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Cross Pollinated

Oh look!  Another three day holiday weekend, and another time for me to forget that yesterday was Sunday, not today.  I just can't seem to help it.  In my mind, the last day of the weekend is Sunday!  So, if you were looking for a post yesterday, I'm really sorry!  I thought it was Saturday.  I hope you were off doing something more fun than waiting around at the keyboard, though. 😉

I had a lot of fun this week looking at what creative things I do.  How about you guys?  Did you run into any old artsy friends you haven't done in a while?

Here's my list of creative pursuits:

  • Writing
  • Art journaling
  • Photography
  • Embroidery
  • Beaded embroidery
  • Mixed media painting
  • Mixed media arts (collage, ATCs, altered books)
  • Cooking
  • Knitting
  • Oil painting
  • Bookbinding
  • Art quilting
  • Jewelry and prayer bead making

I think that's the list--there might be a few things I've tried out but haven't pursued beyond learning the basic techniques.

When I looked at the list with an eye to how these activities relate to each other, I found that there's actually a lot of cross pollination.

For example, when I learned to knit, I taught myself.  I just knit a few inches, pulled it out and did it again until I got the hang of it and stopped dropping and adding stitches.  And now I've noticed that whenever I want to learn something new, I find a way to do a small version, often multiple small versions, to practice on before I make a full project.  I'm actually, finally learning to sew this way!  I know this doesn't seem like a big thing, but it's not how I tended to work before I taught myself to knit, and now since it worked so well for that I do this all the time.

Another major shift in how I do things came when I learned the beaded embroidery style that I'm very in love with now.  I used to do cross stitch, then I expanded to other embroidery styles, and then I found this magnificent beaded embroidery style which is pretty much all I ever want to do now.  It's a free style, because you can't actually plan ahead where all the beads are going to go; you just go along one bead at a time, looking at the piece after every few beads to see what else is needed where.

And you know what happened to my rather precise, tidy, attractive but sedate mixed media pieces like my ATCs and altered book pages?  They started getting wild, which is something I had always wanted.  I learned from my embroidery to have a look at the piece and just add a little bit at a time, not worrying about the finished piece, just looking for what bit it needs next.

I haven't really figured out how I might make these connections happen purposefully.  I think what we'll all need to do for that is look at our processes in our creative activities.  Once we can see how we do things, it will be easier to see how the processes we use can be used for other types of projects.

I'll keep an eye on this, and if I get any insights on how to purposefully use these cross connections, I'll keep you posted.

I'm going to be on a bit of a break this week, so I'll return next week Tuesday (September 14) with our next installment.  Meanwhile, have some fun and make some things!


2 thoughts on “Cross Pollinated

  1. Susan Gallacher-Turner

    I totally agree with your cross pollination theory...I can see it in my own art and how it has evolved now. I, too, started out cross stitching, doing embroidery, then beaded embroidery, quilting, painting on fabric to make my quilts, to painting, to combining the painting and sculpting and along the way as a hobby, I did ATCs and taught myself to crochet and knit. We've followed a similar path...and I agree it's nice to see the path, but I think it's ok and maybe necessary not to be able to see it as it evolves.

  2. Kim

    Susan, that's an interesting point about it being necessary to not see the path. I can see how that would be true. If you are looking at the path, then you're looking to what your current art or craft will do for you in the future, and you will probably miss the enjoyment you would get from just doing it for its own sake.

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