If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it . . .

Actually I'm not sure how you'll feel about this:

but I'm pretty busy today working on a secret project

(which I'd prefer not to jinx by talking about it, but which I will be excited to share with you soon!)

so I really don't have time to write much. Therefore, I'm going to dip into the archives to revisit an earlier episode.

Personally, I don't mind reruns -- I watch them all the time. Right now I'm on a bit of an Andy Griffith kick, in fact. And I'll try to choose something you may have missed before and that it wouldn't feel like having a root canal to read again.

So clap your hands!
Stomp your feet!
Shout Hooray!

Can't wait?
Me either . . .

I pick?

Well it's not
that exciting.

Let's be
honest with
each other.

Can't believe
there are posts
you've missed?

Don't worry, I
tend to repeat

Worst news
you've had
all day?

Good. I
hope your
day only

Angry about it?
I'm sorry. Have
a cookie and click
on one of the
cool links on my
"good stuff" list.
Surely someone's
written something
new today.

Feeling a little
flat? Let down?

Well, first see
if it's a rerun
you liked
the first time.
If not, it's

I'll understand when you go.

And now, here's one from last August entitled:

Famous Dave covered bacon strips in chocolate
and called it "Pig Lickers."

I would call it "ick lickers." Never underestimate the ability of the people of Minnesota to come up with completely original culinary sensations to serve at the State Fair. But at least Dave tried to do something new. Personally, I believe there are two basic food universes -- one includes chocolate, and the other includes bacon. Universes should never collide; bad things happen.

But on to the point: I found a wonderfully serendipitous vintage wordstrip at an antique store the other day. How can I ever use it in a piece? I must keep it forever. It says:

What a brilliant and straight-forward command! And being on a wordstrip, we must believe it is intended to be understood by any second grader. Picasso famously said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." The best part of the wordstrip is that it doesn't say
WHAT to make or HOW, it just says make something.

One of my early inspirations in needlework is named Mary Bero. I noticed while looking on the internet the other day that her pieces are now selling for $10,000 - $20,000. This should give us all hope to press on -- her pieces are very small, dense embroideries (sound familiar?)

Anyway, Mary says: "Every idea is worth a try -- to find it, watch it, experience it, develop it and thereby have a relationship with it." She said EVERY idea. So when Famous Dave started melting chocolate to pour over his bacon and his mother rolled her eyes and said, "WHAT?!", she should have just gotten out of the way and let Dave have a relationship with his idea. After all, "pig lickers" are selling like hotcakes and Dave does have Famous in front of his name.

The person who most personally inspired me to live a life of making was my Aunt Lillie.

She's the one pushing the stroller, I'm the one riding -- Massachusetts, ca. 1964? This photo lives in my studio because Aunt Lillie taught me about seeing the possibilities in the scraps.

Of cold roast beef or of rick rack --
it didn't matter what. She was a maker.

But what shall I make, you ask? Maira Kalman suggests that no particular talent is required to make a worthwhile contribution. Just make something with what you happen to have on hand.

Make something of yourself.

We'll go back to my favorite, Sir Walter Raleigh, at this point for a refresher on the topic of "how much you should worry about perfection in your creations:"

This quote gives me great comfort. Besides, the important part is the doing of making, not the something of making.

One of my other inspirations is a man named Dilmus Hall. Dilmus was one of 22 children of a Georgia sharecropping family. Dilmus made art because he believed it to be our duty.

I'm so glad I found the wordstrip before anyone else snatched it up -- perhaps I needed it most. Because I should be in my studio right now and not sitting at the computer.

But before I go . . . my hero Louise Plummer said:

"For me, being a creative person means to make a mark in the world.
It is the act of making something new,
whether a symphony, a novel,

an improved layout for a supermarket,
or a new and unexpected casserole dish."

So let's all make something. And please, write and tell me about it! If you don't want to make art, go ahead and make a casserole -- you could even put some chocolate in it, if you like. It might be really good?!


Allie said...

Well I hadn't seen that post, so I really enjoyed it! You inspire me with every post. But not to put chocolate on my bacon. *snort*

Hannah Francis said...

that was one of my favorite posts anyways...and you know that i am always the first to be watching reruns with you anyways...plus, can there ever be too much of Dilmus? or state fair fattiness? or items precariously placed on a stick and then fried, dipped, battered, chocolate/cheese/powdered sugar smothered (sometimes all three)? And the real question this blog presents us with is CAN PIG-LICKERS EVER BE TOPPED? I can't answer that, but I do know, that come august, Minnesotans will try. There's the audacity of hope for you...

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