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What does the future hold?

It's snowing.  I'm waiting to see if it starts sticking badly, because then I'm booking for home.  The Miata don't do hills in the snow.

So I was thinking more about getting older, and doing things, and making things, and where I am going (aside from downhill, natch).  I think I would be happy if I was left alone to create - for me, it's not about fame, fortune, and massive cash rewards (good damn thing, eh?), but about the creative need.  I'm not doing this for the oohs and aahs (though I cannot deny that I like them), but because pushing the envelope is what keeps me happy.  

It's also a good damn thing I'm not doing this for the SCA cookies - most of what I'm known for now happened after I got my Laurel (I got it for a combination of illumination and musical composition - the last thing I'd have been considered for would have been costuming).  :)

I like trying to find completely new ideas, and pushing the limits of what I can do - Embroidered jacket?  Check.  Appliqued doublet?  Check.  New coif theory?  Check.  What's next? - but I'm not a "do it once, then I'm bored" kind of person; I want to perfect what I'm doing, and not only make what hasn't been made, but do it well.  Simply slapping something out just so I can say I've done it doesn't work for me.  

The creative process is as close to God as I'm ever going to get.  The understanding of the intricacies of any given project raise me to another level of consciousness, and it gives me goosebumps.  At its best, it makes me want to yell and dance around.  It's not just about making something new, it's about achieving the high of creation.

Because I progress slowly (each big project now takes me a year or more to completion), I have less problem with burnout (boredom is a different animal - we all get bored every now and then), and I have learned to let go of the desire to have something new and impressive every time I go to an event.  It simply can't be done; I can do it right, or I can do it fast, but the two do not intersect.

I'm also not jealous of the beautiful things that other people create - hey, I get to look at those beautiful things, and it's a huge improvement over some of the crap things I used to see!  The way I see it, the more people make beautiful things, the more other people will see them and want to copy them.  If only one person makes something gorgeous, then people will say "I could never do that!", but if ten people make ten gorgeous things, then it seems more attainable.  In that way, we make our surroundings more lovely, and encourage others to do the same.

One thing growing older has given me is patience.  One would think I'd feel the opposite - I'm running out of time!  Eeek! - but when you're young, time seems like an eternity, and everything needs to be done now - next month is too long to wait.  When you're older, time moves by faster - hey, where'd the last two years go? - and finishing something next year (or three years, in the case of the appliqued doublet) doesn't seem like such a big deal.  There will still be plenty of time to use the article once it's done.

So, when I project about 5 years for the bed cover, I'm not moaning and groaning in my head, I'm thinking about how cool it will be to have a really hand-done bed cover in a period pattern that isn't four times too big, like the modern patterns.  I'm also thinking how cool it would be to have an entire bed set, with curtains, linen sheets, a feather bed and bolster, and a beautiful period wooden bed frame to display it.  I'm thinking of an article about it for my web site, and what I can use from it for my research for Jamestown.

I'm also thinking how much fun the next five years will be, happily creating something new and beautiful.  And I am grateful that I didn't peak early - there's still so much to look forward to. 

Comments

( 17 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
lorebubeck
Dec. 5th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
I hear you. My first event was Pennsic 30. I made 12 skirts, chemises, tunics and pants to outfit me and my husband in 2 weeks. Zoiks! Got me clothed, but gave me no joy. So now I am slowly replacing said quickie clothing with "nice" stuff. Period stuff. Stuff that takes a while to make. For our Viking event this Nov, I hand sewed my wool apron and my linen underdress. With linen thread. Yes, it took a lot longer. And yes, it was worth it. It looks good and it makes me happy. So does the hand sewn wool apron I made for my Pelican w/ the wool embroidery I did on the front for the same event. (Ok, I machine sewed her linen underdress except for the hems, but I was running out of time to give it to her for the event as a surprise). Oh, and the hand sewn wool tunic I did for the hubby for the same event. All three outfits gave me great pleasure and took me quite a while to complete. One of the other side benifits? Hubby grew intrigued by the process and actually did some hand sewing on his own tunic!
I LOVE men who sew! It's almost as sexy as men who clean. =)
hugh_mannity
Dec. 5th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
The creative process is as close to God as I'm ever going to get. The understanding of the intricacies of any given project raise me to another level of consciousness, and it gives me goosebumps. At its best, it makes me want to yell and dance around. It's not just about making something new, it's about achieving the high of creation.
I knew there was a good reason I like you so much!

I'm a few years older than you, and I'm stacking up long term projects as fast as I can think them up. I'm learning to weave and it's going to take me years to master that art. I've not really mastered spinning yet -- I spin good stuff, but there's so much I don't know.

I've just taken up brewing too -- now there's an art for those who like delayed gratification! I expect to spend several years (at least) getting a decent grasp of the basics and reaching the point where people won't run screaming when I offer them a drink.

So I'm with you, grateful that I didn't peak early and planning to create happily ever after!

vom_schwarzwald
Dec. 5th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
"Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow -

It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow;

Snow, snow, I wanna wash my hands, my face and hair with snow.

Snow...I long to clear a path, and lift a spade of snow;

Snow, oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow."

:-D

tinchick
Dec. 5th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
so odd, I've been listening to that track a lot today :)
xntryk
Dec. 5th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I wish I hadn't abused my hands on 16 years of newswriting... handsewing has become rather torturous.

But I do understand the mindset. I get that way with cooking and feasts. I started planning my next feast before my Grand Chef (back in August 2005!) and I am still tweaking it. Hoping to get the chance to show it off next year. I've spent the past couple of months researching the exact period spices that would go into period curry powder (no pepper! no mustard!) and how to assemble a proper 15th century biriyani. There's something glorious that you can share with others... food is such an intimate thing.

No, it doesn't last... but the memories do.

Now if I could trade with the costuming gods some curry for clothing...
valkyr8
Dec. 5th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
Speaking as someone who just received 2 lbs of lace weight silk to knit 3 pairs of silk stockings, I hear you about the long term projects. I'm sure I will be working on these beauties on and off throughout 2008.

Less than 2 weeks to my big 40, but I refuse to think of my life being half over. It's just beginning.
landverhuizer
Dec. 5th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
Cool... no really :P Been thinking, seriously, about period bed coverings (with matching bed of course) but maybe I'm not old enough yet lol, though I can spread things out over long period of time now, that instant gratification still feels too good so it is those projects that tend to eat up the most time.
Of course, I only do this for two reasons, I want to learn how it was done and I wish to own it but am too poor to buy it...
maricelt
Dec. 5th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
I love the creative process. It is a way for me to both relax and energize at the same time. And I feel the same way about a job or object beautifully made. I'm in the process of finishing somethings now and looking for that next inspiring project.
malvoisine
Dec. 5th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
I've started to notice some harmonic convergence amongst folk who do Elizabethan embroidery. I think the coif is naturally the first thing we gravitate to. Check. Next, we look at jackets (mine's drawn out, haven't started it yet, waiting to buy silk). And then, naturally, there are the bedcoverings. I've had mine drawn out in my head for a while, going to emulate the bright blue Scottish set....Hmm and for me, the next is a dress covered in embroidery.....

And yes, time does move differently....
tacnukesoul
Dec. 5th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
I meant to mention this last post, but here will work.

That "all downhill" stuff is a bunch of hooey. I've known you for a number of years, and you're more mature, more self-assured and hotter more attractive than ever before.

Mind you, if you continue on this trajectory you'll have to worry about apotheosis - so try to reign it in a little, OK? ;^)
tudorlady
Dec. 5th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
The creative process is as close to God as I'm ever going to get. The understanding of the intricacies of any given project raise me to another level of consciousness, and it gives me goosebumps. At its best, it makes me want to yell and dance around. It's not just about making something new, it's about achieving the high of creation.

::awed golf clap::

Bingo.

When I finally get into the work, it's almost a surreal experience. I can do things I didn't know/didn't think I could actually do. Like all of the finish work on the Prince's landesknecht suit in less than three days (which involved a lot of fussy handwork). Someone (who doesn't sew and doesn't do SCA) asked me if I worked really fast, and I found myself replying "No, actually - I'm pretty slow, but I know about how much I can get accomplished in a set amount of time, and plan accordingly." And since I enjoy it, mostly, I hardly notice. In fact, I have to remind myself to eat, take a privy break, and bathe occasionally when I'm really going at it.

I think I've finally rediscovered what really makes me happy.

Meanwhile, I wish you much snow and snuggliness to go with it, and happy belated birthday. You don't seem like the sort to appreciate a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY post in someone-who-just-knows-you-here's journal, so I didn't want to do that - but I hope it was excellent, and this will be your best year yet.
attack_laurel
Dec. 6th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
You aren't just someone who knows me here - you'bve been here since the start. That gives you emeritus status, and the right to say anything you want.

So here is a garden gnome, just for you: <(:?)
tudorlady
Dec. 6th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Squee! A garden gnome!

I'm going to have to dress him in rain gear for his duty here, though.
devikat
Dec. 5th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Squeeeeeeeeee! *hugs* I *heart* you!!! Are you going to be at Gulf Wars, or maybe Pennsic this year?


I think that my favorite experience at an event ev-vahr was getting hijacked into going to 'The Quest for the Golden Seamstress' with my Baroness and another lady.

The conversation that wednesday night practice:
Eithni: "So... what are you doing this weekend?"
Me:"I dunno, prolly working."
Eithni: "'cause you wanna come to this great event this weekend... you get less than 24 hours to create an entire outfit, from the skin out."
Me: "Ooooh, I'm in. I can totally change some shifts around. So... umm... where's the event?"
Eithni: "Detroit."
Me: o_O "okay... I guess that's not tooo far..."

*grin* Didn't find out until I got there that I'd be helping hand sew a 7th century Pictish noblewoman's gown and undergown (with embroidery) with handmade bone and iron needles... Dude, I was hooked. That's aaaaall I gots ta say.
brian_murray
Dec. 5th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
And there lies both my fondness of software, and sadness with making garb.

I, too, love to create. However, I mostly love solving problems. I have grown to love taking huge gigantic software problems, breaking them up into tiny bits, and solving each bit. I end up with what other people think are miracles, where I think its just a bunch of little puzzles that I cobbled together at the end.

One of these days, I'll have the basic fundamentals of sewing and then it will just click and be easy, as I'll be able to handle garb in a similar fashion that I do software. Until then, the scrubbiest approtégé I shall be. :)
anotheranon
Dec. 6th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
The creative process is as close to God as I'm ever going to get. The understanding of the intricacies of any given project raise me to another level of consciousness, and it gives me goosebumps. At its best, it makes me want to yell and dance around. It's not just about making something new, it's about achieving the high of creation.

Everyone else is quoting that, but I LOVE it so I will too! I work with computers all day, so doing something manually is just satisfying in a way that moving pixels around is not. Also, my costuming efforts are (by and large) mine, not directed by anyone else :)

I do envy you your patience though, and hope I learn it in time. I've been very frustrated because I think my projects are taking too long and your post is a useful reminder that as they get more difficult, they are inevitably going to involve more work.
firenzekat
Dec. 6th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
The creative process is as close to God as I'm ever going to get. The understanding of the intricacies of any given project raise me to another level of consciousness, and it gives me goosebumps. At its best, it makes me want to yell and dance around. It's not just about making something new, it's about achieving the high of creation.

Oh, how I hear you!!
I have been saying something similar for a couple of years now and was only just talking about it last week to some friends.

I love the 'challenge' of costuming (it encompases so many skills). I love trying 'new, different' theories or skills (even if they are only new to me)then trying them out. It is fantastic when they work. If they are not right, I do more research or try things different theories out.
I am making less actual items but putting more detail into each. At the end, it is the satisfaction and buzz of creating that is soooo addictive.
I think this is one of the benefits of 'experience' as I don't have to churn out a number of 'stuff' but can take time for each item...

My only problem is that I keep seeing more and more projects I would like to have a go at, and more skills I want to research, learn and try.

I am finding the thrill of creating is one of the more important things in my life. Luckily my hubby understands this 'hunger'. He has often commented that if I am not creating, I get really grumpy and narky...
He worked it out before I did!


( 17 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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