Creative Business Launched

I have big news! I retired from my marketing career last week and launched my creative business! This is something I have wanted to do for years and it is finally happening. I am working on my business plan and initiatives include teaching, pattern design, e-books, tutorials, art licensing, magazine articles, and other creative opportunities.

I will be teaching quilting at Middletown Adult Education starting this fall and I am preparing handouts and lesson plans to keep my class on track. This session I will be teaching a striking medallion quilt which uses a log cabin block variation set in the barn raising layout. I added a simple pieced border to enhance the design without overpowering the center. The quilt can be made in a one color scheme as shown here or a multicolor/scrappy version. This is an oversized lap quilt and can be made larger to fit a bed. The nice thing about quilting is you have choices and can make the quilt your own way.

I finished the top last week and now I need to reserve time on the long arm quilting machine at the Collaboratory at the Wallingford Public Library so that I can quilt it professionally.

Medallion quilt

To celebrate this big change in my life, I went to  Vermont Quilt Festival this week, my first time attending New England’s oldest and largest quilt event. The quilts were amazing, with a broad range of quilt styles including  modern, abstract, pictorial, art, traditional, and antique. They were all breathtakingly beautiful, every one a work of art by the hands of the maker. I walked into the entrance and was amazed! I have been to many local and regional shows over the years and this show was incredible.

VQF Entrance

The antique exhibit, Quilted Treasures of New York, was curated by Sharon Waddell and sponsored by Yankee Pride Quilts, Essex Junction, Vermont. The quilt hanging from the ceiling in the foreground of the above photo is Prince’s Feather 4-block, c1860, from southern Orange County. The quilt in the photo below is Albany Lily,  c1870. Typically the maker of an antique quilt is unknown, unless the quilt came with a provenance such as from an estate. The age of an antique quilt can be estimated based on the fabrics and the dye colors. I am partial to antique blue and white quilts and find them very soothing.

VQF NY quilt

I took a class with Karen Stone called Bloomers and learned some new techniques which could apply to other types of work. There were three interlocking shapes and I managed to get far enough along that I was able to put together the three basic units. This was more of a process class than a product class, so you needed to take what you learned and continue working at home. I really enjoyed the class as it was unique, I learned new things, and Karen was so gracious.

VQF Bloomers

I would like to share part of my process with you. I like to create mind maps as a way of seeing an overall picture of my life as a guide and have been doing this for about 10 years. This will be helpful in creating balance in my life with my creative business. I learned about mind maps when I was working  with researchers as a webmaster/website designer at The Institute for Community Research in Hartford, Connecticut.  Mind maps are a useful tool that can be applied to many things as a way to visually organize information and they are fun to create.

Mind Map

Paint the Sky with Stars

Paint the sky with stars

I am a big Enya fan and after painting this layered and spattered evening sky art journal page and letting it sit for a few days, the song Paint the Sky with Stars came to mind and those words gave me a good way to finish the piece. I like to let things sit and think about them instead of just rushing in and finishing without letting it percolate.

A friend of mine kept asking me every time I saw her, “Did you finish that [whatever it was that I was working on the last time I saw her]?” and I finally had to explain that is not why I make things. I enjoy the creative process and I just want to have fun. I don’t care if I finish an art or quilt piece at any given moment unless it is intended for a specific recipient because that is not my raison d’être [reason or justification for existence]. I am a process person, not a product person. I love the process!

I have big news! I will be teaching 2 mixed media art workshops for teens through adults as a volunteer at Epoch Arts in East Hampton, Connecticut in March and April. The workshops are Art Journaling and Inspirational Cards and each workshop will have 2 sessions. I am very excited about this opportunity to teach at this “arts for youth” nonprofit organization in my home town. I am working on handouts which will be shared on my offerings page. Teaching art has been a dream of mine for a long while and now it is coming true!

I have been thinking about vulnerability a lot lately and why it is important. Brene Brown has done a lot of work in this area and her Ted talk on vulnerability is one of the top ten most viewed TED talks in the world. Vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Her research uncovered a common thread in those who embrace vulnerability: “They talked about the willingness to say, ‘I love you’ first… the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees… the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after your mammogram.” This really resonates with me right now and I wanted to share it with you.