Friday, June 24, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 06/24

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

One summer a local artist, Eddie Cascieri,
who lived in my neighborhood, organized
a two week summer art camp for teenagers.
My mother signed me up. I loved it. The
class was all about play and experimentation.
That brief interlude, and Eddie's nurturing
encouragement sustain me in my studio
nearly 45 years later. Eddie is on the right.
Her husband, Archangelo Cascieri,
whom she called Angel, was a sculptor,
whose work can be seen in downtown Boston.
I'm on retreat. The best part of this retreat is that I can participate from home.  It was the title, Woman Unleashed Retreat and the fact that it was free that got me to take the impulsive leap to join. Each day for two weeks I receive an email with two video sessions that focus on linking self care with creativity. The videos are made by a variety of motivational women, painters and mixed media artists. What has surprised me is that on several occasions the hosts confess to being to do list makers and being overwhelmed by their lists. 

It is one thing to make to do lists, it is quite another to take those lists and prioritize them. The key for getting things accomplished and feeling less harried, in my opinion, is developing the habit of a prioritized to do list that you maintain on your computer. On my iMac, I use Mac's program, Reminders for this. However, any computer generated to do list that you can access from your various devices, that allows you to assign items to calendar dates, prioritize items and print out your list by date(s) will work. 

Here is my mini tutorial on creating prioritized to do lists:

Step 1: Write out your to do list. 

Step 2: Now analyze it. Which items are date sensitive? Which items are essential? What items must be done in sequence? Are there logical ways to group some of the items? 

Step 3: Assign either an A, B, or C to each of the items. An A is an immediate must. A B should be assigned to anything that is important but not immediate. Finally a C is neither immediate or very important, at least in the short term.

Work has begun on First Light.
Step 4: Look at only the items marked A on the list. Give each one a number from 1 to the number of items on the list. Number 1 is the most important to get to done. The highest number is the least important. 

Step 5: I usually don't bother prioritizing my B and C lists until I complete doing my A list for the day.

Step 6: Start your day by doing A1, if you have time to do A2, A3, etc. - do them. If you do this consistently every day by the end of the year you will have accomplished approximately a 1,000 or more of the most important things in your life. 

So why do I keep everything on the computer? Because that way I don't waste time rewriting and rewriting my lists. It is easy move what doesn't get done, to the next logical date.

One of the pieces I made using dishwashing liquid as a resist.
Studio time is on my A list on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday every week. That is why I can share what I accomplished this week. 

1) Work on Sunrise Abstraction- Started

a) Make and attach the sleeve - I have made the sleeve and started to attach it
b) Make and attach the label - Not yet.

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

I've started quilting First Light, the whole piece quilt I designed in Art on the iPad. The first part is slow going since I am starting and stopping after very few stitches in order to not quilt over the trees. 

3) Do some surface design work - Done!

Another dishwashing liquid resist experiment. This time
I began by drawing leaf shapes with the soap.
I was inspired to try using dish soap as a resist after reading Julie B. Booth's article in the June/July 2016  issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. The appeal to me is that I didn't have to deal with hot wax. The disappointment is that the resist didn't resist as much as I might have liked.
4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open - Done!

I am slogging my way through the retreat. It would be so much easier to give up. Much of the material covers self care, good habits and being mindful of how the past influences the present. It is geared to women who have little "me" time because they are raising children. I'm beyond that. I have "me" time. It is easy to miss the lessons that I can learn, and there are lessons to learn, because I tend to tune out during messages that are old news. I had my first aha moment yesterday. I'm so glad I stayed open to continuing.

Next week will be busy. I'm grateful I have developed the habit of a prioritized to do list. It gives me the confidence to know that I will have studio time next week and when I do here is what I will be doing:

1) Work on Sunrise Abstraction

a) Attach the sleeve
b) Make and attach the label

2) Free motion quilting practice

3) Do some surface design work

4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.


  1. I definitely prioritize too Gwyned. I confess sometimes I don't always write the list down but I know it. I think I will get more disciplined about writing it out. I have a long range list, a list for a season, for the week and for the day. I review the list for the next day at night and remind myself first thing in the morning. And, since most are self imposed goals, I grant myself the luxury to revise as necessary. I confess, I feel great when I realize that I actually have some in a day to move forward on some of that long range list. :)

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  3. Hi Gwyned, it is good to reach a goal that is why i gladly make lists tho they are loose, they are guides and i revise as necessary ,too!
    If i am in another room i might make the list again to see just what floats to the top.
    I like your soap experiments. it is fun to try something new and with the materials already at hand, a priceless gift to give yourself! especially after crossing off list items!!

  4. Hmmmmm, dishwasher resist....a new one on me........ I'd love to hear more.....

  5. I was an inveterate list-maker for most of my life. Now I continue to make lists, but mostly for groceries! I do sometimes make a list of the contents of an up-coming SAQA Regional newsletter...or a list for studio work...and I use my calendar (yes, a paper one with good-sized squares) as a "list" re: specific appointments and/or events...but the key for me is that I've stopped beating myself up if I don't complete a list on a given day, or if I forget something because I didn't put it on the list in the first place. I still finish what I want to finish, and on time...and have learned to acknowledge that sometimes something that misses a deadline...well...perhaps it wasn't meant to be, after all. :-) P.S. Love the leaves. I have that article sitting on the counter in my 'messy' room to use try that technique, and I love the loose effect you achieved!

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    1. Hello Gwyned,
      The subtly graded colour in First Light is beautiful, just perfect behind the dramatic silhouette of the tree.
      Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
      Love, Muv