Monday, April 16, 2012

April doldrums

I have been trying to cheer me up during the last few days but have failed badly. It is April after all, the hardest month of the year (up here) I think; the light is plentiful, but it is very harsh and the Mother Nature is cleaning the last bits of snow from her chambers and keeps dumping them down here... we got lots of new, white stuff this weekend. 

 a view from my desk

There is beautiful, blue sky one day and it is followed by many, grey, cold, windy ones... This does sound like complaining, doesn't it, and I had so decided to stop complaining about the weather, but April is so hard. I look at the date and it is already the 16th, so there is not that much left of April and then arrives May with magical light and the lake is set free from ice and I can once again wake up to the singing of birds in the morning and fall asleep at night listening to the lullaby of waves.

I could cope with the weather well, if only I had something to keep me occupied and something to keep my creative side of the brain functioning. But here I am without any desire to do anything. I am only writing this now, because I have a firm belief that this will pass and I want to share this, so that in case you have fallen into the same pit, you know that you are not alone. And if you are in the midst of your creative sea, keep sailing and enjoying and do not pay any attention to me, I am the one standing on a faraway rock, waving to you so that you don't hit the same rock and be grounded... oh... that was not such a good allegory...

I did not willingly end up in this position and I did not give up easily. I did try to fight back, but I think every move I have made has just resulted me sinking deeper.

Drawing: Going poorly. Nothing is working, as if my eyes don't see and my brain does not know how to command my hand. I have told myself, that this is the week to draw flowers (due to the Flower Crazy) but it seems that I am not able to. 

Crochet: Have tried several different approaches, lace and tapestry, but no success. My results seem wonky and then I lose interest.

Knitting. I still have not figured out what to knit.

Embroidery. I would need a surface to embroider on and I don't know what to use for a surface.

Sewing. Took out some books and magazines and my trusty old patterns that I have used to make several easy, loose fitting, summer dresses and good, sturdy fabric in order to make a dress to wear at home, while puttering around the house, pinned the pattern to it, but that is where the story ends. Cannot seem to be able to proceed.

Quilting. Decided to start small, wanted to make a pincushion. Found this link and made one, but ended up goofing the instructions and ended up having this. 

Ok, so I was not willing to give up so easily, so made another one and paid attention and it resulted in this, much better, but I have no desire to make more.

I bought couple of patterns in order to make bags, cut out the pattern pieces for one from paper and am waiting for the other ones to arrive by snail mail.

And as a final attempt, I asked for an invitation to Pinterest and yesterday I got it and I am just starting there (lenealve). There is hardly anything on my page yet, but Pinterest is a lovely place to bury oneself in times like this and to see what everybody else is doing and what they find inspiring.

It is the time to close this rant. (I am sorry to start your Monday with this, and am always little worried of making complaints out loud, I would rather not spread these feelings, but I could not squeeze out a creative post today.) I will come back as soon as I have something to show you, so that this post will not stay on top for the whole week. I am so looking forward to put all this behind and be happily doing something else.

Until then, wool, as always,


  1. Sorry to hear you are feeling the blues, Lene. We've had an early spring where I live, but I remember some years where I thought it would never come. I notice that baking and cooking are not on your list - sometimes when I am feeling down and frustrated, I like to put on one of my favorite CDs and head into the kitchen:-B

    Bronwen (

  2. I have been there. Rest and wait it out. Soon the sun will return and your creative energy will too.

    Be gentle with yourself and breathe.

  3. Susan18:05

    Lene, the official term for what you're feeling is a blue funk. Vent as much as you need; we'll listen. It'll be behind you in no time.

  4. Anonymous18:35

    Lene, you make me laugh. You are so much like all the rest of us. Some days just nothing seems right. Go to the library and get a good book. Lose yourself in another world. I like to ride horses out West with the cowboys in my escape world. And don't worry about ranting. I love it when you rant. Makes you all the more dear as a normal human being and blogger I love to read. April will pass as the minutes and hours tick away. It is a time to recharge your battery. You are the greatest!

  5. I was thinking to say "read a book," too. I also feel lost and a bit at sea. Grey days. Maybe they help us store us the energy we need for when we go and go on a project.

    All the best

  6. Be at peace and focus on the moment you are in. You creative self is quietly processing and formulating new concepts that will emerge when they are coalesced and ready to present themselves to you. Enjoy the rest and prepare for the busy time to come. Sit with a cup of tea (or whatever your favorite is) and contemplate your world through a magnifying glass, then a telescopic lens, and observe what you see. New perspectives will give ideas to your creative self. Write your thoughts down...not thinking in sentences or worrying about grammar and spelling...feel free and fly away with your thoughts. See where they take you and discover what is there waiting for you. Good flying. And best wishes.

  7. <<< hugs >>> I sure hope that just typing the rant helped lift the mood. Your April does sound like a rough month to get through. I have to confess, though. I just finished a 100% llama lace shawl and wish our weather was cooler so I had more time to wear it before summer!

  8. Jeannie19:31

    Hi someone already commented read a book, which made me laugh. I have 6 books on my bed, I have started them all and none of them is catching my attention! Not even crosswords are helping. It must be a worldwide phenomenon! But this too shall pass

  9. Beth in Maryland20:04

    Thank you for this post, Lene! It's good to know I'm not the only person who starts to lose motivation "just because" the skies have been too gray. And I enjoyed seeing your array of unsatisfactory project options! Hopefully you'll see the end of the snow very soon.

  10. Connie20:36

    April is the month I always dread here in the north country of New York, USA. It is known as mud season but is just as likely to still be full on winter. This year is very different. We are 3-4 weeks ahead. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop but maybe this really is the year without a winter.

  11. When I can't find inspiration for something to knit, I go clean out my yarn stash. In addition to reorganizing things, I always find a yarn I forgot I bought, fall in love with it all over again, and inspiration often comes.

    If it doesn't happen, then I go through my pattern stash, or get lost on Ravelry. If all else fails, I cast on a simple, small project (hat, mittens, socks...); at least I can be productive even if I'm not feeling creative.

    So, please take heart. Before you know it, I'm sure you'll have a million new things to show us!

    Wil4ds on Ravelry

  12. Laurel21:15

    I am in the same part of the world, more or less, as Connie, and in the same place--very early spring and not much of a winter. I was still pretty down over the past month. I thought it was strange because by March/April it is much lighter, and it has been very warm for the season, too. But my therapist (so she should know) told me the spring is traditionally a very hard time of the year for those of us who are light-sensitive (and, honestly, aren't most of us?). It has something to do with the changes in the light, she said, even though there is much more than it.

    A couple weeks later I am feeling much better, so I think maybe she was right. I hope you too feel more inspired soon. But in the meantime my suggestion would be to let it go and immerse yourself in old favorites, books or TV. You are creative and have given it a good try, so your creativity must need to rest for a bit. Then eventually your boat will come to you and you will sail away again. Looking forward as always to traveling with you!

  13. Laurel21:16

    (I meant "emotional place"--otherwise my sentence makes no sense!)

  14. Anonymous21:42

    "Cabin Fever"? I am sensitive to the dark winter and was aware of it growing up when I would wander from window to window trying to decide on something to do...sounds so much like your post. Spring flowers were the final solution, being able to check on what was coming up in the yard everyday. Rant away, we all understand to differing degrees. The thing is I knew what I was going through (still do) and still find it hard to move off center into something more positive until the weather/light really changes. lol :) Helen

  15. I know that place all too well! Thank you for sharing the moments, both light and dark! I am sending warm New York thoughts your way to melt the snow. And also to remind you, we are out here waiting for inspiration to take hold of you and encourage you to write up that adorable baby sweater pattern!

  16. Judging from the lovely banner you have once again designed, creativity is never far for you Lene! I love the new look (still miss the little black sheep though!).
    Hang in there! Mother Earth is soon to wake up in your part of the world and you will be amazed how fast the time will go...

  17. Anonymous03:09

    Sorry that this is a hard time for you, Lene. I'm surprised, though, that you find April to be harder than February.

    Spring will be soooooon

  18. annie07:40

    I experience the same blue feelings, but we are opposites. For me they come with the arrival of fall. I have come to dread and really dislike it. Once we reach the winter solstice and days get longer, I am happy.

  19. You'll get there, don't worry - we've suddenly got lots of grey skies and rain and I'm feeling a bit down this morning, but nothing like as bad. Why not felt a piece of wool (the exertion will make you feel better) then embroider it? Just doodle with your needle...

  20. I was feeling abit of the blues as well. I read many blogs and everyone was showing flowers, trees budding and green. I decided that the green would show up when it wanted to and not a moment before. I see lots of potential for your creative pursuits. Inspiration will come to you, I know it and it will be perfect for you.

  21. Why does this happen to us from time to time; I thought it was just me and you probably sailed through all your projects with lots of inspiration.

    I try and get out as much as possible during those times and have planned a little camping trip to Minnesota (about eight hours away) to cure the blues.

    Redecorating and re-organising help sometimes but usually just have to wait it out and hope for better things.

    Maybe yoga and some nice dark chocolate ?

  22. Venturing out, and telling the truth, when one would rather just go back to bed and hide under the covers, is very kind and generous behavior.

    I think everyone feels down and droopy and as though nothing is working, from time to time.

    If no one shared that reality, everyone would be left thinking they, alone, felt that way.

    Weather has such a powerful impact on our lives!

    Sending you a wish for bright blue skies, warmer days, and a liquid lake.

  23. Oh dear, a little sunshine would improve things. I read your blog and often think of how I would cope living with all that snow - probably not very well. We complain here in California when the marine layer makes it gloomy for 2-3 days! Wishing you blue skies smiling at you.

  24. Dear Lene,
    Your blog is such a warm haven for me. I admire your gentle peace and quiet strength. What you're going through right now is how I am in March. I suppose that makes sense, since winter's end here is probably at least a month earlier than it is where you are.
    Hang on. It will pass in a few days. Turn on more lights in your home, wear bright colors, look at pictures of sunny days, put on your favorite pair of socks and admire your toes! :) These things help me, and maybe they'll help you.
    Wool with you, ma'am!

  25. Sometimes our brains and spirits just need some off-time, to regain the creativity before being productive again. It is frustrating I know. I hope you enjoy Pinterest and that a little non-productive time will inspire you again. Hope the light will change for you soon!

  26. Sorry you´re not feeling great. I know the feeling. Nothing is good enough even though you try hard. But you creations look nice to me. I like that you tell how you are feeling... I´m sure most people feel like you every now and then, even though maybe they don´t tell. I guess we´re all just human? Sleep for a bit and maybe when you wake up the sun is shining again... Rent a silly film and don´t do anything. I really like your writing and drawings... You´re good!

  27. Maybe it's in the air!! I'm also suffering from a lack of "crafting-mojo". Well, in my case there is one advantage: my craftroom has never been that organized !! ;o)!!!

  28. Dear Lene - I drop by your blog from time to time and always enjoy my visit. It is uncanny ( as we say here in Scotland) that I too am experiencing a bit of April inertia too - the month got off to a good start and the evening light is SO welcome. But my energies are ....less than I would wish. I am consoled that I am not alone in battling with getting my tasks underway - or finished - and will join you in the confident knowledge that this too will pass! Sometimes we just have to sit, wait and watch. Thank you for blogging! Jan

  29. What I Need Orange said.