I am now six weeks out from my hernia surgery and things are healing nicely.  There isn’t anymore physical pain and I’ve been adding more of my normal activities back to my schedule.  The only slight problem is energy or rather the lack of.  It’s a bit frustrating at times as I get started on something with good intentions but just end up fatigued far before I normally do.

The surgeon did warn me that it could take two to three months to get back to where I was before the operation.  So far it looks like it will take every minute of the three months to recover.

This last year my life has been a constant tension between set backs and recovery.  It feels like just about the time I’ve recovered from something – wham-o something new sets me back.  My hope is that my health will stabilize and I’ll have a chance to move on  with my projects without worrying about my body for a while.

Yeah, who knows how that will work out.

Even with my lower energy level I have moved ahead on a few projects but not far enough to really report much.  I’ve read more in Mary Orr’s book on intertextuality, am about half way through the book, “Forgive for Good”; and built a panel cutting jig so I can cut the tray bottoms for my serving trays.

And I did buy the parts to build the rain gutter for the house, but time hasn’t let me get to that little project.

Time is that elusive thing that I never can get a firm hold of – it just slips away and I wake up wondering why I didn’t get anything done.  This week was just another example of that.  Monday night I worked on material for our hiking web site but didn’t have enough time to polish well enough to post.  Tuesday night was finance night and I spent the evening doing bookkeeping. Thursday we went to a dinner party with a couple we know and a bunch of people we didn’t know. Saturday I helped a friend at church troubleshoot a network cable.

The highlight of my week was Saturday afternoon when Heather and I went to the Pacific International Quilt Festival.  We just love to see the quilts – these are not your simple bed quilts but rather works of art.  There are traditional quilts, landscapes, portraits, abstracts and just amazing works of art.  I find the art inspiring and just love to wander around being amazed how people can make those amazing works with fabric and thread.

There are also the required number of vendor booths so we picked up a few things for Heather’s quilting.  As a side note, I want you to know that Heather does some amazing fabric artwork too – I’ll post a picture of her latest project soon.
I love the patterns, lines, textures and colors in quilting.  These components all l come together to form a picture, image or convey a feeling.  This might sound strange but I find analyzing the quilts help with my marquetry.  Both fabric and wood can be used to form a work of art.  I’ve often thought that the two artistic methods have a lot in common when it comes to design – even though one is done with bits of fabric and one is done with bits of wood.  In both cases, the medium can be use to take a picture or a feeling and abstract it into a visual expression.

One project that I’d like to take on is to take a single picture or design and execute it in both a quilt and in marquetry.  Then I’d hang both side by side so you could compare the differences inherent in the materials and see how that difference changes how a picture feels.

I’ve been on the look out for such a picture or pattern.  I think I’ve found one – a marquetry design that Heather has made from an old picture of her father.  More about that when the concept matures.

There are basic differences between the materials that make the project interesting: Marquetry is flat while a quilt has a surface texture brought out by the stitching. In wood colors are limited to shades of brown, some whites, a couple of blacks and a few colors of dyed woods while in fabric the full range of color is available.  The methods of fabrication vary greatly – saw, knife, wood veneers and glue for marquetry while quilting it is sewing machine, scissors, fabric and thread.

And that’s the thing I really like about going to the quilt show – it stimulates my creativity and gets my artistic mind running.  It doesn’t matter what medium I work in after the show what matters is how seeing those works of art energizes me and makes me want to create something.

It is about finding a way to get my energy levels back.  It’s about finding my way back from the lows that have taken hold of my life recently.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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2 Responses to Energy

  1. Marv Tanner says:

    Have you heard of the quilting exhibits at the Kutztown (PA) fair? I am not the least artistic, but I still remember the quilt exhibit in a very large bulding and the long line of people buying the quilts. The fair is considered one of the best in the U.S. Maybe you and Heather should plan a pilgrimage. You would not be disappointed.


    • Andrew says:

      I hadn’t heard about that one. We just might go do that one. Someone also mentioned to us a Quilt Festival held every year in Sisters OR. I looked both up and they’re very tempting to go see.


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