30 September 2011

The Art of Procrastination

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." ~ Don Marquis

I am so glad to hear the procrastination is an art form. That is one that I know all about and excel at daily. I bet you were beginning to wonder about me, or maybe you have forgotten about me completely. Whatever the case, I have to say that being unplugged for even a few days is not a happy site. (But the time unplugged in South Haven, MI and then in Galena, IL were HEAVENLY! More on a later date!)

Those few precious days that I actually came home between laundry loads (no, seriously, our new, one year old washing machine suddenly stopped working about 3 weeks ago. After $285 plus an extra week because they ordered the wrong part, and a trip to the laundromat for 5 loads later, we had mountains of laundry to wash. Have you ever had it so bad that you had to go out and buy new underwear?) were spent just catching up on the essentials. I have the one big show that I do in about 2 weeks and I am not even 1/2 of the way to where I feel I need to be. There is a nearby gallery that is hosting an exhibition of the Gallery Q artists so I have had to drop everything to get that ready for next week's delivery. I have missed all but one quarter of one football game for my son, and to make up for all my absences I am having a mother-daughter day on Saturday. I am working on displays and packaging for this show and just trying to tread water over here. And now some changes at my job have made me even more resolved to find a way to survive on my own. So intermittent blog silences are to be expected while I work on making my to-do list a to-done.

But you didn't come here to hear my wah-wahing did you?

You came here to see pretty things. Like this quilt...

"Housetop"--twelve-block "Half-Logcabin" variation, ca. 1965
Cotton, Wool Corduroy, 77"x 65"
Lillie Mae Pettway, 1927-1990
Gee Bend's Quilter

 This month we were to be inspired by the amazing folk art quilts of the Gee's Bend, Alabama quilters. This group of African-American women were ingenious in their iconic designs, playful in their use of color and pattern and resourceful in their sourcing of materials. They didn't let the mere fact that they didn't have bolts of fancy fabric deter them from creating some masterpieces in textile art. The one that we were challenged with is by Lillie Mae Pettway. The bold use of color and the rectilinear pattern are the strong suit of this quilt.

My eye kept being drawn to the rather rustic stripes of tan with what appears to be writing on them. Maybe they were old feed sacks or some other readily available textile. I just liked the fact that there could be a hidden message in there.

As part of my Art of Procrastination series (maybe that would make a good art show?), I am putting the finishing touches on the Art Bead Scene monthly blog tour that I host (I wish that I could put this together ahead of time, but there are other artful procrastinators out there like me who squeak in at the last minute!). I have a goal this year of doing every single one of the challenges. That is really how I got my start, so I wanted to get back to it. Plus I think that as an editor it is part of the fun to share in the challenge with everyone else. And after seeing all the inventive designs submitted for this month, especially the one by Miss Molly Alexander who is a true gem of a designer, I decided around 9:30 pm that I needed to jump in the fray as well. So I set a goal of midnight to be complete. And I am proud to say that at 11:54 pm I was done!

Here are the fruits of my labor. I created a quilt block 'simple truth' with this message:

gaze in awe at the rich tapestry of your life

I dug around and found some antique boot buttons that I have had for years in shades that blend right in. The tangled wire bead was a gift from my friend Sandi Miller from the Inspired by retreat. Green is a predominant color in this quilt and I happened to have these really funky nut beads in a rich sage green. To bring in some of the other colors, I found some fire cracked matte agate rounds and some cobalt blue recycled glass faceted cubes. I used a great vintage cellulite button for the clasp with steel washer spacers on black leather cord. Of course, I don't measure and I started once and then had to cut it apart (because I am pretty sure that procrastinators are not planners), so I just about ran out of the leather at the end with nary enough cord to make a button loop. That would make for a lopsided necklace and that just won't do. So I decided to lash on a Vintaj hook which solved that problem nicely.

{rich tapestry of your life}

Oh, and those rustic tan ceramic beads? Those are my favorite part. I recently purchase a strand of these for no other reason then I liked their color and texture. They are quite heavy so I stuck with three to hopefully balance the necklace. They came in handy. Maybe there is a secret planning to my procrastination after all!

So, there you have it. There really is an Art to Procrastination.

Or maybe just a Procrastination to my Art. ;-)

Be sure to check out the Art Bead Scene on Friday, September 30 for the blog tour to see all the great entries this month!

Your turn....
Are you a planner or a procrastinator? 
Did it drive you crazy hearing about how I created this at the last second, or are you nodding your head and chuckling in agreement?
If you are a planner, do you think that you could rise to the challenge of a last minute deadline?
If you are a procrastinator, do you think there is any hope to turn me into a planner?


Amy F said...

love that pendant! I am a total procrastinator - I run in two speeds: bored & ass on fire, and usually the AOF speed is because I procrastinated during the bored phase :)

Vintajia Adornments said...

The focal is just perfect!
(Could do a series - gaze in dismay at my messy studio etc)
Don't beat yourself up over your perceived procrastination, it is just your Muse's way of getting all the creativity flowing quickly in one direction

Mary Harding said...

That is a beauty Erin. Love the saying too.

JeannieK said...

I kept checking your blog and thought their was something wrong with my computer.

There's hope for you Erin....always. And yes, I'm shaking my head in thinking, "WOW." I would expect you to wait til the last minute and come out on top. The pendant you made is sublime.

steufel said...

Love your procrastination. Such a cool piece:-)

SummersStudio said...

Oh, Erin, I think you picked up the spirit of the quilt beautifully. Not just visually either. I think one of the reasons these quilts speak to so many of us is that they reflect the tapestry of life of the makers. Your beautiful necklace honours that.

Alice said...

A gorgeous piece! Eventhough it was made at the last hour, still it seems that each component was chosen with care. I love the brown beads, and like you, my eye was drawn to the tan fabric strips in the quilt, but my idea didn't work out like I wanted.

I'm both a planner and a procrastinator. I like to plan things (mostly events and activities--never jewerly designs) way ahead, but then procrastinate, and end up throwing it all together at the last minute. I frustrate myself, but I can't seem to help it.

SueBeads said...

That's a fantastic piece, Erin. I love how you can look at something (a quilt for example!) and make a piece of jewelry out of it - I love the charm you made, it's awesome!

Steph L. said...

That necklace is so beautiful! The pendant is so striking.

Cindy said...

I think you know which camp I belong to! :-) I'm glad to hear that procrastination is an art form. I do my best under pressure, and I know you do too. What a gorgeous piece, Erin. You are amazing - completing it within your short time frame. I think your polymer pendants are just getting more beautiful - so rich and full of character. And i love the antique boot buttons - everything is put together with purpose and beauty!

somethingunique said...

Hi Erin, that pendant is awesome and the creation equally awesome...and oh boy am i a procrastinator or sometimes i just blame it on A.D.D. i would love to be a planner some day...i try so hard to and just when i think i am planning to be organized i get throw a curve ball...anyway nice to be back and Jack played his first game on Wed. a goal and an assist. :)
ttfn Lana :)

Erin S said...

Nice job, Erin. It seems that when I carefully plan ahead, sketch things out, and purchase things specifically for a design I have in mind, those designs tend to not be my best work. When I wait until the last minute, there seems to be a 50/50 spit between creative genius and complete garbage. I haven't done many challenges lately, although I always have good intentions!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Your piece is just WOW! From the coordinating beads to the handmade focal...WOW!

Brandi Hussey said...

I think I'm half and half, if that's at all possible.

I like getting things started right away, because once I hear about something (a blog hop, a challenge), I'm so excited to get to it. The ideas are flowing, and it feels good. So, I think in that way I'm a planner.

But I also like the spur of the moment and the pressure of a deadline, too.

Maybe what I am is a true Libra. I can't decide, so I'm both!

beautifullybrokenme said...

I love, love, love this piece - beautiful colors and textures with a wonderful message. I, too, am a procrastinator, and am a bit relieved to see that I'm not the only one! :)

Dawn Doucette said...

Erin, I deem you Queen of the Procrasti Nation! LOL LOVE your interpretation and creation for this necklace. It's beautiful my dear! Hoping your event at Gallery Q is going great!


Kristen said...

Whenever I get something done ahead of time, it seems it doesn't work out or I have to redo it anyway. So I think procrastination and doing it at the last minute is the way to go! That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I love the pendant and the rustic quality of you piece, very nice!

Cynthia@OrnamentalStyle said...

I'm raising my hand for the procrastinators side! But I like what Alice said about being a planner in the beginning but then turning into a procrastinator in actually getting the things done that were planned. And the pendant is fabulous and so is the entire necklace.

Well, I'm procrastinating making jewelry! So off to the studio. I look forward to hearing about the Vintaj workshop (saw the photos on their blog).

CraftyHope said...

Your necklace is just fabulous!! I love it SO MUCH!!
As far as procrastinating. . .I do tend to be a procrastinator over a planner. I often mutter the procrastinators mantra, "I just work better under pressure." Though, I also often try quite hard to be a planner. Yes, it doesn't ever seem to work out for me so well. Oh well. It is what it is!

In the Light of the Moon said...

Erin,Your beautiful pendant makes my heart sing.And to know how it came about is a hard pill for me to swallow...I have a list for everything...Erins blog.check.See.
heehee..I have always had a hard time with waiting for the last minute...but now that I see what you have created,well,...breathe Cat,I can put my list away and just let things come naturally...or NOT.HEEHEE..Big Hugs,Cat

Lola said...

First of all, LOVE that pendant! Oh-so awesome!

Secondly, they don't call me Last Minute Lola for nothin'!

Finally, Copper Diem's two speed, bored vs. AOF response was hilarious!

kati said...

Amazing , just amazing colors and combos...congrats

Holly said...

How did I miss this post? I know...I was trying to finish the BSBP posts since I'd procrastinated so long on finishing them up, and kept myself from so many of my favorite blogs as penance! ;) Yep, I'm a procrastinator of the first order! It drives my husband to distraction. And I'm a firm believer that change is possible...but only when you are truly ready for it. And I like the thrill of last minute challenges to much to change myself - how about you?

Holly said...

And I totally forgot to say that I.Love.this.pendant. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous!

Off the Beadin' Path said...

First of all, I'm "gazing in awe" at that WOW pendant, it's perfect, and just such a happy accident that you had those rustic tan beads that bring in the part of the quilt you were most attracted to! And it came together in the allotted time? You cannot call that procrastination, that would be in the category of brilliant artist doing what she does best! Or is that when you broke out of your procrastination mode?! I think my kind of procrastination is" better "- look at project, task, or heap of accumulation and then you sigh and walk away! Now that's true procrastination. Oh, and your mantra has to be "Not today"!" Good thing for you that you produce great works under pressure of time! You have shown us many of those! Has anyone ever thought of procrastination as a way of prioritizing? That would give it a better reputation. In summary, I LoVE that necklace!

Mina said...

I love the pendant! You have a nice blog :-)


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