When June Finally Comes to an End….

ScannedImageI will admit, it does feel like I have fallen off the face of the earth. I know I haven’t posted lately, I haven’t been around on social media, but seriously I do not know where the time has gone. The month has seriously flown by, but it certainly made its presence known.

June has been a time of growth, by ripping back and starting over. Like a crochet project, it feels like the threads in my life have been frogged, ripped back, to an early point. I will build from this point with more even gauge, more consistent tension, and more resolve from all that I have been learning.

Okay, yes, it seems a little mysterious…what has happened this month? Well, I really do not want to get into too much specifics, but I have had some work physically be lost and have to be redone, I have become a victim of a non-violent crime, I have been in an accident (fortunately, no one was seriously injured), and I have juggled commitments to local events, family functions, and my children’s activities, all while still visiting with out of town relatives.

Well, what I have learned is that the struggles of things I carry mentally have a direct effect on my creativity. I have realized that I need a certain amount of balance to feel productive and functional. I am sorry to admit, that at this point that crochet has not been my outlet. This is mostly because most of the crochet I have in hand is all things that need guidance and a creative spirit, I have not had a project to do just for the sake of doing it. I need to bring more of these back into my life.

I know that the next month will bring a new light, then I will have an opportunity to share with you all the fun stuff that I learned and got to play with at the TNNA (The National Needlework Association) summer trade show…I even have some give a ways to share! I can already feel the winds changing, I even picked up my crochet hook today.


Creativity- We all have it

ScannedImageI was sitting with a group of ladies the other day, and we were talking about work and kids, the normal things women seem to talk about, when someone made a comment that made my mind wonder. My friend stated that she was not creative. She is an educated woman, which does social work- case management, of families with children and issues of mental health concerns. A pretty daunting undertaking that needs a unique skill set to accomplish successfully, as she does.

She felt she lacked creativity because she doesn’t paint, or craft, or really do other things that highlight a preschool very well. I gave her a sideways look, and stated, “But, you are so creative with you approach to every family you encounter”.  This took her back a little.

Why is it that we so narrowly define what we can and cannot do? To only believe that creativity stems from the ability to craft well, really I feel, underscores our abilities. Just because we have strengths in other areas doesn’t make us any less creative in our endeavors. The way someone approaches cooking a meal can be very creative, the way another person engages a 10 year old to discover the joy of reading does not lack a creative component, or a researcher’s ability to find an answer to a problem plaguing society has to have a way of thinking outside the box.Paintbrush with Blue Paint

So maybe I am being a little nitpicky about the definition of “creative”, but I find too often, even in myself, we compliment others by setting limits on ourselves. “I could never do that”, is not a friendly phrase, really. I know I have used it myself, but when I hear my kids say it, it makes me shake my head. I correct them and let them know that the words they tell themselves are powerful, if you say you cannot do something, you never will. I tell them that if they tell themselves something is too hard, it always will be. So why as adults do we not listen to what we tell our children. We never want anyone to narrowly define what they are capable of, but we do it to ourselves.

Maybe I am more sensitive to this “creative” comment due to my current work undertaking. I have many people tell me that they could never come up with any ideas for things to crochet, that it is amazing that I can find some many different things to design. I understand their thoughts on this, before I began doing it, I thought it was amazing that someone could design more then 1 or 2 things ever. But if you look at it a little differently, if you give me a box of peaches and have to eat them all in a week (yes, this does happen in my rural life, after a week a case of peaches  don’t look nearly as appetizing), you get a little creative in what to do with them. Peach cobbler, peach pie, grilled peaches, peach salad, peaches in everyone’s lunch, peach jam, peaches and cream, peach bread, peach salsa, canned peaches, frozen peaches and dried peaches. Everyone gets a little creative with how to make the most out of what they have; same is true for my designs. I take it as a challenge to pick up a skein of yarn and find as many possible outcomes for its use. But now the harvest is pears…I am going to have to get a little creative with pears now.

MC900436905Creativity is in each of us, we just express it differently. Remember that next time you see the incredible work of someone, which is expressing their creativity in a different manner then yours. They are probably in awe of what you can do.

Find Creativity! Play!

ScannedImageIt is funny, how you don’t necessarily get inspiration from your own work. You may get ideas that you build into something else, but things that make you see the world differently, at least for me, comes from the work of others.


A dress I created for my daughter. I won all the yarn in a raffle drawing.

The other day I was with a friend, and they told me that they never have been creative; they only followed the pattern before them. This got me thinking, because I believe everyone has creativity, they may not express it the same but it is in each of us. I think creativity is born from permission to play. I express some of my creativity through fibers, colors, and texture. I only come to envision new possibilities when I challenge myself to see what a particular yarn might do. I enjoy the challenge, which is where my creativity is born.

Sometimes I win yarn in a raffle from my local guild, and I make it a personal challenge to see what I can create with it (especially since I don’t need to add to my stash). I often find that these projects take me out of my comfort zone; the yarn is something I’ve never worked with before, the color leaves something to be desired, or the texture feels like an old rug. But they do offer a challenge, and sometime I have managed to create something fun, something practical, or something that will never see the light of day (I never said all my challenges were a success). But this is my play in process, I enjoy it.

Another factor for successful creativity is self confidence. I don’t mean the confidence level that causes you to take over that world or anything, I mean the level of confidence to know that you understand that concepts of the skill you are using, enough to “break” the rules. Like cooking, you started with a recipe and followed it, but then as you were cooking more, you made alterations, gave it you own flair. This is a confidence in knowing that whatever might happen, everything is going to be okay. You know basic food safety, you don’t break that rule, but you experiment with different spices, and flavor combinations, to come up with something unique. The same is true in other outlets of life, for me it is in crochet. Funny what a little bit of confidence and permission to play can create.