Wandering at the Shadows' Edge

exploring potential and possibility

Archive for the month “August, 2019”

Weaving Past, Present, Future

I posted previously about revisiting projects. Some of those old projects I need to finish so I can start new ones. For example, I have a plaid on my rigid heddle loom that is mostly done. I need to get it finished and off the loom before I can start the next project. And that’s not the only thing I need to do before I can start that project. I have to finish re-balling the yard that will be the weft. It’s yarn reclaimed from a project I killed rather than finish.

What is the next weaving project? An attempt at a rug of sorts. The nice thing is that I’m re-using the yarn from a project I gave myself permission to give up on. Also, since it’s a rug, the warp will be nice and short. I have some thick cotton string I’m thinking of using. And a couple of the packages I’ve received lately had brown paper as packing material, so I have a good material for keeping layers of warp separate on the rollers. That will help keep the warp from tangling and sticking.

I’m really looking forward to weaving the rug. I don’t know that I’ll actually be successful in accomplishing the vision I see in my head. But I will learn a lot from the attempt, whether or not it works. I’m hoping the string works for the warp, but I’m not sure it will. If it does, I have lots of fabric scraps I can use to weave a rag rug later.

Just in case you’re wondering why I’m using a thick string for the warp – I inherited a large cone of it and I haven’t been able to find ways to use it. Warp takes a fair amount of yardage. I’m sure I’ll have some left even if I go on to use it for a rag rug. I’m looking at the possibility of trying some kind of netting – like a net bag or something of that kind.

I really want to do more weaving and learn how to weave twills and such. I need a few more pieces of equipment – reeds, a stand, and other similar things, before I can do some of them. I’ll probably be sticking with plain weave or pick-up for awhile longer. I need to pay down bills and save a bit before buying new things!

Making time

Time. It’s one thing we never seem to have enough of – just like money. Making a living takes over a third of my available 24 hours, five days a week – sometimes more. Sleeping should take another third, though usually it’s more like a quarter. At most we’re left with four to eight hours to do chores, feed ourselves, run errands, relax, and pursue our real interests. On the weekends, we may have sixteen hours each day – if we haven’t pushed all our errands and chores off until then, and if we don’t have to go in to work.

So how do we find the time to do the things we *need* to do and still have time to do things we *want* to do? How do we make sure we get some “me” time in the midst of all the things that need to be done? As fast and busy as life is today, it almost always feels like something is getting shorted.

I have to prioritize the things I need or should do. I also have to prioritize the things I want to do – the things I take joy in. That’s hard, because for me “my” things can’t possibly be as important as those things that need or should be done. Can they? They can. They are. For my own mental and emotional health, I need those things. So do you.

How am I making prioritization work? I prioritize “my” things, then I separately prioritize the need and should things. Absolutely necessary things – like getting groceries or gas, and paying bills, get scheduled first. That part is easy. It’s scheduling the rest of the stuff that’s difficult. That’s where I fall down repeatedly.

I’ve tried scheduling almost every hour. I’ve tried setting a goal of spending a certain amount of time on them. I’ve tried just writing them on my To Do list. None of these options has worked very well.

Currently I’m testing a new hybrid method. I have my two prioritized lists, and I’m trying to break the tasks down to as small and discrete pieces as possible. I’m blocking time for those absolutely necessary things, realizing some of them aren’t time exclusive – like laundry. I can do other things while the washer and dryer are running. Once those are blocked, I’m alternating between “my” things and the need/should things. I’m also making sure I leave some unblocked time, so that I don’t feel like every minute is planned.

I don’t know how this is going to work, if it’s going to work any better than my previous efforts. But I won’t know until I try. The whole process of balancing needs and wants, of reaching a balance that works for me, has been shadowy. I’m constantly mapping new processes and paths.

I’ll let you know what happens and how I feel during the process. Maybe my tests and trials will help someone else what works for them and what makes them happier.

Revisiting the Shadows

Sometimes you just have to travel back to someplace you’ve already been. That’s true when it comes to places, projects, stories, and many other things.

At the moment, I’m traveling in the shadows I’ve already mapped, going back to things that are familiar and, in some cases, comforting. I need to start exploring again soon.

Work has been taking a lot of my mental energies, so I’ve been reading old favorites. They’re fun and easy since I’ve already read them at least once. That leaves my brain cycles available for other things.

What are those other things? Revising the second and third Double Helix books into to drafts I can give to an editor is part of it. I’ve also been doing some editing on Secrets and Shadows before I release it wide and in print. And I’ve been working on the short stories my mailing list gets for free. And then there’s the zero draft of the fourth Double Helix book. That’s most of the writing related stuff that’s not new.

I’m re-exploring the fiber arts as well. I need a new lanyard for work, so I warped up my inkle loom. I got a couple of inches dones then set it aside. I need to finish it because there are other weaving projects – new techniques – I want to try. Of course, I need to finish balling the yarn for some of those projects too!

I’ve been jotting down ideas and steps for completing some older SCA projects too. I need to practice specific calligraphy and illumination styles and figure out some fairly extensive blocking. I need to make a test batch of gesso, test some gilding options, and do some more research and practice on book binding.

I’m considering pulling an old project here out of the shadows. There’s a lot of negativity in the world and on social media right now. And there are a lot of people doing their parts to make things a little better, a little easier, a little nicer. They need to be seen though, and all too often they aren’t. So I think I may bring the spotlight back. There’s light in the shadows, though we usually only see the dark.

Hmm….

It looks like I’m not quite ready to start mapping new paths in the shadows yet. But I’ll get there.

Are you revisiting old maps or exploring new ones?

Emerging from the Shadows – again

*peeks out from the shadows*

Yep – the site is still here.

I went wandering in the shadows again and it took me forever to find my way back. But I did, and once I get the dust blown off the site maybe I can get back to some of my projects.

I definitely need to do a better job of mapping my shadow explorations. Maybe that will keep me from getting lost again! I hope I can figure out where I stopped mapping.

*dusts off the project list in the Idea archive*  *cough cough*

I did keep a journal of sorts while I was wandering. Between it, and the ideas in the very dusty archives of the site, I’m pretty sure I have material for weeks, if not months, of mapping. I just need to make sure I don’t get distracted or lost again! I’ve been reading, sewing, writing, trying new beers, and even trying to start a new podcast. And there’s this trip I’m planning for 2020 …

Let me go chart the next steps in getting the site set to rights again!

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