The road ends, but the journey continues...

Potholders, Project Progress and The Sound of Paper

Surrounded by Introducing Fractal Geometry and May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude, Julia Cameron’s The Sound of Paper sits amongst an elite stash of books which grace the backside of my desk work surface.  Picking it up, I opened its pages to where I last placed a 2004 Barnes & Noble bookmark and began reading.
Searching for words to cup a myriad of incoherent and vague thoughts swarming about my heat-wave induced spacey-brain, I came across practical encouragement in my current state of conundrum.  That state of wild productivity amidst desperate isolation, struggling to finish projects that are taking on the shape of completion.

Oh – so – slow – ly.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say my ‘Mojo stopped Mojoing’ but I have come up wanting in the energy department of late.  The constant drain of daily in-ing and out-ing in this humid triple digit heat has taken its toll.  The term languid suggests more than a glamourous lady lounging alongside the pool with margarita in hand to weather the weather.  It conjures up a wild-eyed mad-hatter creative, scurrying from instruments to computer to manuscript paper to WORD documents to notebooks to research to pacing to exercise machines to eating tons of watermelon to striving to keep cool to…ad infinitum.

Oh – so – slow – ly.

Backside of potholders

Quilted design on backside of potholders

Resulting in?
See here the fruit of my labors.
A set of potholders made from fabric purchased some 21 years ago.
Say, what?
Yes, I have completed significant sections of my Swimming with Swans project in both the writing and music aspects.  I have begun revising, rewriting and threading together vignettes.  I have reviewed stacks of compositions.  Some I thought were better in memory than in reality and others ended up better in reality than in memory. I have most of my instrumental parts ready to record, just no local duo partners around to lay down their respective tracks. These are obstacles, yes, but all projects are wrought with those in varying degrees and stripes. There’s no real way of sharing details with anyone until it’s done, recorded, published and in the can so to speak.
However, potholders I can share.
1994 Fabricland Receipt with 2015 potholders

1994 Fabricland Receipt with 2015 potholders

1994 Fabricland allover quilt block print fabric

1994 Fabricland allover quilt block print fabric

Sewn recently from fabric bought at Fabricland in Cupertino, CA right off of Stevens Creek Blvd during a visit back to the Bay area* in 1994 and like the book I’d stopped reading in 2004, but then re-discovered in 2015, here they are: surrogate evidence of my creative output.

Quote symbolWhen we seek those friendly to our art, we seek those compassionate to its process.  When they ask, ‘How is it going?’ the answer can be more than a litany of recent wins.
I have a friend, Bernice, who is friendly toward my music.  When we talk, she inquires about my music the way one might inquire of a child’s health. ‘And how is your music, Julia?’ Bernice will say. ‘I feel like it comes from some high, fine place. Are you writing any music of the Southwest?’
The very question sets me humming.  (from: The Sound of Paper, by Julia Cameron)

Me, too, Julia.

*hubby, me and our first child lived in San Jose, CA from February 1982 – July 1984


  1. Jill

    We’re also experiencing the oppressive humidity and high 90 degree temperatures…for weeks on end. It can suck your mojo, if you’re not a fan of the heat. Thankfully, I am. It sounds like you’re pressing on…good for you, Laura!
    Speaking of yarn…I have some lovely crocheted pieces, both at home and my office, by our pal L. Marie. Like yourself, she’s very talented.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Here’s to pressing on regardless of our circumstances!
      What I so love about textile art is its realm of color and texture…eye candy that inspires.

  2. Anna Scott Graham

    It’s been warm here lately, although not that sort of humidity, my goodness. But potholders are always necessary, not to mention beautiful! And I just love how fabric can be chosen, then set aside, for the proper time, sort of how time sometimes accrues for other projects.
    Not to mention how certain projects proffer tangible evidence of our (he)art! And that quote at the end is perfect. 😉

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re right about choosing fabric, then setting it aside for the proper time. In my defense, I am a purging fabricaholic in that I periodically sort through yardage that hasn’t been touched for awhile and give it away. This length of material has managed to survive several of those and I’m thrilled to begin using it!
      And: everyone needs a friend like Bernice…

  3. Jane Chesebrough

    I like the potholders. I remember a teacher of design who filled her students with passion for their work talking about “the ripple effect” where every thing you do has an effect on the creative process, where an effort in one area will help you with a creative solution in another area. I am subscribing to your blog because your work resonates with me and inspires me to keep creating in my own way.’Swimming with Swans” is a beautiful title. I hear in some cultures that a swan is a symbol for grace.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Welcome Jane!
      I agree about the ‘ripple effect’ though never had a name for it till now. I sometimes dabble in pastels just for the feel of it. The fact that it is not anywhere close to being my (he)artistic medium of choice makes for a low pressure creative playtime.
      (Thanks for the subscribe, too)

  4. L. Marie

    First, congratulations on your perseverance. Thanks for providing pictures of the fruit of your labor. Second, I’m glad to hear of your progress in Swimming with Swans. I appreciated the sensitivity of Bernice’s question in the quote. A project is like a child. It needs to be nurtured in order to grow. We as artists need to be nurtured as well.
    Thank you for the shout out. 🙂 I probably have yarn that I bought in the 90s that is still in a bag. I started a story in the 90s. Years later, I turned that story into a novel. Last year I revamped that novel again. So that novel has been almost 20 years in the making.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for the pat on the back, L. Marie. Sounds like you get one right back: 20 years for a novel, whoa.
      And as for that yarn, I’ll bet it still speaks to you of what it might become.

      • L. Marie

        It does. But I have so many skeins of yarn. And people keep giving me their old yarn! I’ll have to make an afghan or several.

        • laura bruno lilly

          Considering the heat of the current season, I figure those projects might be on hold until the Fall. 😉

  5. Donna

    I know what you mean about the mojo. I just mentioned that on GWGT for myself. I wonder if it is the heat and dry weather this year? Music is something that keeps the spirits high no matter the season or weather. Kinda like painting, you separate from other things that change your mood.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Donna, I think the blogger-burnout you mentioned on your site is a much bigger thing than my lagging mojo due to the heatwave. I have to say, I’m keeping an eye out for what/how you deal with it.
      Meanwhile, slap on your fav tunes, roll down the car windows and go for a drive with the wind in your hair! (leave your camera at home)

    • Dei Johnson

      Same here, Laura. The heat has us holed up in this house as if it were winter. Lol! The pot holders are fantastic!!! Are they for sale?

      • laura bruno lilly

        In a strange way, I’m comforted by the fact that you, too, are feeling the same across town in Timrod Park! 😀
        Thanks for the compliment on the potholders. They’re actually part of a b-day gift for my cuzzin.
        Back in the day, when I had 3 jobs, one of them was selling these and other fiber art items at craft fairs…lots of work, not much payback, but if ya love doing it, that’s the key. Do you sell your art/crafts at any fairs around here?

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