New Year’s Day – No Resolutions for Me!

I finished a new altered book yesterday. It’s a little darker than my usual style. I’m not ready to photograph and post it just yet . . . maybe tomorrow.

I am doing my best not to make any new year’s resolutions. What’s the point? I never keep them. If I were to make one resolution (which I am NOT going to do), I would set a goal to make myself more organized. Is that even possible? I think I have a bad gene, which I fear I’m passing on to at least one of my sons.

My studio / office is a tiny bedroom that is filled wall-to-wall with so much stuff that I can barely walk through the door. I have a little path between a box of canvases and a pile of old printers and scanners that I swear I’m going to donate to someone someday. Occasionally, I try to cull through the debris, but it just reappears, as if by dark magic. I shift piles around so I can get to my books, and then shift another pile to get to my papers, and so on and so forth.

I have some plastic boxes and drawers labeled with where things go– this would be almost impressive if I put things right back into the proper place when I’m finished with them. But no . . .

The other day, while working on this altered book, I was looking for a little spool of red wire. I must have spent 45 minutes wasting my time and energy looking for that wire. (And in my head, I’m still looking!) Now, I have some outer forces that conspire against me: a son who likes “my stuff” and picks things up to use occasionally, and a husband who loves to tidy up and puts things back in the wrong place, God bless his soul. But really, those are just excuses. This is all on me.

Back to the wire . . . I had to think back . . . when did I last use it? Oh yes, I made a wire heart. I was working in the kitchen because I was burning the wire by the sink. But it’s not there. And I was using my orange handled wire cutters. Maybe if I find the wire cutters, the wire will be lying next to it. Miracle of miracles, I find the wire cutters, but the wire is not there. Maybe it fell into a drawer, so I go through a few drawers. Nothing. God help me if it fell on the floor somewhere, between the crevices of one of my piles of junk.

Soon my energy is depleted and I’m pissed off at myself for not putting that spool of wire back in in the little “Wire” drawer. Yes, I actually have a drawer for wire. I feel angry and stupid at myself. So I end up using red thread for the book. I doesn’t look bad . . . in fact I kind of like it.

Later, when the book’s all done, I call in my son for a critique. John is brutally honest and I trust his judgement. He says it’s “okay” but he thinks I should have used a thicker red thread because he can barely see it. Of course . . . I should have used the damn red wire!!

5 thoughts on “New Year’s Day – No Resolutions for Me!

  1. Haha, fun story. It’s not good to lose energy over something that should be easy to find, you are right… but I think art is a kind of kaos, don’t you? If you keep cleaning, what art will you have time to do?

    Hope to see pictures soon! 🙂

  2. For all those inquiring minds . . . I found the red wire– in my car! I think it migrated there via a sweatshirt pocket. The fact that it was lying in plain view while I drove around in my car has me worried. Of course, since it hadn’t even entered my mind to look for it in the car, I guess it may be understandable that I missed it. Ahh well . . . Now I have to decide if I’m going to replace the red thread in my altered book.

  3. Oh my god! You sound like me, however you actually get stuff done, while I just keep collecting and buying supplies, ephemera, etc., go to the occasional collage/altered class, but have only completed a few small pieces. In fact, my best friend and I started in this arena at the same time and she has completed so many cool books and been in a round robin. I told her the other day my art is to just collect the stuff and store it for her use. I have so many ideas, but I can’t just jump in and start. Now we are considering going to Art & Soul or Art Altered, but I don’t even feel like I deserve to go.

    Sign me….the Artful Dodger !!

  4. Karen,

    I don’t know if it’s our having the same name or tendency toward creativity or tendency toward disorganization, but after having read your “red wire” tale and then remembering all the “red wires” I have spent 45 minutes looking for, I find myself thinking, maybe there is some type of group we could start to help us . . . or maybe some of the “not finding” we do, leads to places we would have never discovered unless the red wire had been misplaced.

    Here’s to a year of finding,


  5. Sounds like my family…either they take my stuff or they clean up!! Help!!! I also sound like Susan….I am destined to be a buyer! Although… I have created 3 altered books…!!!Such a fun time…

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