Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Next number, please.

I waited in line at the cutting table at Joanne's Fabric. I had my number. I had a book to look at while I waited. I heard her before I actually saw her.
She wanted the box of Bonding fabric and the sewing machine saleslady was trying to explain to her that it wasn't for sale. She humphed and sighed as she moved her cart over next to mine.
I nodded to her, held up my number and said, "You might want to get one."
She thanked me.
She muttered to herself about the bonding fabric.
I suggested that she get what she needed from the ladies at the counter. They had bolts of it that sold by the yard. She seemed surprised.
I asked her if she was doing a lot of fusing. She looked surprised again.
I told her that she might want to consider using her %50 off coupon to buy a bolt of it.
She pondered on this.

We waited, the line not even moving forward because a group of three "church" ladies were debating the colors of purple fabric that they were buying. They wanted to have the bolts saved for the weekend sale. Couldn't be done, they were told. But, it's for a church. Nope.
The dialogue went on and on.
I asked my new line friend what she made with the fused fabric.
She said, "stuff".

I continued to smile at her, waiting for more information.

I asked her if she belonged to any fabric or art groups here in town.
"Yes, one."

There is probably nothing I enjoy more than drawing conversation out of somebody that doesn't want to talk.
"So, do you like the group?"
"I'm not sure, I'm new."
"Oh, new to town?"
"No, new to art."
"What kind of art do you like to do."
"A little of this and that."

"Do you know why I decided that I didn't want to belong to any of the big art groups here in town?"
"ummmm why?"
"Because it drove me nuts how everybody was so closed mouth about their projects or how things were made or sharing of any techniques. This fear that something would be copied before they could get it out there to be sold or shown. This fear that if they gave any information at all they would have everybody running home to copy their technique. You know if I handed out used dryer sheets to twenty people I bet I would have at least 10 different art uses for them."

"Well, I don't like to share my projects or techniques because they are copyrighted."

I'm nice. I'm friendly but I also know when I'm beat. I know when somebody is more concerned with making an impression, some kind of impression that they aren't interested in just having a conversation.

I don't know how she fuses her fabric to some unknown substrate. I doubt that what ever it is is copyrighted. There have been a number of talented artists publishing books on the subject for the past five years. Give me a break.

That's why I LOVE the online community. I love the sharing, the openness, the suggestions, the thoughtful comments from my fellow artists, on line. I've met very talented people, in blog land that have graciously shared their techniques, pictures of their projects all with a confidence that teaching others is as important as creating.

I guess I'm a lot like Murphy. I like to be with like minded people. I like to be with artists, watching them, listening to them, sharing with them just as he likes to spend the day, playing with his doggie buddies. It would have been fun to have a new real time, art buddy.

So, I didn't show her the on sale Easter place mat that I found that had a border with different Easter eggs with cut out shapes, like boxes, squiggles, circles and stars. All, things that could easily be cut out of the place mat and used as heavy duty, easy to wash stencils for painting.
She missed out on that but you didn't. :)

:)Bea Remember your soul is happier when you are creating.

P.S. Don't forget to catch up on the latest updates at:


  1. Great post!! Thanks for "Sharing"!!
    I wouldn't know half of what I know, if people hadn't shared techniques with me!! That's how we learn!!

  2. Some of the biggest names in Mixed Media have been the greatest teachers of the masses. :)Bea

  3. ha! she missed out on the placemats! this whole copyright thing keeps us from all kinds of juicy stuff... ; ) xo

  4. oh, and do you have any pics of your Full Snow Moon art doll?

  5. Sharing is the most important thing anyone can do. And if people copy you, it is the greatest compliment in the world! Some people need to copy first, to learn technique and then they move on to marvelous things of their own. I am a teacher and it is funny how when you show a child a model of something and you let them copy it, the next time, when you ask them to use the same techniques but come up with an original idea, they blow your mind. Sharing is the best!!!

  6. How true Lynne. I'll be posting my picture of my Full Snow Moon art doll the last week of February, along with links to other blogs of people that are participating in this monthly challenge. :)Bea

    Kathy, what you said is so true. I know many people need to have their hand held while they learn something new and they new to copy to get to understand what to do. Like you said, ask them to take those newly learned techniques and do something new with it and 99% of them will. :)Bea

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  8. I don't know about people sometimes..what happened to Friendly? I guess it has disappeared like so many other things...I love to share my work and help other people get started with theirs when they are having a problem...Why the big secret about what you are fusing..maybe she is fusing her husband to the couldn't resist..
    Keep being friendly and sharing you'll always feel good..
    Bless you....

  9. I had to smile when I read your closed mouth encounter with Ms. Copyright at JoAnn Fabrics. I have met others who have announced their secret process without really showing/sharing/developing their art journey. I am almost finished my January Wolf Moon so I will send you an image asap. I am already working on the Hunger Moon for February ...or Snow Moon composition. I hope to get to JoAnn's for one of those Easter stencil placemats...:o) :o) :o)!

    Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  10. Ha! Great post, Bea. How true that the majority of us are where we're at because we learned from one another.

  11. How can you do any kind of art without sharing and talking and exchanging ideas?? Ridiculous!!

    I also love my online community, love, love, love!!!

  12. honestly!!!! adults!!! that's why i liked working with 2nd graders! and sharing, and comradery, no matter where we are, how we look, our age, we find kindred spirits.

  13. Right before Christmas one late afternoon I met a woman standing in the check out line. Very distinguished woman. She was all a bubble about the holidays. Her decorations and her family. We compared fabric and dying techniques. She smiled as we chatted with such kindness she was hard to forget. I checked out in front of her, then walked to my car. The day was almost gone and I decided to go to one more shop in the shopping center and get a pretzel to eat. I saw the woman hop in her car and take off - she waved. I got my pretzel. As I sat in my car and ate it I heard sirens. I decided to go the other way home. That night before bed I turned on the eleven o clock news. The woman had hit a construction vehicle right up the road from the shopping center. She was dead. She had been a science teacher at the local high school. I will never forget her smile.
    Some people right up to the end are friendly, kind and sharing - others... you have to feel sorry for.

  14. Anonymous2:03 AM

    What a great resource!