TIF Challenge July 1 and August 1

“What is it to be at the half way mark?” That’s Sharon’s Take it Further Challenge for July. The short answer is – I don’t know – June’s challenge has got as far as being written about and July’s… is only now filtering into my brain. I’m thinking that in general the ‘way’ part is more important to me than the ‘mark’ part – I seem to be a process person rather than a goal person, and thinking about where I’ve got to or where I’m going doesn’t come naturally. Engaging with the process is a good thing, but the negative side of it is lacking direction, running round in circles, muddling along.

Well that’s as far as I’d got on a draft post about July’s challenge in July… and now there’s August too (and I only wrote about June’s, I never stitched it). I don’t know if this says I get to the half way mark and then stop! or just that I’m having an even busier summer than usual. I did jot some randomness about the half way mark into my notebook en route for Cornwall last week, and oddly enough some of it also relates to Sharon’s August challenge, which is

"What is balance to you? Do you maintain a balanced life? How do you balance aspects of your life? That is the challenge this month – balance."

So as I haven’t a hope of catching up, I’m thinking I should aim to combine June, July and August’s challenges in one piece or a couple of related pieces.

These were my jottings: some thoughts to start from…

half way mark – stamina – staying power
like a dog going for a walk – back and forth, exploring everything
"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons"
"When they were only halfway up they were neither up nor down"
"halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit"
"it’s not at the bottom, it’s not at the top"
mediocre – medium – average – mean – median – half measures
point of no return
equal – balance
TS Eliot
"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
turning point
"We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun"
middle – mid-point – centre – central – centred
sitting on the fence
midstream – mid-flow
halfway house
“Rest and Be Thankful”
relay race

And some images of Cornwall…

flowers near St Agnes apex of the roof of Sterts Theatre
rusty anchor chain light through trees

tiny steps

It’s funny how sometimes you seem to be making giant strides and things are falling into place all around you, and other times every tiny step (or stitch…) seems like a huge effort and then you stop altogether for a while. June has been one of those latter times for me, and this is all I’ve done, creatively speaking, since last time I blogged.

gathering calico

I love these effects (and of course I immediately want to dye them!). But I need to go much further and, for that, time must be set aside and guarded.

Plenty of other things have been happening, with work, family and life in general – good things, but time consuming. However, I was determined when I started the OCA course to not let the stuff that happens get in the way of spending at least 15 minutes on textile work each day, and I haven’t been doing that. I miss a day, then two, then a week…

Well, I wrote this to motivate myself and for a bit of accountability so I’m heading off to my workroom now, but before I go, a shout out to any members of the UK Embroiderers’ Guild who read this. Members have set up a web ring and a Flickr group to share work and celebrate being part of the Guild. Please join in and spread the word in your branch and region :-).