Connecting ‘things’ to Create Beauty
Hi! I am so excited to be participating in Social Market for a Mirrix 2016! But first things first, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Dani Dias, and I suffer from severe chronic crafting. Guilty. My latest obsession has really stuck with me; you guessed it—weaving. Any time I see a piece of yarn, or even some cloth in a color scheme that particularly tickles my fancy, I oddly think “I bet I could weave something beautiful out of this”. But let’s back up. I should probably give you a true, honest introduction, since we will be spending some time with each other over the next year via the interwebs.
So name, we’ve checked that off √. But who am I? And why should you read on? Well, as someone über-way smarter than me said, (I can’t remember whom): “To knoweth thyself is the bestest gift ever, for real”…or something like that ;). I’m working on that ‘thyself thing’ (as we all are), and I hope you’ll stick around as well to learn a little (about me) + (weaving x mirrix) as I embark on this Social Market for a Mirrix, blogging experience. As for the “why should you read on’—I’d say I have a pretty unique outlook on this (weaving) x (life) = thing(Y). It has been “woven” (yep, expect lots of puns) by my unusual circumstances, and fine tuned by some pretty marked events. Didn’t know that weaving could be so complicated or mean so much to a person?? Neither did I until I started.
I shall do my best to introduce myself, and hopefully we’ll be besties by then end of this post.
I am a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, School of Communications>>Advertising (hook’em). I was lucky enough to apply and land myself in a crazy-intensive portfolio program designed to help you hone in your ‘creative skills’ as well as learn the oh-so-special talent of ‘ideation’. It was a competitive program whom only a fraction who apply were chosen. Its unofficial, unspoken motto was “kill or be killed” (with your work, of course), and I owe so much of who I have become to my amazing professors, and Creative Directors who brought out creative design/logic/leadership gifts within me I didn’t know I had. It taught me what art was, and how to stick with it until you know “that’s it”. I think of them and hear them in my head each time I weave, remembering random skills and methods they taught me—some of which I hope to share with you! It’s amazing what you can draw from your own life and apply to this art.
Moving on to senior year, I became pregnant (if that’s how you phrase it? who knows HA!), and became so sick that I had to leave in my last semester—sad story. I became a young single mom with a almost-ish degree, a beautiful daughter—but had to move back home because hashtag-single-mom-ing-is-hard. Also, did I mention the economy was in the tank? Let’s proceed.
I ended up magically landing a job at a dream advertising agency—and working on accounts such as Sprite, Coke, Cartoon Network, and more. We had beer keg Thursdays, surprise breakfast taco mornings, candy Fridays—and if you needed to “think of a big idea” you could head to a restaurant/park/basement etc to do so. Things were great until they weren’t.
So here’s the kicker—I am 30 years old, and I’m retired. No really, like retired retired. In 2011 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It became apparent that in order to stay healthy, and keep being super-mom, I was not going to be able to continue working—especially not in such a fast moving profession such as advertising. (Boy did I try to stay though!)
After 3 years of retirement, and mourning my “old self”, mourning my “super awesome job”, mourning basically my old way of life—I’ve finally feel settled into a “new normal”. And as you’ve probably guessed, weaving has played a great role in that—in so, so many surprising ways.
I’m able to escape into my little “weaving trance” (you know what I’m talking about: when you finally hit that perfect rhythm and everything flows just right), and as I become deeper entrenched into that trance, everything else somehow disappears, for a few precious, priceless moments. Weaving introduces you to new friends who have within them an endless amount of knowledge; friends whom which I infinitely treasure and value due to their knowledge, care and compassion towards me, as well as our shared love of weaving/textile arts.
When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, you go through a million stages of grief. You also forget yourself. You literally forget who you are. Strange as it is, I forgot that I knew how to “create”. I forgot how much joy “creating” brought me. MS equally ripped away any confidence I had in terms of doing certain things, especially anything creative. Weaving came at a time when I needed a reminder that MS hadn’t taken everything—that I was still a “do-er”. And it will forever hold a special place in my heart for bringing back a piece of ‘the old Dani’.
Join and share along with me as I post my creations, learnings, as well as hone in my skills within this incredibly crafted loom and lovely, ancient art. I hope that you, my dear new friend, will find flecks of gold to take with you from my posts, through seeing my abstract view of this art and how it weaves through my life—and also as we share our personal weaving experiences! I hope that parts of it connect and resonate within you~
In my next post, I will dive deeper into my experience as a weaver, as well as report back about my experience thus far with my beautiful brand new mirrix loom. I’m a newbie when it comes to mirrix, so this should be fascinating for those who are both experienced mirrix-ers as well as those who are just as doe-eyed as me!
A couple of my favorites, that I have made thus far!