"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

Obstacles – are they a good thing or a bad thing? Depends . . .

May 26, 2022 by Eileen Adler

Obstacles – are they a good thing or a bad thing? Depends . . .

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step . . . or in my case . . . a single stitch. The beauty of being a knitter is that there are so many possibilities. But, without the right guidance, all those possibilities can lead to confusion, so, where do you start?

Whatever your motivation, being creative is joyful, but it’s not always easy. "The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way," from Marcus Aurelius’ book Meditations. A bit heavy, but in sum, Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor (A.D. 161-180), believed the obstacle IS the way. And where there’s an obstacle, there’s a way. So, why is it so hard to start creating something of your own?

Many answers to this question: not enough time, fatigue, life gets busy, more space needed for supplies, or you may even feel selfish making time for yourself. Selfish is not a helpful feeling when you are a care partner. “The only limits are the ones I put on myself,” explains Linda Page, TextileArtist.org Stitch Club member.

Begin with a small project. It’s not about perfection, it’s about process. A ‘mistake’ becomes a design element and results in originality. Even as little as ten minutes a day fuels your soul, your creativity, and restores your confidence.

Your practice can become your habit:

  • Keep your project out and about – this is your toolbox
  • Make it easy – the idea is to create, not to frustrate
  • Make it attractive – set yourself up for success by creating simple pleasures as you create: a comfy chair by a window and a hot steeping cup of tea or coffee.
  • Become a collector - “An artist is but a collector of great ideas and a master of remixing,” according to Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist so become inspired by other crafters.
  • Belong – find a community that shares your desires, be it in person or online.
  • Deliberate practice asks, “What if?”

Sage advice from another textile artist, Emma Cassi, a French artist, who shares her key takeaways:

  • Only working with materials at hand can lead to greater invention and creativity
  • Don’t be afraid to try making something you admire but can’t afford
  • Experiment with a variety of textile art techniques. You don’t have to stick with just one

Like Christine Peterson, TextileArtist.org Stitch Club member, this is what you may dream about and what she discovered: “I do have a unique voice, that I do have a vision, even a (somewhat fuzzy) goal, and that I can self-identify as a textile artist.”