my horse -- finally figured out that damn weight lifting class, sheesh!! -- that calmed me down) but perhaps being in my 40s helps put this annoying annual cycle in perspective.
I'm participating in the challenge, that's enough. I know creative mojo comes and goes (right now, for me, it's left the building). It will be back. It's just an online game, and I don't have to put my entire creative ego on the line over it. I'll participate next week, and the week after, even if I don't have a chance of winning, because it's stretching me creatively (even if I don't take it far enough at times). I can be inspired by the winners, by the other folks who participate and *don't* win, because really, most of the creations are truly amazing, given the crazy rules we are handed each week.
Perhaps I need to shift my creative priorities. The quilt show was amazing. It's only held every two years, and the last time I attended I was 7 months pregnant with Ben. In two more years, he'll be nearly four years old. I think I can sew SOMETHING by then, don't you?
Not as lovely as this, but SOMETHING, right?
The Lizzie Quilt
made by Jean Ballou
and Alison Winter
quilted by Crystal Smythe
I had a hard time deciding between this one and a pictorial quilt for my Viewer's Choice...but being that this was made for a six year-old, and had a very sweet dedication, sentiment won over sensibility.