Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What I do - Who I am

Isn't it funny that as adults we are always asked, "What do you do?" Yet, when we were children, we were never asked that question. We were simply asked, "What's your name?" I read once that this is the reason it's easier to make friends when you are a child and why those childhood friendships usually last forever. I know this is true because my best friend, Beth, and I met when we were twelve and have had a "BFF" friendship spanning the last 35 years.

     Bridgette Butterfly - new class for 2016

When you are a child, you are just "you." You're not a mom, dad, boss, employee, husband or wife. You are simply (insert name here). Your main focus, in most cases, when meeting someone was to make a friend. So recently, when I was again asked, "What do you do?" I realized I am more than an artist, author, instructor and what I do. Who I am is, Michelle, and I am a friend.

As I hopped down the path of my creative career over the last three years, I discovered how much passion I have for teaching and sharing my Folk Art Fusion with others. I also realized how important it is to get together with others. While on-line courses are wonderful and convenient, they will never compare with the creative energy, laughter and fun that comes from a gathering of friends.  

Last month I had a "Play Date" with the Crystal Coast Quilters in Morehead City, NC. They were so very kind to me as I was at the tail end of a cold (first one in 9 years) and I had LOST MY VOICE! Let's just say it's not easy to teach when you can't talk. Lucky for me, it was a wonderful opportunity to hear their stories and get to know them better.

Here are some photos from our "Peter's Pumpkin" Play Date.

This is Cindy. She invited me to teach. She is a retired Physical Education teacher. Cool! I told her that was one of my favorite classes and I always made straight A's. Math....not so much. ;)

This is Debbie (aka the Iron Lady). We were all sooooooooooo grateful to Debbie because there was a little misunderstanding about needing ironing stations for our play date. Debbie graciously brought three irons to class. Thank YOU!! (She's so pretty!)

This is Nan. She's a sweetie and super creative. She is going to put her pumpkin on a sage green background. PLEASE send a picture! I can't wait to see how it turned out. 

This is Joanne. She is a lady after my own heart as she supports animal shelters with spaying and neutering.

I like to inspire my students to use their own creativity to finish their projects. They don't have to stitch exactly like I do if they don't want to. I'm just a tour guide into my Folk Art Fusion world. Joanne was excited about this as she wanted to use her new couching foot and her sewing machine's decorative stitches to finish hers. Here is what she came up with.

I love how it turned out and was even more excited when she told me it was being donated to raise money for the animal shelter. Yay!!

This smiling sweetheart is Patti. She is soooooooooooo much fun! Patti is one of those quick witted people who I love listening to. She made a suggestion in class about an easier way to layer the pumpkin stem and I must say, it was a GREAT suggestion! Thank you!

Patti finished her pumpkin and decided to hang it on her front door. LOVE it! What a great fall welcome to friends.

It's amazing the friendships you can make when you teach someone to express their creativity. Last night I got a text from a my friend, Julie. She was a student of mine ten years ago when I taught at the local quilt shop. Julie had finally finished her "Stardust" quilt from my class back in 2004 or 2005. She took the quilt to the Croatan Quilters' guild (miss you girls!) meeting for show and tell. Isn't it beautiful? I can't tell you how much it means to me that she shared this. Thank you Julie!

Creative friendships are so much fun. Like I said earlier, the energy, the laughter and the bond cannot be found through on-line classes. This photo is from my new friend, Patty DeSaye. Patty, along with her daughter, Karmen, own Cozy Mountain Quilts in Whitehall, MT.    

Patty contacted me about carrying my book in her shop. I was thrilled!!!! Patty was inspired by my work after seeing it on Pinterest. She ordered the books, made a sample and offered a class. Each student got a copy of my book (thank you!) and Patty was their tour guide into Folk Art Fusion. She said everyone had a total blast and is looking forward to the next adventure. Yay!!!!

Maybe one day I will get to hop in and visit with Patty and Karmen in their adorable shop. Until then, if you get a chance to visit, be sure and give them a hug for me!

So now, when someone asks me what I do, I say, "I inspire creativity and play" but who I am is Michelle and I am your friend.

I have updated my calendar, photos and contract for 2016 Play Dates and Chats. If you, your guild or group would like to have an adventure down the rabbit hole with me, then HOP over HERE for more information.

Light, love, hugs and friends,



Lana said...

Oh what fun!!!! I can't wait to open my brick and mortar shop....I will definitely have you out for classes!!! Until then, there's room for your book on my online shop!!! Let's talk!!!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Lovelie post with lots of thought and wisdom. The new pattern is marvelous.

Karen M said...

shell, you are always such an inspiration, both art-wise and life-wise. If anyone can pass friendship and love through the computer, it is certainly you. But you are right. That creative energy you get at an in-person creative gathering just cannot be replicated. Hugs and bunny bonks to you. Probably dog slobber, too, but we'll pretend that didn't happen.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Really love the butterfly and cute!

Lesley said...

Looks like everyone had an amazing time. The pumpkins are fabulous!

Christine M said...

Great post, Shell. I love your butterfly. xx

Rabbits' Guy said...

Yup - much prefer good old fashioned get to gathers instead in Inet webinars where possible.

Say - why not just go ahead and run for President and make us all happy again!!!

Kris said...

Wonderful post, Shell!! I would so love to have you come out and visit me here in Utah one day!! Hmmmm, bucket list item!!

Jeanette said...

Love the butterfly & pumpkin. Hugs, xx

Crafty Green Poet said...

looks like you all had a lovely creative time together!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

That is a darling shop indeed! And you are making me think about your opening conversation...I have never been able to identify much with what I do. I AM is more interesting to me than what I do. Good thought for the day dear friend.

JudyCinNC said...

Being with the same minded and friendly bunch of women is so much better than online classes. I have always thought a creative group of quilters are the most generous with time, friendship and inspiration. The pumpkins are so darn cute. I am so proud to call you my friend ... I am me who loves you! Hee, hee Hugs from Judy C

Createology said...

Hello Michelle, friend. I am sherry of createology. That is how I am choosing to be known as. I sew love being creative and that is why I am sherry of createology (my blog). Bridgette Butterfly is my personal favorite in blues. Will she be a kit once you have taught all your classes? Fabulous pumpkin and I adore the quiltlet hanging on the front door to welcome friends. Looks like a wonderful group of ladies and everyone is having such a grand time with you. Creative Teaching Bliss...

StitchinByTheLake said...

Shell your joy is captivating and charismatic and it makes those of us who follow you smile whenever we see a post. I can't imagine losing your voice before you had to teach....oh my. :) blessings, marlene

Jillayne said...

That question "And what do you do" has always annoyed me and if I'm in the mood I respond "What do I do when?". If they look confused I continue... "What do I do when I'm hungry?" or how about "What do I do about what?" It's perhaps not that nice, but if I think the question was asked in a condescending manner, that's what I say. Or I take a line from all the jibberish the bank fed us when I did cash management for large corporations and spew a stream of inane business-speak.
Like you I do more than quilt, or sew - I make things. I like how the British put it - a maker. Oddly enough, that one also stumps people.
Love, love love all that you "do"!