Thursday, February 16, 2017

Art is a Happy High

I've been thinking a lot lately about how keeping busy, exploring new avenues and attending art exhibits brings me to my happy place. This past week in particular had lots to offer. It seemed like many a venue had openings of exhibits that I was interested in.

I've mentioned the Stutz Business & Art Center before <Link> and they had an exibit called "Red." Everything in the multi-media show featured red primarily. It was veried and interesting.
The locale is a huge warehouse which was originallt the Stutz Bearcat showrooms. Many artist studios are also there. I look forward to the Open House they will hold in March which will be much bigger and feature working artists in their studios, food and music.

Located within a straight shot of each other, I was able to take in two exhibits on Saturday.
The Indiana State Museum held its Annual Indiana Artists Craft fair and I was delighted to find a wonderful hostess gift for my cousin who I will be visiting in Phoenix....TOMORROW!
I just couldn't resist the tiny heart with ginko leaf for me!  It was just fun to visit over 60 vendors with lots of talent from all parts of Indiana. I also found a cute ornament which I will tuck away for next holiday season.

Dirty Hands Pottery
Indiana Ornament-Blue Moon Pottery

It is always a bonus when I find crochet on display! In these cases, crochet is used as a jumping off point for other media: sewing and ceramics.

Crochet Collage Dress

Crochet Lace-edged Purse

Crochet Collage Scrapbook

Ceramic Dish with Embedded-Doily Pattern

 This artist is a retired school principal and he knew how to engage children!

Later that day, I swung by the Indianapolis Art Center where they had opened an exhibit entitled "Portraits" the night before. I failed to take any photos here but nevertheless, enjoyed myself.

What inspires and takes you to your happy place? I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Six-Month Check-up

  • There is a thread connecting us all as humans. A loop of crochet has me intertwined to many in different and satisfying ways. I am all about crochet. It lays on the coffee table in the living room and drips from the arm of the couch ~ works in progress abound. To-Do projects fill a basket and UFOs wait on my desk. 
As the introduction of my blog says, "My life and my crochet are inextricably linked." It is uncanny how I can often weave a connection between mylife experiences and how my crochet is a part of it. First off, I so firmly believe in the value of crochet as a therapeutic tool and healthy activity.

I learned to crochet 46 years ago and I had been married to Alan for forty eight and a half years when he died on July 1, 2016. We were together when I learned to crochet while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in Honduras, Central America. I learned from the aides who worked with me in the clinic I started in our small village.

Although Alan is no longer with me physically, my crochet cetainly is. I know he is smiling down because he knew how important crochet is for me. He enjoyed seeing me make things and seeing the smiles of others when they received my gifts or admired my creations. He was proud of me for starting the Crochet Guild of America. I know he is smiling down and is glad that my crochet has helped me through these last 6 months.

Not only did Alan and I started a new life in Indianapolis before he died;but I then also entered a new chapter of my life called "widowhood." It may have taken a little courage to leave the home we had lived in for over 30 years, but selling our primary house and downsizing to condos in 2 different Chicagoland neighborhoods was a gradual way to accept our new reality. Moving to be near our grandchildren seemed like the best way to go. Alan had 6 months in our new home; and he knew that I was very happy here and glad to have the comfort of family nearby.

I now have a new house,new friends, new neighbors and new places to explore. One of the finest yarn shops around, Mass Avenue Yarns, is here and a long-time chapter of CGOA as well! I've started a weekly meet-up at Panera and I am crocheting non-stop. I still have fantastic support from Hospice and a woman much wiser than me explained that during the bereavement process, 6-months is a pivotal time. Much of the flurry of activity, including boring mandatory paperwork and errands, has slowed down. At this point, one's mind pays more attention to the new reality and lonliness begins to set in. I've been feeling lonely for a few weeks, and it was good to be able to talk it out. I keep busy; I don't dwell on what could have been. I check in with Alan most days and I remind myself to remember the positive and fun memories.Shown here are some components I have finished. I don't know where it will lead me

Throughout my bereavement process, I have been slowly creating a tribute to Alan using found objects from his journey and crochet. Shown here are some of the completed components. I don't know where it will lead me and that is okay. I do know Alan's loving spirit is guiding me every day!

If you have found crochet to be comforting or therapeutic during chllenges times, I would love to hear your story. Please share her in the comments.