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Ramble Index: The Creative Flow and how not to Damn it
Date:  Sat Jul 29, 2000 10:53am


Now that I sent out the totally faux eggs and the one Tiger's Eye Egg that I had finished I felt comfortable about working on the three Tiger's Eye eggs that were cured and ready for sanding and finishing.  I don't know about anyone else but wet sanding, for all it's positive results, is tiresome. I find my back bothering me as I'm hunched over the sink wet sanding. My hands get pruney being in the water too much. The water gets cold. Whine whine whine...
I decided I wanted to smooth out these eggs but I wanted to be horizontal and watching TV at the same time. Out come the wood and jeweler's files. A lot of the smoothing process is by feel anyway, no need to keep one's eyes on it all the time, let your finger tips do the checking to see if something is smooth. Use wood files to get the large bumps ground down. Jeweler's files or even emery boards will act like finer grit sand paper. You'll be surprised to see how smooth you can get it this way.
Also using a finish isn't always necessary. If you wet sand just a bit after the big lumps are filed off try polishing the egg with a soft rag, use a bit of nose oil like they do to old tobacco pipes to keep them shiny and the wood oiled. You'll get this matt effect that is nice for a change from the shiny shine one gets with a coat of Future or other products.
I had forgotten how nice the eggs could come out this way. So last night I was a couch potato watching wonderful old black and white movies, getting to feel more appreciative about these Tiger's Eye eggs here and wondering when someone will guess the Movie Quote Quiz of last night. LOL
When these eggs were slated for the swap I didn't feel they were up to snuff. Oh they are nice and all but you know how expectation leads to disappointment and I was disappointed. Now that they are just for fun, I'm having fun with them again. Which leads me to want to make a mention about SWAP STRESS.
Swap stress is when our expectations don't get satisfied by our efforts. Dead lines are looming which makes one make hasty mistakes. One feels bad that they aren't keeping up and it all of a sudden becomes NOT FUN.
I don't want Lenora to feel stressed about running late, this swap isn't supposed to make our tummies tight, it's to encourage us to buy more eggs, blow them out and clean them, cover them with clay and see what comes of the effort. The swap is to be a FUN way to working through a technique the only way that doing it a couple of times, do it a half a dozen times and you'll be more assured with this technique. Do it a couple of dozen times then you can do it when you're half asleep because muscle memory will carry you through.
Now that the stress was bypassed by making totally faux eggs I can appreciate these Tiger's Eye eggs for their intrinsic beauty, accept them for how they are once smoothed and polished and treated with a bit of love. poor eggy weggies went unloved....
I can now carve a line around the middle and carve the clay out and break through the egg shell and fill the innards and do a hinged egg. These not quite right Tiger's Eye cane eggs are just perfect as a base for a hinged egg that will give me two little scenes to fill with what ever takes my fancy. Just like the turquoise and gold cane that disappointed me a while back became a God's Send when needing to come up with this egg assignment that I upped the ante for by making it deal with faux stone and gem mixes.
Me thinks I challenge meself too much...LOL
But when you feel yourself getting stressed out and that makes you make mistakes or not see opportunity in a miscalculation, hold off for a while...chill out...have a cuppa chamomile and peppermint tea and read Peter Rabbit to a small child.
This clay thing and the swaps and all the stuff that goes on here are supposed to be fun. And if we miss a deadline it doesn't mean that folks don't love us anymore.

Case in point:  I just got my !@#$%^ tea set swaps...and my own unfinished !@#$%^ tea sets are here on a tray stuck at some mental speed bump in the road to completion.
I don't know why I can't just finish them. They're getting dusty, things are falling on them and I've invested so much time and effort and got stressed out and then I just said...whoa nellie....this ain't being fun anymore and I'll get these puppies done and when they are done they are going to be magical. Their flow time just ain't happening for me because of other things cutting in queue in front of them. But that happens sometimes, the flow just stops and you got to move in another direction because something else is calling calling you like the Sirens to Ulysses.
Important point alert:
If you say to yourself...I'm not going to do another thing until this ONE thing is done....and that one thing's flow has stagnated for what ever reason, you will effectively STOP ALL CREATIVE FLOW...and all for not just accepting the fact that maybe this time you're not going to be on time for a swap deadline. no no no..don't do that, counter productive that would be, ya?  If an effort isn't DOING IT for you....step around it, do something else, put it aside and let it simmer on the back burner of your brain and move to something that doesn't make you grit your teeth so much. Keep the creative flow going and jump over the speed bumps in this road to mastery of your art and your craft, ok?
Both Marcy and I are of a mind that cracking the whip of Deadline inflexibility isn't conducive to having fun or fostering creativity. I'm not the first nor will I be the last person who got their swaps any way even after falling down on the journey. This is so nice, this love and understanding swap process we have here that I'm feeling more kindly towards my !@#$%^ tea sets
Just thought I'd mention that because the newly arrived !@#$%^ tea sets are just so cute and because they are here I'm looking at my tray of unfinished sets and thinking...ya I can face these !@#$%^ puppies now, my swap mates showed me that they can do I can do it too, bless their hearts.
So there it is then early Saturday morning's ramble about the creative process being more important than swap deadlines and expectations that lead to disappointment getting in our way. If it happens to me, obsessed that I am with polymer clay, it must happen to some of y'all as well and it is for you who have also suffered the tight tummy of tension due to swap stress that this shout out is dedicated.  Relax, have fun, be of good cheer.
Nora-going off to go shopping now-Jean

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