Sunday, June 22, 2008

Today's experiment

Letting go of perfectionism, one step at a time....

A few weeks ago, I found a cute denim jumper at a thrift store for 99 cents. It has some permanent stains, but since it was so cheap, I didn't mind putting some work into it. Before Ross got out of school for the summer, I stamped some hearts on it, but then put it aside for other projects.

Yesterday I looked at it, draped on the back of a chair, and thought, when am I going to get back to that? I have plans for it, but I have other deadlines right now. I sighed.

But then I thought -- why not wear it to church? It's clean. It's not finished, but it looks okay. Why not give it an outing? Why not play with my work in progress?

So, I ironed it to heat set the paint, and I've worn it all day. My perfectionist tendencies were itchy at first. I received a compliment on it and I wanted to say, "thanks, but it isn't finished yet." But I simply said thank you and smiled. It felt good to let my expectations go. It's freeing! I'm going to work on this jumper as time allows, and document how it has changed each time I wear it out in the world. All of a sudden, the slow pace of working on this project takes on a life, and a fun, of its own.

Now I'm intrigued instead of frustrated. I'm grateful that life pushes me in these unexpected directions!

Denim jumper, round 1

P.S. Notice the big white cat hair at the bottom of the dress. Normally, I would go back and take another picture after removing it. But that wouldn't be in the spirit of this experiment!


Lisa Gallup said...

I LOVE that you are goiong to document the progression of this jumper!! One of my fave things to do is to get denim stuff from the thrift store and jazz it up. I love using spray paint with stencils on the stuff. :) Can't wait to see more pics! In the meantime, wear it and have fun!! :)

nonizamboni said...

This made me so happy reading about letting go of the perfectionism--in such a creative way. 'Intrigue instead of frustration.' Wow.
Love the hearts!

inkberryblue said...

I really like the heart stencils... and I love the way that you're experimenting with your creative process. Speaking as a fellow perfectionist, I have to work at staying loose and letting my creativity flow, in the past my perfectionism has strangled the joy out of making things. What you're writing is really interesting, Judy. It makes me reflect ~ I'd love to read more.
Happy Sunday!