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Life: Creating Art from Scraps

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

What possible pattern can emerge from seemingly random events and unexpected circumstances?

As I look back over this last year I see unrelated scraps of unexpected victories combined with disappointing setbacks. It is a jumble of experiences, both victories and defeats, piled up in my mind like the fabric scraps on my studio floor.


What do we do with all of these scraps of emotions? What possible pattern can emerge from seemingly random events and unexpected circumstances?


I am finding that with a bit of distance and perspective, a new picture is emerging. What seemed random and meaningless at the time is beginning to make sense. What I perceived as a series of setbacks has instead been a process of expansion and growth, helping me see where it all has led me.


After all, taking something random and problematic and transforming it into something useful and beautiful is what I do every day. Our scarf collection is a perfect example: I collect the scraps of fabrics that are too small to use for my kimonos and rather than discarding them, I combine coordinating prints and piece together a beautiful one-of-a-kind scarf. The scraps on the floor are transformed into something beautiful and wearable. The fabrics just seem to find each other, and the results are stunning.


This weekend I got to see the new Monet exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. The exhibit included a variety of Monet's works along with the works of several other artists who were inspired by Monet's abstract and controversial techniques. For me, it was a lesson in how one person's vision and expression can inspire and open new perspectives in others.

I was impressed by Monet's unique style of brush strokes that when up close appeared to be random blobs of blurred colors. But, when I backed away and observed the work as a whole, the picture came into focus. As the seemingly random brush strokes receded, they melded into an image with a story to tell. Standing too close, you just can't see the big picture.


The events of 2023 resemble the scraps of mismatched fabrics on my studio floor like random blobs of paint on an artist's palette. Through all of the ups and downs I've been reminded that what happens to us is really for us. All is in the hands of God, the Master Artist of the Universe, who sustains us and makes something beautiful out of it all.


My motto, "Using what we have to reinvent our lives" has never been more personally relevant. I am learning to cherish each joy and minimize each disappointment because I know that I'm too close to the picture to see what will eventually be revealed. My bag of random scraps is a beautiful scarf in the making. It's all about trusting the process.



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