First Quarter Update

First Quarter Update

I try throughout the year to review my intentions and make sure I am “focusing” on the essentials. My word for the year is focus and it has been a helpful word so far. You can see my original post about my goals for 2012 here. I have a tendency to see something new or see someone else’s projects and want to dash off and start trying out that new technique or idea. This year, before I veer off course, I say to myself “focus” and then I step back for a moment and determine if I should really try out this new and exciting idea, or just write it down and save it for later.

One of my biggest focus points this year is my Level II Hand and Machine stitch class. I have been working very hard on my homework which was mainly Kantha stitch. When I first tried this stitch I wasn’t too impressed and thought I wouldn’t really like it. But after a bit of practice, I have to say I’ve really enjoyed it. Now I when I see a pattern, I think, hmmm… that might work well for Kantha stitch. I will be off to our third session at the end of this month and we’ll be concentrating on machine embroidery.

In regards to my other intentions for the year, I have started teaching classes at my local yarn store and that has been amazing. I find that I love to teach felting, it’s such fun to share my passion with others and encourage them to get hooked by the “felting bug”. I did preliminary investigation into teaching at the community college but I think that needs to wait until I’m finished with my stitch course.

I mentored several artists in my gallery and went over some of the same information that I have been writing about in my Marketplace Monday articles. Again, it is rewarding to be able to pass on information I’ve learned over my 14 years as a shopkeeper to artists that are just starting out. I’m sure I’ll continue with this mentoring activity.

I have been keeping up with our blog here and the forum. That really isn’t a chore at all as I love the interaction between felt makers all over the world. It’s great fun. I have been struggling with Ann’s latest challenge of abstraction but I’m sure I can work something out in the next couple of months.

I have started on a bit of planning for the yurt project and that will be ongoing. I also did a bit of exploration into the combination of machine stitching with felt and hand stitching with felt. Our surface design group continues to play with various techniques. Our latest activity was making hand-made paper. I’ll show the results of that soon.

The two things on my list that I have not started on at all are making video tutorials and learning more about Photoshop. I did get a video camera but I haven’t even turned it on or looked at how it works. I plan on starting work on the videos this summer. Zed inspired me with her videos that she posted on the forum.

We’re already four months into 2012. I think I have done fairly well on keeping my focus. I have found the best way to meet your goals is to just get started. Don’t keep studying what you plan on doing, just begin. That is the most important step for me. That and turning off the television and ignoring the computer. How are you doing on meeting your goals or plans of what you want to accomplish this year? I’d love to hear how you’re doing.

8 thoughts on “First Quarter Update

  1. Your focus is admirable – it’s too easy to get distracted.

    I’ve wanted to try video tutorials too, but I don’t have the confidence. I admire your restraint when it comes to ignoring the computer – I have to check my emails regularly (for business) and then it’s all too easy to ‘just have a quick look’ at other things isn’t it?

    You’re right with saying the best way to meet goals is to just get started, but it’s a big hurdle to jump from having an idea to actually getting the stuff out. Procrastination is so much easier!

    1. Thanks Lyn – the only thing I’ve found to quit procrastinating is to take action. And yes it’s easier to do nothing 😉

  2. you seem to be well on your way to your goals for this year Ruth. I will have to go back and look at my goals for the year and see if I have even started yet.

  3. I should have chosen ‘list’ for my word for the year, it seems I start each week with a list of things to do and often have to revise it through the week when I get either nothing done or more than I planned 🙂
    It’s been good to see what you’ve been working on in your Stitch class, the dyed threads and the stitched pieces are gorgeous.
    The best way to learn Photoshop is to try it, you can always ‘undo’ 🙂

    1. I have lists all over the place – sometimes I even get to check things off 🙂

      I know the basics of Photoshop but just need to spend the time learning more. It’s time more than anything at this point.

  4. I agree with you all….stay focus theses days is very hard. Life takes us on a fast ride and that computer is addictive. But without it I would not know all that is going on around the web in the felt word. Can’t live with it but can not live without it. Congratulations on you work, your time…and focus!

    1. Thanks Louise – it is hard to stay on track. I don’t stay off the computer all together, just limit my time.

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