Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Be bold, make up your own version, whatever it is

Good morning. I often wake up with something on my mind, it could be something I heard the day before, or something I saw, or something someone said to me. For a few minutes I mull over the previous days happenings, it's part of the preparations for the new day ahead, is there anything I need to follow up or can I start again with a new clean slate. Most occurrences are filed away as I filter out a lot of inconsequential stuff. No need to remember that, I don't believe in hanging on to stuff that doesn't matter, whether in solid form or fleeting random thoughts.

This morning I thought about something that someone said to me yesterday, it's playing on my mind a bit so I thought I would get it out into the open with a blog post, then it can be filed into the archives of my mind.

It was at Crafty Club, I was showing what I was working on, trying to explain what I was going to do with it. I am making flower petals out of red silk. These....

Each petal has two layers, sewn together and turned inside out, the fabric is the same both sides, then a little bit of stuffing put inside to plump them up a bit, and the opening sewn up. The plan is to use them as embellishments and hand sew them onto something in applique fashion.

Now I believe everyone has their own way of doing things, we can all choose the different paths we wish to take. One of the ladies said, you don't put stuffing into applique. My answer was rather brief because she took me by surprise, I am not a quick thinker. So here I am mulling over her statement, and now it is turning into a blog post.

I read a lot of crafting books and watch a lot of crafting videos, for ideas. I take bits of them, then make up my own version. My first thoughts were that this could be a sort of applique with a hint of stumpwork. I would play around with it and see what happens. I don't see any rules that say you can't put stuffing into applique. In my mind there are no rules when it comes to arts and crafts, anything goes.

I can see that for years I have been taking the creative concept further and applying it to other parts of my life. It didn't dawn on me that I could do anything I wanted to do, until I challenged the unwritten rule that said women couldn't become lorry drivers. Who says so, I thought, I can, I will, and I did.

Who says a woman has to get married and have a family, boy was I questioned about my singleness for years. There are no rules that say you have to have wedding ring on your finger. Years ago people expected to be married for a long time, not so much now, there are no rules. You can marry whoever you like, or not get married at all. You can choose whether to have multiple partners, or none at all. The rules are a lot more relaxed these days.

I once got myself into a relationship which was becoming destructive and mentally abusive, it was threatening to turn my whole life into one big negative mess. I was in danger of losing my identity. Luckily I saw the light in time and got out. I couldn't change his behaviour so I had to change mine. There are no rules which say you have to put up with being treated badly. There is a door to walk through to a better life. I owed it to myself to take it.

I find myself challenging rules all the time. Unimportant rules which say you have to buy all the ingredients to make up a recipe. No you don't, you adapt what you already have, make up a new recipe. Who says you have to go shopping every Thursday afternoon? No you don't. Who says wash days are on a Monday, that went out with the ark. Who says you go to the pub every Saturday night, you can go any night, that's unless you want to go every Saturday night of course. Who says you have to get the vacuum cleaner out every day, or dust the mantlepiece, or clean the windows. It's ok to do these jobs when you feel like it, there are no rules.

Ok, so here's the challenge, get rid of any rules that you don't need or don't want to keep to. Dump the silly rules and make up some better rules which work for you. Constantly re assess your rules and change them when they are not working for you. Always always look for new ways of doing things, don't get stuck in a rut because that's how you've always done it. I know it's an old cliche, think outside the box, but I would go one step further and say, get out of the chuffin box and chuck it away.

Let me know what your new rules are? What rules have you changed in the past, and what rules will you change in the future? Are your rules already working for you and you don't need to change any? I'd be interested to know what your rules are.
Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip

37 comments:

  1. I do not accept all invitations anymore just because "I ought to"- might upset some folk but we are on a very tight budget and some stuff has to go. I don't fight the small fights anymore - stand back and breathe - life is now much calmer in our household. We don't have to have meat and 2 veg every day - nothing wrong with eating whatever happens to be in the fridge. And a rule for my work place - STOP running around like a blue a***d fly trying to please everybody all of the time. I am part of a team and work in a 24/7 environment. If I can't manage to get something done on my shift then I'll hand it over - no need to keep staying late to do something that someone else can easily do. I could go on for ever ..... life is too short and I intend to make the most of my time!

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    1. I agree with your comments and it really made me think..:0). I remember being in my 30's and getting very distressed over endless family gatherings (large family) which were frequented by a couple of very toxic people, always brought drama with them. I used to make up all sorts of 'excuses' even quickly arranging things so it wasn't technically a lie. A good friend said to me one day ..'why are you doing this? If someone invites you to something you are entitled to say thanks but no thanks - without explanation!' I started doing just that - and being very surprised that nothing much comes of it other than momentary, mild irritation from one family member. Now if I want to go - I go - if I don't - I don't. I wish I had done it sooner and saved my self a lot of stress. Worrying what people think is deeply ingrained into out psyche and takes courage to just do your own thing. But it gets easier the more you exercise your autonomy. Enjoyed reading your take on life. Debbie.

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    2. Your family gatherings sound like ours!! We stopped going too because they were just so unpleasant and stressful and the first time my little boy got upset by it we just stopped. I don't want to be any part of that, I just want some peace in my life. There have been comments about us being anti social and not 'caring' when we don't go to events, but there are always massive bust ups and people not speaking for months or years on end and I'd had enough. Good for you!

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    3. nice getting empowered isn't it, good on you all for saying enough's enough ill live my life the way i want to thanks.

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  2. Oh how I agree with you Ilona (and Julia). No-one in my family ever got divorced before my sister in Denmark (about 8 years ago), and then me 3 years ago (after 26 years of marriage). While our family was very supportive (they knew we were both in abusive - violent - marriages) I did have the odd comment about "in my day we stuck it out". Well at first I was apologetic, but you know what, in MY day I have a job, I don't have to take his crap and I can and will take care of my kids without him - let him go off and take his violent temper out on someone else. But you are so right on so many other levels too. One of the best things I ever took in was that when someone asks you to do something you don't want to do you simply say "no", or "no, sorry". But absolutely NO explanations, that way they don't get to come back at you trying to dismantle your answer. I have NO problem getting rid of doorstep peddlars and religion pushers. Sorry, it is my time and you are inconveniencing me - not the other way around. All told, as long as what you are doing is neither offensive nor inappropriate and you are paying your own way, you can do what you bloody well want. Heck, my ex once went ballistic (and I mean, ballistic) because I made my own hot chocolate with milk whereas it said to use water on the package! And now, I'll get off my soapbox. Well spoken though Ilona. Anna

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  3. This post is why you are a popular blogger!

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  4. The rule is that anything goes when you are bring creative. It's your creation so you can do whatever you wish.

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  5. Good for you! I'm glad that you were able to get out of a destructive relationship. You are a strong woman, and I admire you. And I think that your flower will be beautiful!
    hmmm rules that I break...I don't think you have to drink to have a good time. I think beer tastes nasty, and I don't really like any alcohol. So I don't drink at all, except for a sip of champagne at weddings. :D

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  6. Apart from staying within the legality, decency ans honesty rules the only one that I follow is to be polite to everyone that I meet. Especially the rude ones, I realised a long time ago that the more polite you are the more they hate it. As to the rest, I eat what I fancy when I am hungry, I drink what I want when I want it, minimal alcohol though, and do the house work as and when it needs doing. My garden and crafting come second after Ben, all the rest comes a very poor third.

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    1. I completely agree with your handle of rude people. While queuing at disney recently we had a whole family push in. So I asked the attendant if we could all do this as she hadn't stopped them. She was taken aback. So I turned to other people and said lets all move up the queue to where we want to be. The attendants face was a picture. So was the family who were queue jumping.

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    2. Oh this was a brilliant way to handle the situation! JanF

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    3. Pam, I agree to keeping things legal, decent, and honest. Anyone who breaks those rules are not very nice people.

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  7. I decided about five years ago to leave the dog-eat-dog workplace and, like you, retire in my 50s and live frugally. I played the game of pretending to be someone I'm not for many years to succeed at work. Now I'm just simple me and I'm much happier.

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  8. We make our own rules and that covers when we get up, when and what we eat or even IF we want to eat at all - because I was the 'wife' I used to cook the dinner and eat along with hubby whether I was hungry or not... now I eat one meal a day and if he is hungry later he cooks for himself.. he is happy to do that. As for your applique... well I am speechless that someone would say something so silly as you are not supposed to stuff applique... surely that is the point of craft work... you do what YOU want with it... its a creative thing ergo you create. Perhaps stuffed applique has another name - meh... whats in a name!

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  9. With you 100% on this post Ilona. Many moons ago after a particularly nasty bit of office politics which resulted in me being made redundant - I swore I would never ever work behind a desk in an office ever again and I'm pleased to say it's one rule I have adhered to. Living an almost free (gradually getting to the wholly free) life on my own terms.

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  10. I've always considered you a bit of an anarchist - which is why I have followed your blog for so long without getting bored. Life is one big social construct. Playing by cultural rules makes us feel safe and accepted. Doing things differently can make most of us feel uneasy, judged and on the periphery. Feeling excluded and not fitting in is even a form of punishment. Children will exclude each other if one of the group does things differently (even not watching the same tv programs is enough to be cast out of a group). Unfortunately many people don't quite grow out of this. Some do - and they are the most interesting people to me. I don't want anyone to be like me and I don't want to be like anyone else.

    I've escaped an extremely religious family where you follow the rules or else you are devalued and marginalized. Question things at your peril. What a way to live...and many do. Debbie. (ps loved your post).

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  11. A neighbour of my parents' reported them to the police and social services in the last couple of weeks. Their crime? They have chosen not to have any care. The authorities can't believe that my 99 year old dad can cope. They don't fit into any box. Natalie

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  12. Hi I have never posted before but read for a long time and like others find your view of the world fascinating. I enjoy the company of those who don't want to always fit someone else's stereo type. The world is a far better place with different people not clones.
    Like others it took a tragic event to realise that I didn't have to say yes and that if I didn't want to do something I could say no. Gosh No is a really difficult word for many of us but like other things the more you do it the easier it becomes.
    By the way your flower looks beautiful much better than shark in formaldehyde which is described as art by some!!!!
    Could do better xx

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    1. Why is NO so hard for so many of us? I have worked at it for years but feel so uncomfortable with it that I'm still, in my 50s saying yes to stuff I don't want to do. Even in my mind, while I'm saying NO!, my mouth's saying YES. Is it our upbringing? I just don't understand why I'm anxious about saying no. I've just successfully avoided a social invitation - I managed to say no but with a barrage of excuses. I sounded so lame. I need to sort this out once and for all!

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  13. There are many historical examples of stuffed applique. Perhaps your crafting colleague doesn't know a lot of textile history.

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    1. Yup, there are and I have done it on more than one occasion myself.

      some examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk9jBcbDWz8
      http://www.laurafisherquilts.com/shop/Quilts/p/FOUNDATION-ROSE-AND-BERRIES-STUFFED-APPLIQUE-sku-10302.htm

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    2. Thank you for that Judy. I've just spent half an hour looking at other videos, yoootooob is addictive.

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  14. I love your out look on life Ilona and what you say is very true.

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  15. Hi.Life teaches us many things and when you learn then you should pass it on I think.Thank you for passing on what you have learned without ever seeming patronizing,you are a good teacher.People can be funny about following rules or repeating habits because they've always done things that way.You being told that( about stuffing your flower applique)makes me think",oh well,some people don't"get" creativity".I was always being told something or other because I didn't jump the hoops quite right according to some.Thinking outside of the box is a very valuable tool to learn to operate in this life along with adaptability,acceptance and moving forward.( not being stuck in the past or a rut or holding judgement and resentment within)I gave myself permission to say no,tried to stay true to myself and keep my identity intact.It wasn't always the easiest path but well worth the effort, keeping my self respect.Very interesting post today Ilona.Hoping Heidi is improving and healing,bye for now,D.

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  16. You go girl! If you want to stuff your applique you fill it as full as you want! I always tell my daughter, be a shepherd not a sheep. Nothing new would ever be created if we all just did what everyone else does. Free that creative rebellious spirit! Xx

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  17. I learned many years ago to stop and have a think any time I hear myself saying "I should..." - either aloud or in my own mind.

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  18. Some fantastic comments here, thank you all for joining in the discussion. I think taking control of your life involves a lightbulb moment, a point when you realize that you don't have to conform to others expectations, that it's ok to choose a different way of doing things. Some of you have had that lightbulb moment and have been able to detach themselves from a situation they no longer wish to be a part of. Good for you, I applaud your courage to be able to make the changes and be true to yourself.

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  19. I do have guidelines, or rules if you like, because I am a Christian. For me, they are my rock in a rather crazy world. There is nothing in the Bible however about not stuffing applique or a bunch of other unimportant stuff. I wonder if a lot of "rules" are simply made up to restrain eachother as individuals. Perhaps it makes us feel safer if we can fit eachother into a box? Very sad, I think, because the world would be a much more fun and colourful place without a lot of the social rules. Go on and stuff those petals and break silly "rules", life is too short to abide by nonsense. Pam

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  20. one of my pets hates the self righteous brigade "actually im being really creative and doing things my own way you ought to try it sometime" springs to mind

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  21. Good on you Ilona! Stuffed applique is usually known as stumpwork btw. Cordelia xx

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  22. Good for you, Ilona! Another lovely blog post too. We should all enjoy our individuality. Go girl!

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  23. Good for you Ilona, of course you can stuff applique, you can stuff anything if you want to ... I expect you felt like stuffing the woman who said you couldn't! Rules...I don't have any, I just get on with it whatever it is, makes life a lot easier!

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  24. Ilona, I'm with you on this, I always have and always will 'march to the rhythm of my own drum'!!!
    As long as we're hurting no-one, I don't see why we should conform!

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  25. A friend once suggested I change my 'I should' to 'I like to' .... It made such a difference!

    Siebrie

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  26. Great post! It is interesting how many little rules we learn and continue to live with, without thinking about it. I eat pudding before dinner or between meals if I fancy it. I am now more ready to question 'rules' and more willing to just say no (without the need to justify myself) to invitations/requests. I always used to say yes, then agonize over ways to get out of it! Now the default is 'no' or 'let me think about that'

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  27. This comment is probably too late as I am just catching up with your amazing blog after a few rather less than good months.......but here goes......I joined a craft club at the beginning of a year and quietly got on with my crochet each fortnight. Nobody chatted to me particularly but I enjoyed seeing what others were doing and picking up some hints and tips. One day I went and there was someone there who was obviously well known to the other ladies but was usually 'too busy' with her many other commitments to attend, lots of good works apparently! She was also a crocheter and after about half an hour she looked over at me and said 'Don't you hold your hook in a very clumsy way, I really don't understand how you are managing to work like that'! I was so stunned, I was speechless - especially when other ladies also piped up that they had also thought my 'technique' was pretty strange but hadn't said anything up till then. I spent the rest of the session hiding my crochet under the table and I didn't go back.........with hindsight I wish I had told her to 'do one' lol! Thanks for all the laughs and positivity :)

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  28. Your commenter must have never heard of tarpunto which originated in Italy in the 14th century. The first appliqué I ever did was using this technique in a modified way.
    I love stuffed appliqué and have used it many times, especially if I'm making the appliqué piece separately and appliqueing it on to the background. From historical quilts right on to today there are lots of examples. Stuffed grapes comes to mind. Fiber art breaks rules!

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