I have a bit of a wonky schedule these days. And I’ve come to realize that this wonkiness is the reflection of a sort of Jekyll and Hyde situation– one that’s more crafty than scary. For starters, I wake up early so I can get in a swim (or sometimes a run) and still be at work by 7 am. I try to look somewhat presentable (but always colorful):
I leave work around 4 pm, which means I’m back at my apartment by 4:45. On many nights, within about 20 minutes, I change into my ‘I’m-not-leaving-for-the-rest-of-the-evening’ outfit. In other words, I look like this:
And I plunge into piles of fabric and thread. I spend the rest of the afternoon/evening cutting and sewing, and I wind up with creations like this:
My latest hand stitching endeavor which, so far, is just reserve applique pinned together with straight pins since I’m officially out of safety pins (I’ve been told that all real quilters run out of safety pins at some point; it looks like I’ve gone through this right of passage!) I promise it will look more interesting soon.
Now, I should be very clear that I love love love my job, but I sometimes always have an insatiable appetite to create. There always comes a point in the day I need time to use my hands and to focus on color, texture, and shape rather than words. Obviously I’m a word person as well; I love a good book and, after all, I write a blog. But there’s something different about sewing, quilting, and knitting; they feed a separate part of me that I could never go without.
I do, however, need real food as well–and, fortunately, cooking fuels my creative drive as well. That’s where things like this come in:
It’s my version of Chocolate and Zucchini’s delicious spaghetti squash gratin, made with a sharp yellow cheese (not sure exactly what kind since it was passed on from my mother), raisins, almonds, and red kidney beans in place of the bacon, mozarella, and walnuts because, well, that’s all I had and I was too busy sewing to grocery shop.
Of course, I also try to be social–and avoid becoming the crazy lady who spends every single evening sewign ;)–so sometimes I manage to drag my butt out during the week to, for example, have dinner with a friend…
(Alicia, who just got a job–hooray!–and is therefore leaving me for Greenwich, CT–boo!)
…and indulge in my favorite dessert (warm chocolate truffle cake) from one of my favorite restaurants (EVOO). I meant to take a picture of this delectable creation, especially since it’s my life’s mission to recreate it one day, but I forgot to do so before the plate looked like this:
If, however, I go out too much–and therefore don’t get my sewing/quilting/knitting fix–I start to get this crazy, deprived feeling. Apparently, creating is a basic sustenance for me and if I go too long without, the consequences aren’t pretty.
I have the sneaking suspicion that I’m not entirely alone here. It’s that tricky balance between work, art, and life–and the ways in which we try to combine them–that comes up over and over again. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming. Other times, I’m thankful to be pulled in so many different but pleasant directions. Every little area offers its own kind of satisfaction.
What about you? Ever feel like your straddling several different lives? You might nto necessarily crave fabric and yarn–maybe you can’t pull yourself away from poetry, photography, or (like my older sister) running. At least we’re all in it together. I’d love to hear your thoughts.