Monday, October 24, 2011

My Drug of Choice

This is a fairly horrible photo, ruined by years in one of those photo albums with the sticky stripes that keep the photo from sliding around under the page's clear cover. Whoever it was that invented those deserves to have all their photos ruined. But that isn't what I wanted to talk about, nor is it why I posted the photo. This is me, on the left (my sister on the right) demonstrating card weaving at an art fair about 37 years ago. My infant son is sleeping on a blanket under my card table. Just out of sight is my display of batiks and woven belts that were for sale. My point is that I have been doing this for a long time. And I do it because it is addictive.

This past weekend I participated in the Washington County Open Studios tour and it was the same kind of rush I remember from so many similar events, maybe starting with the one pictured above.

I'm really not a big talker. I'm what people call "quiet." I've never been good at small talk or schmoozing. I am always a bit in awe of people who do that well. But at art fairs and shows and such, where I am showing my work, I love nothing more than talking to people about it and hearing what they have to say. They ask questions that I can answer and then their stories come out. They talk about grandmothers who made quilts, or the work they do, or what seeing art does for them. They tell me how it makes them feel. Sometimes they even buy a piece from me. If I'm not a great talker, I think I'm a good listener.

Yesterday I talked with a woman who, in her retirement from a highly technical job, learned to make huge fabric and paper mache puppets from a master puppet maker and the thrill she got doing it. I talked to a jewelry maker about her craft, and my partner in crime, Jeri, and I spent two days talking about our shared love of fabric and fiber and art and making. And compliments—which you always hear when you share your passion with people—they are like a chemical in the blood, infusing your spirit with a feeling of well-being and warmth. At the end of two days of this the body is weary, the feet are throbbing from standing on them for too long, but I'm on a high that I wouldn't trade for anything. Alcohol, drugs (not that I have any vast experience with them) have nothing on this. Addictive, I tell you.


  1. Can I tell you how much I edentify with not only the words in your post, but also the picture??? All of my family photos in albums are "striped". I had the same Dr. Scholl's clogs your sister is wearing. I played with the popping beads by your son's head, and even saved some for when I had children. And the weaving, stitching, creating gene? It runs in my family too. I love your blog and your musings... they remind me of home.

  2. Anonymous3:28 AM

    this post really resonated with me. I generally don't talk with people about personal things, get me talking about quilting and I can talk and talk and talk and talk. At the end of it I'm physically exhausted but so happy and enthused. Get me teaching, again physically exhausting and yet there is such great joy I can barely wait until I can do it again no matter how my body responds!
    happy quilting!

  3. I wanted to comment before running off to work this morning. I don't want to go--but at some point in my day today I will share my love of gardening with one or perhaps two people. And all the tedious boring bits will suddenly fade away. Yes, the sharing of something you deeply, truly love is a wonderful drug.

  4. Very nice post even i would say that whole blog is awesome.

  5. I'm happy to hear that you and Jeri had a great weekend with the open studios. I definitely know that euphoria of sharing one's passion with like minded friends. And the compulsion to make -- I have that too. I often wonder why I don;t have/make the time to do those normal things a mom should do, but it's because of the pull of this addiction! (Good thing I'm just skipping mopping for sewing rather than neglecting my kids in any really harmful way.)

  6. What you call your drug of choice I might call "youth serum." Your feet may hurt and your body may be tired, but I suspect you also feel revitalized, maybe even rejuvenated! Good for you!

  7. HI :) LOVE LOVE your blog :) It is on my HOME PAGE :) You are LUCKY to have your photos :) I am 54 yrs old. MY photos from those TERRIBLE books are GONE-FOREVER :) They sort-of MELDED into the plastic and were not 'recoverable' :( I am also a 'quiet person' :) I LIKE IT :) I hear the most FASCINATING TALES from 'talkative people' :) Since I RARELY 'speak up'..friends and family LISTEN when I DO have something to say. I call it a WIN-WIN situation :) I MUST FORCE MYSELF to get involved in a few craft/sewing/bridal/etc shows to recharge my batteries from time to time :) THANK YOU for the suggestion :) PS PS The studio is LOVELY :) AND the greenhouse :) I am a seamstress/gardener :) BEST from Cheryl :)