Friday, September 17, 2010

Gift in a Box?

Minu wrote:
You have a gift and I don't see how you take that gift and put it in a box and say it is over and I'm bored with it. People follow you and your blog and your work because you can do what we can't and you inspire us to at least try.



Dear Minu and everyone who agrees with you,
In my defense, I am hardly putting my gift in a box. The box is full to overflowing and I am looking for someplace else to use this gift. What if something even more wonderful is about to be discovered or created and staying in place prevented it from being discovered?
I think first of Nancy Crow and her early work and how wonderful we all thought it was and how she drastically changed what she made and how much we love the new stuff. What about that ?

On the other hand, imagine being me and feeling like a lounge act sometimes, like you will all be miffed if I didn't perform for you all the old songs over and over and over. There might be a new song that needs to be sung, or a familiar song sung with a brand new beat.

When I cleaned up my closet, sewing room, garage, etc. and all those quilts were piled up everywhere, I got the feeling that enough was enough.
 I can't just keep making stuff to put in a box, or drawer, or closet. Who wants to live in a warehouse?

That's why *temporarily* I am knitting stuff that people want. It seems to make more sense, at least for now. And while I am knitting I am considering new ideas and new directions.

I can tell you this. When I paint, I post and sell and it leaves the house as soon as it is dry. That really prevents the pileup of work and of course encourages more work. No wonder I feel better about that and can see it is a better use of this ol' gift. And it is not about the money, folks. It is about the sharing.

 My quilts are viewable on all sorts of places. http://www.wowmelody.com/  http://picasaweb.google.com/fibermania/MelodySAvailableWork#,
Recent Quilts Page at the top of this blog, Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/melody-johnson-quilts/
and for big views http://www.fibermania2.blogspot.com/ .
The archives of this blog go back to 2004 where you can read how and why I made stuff. I feel like I have said how and why so many times, that I am like a broken record, if y'all can remember what a record is. ha!

26 comments:

  1. I understand where you are coming from. My body of work is nowhere near what you have done but I felt paralyzed what I had to move around all the time in order to have space to work. More power to you for having the courage to follow your convictions. All of your work is inspiring no matter what the medium.

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  2. I also think it is important to allow the separation of the gift from the product. Your gift can be directed in many ways. I've been delighted to see what you come up with, whether it's quilting, knitting, painting, gardening, or food! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. I'm with Ruth.

    And, actually, I don't think you have put your "stuff" in a box. Physically perhaps, but as you note, images of your work, as well as the processes and thought behind it, are out there on the web for all of us to see, be inspired by, and learn from. Personally, I've learned a lot watching you move between knitting and painting and quilting through the years (with gardening and cooking thrown in along the way) and it's helped me not feel guilty when I leap from dyeing to weaving to sewing. Life is about change.

    Besides which, I don't recall that when you boxed up the fabric you took it to the Rumdum, or locked it up and threw away the key. Who knows where you'll grow in a year or three... As long as you keep sharing what you're doing, I'm a happy camper.

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  4. If I've learned one thing thing in life, it's that you have to follow what's right for you. Trying to please other people never, ever works if you aren't in a good place yourself. So you go, girl! Follow where your gift leads you and use the talent God gave you. How could that ever be wrong?

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  5. Kathy F11:38 AM

    A lot of us are just "Melody-wannabe's" and wish we had talent like yours to make quilts. But it's YOUR life and you should do what makes you feel good without worrying about us. I'm glad you share your day with us and appreciate you.

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  6. You inspire so many readers and have so many talents. I love being able to see your quilts online, but look forward to whatever you decide to do next! Enjoy!

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  7. Well said, Melody... It's your life and do whatever you like to make you happy and inspired... talent or not... I would say have a most interesting and inspiring life is important than anything... Change is good. I always think changes opening new doors, who knows? They might bring you to an entirely whole new world and new prospect. Sky is the limit!

    Edith

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  8. I should include a warning label with my post: "To be taken with a grain of Salt" or "Here she comes again, on another Rant."

    Oh so dear Melony, I did not mean to put you on the spot and cause you to defend yourself. You are my favorite quilt artist and second is Caryl Bryer Fallert. The thought of never seeing another quilt from you was like loosing and old friend.

    ["And it is not about the money, folks. It is about the sharing."]
    I do realize it is not about the money with you. You are the most generous artisan I have encountered. You give what most artisan's put in books, patterns or videos and sell. And you make it simple and easy for us to understand. For all your generosity I am very grateful.

    Dear lady live long and enjoy every moment of life to the fullest.

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  9. You do whatever thing gives you the most joy and personal satisfaction. I'm interested in reading about it all!

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  10. I guess I missed the part about quilting to knitting ... more power to you.

    I was clearing 'the office' and found 30 quilts finished. I had no idea. They're headed to the Eve group, hope others enjoy them. I have to keep making charity quilts and hope I get rid of alot of the fabric. I hate opening the closet doors and seeing all of it. Someday I'll move on to a new hobbby.

    good luck and happy times.

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  11. I agree with those who wish you well in anything you pursue. I think you are one of the most generous people and I like your spirit. It shines with everything you do and I just have gotten used to sharing your day with you. I'm not going anywhere!
    Beth from Maine

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  12. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Melody, go find a recording of Ricky Nelson singing "Garden Party".
    I am happy as can be that you will share your journey with us.
    Thanks.
    KKF

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  13. Yes, Beth from Maine sums it up nicely - you generouly share whatever creative path you are pursuing - and it's all interesing and fun to follow! Don't you find that some of your best ideas come from looking at artists working in other mediums?

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  14. Dear Melody-
    I have been following your blog for over a year and enjoy it so much. Your color sense is what attracted me and then your notes each day. I enjoy the variety: quilts, knitting, painting, gardens and all. Although I will miss your quilting, I am looking forward to what you do next! Thank you thank you for adding the "helpful stuff" links. I was on vacation when you transitioned and changed your focus and am glad to be able to access your quilting hints! Good luck and I look forward to your creative journey!
    Liz

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  15. If I wrote much, I'd be saying just what some of the other bloggers have said already. I jsu wanted to add my support. follow your muse, do what makes you happy,--that 's what we do this for isn't it? It's lovely of you to share your process. I have followed you for a while now and I'm happy to read about whatever you do. As one person said i is you r color that attracted me.

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  16. Eh hem.... can I store that box for you?

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  17. Dearest Melody:
    Life has been busy and I didn't take time to read the other 16 comments but I wanted you to know that whatever you do and even those my days are busier than ever, it is your blog that I check in with and I will continue to do so when I get a chance so whatever knit, sew, paint, bake, garden, I am here waiting to take a peek. Thank you very much for sharing.

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  18. I couldn't agree with you more! I did go into withdrawals the first time you switched from quilts to gardens... then I became enchanted with what you were doing in the garden, your redecorating projects, etc. I hope you always find new things to excite your creative juices enough for you to want to share with those of us who have come to delight in whatever you get caught up in! And if you get tired of us, we'll just have to get over it (not easily, though!)
    Hugs!
    Judy

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  19. Well by now you do not need any more encouragement....your fans have spoken!!!

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  20. OH dear...it would be horrible if you felt like a lounge act! I know that all of us lucky folk who read your blog on a regular basis are happy to go where you're going...I know that comments can sometimes come across a bit wrong, it's sometimes hard to say exactly what one means. I know that the folks who despair of you giving up quilting do not mean to be disheartening when they say NOOOO! I for one can't wait to see what you make next!

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  21. Just wanted to add my two cents worth. I enjoy reading and looking at everything you post on your blog. I wish I had just a fraction of your talent. I will continue to read, look and enjoy your work and your blog. Here's to a great new adventure and letting us share it with you along the way.

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  22. Hello Melody , There are plenty of newcomers here who like to know and learn from yu , so yu are evergreen !!
    I enjoy your musings and feel happy to gp through them no matter what subject !! so keep it up..<3

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  23. I truly felt that Minu's statement was meant as a compliment, M, even before I read her "rebuttal" comment above.

    Regards.

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  24. An artist is an artist, no matter the medium. You must create as you are driven to.

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  25. I've been reading your blog for a million years, and the only constant (besides bright colors) I can see for you is that you are always reinventing yourself, packing up one set of supplies and doing something else. I think it's just part of you. I started reading for the quilt stuff, but you are an interesting person no matter what you're making, so I keep reading. I don't actually believe you when you say you've stopped, but if you have...so be it. You will create something else.

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  26. For everything there is a season... You're in your knitting season, and I say knit away!
    D~~~~

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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com