Dangerous Compassions

completed embroidery

Here’s my completed embroidery for the November Friendship Art-Along.  I did all the prompts.  A few I combined.  For example, there’s a postcard of shoes, which was for postcard and shoes.  And there’s a donut coin purse, which is for purse and donut.  I did a ghost trike for trike, and then I put an ecstatic dancer on the trike for dancing.

completed embroidery

Here it is!  What do you think?  I wanna put some pink frosting and sprinkles maybe on the donut coin purse.  And I’m thinking of filling in the cloud-me who’s lying on the bed, wearing a blue scarf.  But mostly it’s done!

I’m proud of my tractor, and the flames in its scoop.  I love the blue mushroom.  My olive tree is pretty if tiny–Ming really likes the tree.  He thinks I’m skilled.  I’m surprised that the completed embroidery looks not very full.  Combining a few of the assignments made a lot of difference.

collaboration friendship success

It was heartening to conceive of this with my friend Ariel and see it through with her, collaboratively.  We made the prompts list together, sitting at her kitchen table.  I made the graphic with the list.  She made the facebook group.  She did reminder posts for the first two weeks, and I did the rest.

Ariel commented faithfully on people’s posts and comments, in the facebook group–I commented less faithfully.  It was cool how some people wrote poems, some people painted, some people wrote memoir, some people drew or took photos.  The facebook group was a great idea, and I’m glad a few of my friends from different parts of my life got to meet one another.

Overall I feel proud and happy that Ariel and I are good friends who can collaborate successfully, and it doesn’t fall apart and destroy our friendship.  That’s happened to me before.

I was afraid I’d get overwhelmed and stressed out and not do my half of the reminder posts.  So I’m proud that I was able to complete my part, making graphics on google slides and scheduling the reminder posts responsibly.

Here’s Ariel’s completed embroidery, if you’d like to see.  She experimented with some techniques including watercolor on the fabric.  Pretty amazing!  I especially love her shroom, her shoes, her Little Free Library.  So gorgeous.  The flying zine is cute.

good at it

Am I good at embroidery?  I think maybe!  I’m just starting out, at least with freehand creative threadwork.  Before as a kid I did embroidery from kits, and then I was doing those radical mental health collective patches, which were just words.

My flames, pine (traffic) cone, and olive tree show I have potential.  I have profound vision for what I want to do in the future, but will I really do it?  Tractor embroidery, abstract stuff, 30 overlapping tarot empresses.

Hope so.  The whole art-along concept of doing a daily art practice is nourishing.  It reminds me of a spiritual practice, and also it reminds me of NaNoWriMo.  Doing an ambitious thing, and going for completion without agonizing about quality.  The quality can come later.  Just doing it–getting it out.

How do we decide what we’re good at anyway?  I could look up embroidery in museums and get depressed like wow, I could never be that good.  I could look inside myself and compare myself to myself, and see whether I’m doing what I want to be doing.  Yes, I am.  Or I could save myself some heartache and just decide right now that I’m good, in my own way, which is what I want to be anyway.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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