the art of getting it!

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I haven't blogged in some time. Life has been busy focusing on others.
I've been working on symposium stuff but not got far on that..... but something happened last night that I had to write inspired me to put down things and get back to "me"  and "my needs" for a bit...

A friend was in town last night - she and her friend are doing a workshop with Lizzie House. She said "let's catch up over dinner and come to Lizzie's trunk lecture'
Great I thought - have no idea who Lizzie is, but a trunk full of quilts to look at and a night away from kids- and a talk about quilts - has to be good - sign me up.

She came to the front of the room. She was young (25 something..?) blonde, edgy look, fab American voice but was sobbing. I didn't get it.

This is a bit flakey I thought.  Did she read my mind?
'This isn't a gimmick' she said..adding she was totally overwhelmed when talking with people about her journey.....

More tears as her story evolved. There was no trunk of quilts to show - just one that summed up the journey.....instead Lizzie unpacked her bag of her life story of her creative quest......did I mind..not a bit....

Lizzie started to talk about being 6 and knowing she wanted to design fabric- tho didn't know what/how that would happen. I started to get it

I used to design and create- in my wardrobe - I did it hidden away. At Intermediate someone commented 'I didn't know you could draw'. I hid this, smothered this creativity until I was 35. Like Lizzy I knew I wanted to do something creative - I just didn't know what or how. Actually I still don't think I know how or what! I don't care. I don't lizzie did either

More tears. She talked about her struggle to find out how to do fabric design. She did design, she did printmaking.
I got this.

I was 35, threw away a 15 yr corporate career in HR, a new job, great money. Went contracting and went to an alternative Art school part time. I wanted to make art quilts. They didn't know what they were or how. I did portraiture, sculpture and printmaking too.

She ventured to a quilt market with designs (was she 12? 15?, I can't recall - I had started to get teary) and everyone said she was adorable, her work was adorable but they were not interested. I got this.

I wanted to make art quilts I think. I ended up making shaped and layered painted canvas artworks with some stitch and utilising info about fabric form. People said I was too normal, but my work was interesting.

It took one person and much determination and self belief that got someone to take her work and examine it and run with it. I GOT THIS

I felt I bared myself naked when I put myself into an Art show selling my work- but I knew this was something I had to do, needed to, was meant to do.... it took one person to buy my quirky art work, then 39 more that weekend and I sold out to confirm this was what I wanted to do.

Lizzie talked with so much passion about her creative struggle and how things evolved. Her inner voice and spiritual belief assisting her when she went to bed unsure of how things would be - morning revealing fresh insight. I get this

I have insomnia. I dream up quilts. I have no idea how I do them, but it just evolves. My Comfort of Stitch quilt - I dreamed it as this

It started as this

I had no idea how it evolved. I had some paint and I started blocking out with textile paint and a 2inch brush, it was as if the paint just fell into the right place more often than not.

 Like Lizzie my quilts all have a story and are part of a journey. They also provide comfort in terms of soothing a stage in my life in terms of the escape to create it. Whether it be fatigue, a break from the kids, some hurt, a way to say thanks to someone.....
I loved creativity. I didn't think I could have kids. Medical intervention meant we could, and we got 2! I got the kid thing- I was sucked in and swallowed by the intensity of  having these children and being a Mum...I loved it....but in getting that, I felt I lost what/who I had been. Quilting gave me an opportunity to still get 'me' again.

But You know last night what I got most?

Before me stood not only a wise head on young shoulders, a creative determined lady.....but someone who could be, fast forward 10 -15 years - my daughter Maya.

Since googling Lizzie House this morning, I see physical similarities also!. Maya, my daughter wears glasses, wears her hair like Lizzie and is a strong free spirit in terms of her inner voice of who she is and what she wants to do. She even rocks a sort of edgy fringe at times that I see Lizzie has.

(tho Maya gets a not so edgy version as its me cutting it and I do not do it properly!) Now I can say I am giving her a Lizzie House Fringe and when she asks who is that./what that is.... I can say she this uber cool young woman who dared to follow her dream of being creative.

Maya at 3 wanted to design cloud mobiles with rainbows so everyone could have rain, clouds and rainbows inside - this was entirely her creation- she drew the plan, found the fabric and bits and told me how it was to be constructed an doff she did with some help with mums super hot glue gun.

At 5 she wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up- to wear pretty things, swim well and find treasure. We took swimming lessons, we made a mermaid outfit, I let her choose her own clothes for school so she dictated her style, and we still go searching for pots of gold at end of rainbows!

This month she wants to design icecream flavours, design tree houses and invent My little pony games. She did the game on paper as a series of PC screen shots. Ive just binned 30 boxes that were treehouse design 1, only to bring home 15 more yesterday- treehouse design 2.  We build treehouse driftwood constructions on every beach. She has book full of writing- names of future my little ponies!

I hope I can be like Cherri House- a mother who supported her daughters dream and who also sustained her own amazing quilting journey. I hope Maya continues to dream big, grows up to 'live her passion' and become as passionate and in tune with her emotions as Lizzie was last night,...and not  be 44 and still trying to "get it".

This month I have to go and buy some Lizzie House fabric!
Why? I get it!
...not only are they lovely, but I now get the story embedded into their creation, their journey. My quilts are embedded with stories, in how my fabric was painted/created, why I picked a commercial fabric, the quilt construction, the theme and I think some of this in my stash will be beautiful in someone's gifted quilt or an item of clothing or an upcoming Symposium quilt entry because of it's story and how it will enrich my work, the story I want to tell and the gift I can pass on from a young woman called Lizzie House to those I love or simply those I wish to capture with something I create.