August 7, 2012

cruxes, forests, and those darn trees

Crux - a puzzling or difficult problem; an unsolved question.

Sometimes you just gotta express yourself. Maybe you can help. And if you figure it out, please clue me in because I truly believe that we sometimes can't see the forest for the trees.

IMG_5465 - Version 2c

It's the handbags - you passion?  I love making them but even last year when business was booming and I had more work than I could keep up with, I knew in the back of my mind that I couldn't keep up the pace forever.  

Then life stepped in. My mom died. Jeff was out of work for months. My arm gave out.  And...

I couldn't keep the pace.  


My husband moved seven hours away forcing me to split my time between both homes. The studio cannot travel with me.  It's too heavy and WAY too bulky.  In order for things to work, I've got to make some major changes.

Therein lies the first crux.  

Now for the second crux. The artwork. As you know, I've reignited my love of sketching, painting, and hand-drawn typography and have been encouraged to create prints from my artwork.  And as I hang my head in shame, I must admit that there's a huge element of fear.  HUGE.

So here I am, getting tired of career floating, caught between crux number one and crux number two with a few extra cruxes tossed in for good measure. And trying to figure everything out.  What to do and how to do it.  What to keep and what to leave.  Curse those darn bags, I mean trees - I mean cruxes.

And so the story goes.
Oh, and life is always easier said than done.



  1. I have had to decide between two homes and all that it means. When I decided what house to stay at most, it started slowly coming together (still in the works). I told myself that I could have both..but one would have more of my time than the other and it would not always be that way.

    If I were in your position, I would decide what will work 'best' now and do that, then work on the other, kind of on a part time deal. Tell yourself you don't have to give any thing up, just put it on another burner to 'simmer'. xo

  2. I agree with Sheri and would also add that I have personally faced this many times (having to drop something because I could no longer do it) and at first it is difficult to let go but then something else always comes to take its place, and its usually something wonderful. Don't be afraid to step out... you would be surprised at the line of hidden surprises that are just out of sight but just around the corner!

  3. You are so talented! I know that which ever crux you choose (if not both) you will rock.

  4. I guess the question is...
    "do you have to choose?"

    I think you could do many things...
    My biggest inspiration as late {for doing it all} is Allison Sattinger {Sunny Rising Leather, Jewellery, Lapidary and also a recorded songstress!} She is amazing and talented and doesn't limit herself to one creative outlet. Oh and she's a new mom for the first time too!

    I guess it's up to you...Follow your heart.

  5. Oh! Lovely photo too....You could sell prints of photos too!

  6. i think often times we make things so much harder than they have to be because of fear. we spend way too much time in our heads and not enough in our hearts. if you could do what ever you wanted to do, and there was nothing to prevent you from doing it, what would it be? all things are possible if we believe they can be. the best advice i could give would be stop "thinking" about what you should do and start "feeling" what you want to do. there truly are no right or wrong answers in life - there are only regrets. you can be successful at what ever you are really passionate about. follow your heart - it knows the way.

  7. Agree with all said above. Everything has a time and place, if the bags must wait (or slow pace)then they do. This time of flux will not last forever.

    Your latest artwork is beautiful and I hope you can release your fear. Setting up to create prints seems like a very portable, workable venture.

  8. Lori, I really enjoyed this post and all the comments that followed as it speaks directly to a quandary that i am facing as well. i appreciate all the sage advice that has gone before me here in the comments and agree with them all. The one that really strikes a chord is why force yourself to choose? I do think we make things harder on ourselves than they have to be sometimes. If we just let go, the answers will probably show themselves. I think the prints are a fabulous idea, notecards too. Your sketchbook pages are amazing!

  9. I am sorry that I was MIA and missed this post. I wonder that you have to choose at all. You know I love your bags, and I am still pining for the one that got away. And hoping that one day you will make another ;-) But you also know that I am so very much in love with your prints, and I think that this is where your art is evolving, where your passion lies in the moment, and where you could really focus and go big. I just know that you could make these prints work, so many others do, and I know that there is a huge unknown, but I also know that there is a lot of potential there. I could even see these licensed by a large company. Think Hallmark. Too big you say? I say why not! I really think that this is something you should explore. And when a time in the future brings you back to the handbags, then it will be right. Go with your gut, Miss Lori. I know that whatever you decide will be the best. And we will all back you up! Enjoy the day. Erin

  10. Sorry I missed this post too Lori, I have been prepping for Bead Fest 24/7 and have missed reading my blogs.
    I had a revelation that recently came to me. I have always made things painting, sewing, woodworking, gardening, jewelry making, and now making glass and enamel beads and components.
    When I was younger I always labeled myself a jack of all trades and a master of none. Then I started meeting creative people and realized that we all delve into many art forms, the thing these activities all have in common is that they give us the opportunity to be creative and to make stuff.
    The gift of age ( I am going to be 55 next week) allowed me to look back on all my creative activities, I noticed that each creative choice fit best into my lifestyle at the time.
    When I was growing up if we wanted a new outfit we made it ourselves.
    I attended a woodworking class weekly for 10 years before I had Natalie and when she was a baby. This choice met our families needs of making furniture for a new house and I enjoyed getting out of the house and take a break from my baby duties once a week.
    When Natalie got older and started school, I was able to attend the Master Gardener program at the Cooperative Extension and gardening became a big focus of my life.
    Glass bead making started when Natalie was in 4th grade, her art teacher was teaching a class. I took it and for 3 years just had fun renting torch time and meeting bead people. But as Natalie needed less of my attention I got my own studio and started to sell my beads online.
    Natalie is going to be a senior next year and with college on the horizon my studio is a wonderful escape for me and Natalie appreciates me staying out of her hair.
    Do you see the pattern? We all know how to do a lot of things, we just have to pick what we love and what fits best into our lifestyle at that moment. In the future I know there will be something else to explore, I'm more patient now with myself and I will know when the time is right to make a change.

  11. A lot of wisdom in the comments! I know it is a difficult decision for you. But life is a journey. I decided long ago that I would have many careers in my life (right about the time I got my first C in college and was so entrenched in my engineering studies that there was no turning back.) And I have enjoyed the different stages of that journey. Not all have been easy. Sometimes decisions were not wholly mine. Looking back I see that I have always grown through it all. I love your bags, your art, your photography and creativity. I hope that you will find contentment with whatever path you take.

  12. This is a most poignant post- So many insights. I am fairly new to your blog-- just found you back at the end of May. But really felt a connection with your style and steady outlook. ANB I thought you were so cool that you must be in your mid to late 20's. Well imagine my surprise in reading this post. You are in the thick of the "letting go age". I am going off on a tangent... belatedly no less. Women of our age have been busy holding on to and collecting ours and everyone else's stuff in our families. Suddenly the children leave, jobs change, parents die. Things start being removed from our lives. Either helping us learn to not hold so much - or making room for what we now need.

    I am recovering from shoulder surgery... which I find completely appropoe. My shoulder gave out from carrying too much. (I seem to remember reading that you have something up with one of your arms..) Yes I will be able to pick it all up again in a few months... but should I?

    I love your sketches and serendipitously I just commented how much I love them on one of your other posts.I love your bags... but I am wondering too if they may symbolize what you may not need to carry any more. Either way you will breathe into were you need to be. Life has a way of emptying our hearts sometimes so they can be filled with new blessings. xo teri

    1. Teri, I just re-read this comment and I now have the coveted "reply" feature! Whoo! I am so glad that you connected with this post and want to thank you for the judgement on age! :) Yes, I am, indeed, in the mid (later?) years.

      I hope that your recover has been and easy one my friend. LOVE this "Life has a way of emptying our hearts sometimes so that they can be filled with new blessings." Love it.

      Take care and thank you for this comment.


I love reading each one of your comments. Thanks for your visit and have a wonderful day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Let's hang out! @lori_plyler

Follow via Email...

but seriously folks...

©Lori Plyler 2008-2017
Unless otherwise noted, all content on this blog from artwork to photography and everything in between is copyrighted. Anything offered for download is for personal use only (no retail and/or commercial uses are allowed).

Please contact me for permission if you are planning to use anything I use online and always show your link love and respect by linking back to the original source. Thanks!