The plan

Yes, there is a plan.  Actually, there are two plans: one short term (now until January) and one long term (2011).  The short term plan is to do very little.  This week I have a birthday; next week my husband has a birthday; then it’s our wedding anniversary; then it’s Christmas (or, in our case, the Winter Solstice); and then it’s New Year.  The next few weeks are already quite full, and I’m surprised by how tired I feel.  We are (literally) submerged in winter here at present: there is over a foot of snow and the temperature outside is minus 5 during the day.  At night it’s been much colder than that.  I know that doesn’t sound much if you live somewhere very cold, but it’s very unusual for a city in the UK, and here we just aren’t used to it.  Just keeping warm seems to take up a lot of energy. 

I like to spend winter evenings knitting rather than stitching, and I’ve been putting together a few little presents for family and friends.

I’m no expert knitter, by any means, but the process fascinates me.  I love the way you can create a fabric, stitch by stitch, with just one piece of thread.  One continuous thread that loops over and over itself, like weaving but notlike weaving, like stitching but notlike stitching.  I’d like to investigate this a little further and see what possibilities there are.

So, on to the long term plan.  There are many things I want to do next year.  One of them is to try out some new techniques, take some time to experiment and explore, to grow and to build.  I aim to do much more on paper next year, and intend to build up a library of small swatches and samples: sketchbook pages, notes, very small stitched fragments.  I may even use the machine a little.  I plan to call this ‘A Year in Stitch’.  It will be a set of small works and sketches, mostly unfinished, that I can use as ongoing reference material to develop some larger pieces.  Just my responses to what is going on around me as the seasons wax and wane.  A way of marking time, perhaps – or catching time, even.  Something like this:

Sketchbook page, approx. 10" x 8": photograph; colour study (watercolours); colour study (cloth and hand stitch)

I’m looking forward to starting in earnest in January.  But I’m also looking forward to being able to rest a little more until then.  A few of you will know that I have chronic fatigue syndrome, and although I rarely acknowledge it, I do know that I need to learn to pace myself better.  I probably won’t post again before the new year, so would like to wish everyone a very merry, healthy and fun-filled festive season.

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29 Responses to The plan

  1. Penny says:

    Good plan – both of them! This definitely is the time of year in which to hibernate, especially when its sooo very cold outside. I love your long term plans and can’t wait to see what you come up with. It will be fun to share the journey into next year with you.

  2. Jan Marriott says:

    Your 2011 plan seems very do-able (is that a word) pacing is the key. best wishes for the new year…Jan

  3. Deborah says:

    Your plans are inspiring! Best wishes for your celebrations and the new year!

  4. serenapotter says:

    wow you’re like us.

    we have my birthday 3rd
    my sister’s fiancee birthday next weekend
    our wedding anniversary 22nd
    christmas
    my mom and sister’s birthday jan 1st
    right a long with new years.

    jam packed!

    i’m happy you checked in
    and i think a do nothing approach is pretty neat actually.

    currently just the one quilt on my mind
    and other than that i’m just letting my head go empty.

    love reading all this and i hope all your celebrations are wonderful and wonder filled!

    • Karen Turner says:

      Well, I deliberately missed out brother-in-law’s birthday (Boxing Day) and father-in-law’s birthday (30th) – just to keep things simple! Yes, it’s a particularly busy month. Makes me quite tired just thinking about it all… Glad you checked in, Serena 🙂

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Already you have the masterplan ready for the new year to come. You really are planning ahead, I’m glad you mentioned it because I am so busy that I forget planning altogether.

    Have a great time off, enjoy the holidays and I’ll hope to see you again in 2011 where plans become reality.

    Have fun.

    xoxo Elizabeth

  6. Trudi says:

    Both plans sound solid and do-able. Hmm, perhaps that should be my own focus for this year – planning! Maybe a year of personal growth.

    Enjoy your festivities throughout the season, rest, and enjoy the journey to come. Look forward to seeing you in the New Year 🙂

  7. Jude Whaites says:

    I followed the journey of your story book pages from paper to stitch with much enjoyment. I look forward to next year as you experiment and explore, I wonder where it will take you? Enjoy the festive season, keep warm and happy. I’ll look forward to your return in the New Year.

  8. suzy quaife says:

    Karen your two plans sound ideal for you. We should all learn to do less than more!
    I love your stitching although not commenting often and look forward to those smaller projects next year which I am sure you will collaborate in a very beautiful way.
    Take care of your health and enjoy your celebrations.

  9. grace Forrest~Maestas says:

    i will anticipate what you bring to the new year…always so much…and i am sure
    will be again, but hopefully in your new rhythm….xoxoxo, grace

  10. jude says:

    sounds like a plan. a bit of rest and than a bit of what-iffing. i get that. enjoy and we wait patiently for your reemergence.

  11. Marti says:

    Cocooning in, making plans, which by the way, sound inspiring to say the least, all of it going with the flow of the seasons in this slowing down time while we wait the coming of the light. Karen, you bring such depth and sensitivity to your work, let alone, beautiful mastery of color and design and it has been a special gift to have found you. Winter Solstice is our time as well and this year, we will be especially watching the skies in the UK as our daughter and her British husband plus their 18 month old twins, a boy and a girl, travel to meet their British grandparents. I have actually gotten out a special candle and have placed the magical finger pin cushion of yours that I received as a gift from my dear friend grace next to it. On the 18th, the day my family leaves for England, I shall place the candle and the pin cushion on a little table and light the candle each day until they return on the 11th of January. I love that I have a bit of England, your pin cushion, to guide the candle glow. Wising you the quiet joys of this wondrous time.

  12. karen says:

    Good luck with all your plans Karen and I hope you have a magical festive season too. The sketch book page is gorgeous…

  13. tina slipper says:

    sounds like your going to make a sort of map of yourself and your skills sounds interesting. do we get to watch?have a rest, build up your energy, spring will soon return and little shoots of ideas will start to grow have a nice rest karen love from tina

    • Karen Turner says:

      A map of myself… hadn’t thought of it like that, but I like the idea. Partly my aim is to ‘find my own voice’ over the year – find recurring images, symbols and colours, ready to develop the elusive body of work the following year. Thanks for those wise words, Tina; I found them very helpful. And yes, you get to watch 🙂

  14. Els says:

    Hi Karen! love your plans: short term ánd long term !! It’s good for all of us to step down a bit from time to time, and especially so if your body orders you to !!
    So I wish you happy birthdays and other celebrations and LOVE to see you again in January stitching your new plans! Take care and enjoy!

  15. Hey Karen,
    I thnk that sounds like an excellent plan! Especially if your sketchbook project all turns out as beautiful as the sample page featured here! Season’s Greetings to you! Rest well 🙂 Hugs Catherine

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