One of my favorite blogs is Patti Digh’s 37 Days. Her blog always gives me something to think about, ponder, laugh at, or wonder about. Her words have brought me to tears more than once. Last year, when she invited her readers the opportunity to contribute art for her upcoming book, I eagerly signed up for the experience.
Art is not what I do professionally. I do it for fun, for relaxation, for rejuvenation, and to keep my brain alert. As someone who works with words and paragraphs; sermons, and spiritual reflections, craft work – which has led me to art quilting – helps me see the world in a different way. As a person who works with a lot of end-stage dementia patients, I read many books on ways to reach dementia patients as well as on ways to keep my own brain alert. Learning new skills, in my case focusing on art, helps create new neural-pathways in my brain. And besides – it’s fun.
My cousin, Leslie, of blessed memory, was an artist. She encouraged my creativity. She was always supportive of the art I make. Before she died I was able to tell her that a piece of my art had been selected for Patti’s then upcoming and now out book: Four Word Self Help.
The phrase I was given was “play a childhood game.” My first thought was hopscotch. Then I thought about jacks and jump ropes, but I kept coming back to hopscotch. So – hopscotch it was.
I did a quick pencil sketch of what I had in mind. It “worked” for me. I work in fabric. I had a piece of tan hand-dyed on the table – sidewalk! I took some watercolor pencils to the fabric for grass, fused colored squares in the hopscotch pattern, and machine-embroidered the numbers onto the blocks.
I tried to scan and send the finished product – no success. I later learned that the scanner on my computer has a very specific set-up. Now I know how to use it. Then – I took a photo (lots of photos) and sent in a jpeg of the best one.
Yesterday my copy of the book arrived. There was my hopscotch – illustrating “go on play dates!” Wow – what a thrill!
So thank you Patti — for inspiring me with your words, for challenging my creativity, for helping me see the world in new images, for daring me to take risks, and for giving me something that will make my mother happy!