Monday, February 24, 2014
Crafting Yourself: Visual Reminders
Hello my dear friends, today I thought I'd talk about making visual reminders. Whether it's something to make you smile, something you need to remember or words you want to live by, seeing a little reminder everyday can help put you in the right mindset! I sewed up this Kurt Vonnegut quote with wool felt...
Saturday night I picked up my kindle to finish the short story Peace in Amber by Hugh Howey, (one of my new favorite authors [I've talked about his incredible work here and here]), which is inspired by Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. A new favorite author writing a story inspired by one of my all time favorite authors?! It is a fantastically written and emotional story that really pays tribute to Vonnegut. Anyways... I had started the story a couple of weeks ago and was 80% done (I love that kindles calculate that for you!) before picking it up again Saturday. I was really struck by the perfect timing of finishing that story, particularly the perfect timing of this one passage:
"Montana wants to scream, but the thing she is angry at is in the past. The past can't hear her. This is the thing, her great discovery. She smiles at the future. Happiness is a choice. She knits another row and loves every man who ever wronged her. More important, she loves those who will wrong her yet."
It was just what I needed to hear at that very moment (I love when that happens), and it reminded me that the only time that really exists is Now!
"So it goes" may not sound very positive to some people, or may just sound like another way of saying "Sh*t happens." But no matter how dark the subject matter, Vonnegut seemed to write with a humor that made dealing with the dark bearable, and to me he still had a bit of faith in humanity to make you smile. So yeah, stuff happens, that's how it goes, but we get to decide how much power the past is going to have on us, and what we're going to do next. And I thank Hugh Howey for bringing that light back to me!
Do you want to see how I made my visual reminder, so you can make one too?
First I took an old frame that I had, and painted it with two coats of black acrylic paint and then finished it with two coats of artists' varnish. Easy peasy!
Next I drew out the letters I would need. You could use stencils if you want, but I really think there's something to using your own hand writing. It gives the piece more character, and more of a sense of "yeah, I did that!" I've learned to be easier on my self and not to think that everything has to be made of perfect lines and perfect symmetry. I like seeing that there was a human hand behind the work.
I then cut out my letters and traced them onto dark grey wool felt with a blue pen. I traced my letters right-side down (yes, even though some of the letters should be the same from either side, but remember they aren't perfect to begin with!), so that the pen marks are on the back. Then, you probably guessed it, I cut them out.
I cut a piece of white fabric just bigger than my frame backing so the material could stretch around the sides. Next, I positioned my letters where I wanted them with pins.
With three strands of a matching embroidery floss, I stitched my letters to my fabric.
Lastly, I put everything back together in the newly painted frame. The letters and their positioning are far from perfect, but I think it just gives more to the saying "so it goes!" There's a lot we just have to accept and move on from, and then we can choose to be happy.
Oh, one thing I should mention, if you are going to clean the glass for your frame, I suggest you clean the inside of the glass while it is in the frame, put everything together, and then clean the outside of the glass. I made the mistake of holding the glass myself and trying to clean it... I cut my finger. So it goes.
Do you have any favorite quotes or sayings?