This week I've been trying to pay attention to the little things that bring me joy. Thanks to the Wish*full Art Retreat I have been exploring some new blogs lately and I've been getting a lot out of challenging myself to try new avenues of creativity. I've particularly enjoyed the blog of Kimberly Wilson, Doorways Traveler, Creative Every Day , and iHanna's blog. With so much inspiration online I've been trying to do something creative every day. Much to my surprise this is a lot easier that I anticipated. Whether its going to the pottery studio to glaze my pots, taking pictures, knitting, collaging, painting, art journaling, or researching books at the library I've managed to be creative every day and I'm thriving.
Each day I'm waking up energized and excited for the day. Living with MS makes energy a luxury so I've learned to enjoy it while I can. Who knew being so creative could have such energetic and therapeutic results? I'm appreciating the little victories too whether it be finding a great picture for a collage, finishing a quilt block that I thought would never get done, or simply finding a pretty flower in my yard its been nice to just slow down and take it all in for a change. If I've learned anything about living with MS thus far is that the one thing I can constantly count on is change. Sometimes its minute by minute, hour by hour or day by day I just never know. Being someone that has NEVER deal with change well being diagnosed with MS was some kind of sick joke but as time goes on I'm coping better. I'm learning to enjoy the good days and try not to get caught up in the anxiety of worrying what's going to happen next. It's an ongoing process but I'm really beginning to understand how important being creative is to me. These past few days I'm realizing that by silencing my fears, tapping into my inner artist, and just following my heart I will thrive!
This weekend I participated in an online art retreat that helped my creative spirit soar! I journaled, doodled, painted, drew, scribbled, collaged, photographed and unleashed my inner child. It was powerful, inspiring, and most of all it really filled me with joy.
I've dabbled in various art classes over the years. There's been knitting, spinning, pottery and beading but secretly I've always wanted to take the type of courses that were offered during the Wish*full art retreat. Each course was unique, playful and inspiring. Each of them helped me to express myself in a different way. Some parts were a little more challenging than others because it helped me to realize that often times the only thing stopping me from unleashing my creativity is me. I'm so thankful for such an inspiring weekend and I look forward to implementing what I've learned in an on-going promise to myself to keep creating and embrace the whimsical aspects of life.
Ok you know you haven’t blogged in a while when you can’t remember your password!
I’ve put blogging off for a while, but after a recent trip I couldn’t wait to blog again.
What could get me blogging again…..that’s easy…..Sock Camp!!!
A few weeks ago I attend session one of Sock Camp in Port Ludlow Washington and it was an amazing experience. Having never gone to “camp” as a kid I was quite happy to partake in my first camp experience and it was epically fun. There were excellent classes, arts & crafts and silly evening antics.
This was my first sock camp and it blew me away. I had a professor that used to say that “archaeology is the most fun you can have with your pants on…” and while archaeology is pretty fantastic he clearly never attended Sock Camp!
Knitting, dyeing yarn, scavenger hunts, button making, crazy suessical sock puppets, beach combing, hanging over the edge of a dock to look at sea critters, hiking to waterfalls and touring nearby Port Gamble. Seriously an amazingly good time was had! It was really nice to be able to spend time meeting new knitters and be surrounded by so many amazingly talented folks. I cannot wait for next year!
I can't believe that Sock Summit is just a few days away. I've been excited about attending for over a year now and now its just around the corner. I'm really excited about the classes I'm taking, the lectures, sock hop, luminary panel, Ravelry meet-up...so much fun in just a few short days!!! I've never been to Portland before and I'm looking forward to seeing a new city and meeting new friends. I'm not quite sure what to expect but I'm pretty sure that Sock Summit will live up to all expectations. I think I'm just as nervous about the unexpected as well. When I was still working I would travel from time to time and I always enjoyed the Independence of exploring a new place. For the most part most of the conferences I've attended have been work or school related...translation.....archaeology conferences.
Now archaeology conferences are pretty darn cool. Often times there are amazing lectures and updates on projects going on in different areas and archaeologists themselves....well they can be quite the entertaining bunch. Gathering us all in one place with equally obsessed cohorts just kind of fuels the fire. Each and every archaeology conference I've attended has been memorable. I remember my first conference when I was an undergrad and I was so worried that I wouldn't fit in, or I wouldn't know anyone or I wouldn't understand what the lectures were about, etc...you name it I was nervous about it. The funny thing is now that I'm retired from archaeology I realize how far I had come from being so nervous at my first conference to attending subsequent conferences and knowing more people, giving my own lecture in front of my peers, and rubbing elbows with some of the archaeologists whose work I studied in school. The last archaeology conference I attended was about 4-5 months prior to being diagnosed with MS. It was a blast, I had a great time with my friends, made some new contacts, learned a lot and just really enjoyed being around folks with the same interest. Over the past few years as MS has invaded my life I've found myself adapting, adjusting, trying to figure things out and deal with the reality of my life now. Now that I'm not working, I'm not in school, I'm not pursuing archaeology anymore. In a lot of ways I still struggle with "who am I now?" I'm the same person but at the same time things are a lot different now.
I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't nervous about Sock Summit but I'm pretty sure my excitement overpowers any nerves I'm having (i.e. don't make an ass (sorry I should write arse) of myself if I meet the Yarn Harlot. I attended multiple classes with Cat Bordhi at TNNA and managed not to make an ass out of myself but still the sheer number of amazing sock knitters that are going to be at this event is staggering. It may not be scientific but I'm pretty sure that the increased volume of superstar knitters (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Anna Zilboorg, Barbara Walker, Cat Bordhi, etc...) only increases the chance of making yourself look like a huge idiot. In a few days I'm going to be in a strange city and I'm going to be surrounded by knitters...more specifically sock knitters.....and I'm guessing from looking at the vendor list that the sock yarn fumes are going to be engulfing Portland for what is sure to be an incredibly memorable weekend.
It has been a while since I've blogged but I've been keeping myself busy with lots of knitting. Particularly knitting socks, reading books about knitting socks, watching YouTube videos about knitting socks. For the most part I've been fairly obsessed about knitting socks for quite some time. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to attend TNNA in San Diego where I was able to take FOUR classes with Cat Bordhiwhich just furthered my obsession. Now I first found out about Cat Bordhi when I picked up her books on mobius knitting, I was hooked. When she came out with her book on knitting socks with two circular needles I was intrigued.
If I had to make a list of famous knitters I would want to meet (because honestly who doesn't have a list of famous knitters they want to meet). Cat and the yarn harlot would be #1. I know technically there shouldn't be two number ones but its my list and both Cat and Stephanie are on the top of my list. That being said, getting to take classes with Cat was such an awesome experience; she was kind and friendly and so warm and approachable. Her excitement is contagious and although its been a few months since TNNA I'm still in a sock knitting state of nirvana. Toe-up, cuff down, magic-loop, DPN's, 2 circulars...doesn't matter Cat's New Pathway's book has completely liberated my perspective on how to go about knitting a sock. Not only is Cat an amazing knitter and fabulous teacher she has also written a novel by the name of Treasure Forest. As soon as I got home from TNNA I ordered it and devoured it over a few days it was fantastic. I highly recommend Treasure Forest it is a captivating story that draws you in and you can't put it down.
As I sat in Cat's classes surrounded by various knitters, designers, shop owners, and teachers I couldn't help but look around to make sure I wasn't the only one totally geeked out by meeting Cat Bordhi. I could seriously go on and on and on about how fantastic she was, how much I learned, how inspired I was etc... it was simply fabulous.
TNNA was filled with fabulous experiences and I was able to meet some amazing knitters. Cat introduced me to Clara Parkesand I tried not to make an ass out of myself. When I first started knitting I found out about Knitters Review and I was instantly hooked. While I recovered from shoulder surgery I roamed through the forums and read all the articles; while I begrudgingly worked on various graduate seminar projects for school I would turn to Knitters Review for a quick detour away from academia and post processual theoretical approaches to household archaeology (say that five times in a row). All along my knitting journey (sorry Bets I used the word journey hehehehe) I've been a big fan of Knitters Review so meeting Clara was simply cool. Now trying to explain to my husband how exciting it was to take classes from Cat, meet Clara, and then meet a TON of authors during various book signings over the course of the weekend was a tad bit challenging but he was quite happy that I had such a good time. The best part was being there with my dear friend Betsy who was equally excited about all of the various TNNA booths and knitterati.
Since TNNA I've been knitting when I can, rolling with the punches that MS throws at me and trying to settle down into my new job....retired archaeologist. I've wanted to be an archaeologist as long as I can remember and I'm blessed that for a good 10+ years I was an archaeologist. My good friend Matt likes to remind me that I'm still an archaeologist but coping with MS, new lesions, further health problems and the death of my career has been rather trying at times. There are days when I think....now what am I supposed to do.....then there are the days when I think "aren't I supposed to be thinking about what I was supposed to do, but huh? what was I thinking." I'm still on the fence as to whether the neurological problems are worse than the physical problems associated with MS so my opinion changes rather frequently. Recently as I slowly accept my current situation I am thankful for the wonderful friends and family that I have in my life and for the experiences I've had so far in my life. The great thing about knitting, and specifically knitting socks is that stitch by stitch row by row not only are you creating something useful but also something beautiful.
Currently I'm rather excited about designing my own patterns for socks and I've been having a great time agonizing over stitch patterns, taking what I've learned from Cat and knitting socks fearlessly. I never thought I would admit it, and I'm sure my archaeology friends will think I'm crazy but there is something about the process of knitting socks that is darn near as fun as archaeology without the occupational hazards of cactus, cactus, cactus, morning glory covered cactus, cactus, cactus oh and did I mention cactus? Where I spent most of my career doing fieldwork always involved cactus on some level, stepping on it, over it, moving it aside to look for sites, you name it it always involved cactus. In knitting if you make a mistake you have to rip it out, well in dealing with this particular occupational hazard of cactus you still have to rip it out. While on a sadistic level I miss the fieldwork terribly I don't miss my relationship with the cactus. Now as I settle into my current situation I'm happy that as far as the future holds I'm fairly certain it will be filled with more yarn and significantly (zero) cactus.
I can hardly believe its 2009! Where do all of the days go? It amazes me how fast time goes by while you are dealing with different ever changing aspects of your life. Recently I started a different MS medication so my timeline on things have been pretty reversed. I'm hopeful that this time the progression of MS will be slowed down. After having my last MRI and seeing the progression of MS lesions in my brain from a year ago it was quite hard to face starting over on new shots and hoping that they work. Its a waiting game and can be quite overwhelming at times but I think I'm finally coping with the changes MS brings the best I can.
Craft wise I'm making as many craft messes in my house that I can. I've been knitting, spinning, painting, sewing, and general mischief making. I've been really enjoying knitting socks and have had socks on the brain for months now. For my birthday my husband got me an Ashford Joy spinning wheel and I just love it! I've been spinning more and am starting to get obsessed with rovings. I just really enjoy the creative process. I also adore catching up on blogs especially my friend Susan's blog. She is so wise and so creative, I just love her patterns!!! They challenge me and insipre me and I'm constantly wondering what she is going to come up with next.
Day by day, week by week, life trods along. With the good and the bad I try to remember a line from one of my favorite Disney movies ...."keep moving forward."