Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Receiving critique is never easy



Dear You,

This picture is from today. It was cold morning, -20°C. The winter is very much still here and by reading and listening to the news this morning, it has come to the south of Finland as well.

Let me thank you for all your comments on my last letter. I found there many, many creative ways to look at the process of repeating the same pattern over and over and I really like how you suggested to look at the knitting as tending a garden … or playing the same piece over and over.

I love the internet. Love is a bit strong word for us Finns (like we never love ice cream or chocolate or socks); we save the word to special occasions, but let me use it here. It is a great place for inspiration and distraction. Just when you are settled into doing something interesting, you turn on your computer and see something new and end up thinking that this you definitely will need to try, be it a new pattern, new yarn or new craft even. You discover something good or you end up finding yourself in the midst of ufos and mixed feelings.

Blog-reading has become a big part of my life. I love (again!!!) to see what people are making and thinking and doing. I enjoy reading and I do not comment often. I am not sure if it has to do with the fact that we Finns are quiet people or if I can’t think anything clever to say. Mostly I think it has to do with my nature, I am an observer more than anything.

Some time ago I received critique on my blog (by e-mail). I know that what I was critiqued on was very true. My blog is boring because there is no discussion on it. I never pick any topics that you could argue on and discuss about – all very true. I went right off my balance. First I decided to go hide in the bushes and stop writing. I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself that you are very boring and then, what can you write about a boring person’s boring endeavours. That feeling did not last long. Then I made a list of things that I could talk about … pondered it for some days and tore the list. I don’t want to raise discussions over topics that really do not matter so much to me just for the sake of having a discussion. And I think that there is too much talk in the world anyway, and what I need and value more than anything, is peace and quiet and that one should be very careful with words. I was also told that my drawings used to be better. So I lost my joy in drawing for a while.

I am not mad any more or bitter nor do I want to defend myself to you but to myself. Really I am my worst critic after all and I am constantly defending myself to me. I get off my track easily. Sometimes it is very good to see things from a different angle and I started an argument. I argued about the blog content first. After long debates we (me and me) have come to a conclusion that I am a coward and overprotective. I want to protect myself more than anything from all the content that might rock my boat. My creative journey is rocky enough as it is so there is no need to add to it.

There are times when my creative spirit is very small flame and I am very much afraid that it will go out and never sparkle again. I have to be quiet and patient and build the flame little by little. Just about anything can suffocate it. Over the years I have learnt to guard that flame furiously. I don’t allow anyone into my studio at times. When there are some works on the process I don’t want any opinions and I guard my privacy. I need to hear my own voice only. I also guard my time as furiously. I spend it carefully, because I know the source is limited. I need lots of time for me and even when I am accused of being not social enough I insist on having me-time. Now with blogging all this has changed a lot. My studio (my process) is more open and I am more social than I used to be because of the net but my days have not got any longer, there is still only this 24 hours.

Good critique is supposed to change your behaviour for the better. But I am not going to change because of the above mentioned reasons… and because I am not sure I can.

All of you out there who raise topics and discussions, please, keep doing so because if everyone would be like me, there is no denying, the world would be a bit too boring and the silence would get a bit too overwhelming.

About the drawings… I can’t say anything for my defence but believe me, it is never easy to bring forward any of them and I will work on them.

And now you, please, don’t say to me, that you like me just the way I am and that you like my blog… even if you do so because dear, my critic said also, that you sound too nice all the time too! Instead maybe you could tell me how do you protect and care for your creative spirit.

Until next time,
keep the flame alive,

Lene

PS. I love these socks, they were knit with Gjestal Nagano Superwash (little over 100 grams) with 2,5 mm needles.

119 comments:

  1. l.m.miles13:43

    I read your blog because it is an island of peace in a much too hectic world.

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  3. We all struggle with keeping up the blog on a regular basis.

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  4. I think: The best way to handle any criticism is to approach it as if it is constructive even if it is not. This you have done. The best way to implement what tiny, tiny grains of some version of the truth that may be embedded in such commentary is to consider the perspective it offers, and consider your perspective, like equally weighted scientific specimens. This you have done brilliantly. There is some truth to the perspective offered by your emailer, they are picking up on the thread of your own challenges to yourself. But your response is even more luminous: to know your strength and present as it is, to know things you would like to improve (even if I think your drawings are more than dear) and lay that yearning out. "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." (I think Ralph W. Emerson said it) Thank you for your blog. I treasure it.

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  5. joyce t.14:15

    I echo Monica's comment. I read your blog regularly and always come away with an appreciation of a truly creative person's work. PLEASE do not feel you must change to conform to another person's idea of what your creative process should be!

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  6. Anonymous14:15

    This is your blog, not the critic's. Let him or her go read someone else's blog. Or write their own blog if they think they can do better. The drawings, knitting projects, recipes, photos of the countryside that you share with us are what you choose to show us and write about. Write about whatever you want to! I read your blog because I enjoy the window into your life in Finnish Lapland.

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  7. While everyone's perceptions will differ, I can't imagine how anyone could perceive your blog as boring. Your creative flame burns very bright and this shines through on your blog. I love reading what you write. I find your blog a place of peace and beauty, and I thank you for sharing a little bit of your world with me.

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  8. Anonymous14:38

    Lene your drawings are so unique, I have never seen any like them. Your blog is beautiful and inspirational and I truly enjoy reading and looking. I read alot of blogs and am quiet and don't comment much either.
    Jody

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  9. Well, when I found your blog, I thought wow, you the person, came through joyously, creatively. Yes it is a side of you, I think a BIG side. We all have many sides, I am not always truely open as I may want to be on my blog, because I have my children also reading it. I don't think I am hiding, just using my choice as to where I air my dirty, or clean laundry! There is nothing wrong with that. Blogging does change you though, I have found that to be true. I am now more, "not ashamed" that I am multi-talented or "crafty". In a nutshell, an artist. I use to think that was such an unworthy thing, something to hide, that it was menial and not worth much. wrong....these are things that through your blogging you are passing on, inspiring others to try and do, and yes acheive. Leave the vocal opinions of out-there topics to others that feel that is their gift to do, or annoyance. Because frankly, I agree, sometimes there is just to much talk.....keep being who you are, what you are, and growing more into those things that are an extension of the YOU! hugs!

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  10. I visit your blog to be inspired by your beautiful knitting and gorgeous photos.

    We all visit blogs for different things.... and like you, I am more often lurker than commenter. Whilst the critic may say that which she or he wishes to, it is still your blog and your creative outlet, so please don't let that person's insensitivity dampen your enthusiasm.

    The world would indeed be a much more boring place, if it was all exactly the same.

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  11. I try to connect with the sense of wonder I had as a child. Protection is found there.

    Many years ago I heard that dervishes sometimes go into the countryside at night, each with a lantern. They are distanced apart so they can just make out each other's lantern. Then they begin to spin (as in dance). I see us that way with our invisible connections trying to bring positive energy into the world.

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  12. I read your blog because of how tenderly (or fiercely) you nurture your creative flame, and because you present yourself to us with palms open, as if to say, "Here, this is the part of me I'm able to share with you today."

    I tend not to return to blogs that don't have these qualities.

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  13. To nurture my creativity, I have learned to listen to my inner voice, the one that tells me that I have unique things to offer the universe, even if I am not always aware of them. I view all creation as a giant matrix, with all of us connected to one another, wherein the effects of what we produce will be felt in untold and uncountable places/people. Sometimes we get lucky and find out that we've had a good effect on another person, as other people have had on us. Othertimes we may struggle, wondering if we're shouting into a void (to use another metaphor). Rest assured that the universe is enriched by each of our positive contributions. For those who live in fear and feel the need to spread negativity, I try to have compassion and pity, but I don't let them into my life. I try not to dwell on their criticisms, as I prefer to live in joy and hope. And I am grateful that I am not such a person... and that there are so many others, such as you, who share my worldview.

    Thank you for your blog. It enriches my life.

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  14. Taking care and protecting my creative spirit... I too am fiercely protective of my personal time and get terribly cranky if too many outside events creep into it... although I don't think I can withdraw any more than I have :^)
    I will tell you a secret though... many times I come over here, for the peace, quiet, and pure joy. I read and look through past posts, this is one way I 'take care'.
    As Wendy wrote, I have a hard time imagining being 'bored' during a visit with you, you really do share so much more than you may even realize. As far as 'sounding too nice all the time'... should it be so amazing that there are such nice people in the world, and that they would congregate in such a place?
    I'm not terribly clever in my comments I leave on blogs, although some of the witty comments I read have me smiling and chuckling to myself, I do enjoy them, but they can take my comments (or not) for what they are... a connection.
    Lene, you are a true artisan. Your drawings in particular always give me joy. I'm no art critic but I do know what I like when I see it.
    I love what Katie K wrote. whirling dervishes in our own manner all.

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  15. Anonymous15:56

    This is your blog no one elses. Your words, your your drawings, your pics, your work - we come here because we like what you post. You are an inspiration to myself & others - do not succome to one negative while the rest of us wait to get a glimpse of your wonderfull world.

    Gram always says "if you have nothing nice to say, then don't say it." It also applies to blogs - a place where we are most vulnerable.

    Your blog is one of the most interesting I read and return to. Stay true to yourself.

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  16. I have what some would consider a creative job. It is also high stress. And that can, and has occasionally, take the joy of creating out of it.
    So I feel that adding stress is *not* good for creativity. That stress can be self imposed or imposed from without. Such as by a self appointed "critic".
    If you have expectations for yourself then you should guide your journeys along that path. If you wish for "better" drawings then okay... go for it. But it must be from within.

    Finally, I do not agree with the attitude that the blogger somehow "owes" the reader anything. You owe me nothing more than what you choose to give.
    I am not saying this in an attempt to say "Oh I like your blog the way it is" (even though I do), but because I feel very strongly that this blog is *yours* to use as you will. It is not mine, not ours, not that critics.
    If I do not want to live in a house with plain white walls then I will not. But I will not say to another "Your house is bad because it is plain. All the interesting houses are painted in bright colors".

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  17. I enjoy reading your blog because it is peaceful and reflective about your art and craft and life in Finland. I couldn't agree more with Monica's quote in her response to this post and offer another from William Shakespeare - "to thine own self be true". Your own self shines through in your writing and I for one am happy to visit you just the way you are .

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  18. When I first married my husband, he and I would try to let each other into our various creative processes because we were married, after all, and we love each other, and we wanted to take part in the things the other was doing.

    After months of frustration and hurt, we realized that we each needed some space to let the creative things take hold and begin to grow before they would withstand anyone else's comments. Even comments that were meant well were often very hurtful.

    I love coming to your blog because you understand that creativity takes some time and space, and in a world where we need to show everyone everything all the time, I appreciate that. I visit because I appreciate the quiet, the introspection. If I want a blog with more dialogue, well, I know of many and can visit them. But I come here because it's like watching those vadelmat in the forest ripen--I know that when I am finally able to pick the berry, it will be all the sweeter for the time spent waiting.

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  19. Anonymous16:08

    Lene,

    I am a blog reader mostly and only rarely comment. I cherish your blog as you are always thoughtful and it makes me think - think about life and creativity and knitting.

    This critic no doubt has other places to go for lively discussion - I prefer thoughtful

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  20. Anonymous16:17

    It is beyond my comprehension why anyone ever feels it is OK to leave an uncomplimentary comment on a blog like yours. I understand that some blogs--like talk radio--are intended to provoke nasty remarks. But, on a blog like Dances With Wool it is like coming to your house for dinner and telling you your decor is boring and you used to cook better! Only the rudest of people would do that. Please don't change anything unless you want to. I "LOVE" coming to your blog and seeing and reading about a life so very different from mine here in Southern California. Write what you want to say and most of us will continue to "LOVE" it. (Here in Southern California we "LOVE" everything!!!) Melissa

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  21. Anonymous16:19

    Everyone else is right on target, esp. Monica's Emerson (?) quote. Boring is in the eye of the beholder. You aren't forcing anyone to read your blog. Share what you want of yourself and let us savor what we will. And continue to nurture yourself -- we all need to do more of that. Peace. Luise

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  22. Hmmm... I think you just generated a fair amount of discussion.

    I think you can spark and nurture others' creative spirits without causing them to comment often. I rarely comment on most of the blogs I read, but I take enormous inspiration from many of them (including this one).

    I read blogs because I admire the author's voice or aesthetic, or skill (or some combination thereof). I enjoy your unique blend of each.

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  23. The critiques are not about you, they are about the person making the observation...something that is lacking in their lives, or perhaps, even envy of yours. It is they who need to look in the mirror, not you. Thank you for sharing any part of your creative spirit and your life...it is inspiring and enjoyable to read.

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  24. I try to remember that (usually) what people say tells me a lot about them and very little about me. What is important is that we are comfortable within ourselves. If you can accomplish that, then you are safe and can objectively evaluate what others say. And it appears that you have done so in this case. This person wanted you to meet his/her needs, but that is not why you created the blog. You realized this and have moved on.

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  25. I just wanted to say that to me, what's great about blogs is how they reflect the writer's personality and how many various types of blogs there can be. So in my view criticising the way someone writes is about as clever as criticising their very nature. They can't honestly change it, nor should they. I know there might exist some guides to writing blogs saying 'do this' and 'don't do that' but to me there just isn't any point in them.

    So I feel for you (and am certainly glad that I still haven't received such critique!) and would like to encourage you to keep writing and drawing just as you like. I am one of the many who come here precisely because this blog is something a little different.

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  26. elizabeth17:01

    Lene, yours is one of the blogs I've been reading longest. I rarely comment, but I always read. Your words are calm and inspiring and I treasure the little glimpses into your world - so very different from my own. Thank you very much.

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  27. Eyrie17:15

    I'm a fairly recent reader but oooh, your critic burns me up. S/he quashed your creativity and that is a rotten thing to do. I love your blog for its contemplative, quiet nature. Some bloggers purposefully spur discussions, and that can be useful, but others I read because I love the insights I receive into the blogger's personality and life; yours is this latter type. I think of the saying "Still waters run deep." --Maybe not still, but quiet... I would read just for your thoughts and crafting life, but I also really enjoy reading about life in Finland.

    It is funny because I was thinking about this topic just yesterday, and I got all muddled about it when I applied it to myself--I had always considered myself creative but was questioning whether that was true--but now when I think about you it becomes clear. To me, simply the cultivation of a unique and thoughtful spirit is a creative process. Also, to make something out of a pattern is creative; even literally: look, you have made something! Some things end up being more satisfying creations than others, but it is the journey of making the thing that is most important.

    In all truth, I find it extremely rare that criticism--unless highly constructive and specifically requested--spurs creativity. In my experience, positive feedback and enthusiasm are the things most likely to nurture the inner flame.

    Please keep on doing exactly what you do. And I'm not saying that just to be nice.

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  28. Anonymous17:19

    Being hurtful is often masked as criticism. I don't know why I continue to be so shocked that people feel they have the right to their criticism....they don't need to be here. Your blog was a wonderful discovery for me just a few months ago. I very much like the comment "an island of peace." I hope you nurture even a spark for a very long time to come.

    Elizabeth

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  29. Susanna in Seattle17:47

    Re creativity.

    I am not especially creative and I have often been frustrated in classes that offer excercises in creativity - they make me feel like a failure most of the time.

    However, I have just started reading a book by Twyla Tharp called The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life. I am not very deep into it but so far I really like what she has to say.

    I took a class on Creativity at the Madrona Fiber Arts (google it and you'll find it) retreat this past February with Anita Luvera Mayer. If any of you ever get an opportunity to spend time with Anita, grab it. She is amazing. I had almost decided not to go to class but boy, am I glad I did. I learned a ton that day. All of it relevant and important.

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  30. I know what you mean, for me is difficult to find the right "amount of me" I show in my blog.
    I like yours a lot, it's quiet, bright and inspiring...thank you ;)

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  31. I am continually shocked when people write that they have received hurtful criticism. I truly hope that you can take it in stride, put it aside, and not let one or two people's negative thoughts detract from your beautiful works -- be they finished or in progress, in textiles or paint or words.

    I truly enjoy reading your posts/letters, seeing your myriad creative pursuits, and getting a glimpse into your homeland. Thank you, as always, for sharing.

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  33. I agree with whoever said being hurtful is often masked as criticism And honestly, I am sad that this person felt the need to write such an e-mail.

    There are more than enough bloggers out there who tackle divisive issues. Your blog is a niche where 'anyone' who seeks to follow a creative journey may follow along.

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  34. Because you ask it, I will not tell you how much I love reading your blog and how much I feel of the stillness of the lake and the woods when I visit.

    Because you ask it, I will not tell you how your pictures - each and every one - delight me, and how like a drink of clear water to a parched soul they are. If one is better than another, I am too poor an artist to see it.

    When I started blogging, I did so only from curiosity. I never expected that I would have any readers. I am still surprised and flattered that I do. I blog about many things, but not everything. There are things locked in my heart I don't tell even my best friends. Why would I tell them to the world?

    We are such fragile creatures. And there is criticism of more than one kind. But even a suggestion kindly given can make us wonder, "what if they're right? What if I've only been fooling everyone, and I'm really [insert favorite derogatory remark here]? What if they find out?"

    For myself, I trust my instinct over someone else's criticism. Things that need to be private are. But for the most part, I blog only for myself. If someone doesn't like what I blog or hates the colors of my blog theme or thinks I should do x, y or z... they can read a different blog that provides better colors and more scintillating conversation and x, y and z. Isn't it nice that the internet provides so many choices?

    Your instinct is perfect, Lene. Trust it.

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  35. A smile comes to my face when I see a post appear from you. You allow me, as a guest, to come into a world I could never know without you. Thank you for opening this door. It is a kind and generous invitation to a world so different from my own.

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  36. Esther in Canada18:16

    Dear Lene,
    There already are lot of blogs full of discussions, arguing theme...Those who criticize you about not having taken this way, just have to go read those blogs...
    You have thought about changing yourself, you have explore the possibilities, and you made your choice. That sounds ok. You didn't put the critics away, you have taken time to think about.That sounds ok. Your life is not always what you want her to be but your blog is what you want it to be. You have taken time for meditation on your projects, your goals, so often...That sounds ok.
    To me...

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  37. I don't think I protect my creative flame furiously enough. Sometimes, I want desperately to create something and there is a voice in my head saying "You can't. It won't be good. It's a dumb idea. Why do you bother?" I get very frustrated with that voice and wish it would just get out of my way.

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  38. These people are everywhere - every school, office, village, church: they are the ones who will tell you what is best for you "for your own good". There is a name for them - it is bully.

    Nobody else knows what is right for me. Not my Mother, before she died. Not my husband of forty years. Not my children who are grown but remain close. Nobody else in the whole wide world really knows all of me, but I am willing to share some of me, and I am so grateful that you are willing to share a little bit of yourself.

    I do know a little bit about you - you are sensitive, and thoughtful. And you are also gifted with words as well as fibres, yarns and pencils. Please don't stop!

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  39. Oops, I forgot to say -
    We are all pretty much works-in-progress and we all work to our own gauge.

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  40. Everyone else has said what I would say about your blog.

    What I would say about the critique is that critique is very easy to exert on others and never easy to digest. In fact, there is nothing easier than jumping online and criticizing what other people are doing, without being creative or constructive oneself. Therefore, I say, do not worry about the criticism you receive from outside unless these people and their opinions mean something to you - do you know them and do they know your creative process?

    As I am scrolling down, I see that Margene has said something similar - I agree with her.

    And - if you do not enjoy doing something, don't do it. But if you do enjoy it, don't let a few grumpy comments discourage you.

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  41. Beth in Maryland18:54

    Lene - we don't avoid criticizing your blog because we are "nice." !! We don't criticize it because we find nothing to criticize. Whoever made those comments to you should spend some time in SELF-criticism.

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  42. Jennifer in Ottawa18:55

    I come to your blog because I respect your process and enjoy your peace so very far north. You have something that I do not, for now: the ability to be still and quiet. My life is hectic and I enjoy what you tell us of yours. It is good for you to have processed the information you received from your critiquer. More importantly though, your thinking has led you to make your own decisions about who you are and what you choose to do. Something very positive has come out of an uncomfortable experience. You have chosen to keep doing what you are doing. And I am glad for it.

    Thanks for sharing your world, your way.

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  43. Someone went rampaging across knitting blogs recently and left some really snotty comments. Which is really sad. Again, it all depends on your reasons for blogging. If you like generating discussion, great! I personally love coming to your blog because it's a window to another world and country and culture, and you knit some of the most beautiful things. ::happysigh!:: I do hope you continue to blog and to share with us your creative processes.

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  44. Hmm.. I have to say that I think quite same as you about that protecting of creativity flame. I'm not good to take neg critisism, I really know it, but there is some people who could say things so gently or humourous way that I can use critic and make my works better. But only a few and very close people.

    I have also thought very much, what to blog or what not.. and subjects are very limited. I cover myself.

    I would like to say something beautiful about your work and stories, but I think I don't need to. Everything is said and you know the value.

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  45. Anonymous19:26

    We need to stop and ask ourselves what messages are we trying to convey with the words we use?? how does our communication impact the lives of others? what value do our words hold...? We all communicate for a purpose.. .. either in written, spoken or an art medium...
    Your work is reflective of your spirit and soul... you are communicating to an audience who longs to share your world with you... you bring peace and inspiration to those who read and enjoy your blog... the world is filled with critics and unfortunately most do not use their voices for the good of all.. I enjoy...love ... reading your blog...and your work inspires my creative voice.. to try new techniques.... your artwork is uplifting, playful.. inspirational. and touches my spirit... see communication if done brillantly can occur without words....
    Bonnie

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  46. In my world I constantly fight between wanting to be a hermit and being social. I have been accused of being obstinate and hermit-like, as was my Swedish father. The Celtic part of me is the social side. I must stay up late and get up early in the summers to protect the 'me'. Even those who know me best know only a small part of me. We must have a room of our own.

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  47. I read your blog because I enjoy it. You have a could command of the english language which I assume is not your own. Your venture out into the world of design, that leap of faith that I am wanting to take, but as of yet have not summoned the courage to leap. Criticism - boy that is tough. It should be constructive and not hurtful. There is a campaign on AMerican TV right now basically saying if you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it on the internet.

    All I can end with is that I always look forward to what you have to say when you have a new post, and when you have a new design, I look at it with my hopeful designer eye and look to see where your thoughts have taken you. You know, just follow your bliss, and ignore the rest.

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  48. Through your blog, your creative flame is magnified and looks, to an outsider, very bright and large indeed! When I first started reading, I imagined you up beyond the curtain of the arctic circle just spinning and knitting away all day, with nothing else to do...
    As I came to "know" you better through the hints as to your daily life (little stories about your family, your pets, your holidays, your home) I began to feel like you were some distant friend, a pen-pal of sorts, and I always look forward to updates.
    You asked us not to simply soothe you with words of kindness; so I am not just being kind when I say that the window into your studio and your life is all that I desire from your blog.
    I too tend to be an observer, and I keep my own creative twinkle alive by glancing at what others do, and incorporating my vision of their work into my everyday life. Though I occasionally enjoy debate and discussion, my favorite blogs are the ones that respond when I say, "Show me." This winter I made gingerbread houses with my girls, and I thought of yours; when my dog leaps and snuffles in the new snow, I remember the video you shared of Tina; the way you create with wool inspires me deeply.
    I do not want debate from you. I want the feeling I get when I sit down with my needles and wool, and the little Lene-voice (along with all the other blog-voices I read and have come to care for) is quietly there beside me.
    Leave the arguing and debate to others who are better suited; there really are plenty of us who love (yes, love!) you and your blog just the way you are. And that's truth, not just kindness.

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  49. I like your blog because it is a quiet, contemplative glimpse into your life and I love (meaning the word, though Americans do use it way too loosely for everything) the tiny bits of Finland I get to see through your eyes and writing. I think your drawings are very nice but then I can't draw a box or anything else and have it recognizable. Constructive criticism is good but I've found on the internet highway, it's just as easy to drop by and crush someone without much thought given to it and then breeze on by. Perhaps you happen to have a nice blog and we happen to be nice commenters. I have not found a rule book that says we have to be different from that.

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  50. I was going to read all the comments before posting mine, but when I saw the first one I realised that was exactly what I wanted to say.

    I read your blog because it is an island of peace in a much too hectic world.

    I would only add that your drawings bring me.....the only word I can think of to describe it is comfort.

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  51. I forgot to answer your question about how I protect and care for my creative spirit.

    I let myself enjoy the time I spend creating, and I put away all thoughts of what I SHOULD be doing. I have a house and two small children and there are always dishes and vacuuming that need doing....I let myself sit down and knit or read blogs about knitting or browse Ravelry, instead of worrying too much about what needs to be done.

    Thanks Lene.

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  52. I am always excited to see that you have a post when I look at my Bloglines. Thank you for everything that you do - your creativity is inspiring. Some of your artwork has been used (and is up now) as the desktop background on my computer. I love it. Thanks for a serene and peaceful blog where I am given so much.

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  53. In nurturing my creative self, I rely on a book called "The Artist's Way," by Julia Cameron. She talks about criticism and says that really constructive criticism gives you an "Aha!" response - you feel that you have been given a gift that helps you. But unconstructive criticism is hurtful, vague, and hard to respond to. I have found the only way to deal with unconstructive criticism is to acknowledge the hurt and be kind to yourself. I like your blog and your creative work because it feels honest, sincere, and brave. Putting your true self out there is an extremely brave act, and I applaud you for it.

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  54. Stephanie21:02

    Thank you for your writing Lene. It is peaceful and joyful. Those are the feelings I carry with me from your blog each time and why I return.

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  55. Anonymous21:27

    I come to you every now and then, to calm down. As a working-mum of two little ones, I hardly ever have my own piece. But when sinking into your writing (even when a loud battle of two little knights is on just a meter from my computer), I feel like reading philosophy or a poem or holy text ... you give me a chance to calm down. So I thank you for that.

    The other way to find my piece is to open the door -and at least take a look into the woods (if not chance to walk in there). That's where I find the beauty which you have captured in your work. That's where you have found your inspiration?
    Happy spring to the North.
    WBR, Melina

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  56. I think we blog for ourselves first. If I like my own blog that is enough. If others read my blog and like it that is the icing.

    I love your blog for the beautiful pictures of a place I would never have known, for the beautiful knitting, and for the quiet and peaceful way you write.

    (Hugs to you --- save this hug for when you are feeling like you need one)

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  57. Blogging is the way I try to fan my little flame; reading others' and admiring and learning from their creative endeavours, and sharing the little I make to be a tiny part of the wonderful knitblogging community and keep a toe in the pond of crafting. And I ask questions of people who are closer to me, and usually if they disagree with me it makes me reassess and often I find that I am happy with my decision after all, and sometimes I realise immediately that their answer is what I was looking for.

    (And by the way, I too am an reader more than a commenter, and I was moved to comment on this post partly to tell you that I read some blogs for their discussion and their challenges, and others, including yours, for a little corner of peace, calm and inspiration in an often hectic day, and for that, thank you).

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  58. Everyone goes to the Internet for something different. I ENJOY seeing the World around you through YOUR eyes. I believe that you see things from a perspective that a lot of us are just moving to fast to notice.

    I would gather by the amount of readers you have that the comment you recieved was not part of the general consesus - we LOVE you (even by Finn standards)!

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  59. Anonymous22:43

    I guard my creativity by not sharing much of what I create with the world. If you talked to me, you might think that I'm not terribly proud of what I create, but you would be wrong. I brush off compliments... but I do hear them. I also brush off criticism... but I always seem to remember it.

    I've often thought about creating a blog, talking in public about what I create. I've never been brave enough to do it. I have only recently started to post comments... not yet brave enough to put my name to it.

    What you do, sharing your life, your creations, your existence with all of us out here on the web, it's an amazing thing. It's terribly terribly brave to open yourself up like that. (And it's especially amazing to do it in a language that isn't your first; your english is beautiful.) I'm very grateful that you do, that your do share your life with us.

    I've been thinking about what I said about your last post (I'm the first comment there). I DO use the same sock pattern all the time. What I don't think I made clear is that I LOVE my socks. Sure, the knitting pattern is all the same, but the colors... oh, the colors! They're NOT the same. Opening my sock drawer is like opening a box of paints - color color color. I think I can say that the creativity in my socks is in the color. I know that I love watching the way it pools as I knit. I also love feeling the smoothness of the cloth I'm making, and wearing socks that fit my feet exactly.

    I think creativity is about joy. Thank you for sharing your joy with us.

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  60. After going from blogs to other blogs, I come here and I look at your knitting : it's really nice! I also make knitting but I'm novice.
    (http://bidouilleetchats.canalblog.com/)
    Don't worry with critique. There is a lot of blogs for everyone : if someone doesn't like your blog, he or she can go away and look after others blogs, no?
    Internet is a big place and there is space for everyone.

    When I draw or paint (my second blog), I need silence and I must be alone : in other case, I can't be concentrate and I don't work.

    (sorry for my english and mistakes)

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  61. I love reading blogs from all over the world precisely for the small wonderful details of everyday life that is different or surprisingly the same. there is plenty of "big" topics in the news, which frankly I try to avoid.
    it is so strange to me that someone had to email you, instead of just clicking away.

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  62. I think it is strange that someone sent a message to tell you that your blog is boring. Why are they looking at it, if it bores them? They must find it interesting enough to visit and worth the effort to comment.
    With knitting and blogging, there is so much variety, in the knitting and the blogging, in the people who knit and blog, of course there will some who don't like what another is doing. If you get criticism and it is such that it makes you think and you decide you need or want to change or you decide you are happy as you are, it is a good exercise.
    The Internet has changed how criticism is dished out and how it is taken. In the past, I was unlikely to receive criticism anonymously, it was personal and I would have to deal with it. Since it was personal, the person delivering it had to be prepared for my response. Coming through the Internet and being anonymous, critics can be careless, blunt, even nasty, and hardly have to face the consequences, but our reaction to it might still be based on the olden days when it was personal.

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  63. I protect my spirit and creative nature by withdrawing when I feel overwhelmed by the noise of the everyday world. Your blog is always a source of peaceful creativity for me, even if our tastes may be wildly different. It's like taking a moment to go into a room with soothing music, heavenly scent, and quiet lighting. Restorative.

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  64. I value carefully chosen words. I enjoy the unique expression of art. I come here because I appreciate what you have to say and what you share.

    Thank you for sharing with us.

    I have to nurture my creativity and tune out other voices. Sometimes my creative side is strong and sometimes it is very quiet, so I don't always share because I don't want to be overly influenced by others. Some people have strong voices but not much to say.

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  65. Emma02:17

    Maybe the best response for such a critique is to press the delete button !
    How sad that such a malevolent spirit caused you to doubt yourself so. None of us is perfect, and we have no right to expect perfection in others [and everyone's definition of perfect will be different].
    I love the quiet beauty of what you create and how you write. I want to thank you for sharing what you do, and a little of yourself, with us.

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  66. I'm just to darn stubborn to let others stomp all over my creative spirit! That is not to say that I don't get hurt by hurtful comments (meant for my own good, of course, aren't they always!) but generally it only serves to spur me on, ever more committed to see through my own ideas of creativity.

    I'm sorry that someone saw fit to cause your flame to sputter, but I urge you to summon the spirit within you to hold true to yourself and no one else's idea of what you should or shouldn't be.

    You present to all of us who read you a world that we would otherwise not ever have the chance to explore, contemplate or dream about. We are all very very grateful for the gifts of glimpses into your life, thoughts, dreams, and creative offerings.

    I dearly hope you will allow us the privilege of continuing to read your amazing insights into the wonderful world of your creativity. The internet knitting community would be a lesser place without your beautiful voice.

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  67. kris03:08

    Your blog is your blog! It's not a contest. People who read your blog have their own reasons for doing so, and that's enough.

    I consider myself to be a creative person--but I am because I read and look across a broad spectrum of design. I see that in your blog whether you write about it or not. What you offer to me is unique, it's what inspires me (and others) and what is most needful to me. There are few bloggers who are quiet and introspective, but many "blogees" who are.

    You (and I, and many others) are old enough to be firm in our convictions of what we are about, having gotten over popularity.

    We all do what we must where we can, and share in each others joy.

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  68. your blog IS NOT boring...it is quit insightful...your personal musings about living in the forests of lapland. keep on blogging...i for one would miss your posts. aloha nui loa...finnishwahine

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  69. "Good critique is supposed to change your behaviour for the better" -- that's what you said. But I don't believe that what you received qualifies as "good" critique. To be "better" would mean that you would become even more the YOU that you really are inside, with all your own special talents and personality traits. This person was asking you to be different -- to become someone else. Why would you want to do that? Especially since so many of us do, in fact, like you exactly as you are. I enjoy your blog tremendously; it is never boring.

    Staying true to one's own vision is difficult in any creative field. There's always pressure to write a novel just like the latest best-seller or create a painting in the latest style, and so on. In blogging, too, others may want us to sound more like well-known bloggers. But that never works.

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  70. Anonymous03:43

    Lene,
    I'm sorry the blogger was so hurtful - I visit often but hardly leave a comment. In fact, I visit to listen to your words about your creative process. It seems to mirror mine in many ways - the frustration with something that isn't turning out right, the joy when it does match your mind's eye, the need for quiet and breaks when the creative muse seems absent. All of your comments about these things help me understand that my creative process is normal and that I will get through this phase to the next (good or bad). I think this ties us together and creates a much more important link between you and your readers than any attempt to provoke discussion might. For me, this is the most important reason I read - the view to Finland and your world is just icing on the cake.
    Thanks for continuing,
    Kathy

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  71. Anonymous03:58

    I read your blog because I enjoy being invited as a witness to your creativity and thought processes. Yet I can truly feel how small you felt allowing those comments affect you so strongly.

    However, please know that your own words gleaned from this very same blog have helped me immensely. I have been struggling with an obstacle in my life that is just as determined to remain as a thorn in my side as I am strongly determined in totally removing it.

    Then after a very difficult day where I was at a total loss on how to deal with this particular issue, I came across a complete gem in your blog.

    "Bring your soul home."

    It's not about the obstacles or friction that crops up in my life. All of that "stuff" will always be there in some form or another and how I allow it to affect me (or not) is 100% my choice.

    Pursuing the things that we love, that are important to us and enrich our lives with meaning (or the lives of our loved ones) are the things in life to take notice of and fiercely protect.

    I have used that statement many many times since I read it in your blog and will continue to do so.


    Note: "Criticism can also be just noise."

    One person venting their own self imposed angst and expectations on others and being unaccountable for the destruction they leave in their wake.

    I think you already summed up Emerson's quote quite well.

    "Bring your soul home."

    Mo

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  72. Anonymous04:00

    Lene. As someone who mostly reads blogs rather than comment, I feel this is one time I must. After discovering your blog some time ago, I can assure you, it's not boring. I look forward to reading about your works in progress, your insights, drawings, the pictures of your lovely land, the stylings of your beautiful creations, your world. Your insights, creativity and sensitivity inspires and uplifts me and I find joy in them. I've learned from you, too. For instance, the embroidered flowers along the sides of the twined gloves-- I wouldn't have thought of that. You can see by the many responses to your post, you touch so many, and as Kate so eloquently wrote, "The internet knitting community would be a lesser place without your lovely voice." Indeed it would.
    Melody

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  73. Hickory04:19

    Dear Lene,

    I am a yarn store owner in New York (state, not city) and I often recommend your blog to customers. I can recommend it because it is gentle and inspiring, and I know that no-one of my customers will be offended. I hope they will find what I find, beautiful and thoughtful knitting, in really striking scenery, with a wonderful peaceful host. Yes others are funnier, or sassier, or more technical, but Dances with Wool I can recommend to everyone with the knowledge that they will find something useful to them. I hope you will see this as a compliment. By not making strong statements and hot topics of conversation, you are doing something different, you are giving to us, rather than demanding something in return. A very generous gift indeed.

    I like what the first commenter said the best, "I read your blog because it is an island of peace in a much too hectic world." Hear hear! That is why I come here too.

    To answer your questions though :) I think one of the reasons I read blogs is to see others' creative process. So often I feel my knitting is for product, quick samples, get this yarn out where people can see it. I miss taking my time to design a lovely sweater. I admire what you do here, and there are days when I wish I could be in your sweet house by the wood stove knitting whatever I felt like working on that day. I feel I've put my creativity aside for now, it makes me a little sad.

    I don't usually comment either, and you have so many today. Hopefully we've encouraged you to remain true to yourself. That's why we come here - for you!

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  74. http://icanhascheezburger.com/2008/03/25/funny-pictures-constructive-feedback-ur-doin-it-wrong/

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  75. Speaking for myself, I love your prose, your knitting and sense of style, and your art. Thank you for contributing a brief respite from the stress and hectic pace of the remainder of my world!

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  76. I find myself interested in your discussions with yourself. I refuse to say stay the same because we, as individuals, are always changing. I have not found your blog boring - in fact I find it interesting as it gives insights to a person very far from me geographically, but someone I would find interesting wherever we met. So enjoy what you do and tell us what you want to. Most important - ENJOY!

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  77. I'm afraid I can't be of any help on how to protect the creative spark because mine seemed to be extinguished by the act of having my only child at age 40. I try to laugh it off by saying that having him took all the creative juices I had left, but it does bother me sometimes. Now, instead of drawing and painting, I have the urge to spin and knit, which for me are not creative endeavors (I don't design knitwear like you do), but I do enjoy them. I also enjoy blogging. Perhaps that is where my creative spark stays alive, because I have long loved creative writing. Now, whether or not anyone else thinks my writing is creative is another matter!

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  78. Was it in the old movie called "Pretty Woman" that Julia Roberts' character spoke the words that "Somehow it is easier for us all to believe the bad stuff instead of the good?"............ yes, I suspect that we all do. (to our detriment)
    And so, I too, guard my creative thoughts closely like small children, growing them and holding them close until they reach full bloom.

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  79. Dear Lene,
    hey, it is your blog and you can do with it what you want! And there ARE a lot of people who like it as it is. There are people who don’t want to discuss. Who want to see what others do and think in other parts of the world. I am a relatively new reader of yours but when I saw your blog for the first time I knew that I would want to come back regularly. I don’t comment often, too, because I, too most of the time think I don’t have anything clever to say... So I better stop now! But sometimes I just try to sound nice. I don't think people think I am nice very often...

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  80. Mary Jane13:47

    I read your blog regularly but I rarely comment. I enjoy reading about your creativity, your projects and about Finland. I find your style of writing soothing which is often what I need. Keep up the good work.

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  81. Carmen13:48

    I'm from Canada. I read you because of the peace I get from your writing, because of the "quietness" of your blog, which is a huge accomplishment considering that most blogs are just "busier in a loud way" which is not a criticism but a fact. I read you because I like your knitting ideas, your souces of inspiration. If I wanted to discuss world politics or other prominent subjects, I'd find a blog that offers that. Instead, I come to you to find that gentle sparkle that you offer... I'm also intrigued by the area where you live.

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  82. Anonymous14:04

    Yes, I am here for a peaceful moment, away from the other world of critics and unsatisfaction. I believe that we all have the whole universe happily and complety exists within each of us. It's given to us and it's all we need. There are people who look at it so differently and have a desire of shaping it in a certain way that they trap themselves down in their own insane world. Keep writing for us, the way you have brightened up my days, as always. :) Thanks a billion, or should I say that it's priceless because it's from your heart...

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  83. Carol14:19

    Your blog is one of the very few I visit with any regularity. As others, I am always delighted to see an update here. I come for the insight into your quiet reflective process, your creative (how jealous I am!) process ... and the occasional Finnish lesson! I enjoy the insight into your very different, and yet not so different, life in Finland. I can add little to what others have said here, most far more eloquently, so I will just add another voice telling you 'be who you are' and those who belong here will find you and stay.
    As for protecting my creative process - I'm not sure I do. I use blogs such as your to spark it, and am trying to begin using a notebook (as my very talented artist-neighbor does) to keep track of ideas, all too often others', that I may come to use or simply be inspired by. Working out of the home, and having a husband and daughter who have trouble with anxiety, sap my energy at times, and time online viewing others' work, and reading about their ideas and their struggles help feed me and assure me.

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  84. Anonymous14:22

    I love your blog, I love your drawings!
    suerowal

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  85. India16:26

    I too mostly read, rarely comment. But this discussion seems to have brought quite a few of us out into the open!

    When you think about it, knitting is boring. You knit. You purl. But look at the amazing things that knitters create! And at the times when I fight with my knitting, I am not having a good time. So I do not go to blogs for controversy; there is plenty of that in life all around me. I do read blogs, as many have said, for inspiration, for ideas, and to learn (most of the bloggers I read live in countries other than my own). This helps to feed my creative flame. But caring for that flame is an ongoing process, and I must carve out the time for creativity, even if it means working only a couple of rounds on a sock before I must turn out the light at night. An earlier commenter mentioned your words from a few weeks ago, which I first read during a particularly stressful and busy time. Immediately I copied them onto a piece of paper and put the paper under my clear desk blotter so that I can read them any time: "find a way to bring your soul home". In the end, you must answer only to yourself, and not your critics or your admirers.

    Finally, on the rare occasions when you include a drawing on you blog, I feel truly lucky!

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  86. Hester from Atlanta17:13

    I like your blog just the way it is!! A bit of knitting, a bit of family, a bit of life in Northern Finland, a bit of creativity.

    I don't understand why some people are so mean. For heavens sake, if you don't enjoy someone's blog - then don't read it!!

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  87. As someone who lives and works (and thus makes a living) from and by her art, I can understand the need for solitude with one's ideas—that is, until one is ready to share them. I almost never let anyone see a piece before it's finished, except my very closest friends, who are artists themselves and so understand the process. After years of this I know myself well enough that when I want opinions and advice, I ask for them; otherwise, I keep to myself until a piece is finished. Once a piece is published or exhibited, of course, it's beyond my control, and anyone may say what they wish about it. I only hope that people will remember to be kind and constructive, and remember that behind every piece there is a human being with feelings.

    I went to art school, so I'm well used to critique; in an ideal world all critique would be constructive and useful. That's not always the case, however, and I'm sorry if someone critiqued you harshly. You are not boring—you are you, and you are fascinating. And your drawings are wonderful. I can speak from experience that one develops a thicker skin in regard to critique, but I hope that you'll never have to. Please keep up the wonderful work, and the inspiring words. I love reading about your life and creations.

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  88. Anonymous17:54

    I come to your blog to help feed MY creative spirit. You have an amazing eye for beauty that is open to those that make quiet time to look and appreciate. The blogs that are loud and vulgar do not inspire that quiet time.I am always happy to see a new post from you.Know that your quiet beauty is truly an almost vanishing quality in this crazy world. Thanks for sharing yourself! Suzy in Idaho

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  89. Anonymous17:57

    I think all has been said. Another blog had the same issue about critics, the response to her's was the same.

    We love to visit with you as you write to us.

    I love monkey socks too! They fit so well, there is something about doing the routine that comforts our soul.

    Tina

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  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  91. I think the person who criticized you didn't understand your blog. You offer us a peaceful moment, filled with carefully considered creativity. I *love* your blog. Thank you for keeping it up!

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  92. Anonymous19:05

    I had to stop and think about how I protect my creative work - finally I compared it to a child. A newborn baby needs protection from outside, potentially harmful (even with the best intentions), contacts. A premature baby needs even more sheltering. So I have to decide when the 'baby' is full term and ready to meet friends, relatives, and strangers on the street. And sometimes I have to look at the source of the criticism and then decide if I will accept it or not. I choose which blogs to read based on what is there rather than what I wish was there - see you next time!

    (Gosh, I hope that didn't sound too nice because I am completely flabbergasted at what some people will write to bloggers!) ToniC

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  93. I'm a lurker too, with an occasional comment. I've been 'lurking' your blog for quite some time and find so much inspiriation here.

    Blogging to me is really rather self indulgent - it is isn't it?? -I just hope others are entertained along the way by what I say, do or share. I think that's pretty much how most of us feel about our blogs. If some aren't entertained, there's other blogs for them to read.

    Keep your blog true to you and keep up the good work!!

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  94. Dear Lene,
    Your blog is my favorite. I am so sad that a half-baked has given you such a stir. It is a shame.

    As for cultivating creativity for me it means my collection of Vogue knitting magazines, my library of other magazines, books and patterns which I look at over and over. I find my favorite blogs are just as important along with my Guild and small fiber groups and thus my creativity can bloom.
    The net is so inspiring and I particularily like the way your blog is classy. It is not jammed with mass amounts of the hot new this or that...it is more about an artist and her creations which are lovely.
    My comments must really get on the nerve of such an emailer...cause I have nothing but good things to say.
    Wool be with you my dear!

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  95. ApricotRen20:25

    I know you said NOT to write and say not to change, but TOUGH! I'm saying it anway....DON'T CHANGE!!! I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. I love the photos of the snow and the lake and share them with my children who are fascinated and now ask to go on holiday to Finland instead of Euro Disney!! Your writing is calm and peaceful. If I wanted an argument I would talk to my husband instead of reading your blog. And over the Christmas period I looked forward to your advent calendar pictures each day. Your blog is unique and inspiring. If you were to change one thing, maybe you could write more often!

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  96. What I like is that I feel a kindred soul who lives Finland. To see things in your world and through your eyes makes my life more interesting, more depth. My creativeness get’s squashed by having the 8-5 job and all the domestic chores at home. I don’t complain, but some times, just as you said, I need ME time. I’m an Aries and just go boldly along with what I like. When my friends give me their thoughts I think on that, analyze and then make changes, or not. It snowed in Tacoma last night! The flame goes on here too.

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  97. Ellen in Conn21:51

    Lene, I am sorry that you seem to have deleted my comment. I intended nothing but support. Best wishes, anyway.
    Ellen in Conn

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  98. Like you, I read a lot of blogs but seldom comment. But I will come out of my shell now. I am really really tempted to tell you all the things I like about your blog and how your blog is a sweet, quiet, calm corner of the internet that I love to visit... but you said you didn't want to hear that. :) I've noticed that scandanavians can be as uncomfortable with praise as they are with criticism. So, I will follow your request and say how I protect my creative spark. I also have children and dear friends and lots of people who demand my time, so I always attempt to meld the two. I knit things that my children need, that can be used at my school (I am a teacher), or that will make someone I love smile. I channel my creativity through the people I love.

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  99. Anonymous22:12

    One chooses to read blogs and if they don't enjoy a person's blog they do not have to read it and then be rude enough to criticize it.
    Keep on being you.Cheers. Naomi

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  100. Anonymous22:20

    Lene, It has been hard to get away from criticism of my creativeness because I am my own best crtique....I can't seem to get away from me! So, I have mixed a spoonful of patience in with my creativeness. For example, tomorrow I may feel differently about the project if I view it for a while, etc. Now that I don't waste as much energy on my own critiques, constructive criticism and damaging criticism doesn't seem to have such a powerful affect on me when it comes from others. Of course, I am a big fan of your blog and look forward to every story and picture! You are the best! Jeanie in Missoula

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  101. I try so hard to be consistent in posting to my own blog but life or lazy sometimes gets in the way. My personality is such that I will take offense at any slight from anywhere. But I'm working on that by stopping after the 'critique' and analyzing why and where it came from and if I really want to do something about it. If so, I come up with a plan for a change, if not, I forget about it.

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  102. I was so surprised to read your blog today. I love reading what you have to say about what you are thinking and about how you come through your creative process. I've sent a link to your blog to more than one person, as an example of how a person thinks through and illustrates and idea! and as I write this, I'm the 102 person to leave a comment of cheer for you. You have many more readers than perhaps you realized! Keep going in your unique and inspiring fashion.

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  103. susan00:28

    I'm sorry to have to pile on more nice (boring) words but they are genuine. Your blog is unique and you speak in a voice that calms me almost no matter what. You also conjure wonderful images of home and your beautiful surroundings. Thank you.

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  104. Anonymous01:55

    Lene,
    I read your blog because it always lifts my spirits.
    I nurture my creativity by following my inner muse, who sometimes leaves rather abruptly mid-project. In which case that project hits the frog pond and I move on. Sometimes a finished product isn't the point of a particular project. When inspiration strikes everything else goes on hold, and I will give it my entire focus. Bad news if it happens to be a cabled project in cotton. Six hours later my hand is killing me! I'm trying to answer your question by saying that I don't question my inner creativity; I just follow it.

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  105. Write what you want to write.
    You seem to get a lot of people to come here that way. That's what I come for. That's what I've set out to do on my pathetic little blog. Honesty?

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  106. Hello Lene-
    I took Susanna's Rovaniemi knitting class in the fall and finished my wristlets and think your article in PieceWork was really wonderful.
    I also enjoy your blog because you are one of the few twined knitters out there!
    My grandparents came to America from Finland, and Finns may not give their love easily, but once given, they love fiercely--and I love that.

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  107. Lene,
    You inspire me. Your words, your work, your spirit.

    There are others (who blog) that I find comforting or funny or just amazing. But you, you inspire me. You make realize that I can, because you had to work at it to.

    And you have such gentle words, so peaceful. I find it a retreat to come, read and recharge.

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  108. Anonymous03:23

    Hi Lene,
    Please don't change anything because of that one person.
    I pass by so often, and if there is no new post ,i scroll down to read some older post. I love the way you write and draw and make all these beautifull projects (and not forget the little knitted creatures )
    Your pictures are so well choosen , and .... my english is not good enough to say wath i want. But this is for me the most important thing : your writing is so "real", you can almost feel the cold , the silence in the woods ,the lonelyness , i can hear tina , and i can only wish i was there, far away of how life most of the time is toooo much of everything!!!!

    So please Lene , i hope we all could convince you

    I don't leave often comment, but this itime i had to:-))))

    Thanks for sharing with us,
    Nicole (Belgium)

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  109. Lene I don't have time to read all your comments but I'm sure they reflect the same sentiment throughout. We DO LOVE YOU. Your writing. Your drawings. Don't change anything about yourself or what you do with your blogging. Thank you thank you for being You.

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  110. Anonymous08:03

    Thank you for sharing your beautifully written words, particularly about your creative flame. Your blog is anything but boring. It is a cherished gift and I look forward to each post. Thank you.

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  111. I have a blog. I don't keep up with it at all, though I always mean to. It seems like such a personal thing to me, and my creative projects are rather like my babies. I'm not sure I want the net-world to have them on display, however...

    You wanted us to be critics. Well, I can't find much, but I love pictures of your work and lately those have been few. (I also love pictures of your home!!!)

    That said, I don't think you need to inspire us to debate. Like the comment I'm looking at right now, your blog is peace to me. It's quite like a good cup of tea on a misty morning. Something to savor, to draw warmth from. No need for jumping into a comment-fest. :)

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  112. Anonymous20:00

    hello lene

    ...i, too, have followed your blog for many mos...such gentle, comforting words to read...

    ...your photos are splendid...especially soft featured photo of your pair of fav. socks (burgundy/pink stripes) made of Gjestal Nagano Superwash...

    ...i would love to try this lovely looking yarn...

    ...i live in canada + i'm member of "ravelry"...i'm having much difficulty in finding a place to purchase (have found a shop - "Pyöröpuikko") but haven't been able to determine if they receive online orders...

    ...anyway...your photo of these "funky" looking socks has made quite an impression on me...

    cheers
    louise

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  113. Just to add my voice to those of your many supporters. I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading each entry - thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences in your part of the world - a part of the world that most of us would not know if it weren't for your blog.

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  114. Anonymous00:39

    My head hurts with all the "talk". I come to you for grounding and the peacefulness. We share a similar type of style or taste. You challenge me and comfort me. I only read two blogs regularly (three, if I'm feeling wild). That's one of the ways I protect my creative world.

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  115. tess02:15

    Whoever wrote that you are boring must have been having a very, very, very bad day! He or she must have confused gentle and graceful with boring - and while your blogs are gentle & graceful, they also are thought-provoking and not at all boring. Your drawings are charming and lovely, they dance right out of your heart and into ours. I hope whoever it was that was unable to find joy in your blog is feeling better now!

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  116. Helen01:37

    Dear Lene,

    From the day last year that I read your post about making pulle, I have read your blog with great interest. I have only begun blogging myself this year and worried that my interests could bore other people, but then I thought of how much I enjoy your discussion of day to day events and of thoughts on creativity and what it is like to live in the deep north.

    Boring? Never. Dramatic? Always, with the close observation of yourself and your world.

    Thank you.

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  117. Lene,
    I have read your blog for well over a year now. I sometimes comment, mostly not....I prefer to come peacefully and read your words of wisdom and steal away into whatever place your blog floats me. It is my little source of serenity so I hope you NEVER change who or what your blog is and is about. I can honestly say I have never felt the way I feel when you send my mind to far away places, way across the continent...places I would never get to go if not for you. There is always someone with their own version of what their .02 is worth, sometimes worthy, sometimes not.....this case, NOT. I'll tell ya a little secret.....ready.....the delete button works wonders;)
    Hugs to you and yours my friend.

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  118. Lyn, in Melbourne, Australia09:06

    Dear Lene,
    I have been reading your words since you started blogging and my thoughts are as they were when I first ever commented. You write beautifully about your world and your creative processes and I thank you for your insights, which show me the similarities and differences in our spots in the world. You can see that you have inspired many from around the world, as we all realise that the things we need are often very much the same.

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  119. I return to your blog several times each year, and spend hours reading it. Even with the long lengths of time that pass between my visits, I remember you, what you have to say, and how beautifully you say it. Your work expresses the same beauty. I don't want to discuss anything; I simply want to enjoy what you so generously share.

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