Monday, November 05, 2007

Creativity. Yes, It Is a Good Thing

For me creativity always seems to clash with what society seems to expect of me, like shopping, having my carpets cleaned, driving children to soccer camps, and looking just as skinny, cute and young as any twenty something... but when I steal time, ignore the dust bunnies, and play with paint or fabric I find my bliss. When I throw out the decorating bibles and let the formal dining room be a playroom/sewing room I feel empowered and pleased. When I watch my children invent, create, dance, sing, climb, twirl, build, and express, my heart fills with wonder and joy. And if you need encouragement to release your inner Hot Glue Diva or to sing out-loud, outside of the shower, then please take a moment to watch this very engaging Ted Talk, by Sir Ken Robinson. (If you are using a Mac, please download the piece to your iTunes.) I agree with Amanda Soule that it is worth watching again, and again.

My creativity has been churning out stitched joy... I am sewing whenever and wherever possible, and I hope to eliminate only one step of my process: I have to get rid of the ridiculous voice in my head that says, "What a waste of time. You should be doing something important. Feh, little voice. I banish you!

So, when I embroider a chicken, then attach it to patchwork squares and then suddenly find that it ought to be an apron, or a doll quilt, or a decoration, I am going to proceed, with wild abandon, and embrace my blessings. Time and imagination... such powerful forces for fun.

I have my own ideas about fun ways to pass time and feel creative... some I get to play with, and others, like gardening and making my house a home, I am waiting to do. I really enjoy witnessing other people's creativity, whether they are painting and writing like Janece or dreaming up a new way to present dinner.
Sometimes our gifts can take us to wonderful places, like Anna Maria's upcoming appearance on Martha Stewart.
Other times being creative means you can't help sharing good ideas, then a whole month of great sewing ideas can be shared by many.

I love Meg's creative inspiration to share our Holiday Traditions.
Leslie talks about her creative venture in her November 2nd post... write Leslie, write!
You may find garden inspiration, like Nikkipolani, from "Green Thumb Sunday."
Our creativity can serve and honor, like what Monica of "Happy Zombie" is doing.
Maybe all you can do is sit back and gaze at beauty: Feast your eyes on this baby!

Periodically I help Alex organize his school bag and binders. We sort, toss, recycle and preserve. Thank goodness he manages to keep good grades, even when his notebooks are full of notes like these... or is it because he doodles that he is a good student? In the kitchen or at a workbench, with beads or with seeds, glue it, paint it, sing it, dance it, write it... express that good feeling, bright idea, nurturing instinct. Maybe you will be like Julie and commit to a Handmade Pledge or you may jump in and join Janece for "National Blog Posting Month". Do not fear calamity! Be fearless! Create and be glad, like my good friend Calamity Kim!

Pablo Picasso: Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.


  1. reading quickly- trying to catch up- I love the apron for you and the apron for little maria and the halloween costumes turned out amazing and the sketches by your artist son- more beautiful work! I had to go over and congratulate the wonderful Anna Maria on her upcoming Martha appearance!!!! I think I will not be able to contain my joy for her until then! I am still working on my "project" can't wait to have it finished and out of the way! Then I can get back to chicken blankets and aprons and doll quilts....ahh....I am so happy with my new sewing space and yet- I don't get to stay in there as long as I'd like- with the other rooms calling me- the laundry room, the kitchen, the sadie bunnies floating around needing to be vacuumed....Happy November my sweet Chicken Lover...and so it goes...thankful for friends like you....

  2. Love your creative eye -- enjoy your big burst of sewing blitz and don't forget to show us the goods!

  3. Alex's artwork could be the most important product of his time in school -- and not to say that he isn't learning because of course he is (you even mention his good grades). It would appear that the way his brain functions is that being able to allow himself to listen to a teacher talking while he draws enables him to absorb the information and retain it. Some schools are starting to understand this, and are supporting children in doing the things that they need to do in order to learn (turns out relatively few learn simply by sitting and listening, or by listening and writing notes based directly on what's being said). I'm not sure that i'm explaining this very well, but I hope Alex is keeping a portfolio!

  4. Carry on, Natalie! Your creative work is always great. :) And I see that Alex's creative work is always great too! I'll keep your advice in mind: Always express that good feeling. :)

  5. What an amazing artist your son is!
    I love the little chicken apron, so cute!

  6. Lovely post, Natalie! I'm going to take the time to listen to Sir Robinson when I return from school.

  7. I too wrestle with nurturing my creative side vs oh... I danno... cooking, cleaning, blah, blah, blah. But if an athlete can be praised ("she takes such good care of herself... running, tennis, swimming")... Then damn it, my creative mind is being good to itself too. My creative mind is skinny, has low cholesterol and is all muscle... and I must keep it in shape!

    I LOVE the aprons and the artwork! Lots of buff creative minds in your family. WOW!

  8. Love your aprons, they are beautiful and adorable. I really love what you had to say about what makes you feel blissful and happy. Next time someone asks me why I'm stitching on a Pillow case, or knitting a scarf, or making granny squares.Or framing the butterfly I found in the drive way. I will refer to your list of wonderful examples and say "this is why just pick one:)" Amazing how we sometims let other peoples views and ideas of life influence us. I know I have over the years.
    Your familys art and imagination is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Looove your color choices for the aprons. I meant to sew today but got delayed with photo and design stuff. At least it was all creative, as opposed cleaning-oriented.

  10. What a gorgeous apron you made! I'm sure that you'll get lots of creative projects accomplished while wearing it too. And the little chicken apron is too cute! Your son's sketches are brilliant. See, that's why it's important that you create things - it's so that you can be a role model for your kids. :-)

  11. The creativity just explodes are your place, Natalie! Splendid apron, and I just adore that little chicken apron of Maria's--too sweet! Hope your blogging issues are sorted now! ((HUGS))

  12. That apron is ADORABLE! I love kids and aprons. Good combo. That art is amazing too. I think you have a more than average artist on your hands here. Very nice.

  13. ooooh....beautiful aprons. They always touch a heartstring for me. They represent so much love, faith, hope and good old fashioned work. It's easy to work with an apron on. It shows you mean business!!!

    Your little man's "doodling" is truly wonderful.


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