The last few weeks I have been knee deep in mess, sewing and fabric. I haven’t had such a crazily chaotic time in a while – i’ve been hell to live with but my family have been understanding. Yes, it was crunch time with finishing up the quilts for my next book, the photographer is booked. And I did it with just a day to spare (time enough to clean the house ready for the photography – ack!).
I spent the last couple of days on the couch with friends, children, cake and girly movies — to help with hand stitching of bindings. That might be my very favourite part of the whole process. You get to sit with the warmth of the quilt, spend quiet contemplation time admiring the fabrics and your handwork and effort, which before then seemed like an awful amount of back ache. And you realise that you do indeed love making quilts after all.
With all these lovely creativity essays from some amazing people I feel I should share some of my creative thoughts about the process of creating.
I hear a lot of people, who I know in real life, being quite in awe of the making process, proclaiming that they could never be creative and how lucky I am, and how incredibly difficult it all looks and however do you find the time. I am sure other fellow creative folk hear these same things too. It does get tiring hearing these exclamations because to me they seem like excuses. If you want to be creative and live a creative life then you will find the time to learn the skills, make the things, squeeze in some drawing and making time.
Being creative is not about skills – it is a state of being, a way of living. It is about process and thoughtfulness and slowing down of life. It is about appreciating the small things, not getting hung up about money and a bigger house, and more appliances and a new car – it is about shopping at the farmers markets, making your own bread, sketching and gardening and baking with your kids — and hand sewing the binding.
I hope you have taken some time to read some of the amazing essays from some incredibly creative and inspiring fellow makers. Here are some from the past couple of weeks:
Sewing with the flow :: Time is precious :: Craft gave me back my confidence :: Never let a crisis go to waste :: Creativity is the soul of motherhood :: Creative process for designing a quilt :: Exploring open ended creativity :: Self publishing, easy, hard and everything in between :: Creativity is a word in every mothers dictionary :: Cultivate an appreciation for the slow mastery of a craft
DON’T FORGET: Family Cooking Action Pack 2012 is out now
I have spent the last few weeks reading a few pages every night of We Took to the Woods before closing my eyes in weariness. I loved this book – so easy to read, and expressed all the things that I feel passionate about too – going slow, living with less, appreciating what you have, love. I really want to go to Maine now too. This book is a personal memoir by Louise Dickinson Rich – it is a beautiful series of essays about her life with the man she loves – personal and rich and touching.
We also just finished reading the three book series His Dark Materials to the children. Wow – such an expansive, expressive, imaginative book. And a little sad too. Possibly one of the best series of books for that pre-teen / teen age group we have read in a while. There is no talking down, or dumbing down of language or concepts, the characters are rich and deep, and there are some big ideas on offer for discussion too.