© 2014 jen

Making My Way Back To Happiness

Last week I wrote about feeling like a hermit and this week I have a cold on top of being in a bit of a funk.

I’m still in my hermit mode, but I’ve done a little venturing out here and there. At least I did before I caught a cold.

I went with some friends to see Princess, a Prince cover band with Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum.  It was super fun.

Maya and Gretchen Collage

I hosted a small gathering for a group that I used to be involved in, that was called I Heart Art: Portland.

I went to a friend’s birthday party.

What’s funny is that with each of these events I was only out of my house for a few hours or hosting others at my house, and by the end I was really excited to go home, be alone and make something.

My hands seem to be busier than ever.

PicMonkey CollageI put a pen in the first two shots for scale. The first two images are of a lighter weight rope I’m working with. This piece is about 2 1/2 feet and the last photo is of a heavier weight rope, which is about 2 feet.

I’ve been making rope doilies for some reason. I become compelled to make things and it’s as if I cannot focus on anything until I get the making done. Taking something that is traditional and then mixing it up with totally unexpected materials makes me happy. There is something about pulling this raw, utilitarian rope around and making it into art. I say pulling it around because that’s what you have to do. It’s a more aggressive form of crochet, just by the nature of the materials, and it’s really quite satisfying. I’m not using any patterns, just making it up as I go, which is my favorite way to work. I really don’t enjoy patterns; I don’t like to be fenced in.

I’m feeling better emotionally, but still in slow mo and sick.

It’s as if I make a thing and then it recharges my battery a little, so I’ll keep on making.

I’m also playing some new songs on my ukulele. My favorite new song is “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. Disco ukulele – I’m so into it.

I’m still dreaming of projects I want to make. I literally have an entire line of clothing floating around in my brain, with pintucking, and smocking. Simple, comfortable, utilitarian designs that don’t scrimp on style, and most of them with pockets. Don’t get me started on how women’s clothing doesn’t have enough pockets. It drives me crazy. It’s not just men that carry things around. I’ve got things to carry around too, damn it!

I have over a dozen new ideas of clothing I MUST make, but I have a few more doilies to finish before I get there.

I’m working in so many different mediums now – sewing, crochet, macrame, woodworking and more – that I’m seeing things cross over in my mind. It cracks me up. 

I keep thinking about how these rope doilies could actually be made into a porch swing. I was considering making one out of wood for my porch until I got this rope doily idea. Has anyone ever made a porch swing out of rope, with doily motifs? I’m guessing not, or at least I’ve never seen anything like that. I was considering making one that I could slide pieces of wood into for the seat and back of the bench, so that it would be stable and strong, yet held together with rope and crochet.

I told my husband about my idea and he said, “That sounds like a lot of work and it would take a long time, but it would be cool.”

I said, “Art takes time and so do most things worth doing.”

He said, “You’re right. Make one.”

I bet I will too.

Making makes me happy and I’m making so much right now.

This is how I’m making my way back to happiness – most literally, making.

I’m sure you know that Maya Angelou just passed away. She has said so many things that pertain to my life right now like:

“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.”


“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love.”

 And this is just what I’m doing.