"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just Thought This Needed Repeating

I wrote this last March, when I was only blogging for about a month. It's all about Wabi-Sabi, and I just felt like it needed repeating for all you PERFECTIONISTS out there!


No, I'm not referring to something you'd find on the menu at your favorite Japanese restaurant. Wabi-Sabi is of Japanese origin that celebrates the imperfections in life. It is Wabi, the "humble," alongside Sabi, "the beauty of the natural progression of time." Rather than pursuing perfection, it brings appreciation to the simple, unaffected beauty of things as they are, such as the cracked pot, the beaten up chest of drawers, and the rusty old wagon, once a beloved toy, that now sits in your garden as a planter for Spring flowers.

Being a Folk Artist who also has tendencies to be a perfectionist, I sometimes have trouble honoring the concept of Wabi-Sabi. In my zeal to make the "perfect" piece, I lose sight of the very feel I'm trying to evoke from it. It's the simplicity and natural charm of Folk Art that make it so pleasing. When I create, I WANT my art to look time-worn and home-made, imperfections just add to its character. I want you to want to touch it! Run your hand over the soft, warm wool. Feel the notches in the carved wood. Check out the distressed crackled finish and feel the smooth vintage buttons between your fingers. That's what makes the piece "perfect" in my eyes.

To me, Wabi-Sabi and Folk Art go hand-in-hand. Both honor the character and beauty of everyday life. The next time I find the perfectionist in me stealing my joy, I'll close my eyes and say, "Wabi-Sabi". Not only do I respect its meaning, but it's so much fun to say out loud! Try it, you'll see what I mean. OH, JUST TRY IT. You know you want to!


  1. WABI SABI-WABI SABI -WABi SABi-I LOVE IT! I live with one of those dear Men-eekes,but He balances me off because I'm the opposite ,Since He doesn't read my blog I can scream it WABI SABI-I'm a Wabi SAbi Paul

  2. Hi Jill! Been wondering how you've been doing!! Of course I know busy, busy!! Look at how much you have accomplished in almost a year! Now that's a hollar for WABI-SABI!! I do so love your ATC's!! Kaitlin bought me a pack of them to make awhile back when she was out shopping. She thought the ideal is so cool. I must not make one right now or I'll be like you! LOL Getting very close to getting my room and organizing done! YAY! Talk to ya later!! XO Love, Fran.

  3. Hey Jill it's me again! LOL I was just wondering what kind of glue you use? And what kind of paper do you use when you copy a photo for one of your ATC's? Thank you!! XO Fran.

  4. Hi Fran,

    I like to use Aileen's Tacky Glue for gluing down the background to the card. If I glue down fabric, then I use Fabri-Tac.

    Then I'll use Modge-Podge or a gluestick for gluing down the collage pieces. For 3D pieces, I'll use Aileens.

    Also, once all the flat pieces are glued on, I will seal it all with matte Modge Podge or a Clear Gloss Finish.

    That's just me though!

  5. You know I want to say it and I did...It rates up there with Bibbity-Boppity-Boo.
    Yes...let go...with the spirit of "Lets go fly a kite, with all our might!"
    Breakin' rules, letting time fly, being who we are with all the bumps, rust, raggedy torn edges of time...create and be who you are Jill. It's a very good thing.
    Sunday morning, wind storm outside but peaceful inside.
    Off to the store, to be alone and price and ponder and create.
    Big hug, you doll you.

  6. Jill, this is a wonderful post and spoke so much to my soul! I AM a perfectionist and that is one of the reasons I procrastinate so much. Thank you for sharing this, I had never heard of Wabi-Sabi!

  7. Well said! I need to remember this.

  8. Thank you so very much Jill! Someday soon when I get brave enough and finish what I really need to do I want to trade an ATC with you!! THANK YOU so much for the info I wrote it all down in my notebook, but that doesn't mean I might not have another question! LOL Take care, XO LOve, Fran.