So. I guess I should begin with hello.
And perhaps even introduce myself...it has been, after all, SOOO long! Much longer than I expected it to be when I said "so long". And for that, Dear Reader, I apologize. I have missed you so! Truly. It has been a bit like losing a best friend.
There are choices to be made today, as a result of the lapse...do I fill you in on every detail? Do I pick up where we left off? Do I begin now as if nothing has happened in the 4 months since we last met?
Since art is, in its essence, about editing and choice-making, I shall endeavor to make a few.
Here's the story in a nutshell...
We moved to Phoenix, which included among other things, saying good-bye to my daughters, putting all my possessions in the dubious care of United Van Lines, leaving Cooper at camp in MN, a never-ending trek across the country in a loaded van, and a 6 week stay in a corporate apartment. There was not much to complain about there...hot tub and frozen yogurt every night, maid service, nothing in the world to do but twiddle my thumbs. (So why wasn't I here? I will try to answer that.)
After re-doing every inch of our 4000 sq. ft. home in order to sell it, I had no intention of buying a fixer-upper. I intended to choose CAREFULLY. I intended to stay in that corporate apartment for as long as it took to get it right...therefore, I went out and bought the very first house I saw.
It has the kind of charm that should be illegal in a fixer-upper! And the price was so right! It left us with almost enough money to fix (half of) what we needed to fix! Irresistible. Insane, but irresistible. And I stand by my decision, most days. We did live without any kitchen for 3 weeks...and re-paint every single paintable surface in the house, including insides of cabinets...and do it all with the stuff from our 4000 sq. ft. home crammed into less than 2000 sq. ft. (of charm!)...We accomplished all the work while living in a rat maze. And there are battle scars -- some days, we both limp. Now we are trying to unpack -- and sort -- the maze. (So why wasn't I playing hooky and hanging out here? I will still try to answer that.)
Big life changes are hard. No news there, I know...but I say it to remind myself. I put down my needle after the Baltimore show early last year to work full time on re-doing, then selling, my house. So I was already feeling a little displaced. Now I find myself in a new home that requires endless work...my studio is still floor-to-ceiling boxes. Someday I will find my desk, hopefully be able to reassemble it, unpack my computer, wish Chelsea were here to plug it in for me, and possibly even thread a needle again. But not yet.
If you've hung out at Small Works for awhile, you may know that I love the sunshine. I am happy as can be to have landed in my beloved desert, where I can expect more sun than I'll ever be able to absorb. But you might also know that I am susceptible to depression/anxiety problems. I've always been pretty up-front about that. I wouldn't have minded if United Van Lines had lost those problems for me, but unfortunately it seems that wherever I go, here I am. And big life changes are hard. So there's been some couch-sitting. Hand-wringing. Floor-pacing. Swedish Fish eating. Copious amounts of all those things, in fact. So much so that I've been unable to hang out here. Because it reminds me of what I'm NOT doing...and of what I'm doing instead. And it's terrifying.
There's been plenty of time for reflection. Time to decide what I want to do next. I do, after all, have the opportunity to completely re-invent myself if I so choose. No one here knows a thing about me. They don't expect me to make art, or anything else...the only expectations are probably from the lady who sells me my large diet coke every morning. (But I could change stores and she'd never give me another thought.)
So to make a long story short...much too late, I know...I have come to a decision of sorts. Writing this blog has been my favorite thing I have ever done in all my 50 years. I have loved every second. It has fed my soul. I have loved the connections I have made, loved exploring art in many forms, loved having a place to gossip and spout off and poke fun at 1950's magazine illustrations. But did you notice what I just said?
Writing this blog... has been my favorite thing. Writing about the art. I love that more than making it.
So I think it's time to stop putting off the dream. I've never been very comfortable in my artist-skin. I am completely comfortable in my writer-skin. Also scared to death of it. But since everything else in my life seems to have taken a leap, I figure it must be time for me to follow. Try to grab the dream, or at least be able to say I tried. That's the important part, I guess.
I have signed on for the San Francisco ACC Show in August. I don't really have any intention of stopping my stitching, but it will take a back seat for now -- perhaps fewer pieces, bigger pieces -- who knows? I'll keep you posted.
And since Small Works was invented as a vehicle to acquaint the world with my stitched work, I don't really feel my writing belongs here now. Perhaps there will be things that are appropriate in the future, so I will be leaving the blog intact. Feel free to visit old post friends, if you have them. And check back from time to time. When I do find my needles and thread, I may pick up here again.
But now it's time for me to talk -- write -- about other things for awhile. Maybe about what it means to be approaching 50. Or to be chasing a dream. Or to be staring into the gulf of re-inventing myself. Or to be a mother whose children live in other time zones. Or perhaps a novel about another woman altogether...although I would not be surprised if she finds herself in a similar situation. And if that voice finds another blog home, I'll let you know.
And thank you, thank you for being part of my favorite thing!
You'll never know what that has meant to me.
Thank you, Dear Readers, my friends. From the bottom of my heart. xo