Tuesday, September 28, 2010


At the art crawl this past weekend, I was speaking with an (older) woman who told me that she wished she had learned to quilt and do art, but that it was too late now. I looked at her and said, "You're still here, it's not too late!"

She seemed genuinely surprised that I said that, as though it hadn't occurred to her. "I suppose that's true, isn't it?" she said a little more upbeat this time.  I smiled, and said "It is! There's nothing stopping you from trying!"

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of CommerceImage ID: corp2737, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Collection
Photographer: Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps (ret.)

 I've been thinking about this ever since. I never really think of my self as a "positive" person, more like a "realist" (though most people translate that as pessimistic!) I did realize that I must have some positivity, because it really was shocking that someone would completely deny themselves an opportunity to learn something new that they are interested in, simply because of their age. After all, fiber art doesn't have to be a physical death defying sport or anything! Quite honestly, it's an activity that I believe you can never be too young or too old to start learning!

I'm worried for my generation and younger generations too. Very, very few of the girls from my circle sew at all. I suspect most of them couldn't thread a sewing machine. I will admit to being amused that one would need to take pants into me a tailor to have them sew a button back on! I wonder how many of them may find themselves at an art crawl later in life, seeing a medium they had interest in at one time. How many of them will find themselves saying, "It's too late for me now..."

I think my new motto is going to be "I'm still breathing, so I might as well try!" I will apply this to competition entries, book and magazine submissions, book proposals, teaching classes in my studio (anyone out there in the MN area??), hosting retreats, and anything else I see that I'd like to try!

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of CommerceImage ID: corp1940, NOAA At The Ends of the Earth Collection
Location: Alaska Southeast
Photo Date: November 1991
Photographer: Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps
Part of this, comes from the realization that all I can focus on is the process of learning and trying. Success is relative - just because a lofty goal isn't reached, does not mean that the journey to get there was pointless. In fact, it was the most important part of the whole experience to begin with!

The next time you want to try something, but are afraid, remember this: Your goal is not to succeed, your goal is to TRY! Once you put your foot forward and try, you've already succeeded and reached your goal - anything beyond that become bonus!

What are you waiting for? Get out there and TRY!

Coming up on TFN: I sometimes use photos I have taken as inspiration in my art. The problem is, I haven't been everywhere, so what do I do if I need a jungle picture? Or a foreign mountain, or building image? I will share with you some sources for photographs that you can use in your artwork! 


  1. Stephanie, I agree with you. Try it, how else are you going to improve your skills or develop new skills!

  2. Very well said!

    Lisa L. Kay