Julie McDonald at Simply Joolz invited me to participate in the Blog Hop Around the World. The subject of the hop is very close to my heart: creativity. It is what takes up residence at the center of my being and endures as my life's goal. Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic, but it IS really important to me.
(I am one person short of the two I was supposed to invite to participate in the blog hop, and here it is already time for me to post, so please if you would like to participate in the blog hop, let me know and I will email you the details. Your post would not be due up till next Monday, September 1.)
My mother was a very creative person. Even though she worked an inordinate number of hours outside the home, she also made our clothes, knit our sweaters, formed my sisters and I into assembly-line workers to make handmade goods for the annual church bazaar, she crocheted beads, and she needlepointed purses. And I cannot even begin to talk about all the wonderful creations that came out of her kitchen! My creative soul thrived under her tutelage. And since I was the tag-a-long baby of the family with two working parents, I had a lot of time at home alone that needed to be filled.
So with that as my background, I will go on to answer the blog hop questions with photos of some of my cards inserted.
A lot of cards I make these days use paper only or have only limited stamping (candle flames above are stamped with a stamp I made from a pencil eraser).
1. Why do I create what I do?
I think of myself as a Jill of all trades (crafts). I believe when you see something that you want, you can buy it and get a momentary high. Or you can figure out the process, assemble the necessary parts, and invest time and energy and heart and soul in its creation. That is WAY better than a momentary high...that is a prolonged level of bliss! Granted there are sometimes frustrations along the way, but they only increase the satisfaction at the end. Or sometimes they make you throw the whole thing away and go in another direction entirely, but those times have been few and far between.
One thing that I do consistently is make cards. In 1998 I was invited to a Close To My Heart party. The consultant showed us techniques for making cards. It was like being hooked on a drug after using just once...I just had to have it! I spent several years as a consultant myself, but when I went back to work full time something had to go. I gave up the business, but never the art.
Card making is the instant gratification of my crafting world. I used to have a hard time actually getting them in the mail. Then in 2011 I came across a challenge to send 52 letters in 52 weeks. That really took seed. I completed the challenge that year, and I loved it so much, I have repeated it each year since.
Sometimes I feature my photographs on the cards I make. Sometimes I 'artistically' alter them in Photoshop before printing.
2. How does my creative process work?
The short answer is, I don't know. Sometimes I know right what I am going for...other times I have to ruminate on it for awhile...lay my supplies in front of me and see what calls out to me.
I loved making these two cards. The top one uses origami to make a habit for a friend of mine who is a Dominican nun. The bottom one was a work of Zentangling...oh how I love to doodle!
3. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, that is the amazing part of creativity isn't it. A room full of people can all be provided the same raw materials, and at the end of the day you will find yourself with a roomful of different creations! I think creativity is DNA based...we all have different strands, and they are what make us different from every other person!
4. What am I presently working on?
I don't have a handcraft project going at the moment. I DO however have my crafting mojo in overdrive on the house. The guest room and bath is being painted, and I am pulling currently owned furnishings and accessories together from hither and yon to reuse in a new combination.
5. Who inspires me to create?
I don't think it's so much 'who' as 'Who.' I think the gift of creativity is God given, and using that gift brings me great joy!
And the relevant (to me) quote I choose to share is:
That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent. Chinese Proverb
I tell my husband that craft supplies are cheaper than professional therapy. (Not sure that's completely true...lol.) I do know that crafting keeps me sane (relatively). Instead of focusing on those worrisome birds circling overhead, I put on my thinking cap and MAKE something!
My mother used to say that she was going to be a happy old lady, because there were so many things she loved to do that kept her busy. She did stay pretty happy. And she taught me how to stay happy too.
Polly at Small Wonders Daily Paintings by Polly Jones will be posting next Monday. Check in with her, because I LOVE her paintings and am lucky enough to own a few. I can't wait to see her take on the questions!