I've been reading up about procrastination lately
(and crying with laughter reading through that website - which in itself was procrastination - go figure, as they say).
I used to think I was perpetually "blocked" and when I wasn't blocked, I was too busy - things to do - people to feed, dogs to walk, house to clean, garden to erm, weed? anything anything, I will find a busy thing to do - just not stitching. Mr Gonecycling finds it all a bit bemusing, and says that ever since he's known me I've always complained "I want to make something but I don't know what or where to even start".
(my general-purpose carry-all bag, that I've miraculously finished de-and re-constructing...)
But it's slowly been dawning on me (these things take a while) that I'm not perpetually blocked, I'm perpetually procrastinating, and have done my entire life. Apparently it's something that is quite common to those with overbearing and controlling parents - ha! Thanks Dad...
The reason why I have a shed-load of samples and pieces to show my students, is because I spent 10 years doing City & Guilds, and I had the deadlines to meet, but now? Procrastinating heaven.
Partly it's a perfectionist thing (again, Father....) but mostly it's a crushing and paralysing FEAR. Of what, I'm not sure, or I do know but haven't admitted to it....
(close up of bag front, for some light-relief from the introspection...)
But this week, since starting this no-added-sugar thing, has been a real eye-opener to just how ingrained my bad habits are. On Monday I had a free morning, I'd finished my book experiments and my bag, and obviously didn't know what to stitch next. Or where to start. At all. Previously I may have footled with some mild chore-ing until 11am, then had a piece of the weekend's cake..pootled some more, then oh look it's lunchtime, dogwalk etc....
But of course I can't do that now. Oh dear. (I hadn't realised I was that easily distracted or inclined to eat randomly - interesting, interesting...)
So instead of wandering into the kitchen, I had to just start SOMETHING.
I started with my sketchbook, and felt OH SO SILLY I just didn't know what to draw. So I got that out of my system for starters:
and then started to doodle - anything, just to be doing SOMETHING
and then I got a bit bold, and added some colour
Thus inspired, I grabbed this little bit of collage I made last year, had a think and stitched a leaf (my default leaf, if you like):
Then I stitched another two leaves on another bit of collage.
Then I cut out bits. And added some trailing leaves. And next I'm going to add some handstitching and beads and whatnot. I don't know what they're destined to be, but what's important is that I DID something new.
I loved the colours, and as they were just sitting on my desk still, I grabbed a bit of time later on to try another book-related experiment
I own several books on how to make handmade books, including one on embroidered books, but can't find any instructions anywhere for exactly HOW to attach a stitched cover - without using glue on everything.
I had a go at stitching the above to a piece of fabric-covered card, and added tapes, to pretend it was for a book with a taped/stitched spine, but I've no idea how anyone else goes about doing this!
Anyway the point is, I know it's not much, compared to what I could have achieved in the time, but it was the first time - I think ever, really - that I've been aware of how I was FEELING while I was creating.
And doing those leaves, I felt physically sick - my stomach was churning (and not from hunger or thinking about cake!), I was fidgetty...it was horrendous. But I carried on despite it, and I think I've made a bit of a breakthrough.
I had no idea things had got that bad, and I was that scared.