It just flowed out of me……

It just flowed out of me……

“Gross,” you might say!

“No, not really,” I would reply.

I was referring figuratively to my creative juices yesterday afternoon. Once in a while, and it has been less frequent of late, everything just falls into place when I am creating.

Yesterday, it happened when I sat down to make jewelry. I have also had it happen when I am writing. With writing, I work through a lot of possibilities in my head before I even put the pen to the page or start to type.

The problem with creating jewelry, as I have found over the dozen years I have been doing it, is that you need all the supplies at your finger tips to be able to really move along and finish a design in one sitting. Yesterday, that happened for me! In the space of an hour and a half, I made three necklaces and repaired a bracelet for a friend. Everything just fell together. The designs, one simple and two complex, just flowed out of my head, through my hands, and into the pieces.  Every spacer bead, clasp, and coordinating bead were on my workbench. I knew where to find the components, had a supply of each,  their size and color was a perfect fit for each piece. And, my workbench is a mess!

Today, I am still swimming in the success of my time spent on jewelry yesterday.  Maybe, I can experience this again soon!  I am realistic enough not to expect it, but one can hope.  I was happy, relaxed, and did not feel the need to force anything – I guess there is a lesson for me there. Relax, concentrate, be prepared, and good things will come.

Creating begets Creators

Creating begets Creators

There is no secret that I like to create. From a young age, I drew, learned to sew, and took pride in knowing how to make things. My grandmother made all my clothes for many years – Yes, all, except my underwear!  From my swimsuits to my winter coats, and everything in between, it was a creation of my grandma’s that I wore. She could create!

My Dad is a wonderful artist. One of my fondest childhood memories is a train he drew on the top layer of painted cinderblocks in our basement. It had many cars and the engine has our house number on it. Every time I walked down the basement stairs, I was entertained by that train! He also drew many wonderful posters for my mom’s third grade classroom over the years. Cartoon characters indicated which day you had gym or music or art class or when lunch time was. I was always in awe of those drawings and what he could create.

In college, I learned to crochet. We all made huge granny square blankets one winter in nursing school. It was a creative outlet for a group of serious nursing students learning to take care of the sick. It became mindless but productive. A time to rest. A time to create.

Now that I have a family of my own, I can see how being raised by a creator leads to creating. My husband, my boys, and I all create on a regular basis. It is part of who we are, and I think it is a necessary part of being whole.

My husband makes clocks and fine, solid wood furniture. Almost every table, bookshelf,  and desk, as well as a few dressers, clocks, and lamps in our home were made by him. They are lovely, well made pieces, he created. His wood shop has attracted our 17-year-old for years. Once my husband’s volunteer assistant, this young man has morphed into a creator of laminated skate boards designed by using CAD software and a C and C machine that he taught himself to use. He has even created busts of his friends on our 3D printer! We need to find some way to squeeze those skills of creation on to a college application, as those skills are important to him, even if they might not be measured by the institution he attends daily to learn. He learned himself. He is a creator!

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I make jewelry and have for ten years now. My creations have led to the most regular source of hobby income, as I have consigned to a number of gift boutiques and art or museum galleries over the years. My Etsy shop has been running since 2009.  Besides creating jewelry, I create curriculum. Reading and researching led me to create nearly all my lessons for the twelve years I ran an elementary school’s garden club. Math questions were created out of a desire to push myself to find ways to connect the subject to our garden club content for the students. The curriculum, the math questions, and of course this blog, are all creations, as well as the jewelry whose designs come solely out of my head and my heart, not a book.

Create. My youngest knows the word well. He created all of the origami pieces featured in a previous blog post. He tends to be obsessive about his creating phases. The origami craze took place a number of years ago. Now, he has moved on to colored pencil and charcoal drawings or drawings of mixed media. His creations amaze me, like this “old man drawing” he recreated from a photograph. His work takes many hours, as you can probably tell.

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And my oldest, a fresh college graduate, creates through using his mathematical, analytical, and statistical skills to find ways to help us from stop destroying our natural world. What better thing to create, than a better world?! He is also my writer – crafting pieces that have been read over and over by a teen magazine audience. How can you not be a creator when you take a micro-fiction writing course for fun? It what he did his last semester of school!  He must need to create, too! This is not to mention the music he creates with the care taken to learn complicated piano and saxophone pieces. Although the notes were put on the page by the composer,  the piece becomes a creation each time it is played and perfected by the musician.

There is no doubt in my mind that creating begets creators. So, if you have a creative child, you can most likely take some credit yourself for the making of another creator. And if you do not, start creating together. It will lead to someplace wonderful for both of you!

Inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt: Create

Enrichment through Creativity

Enrichment through Creativity

Creativity feeds the soul! I am not sure where this phrase or expression came from but I absolutely believe in it. Last weekend, I spent Saturday at an art gallery in Northeast Iowa that carries my handcrafted jewelry for the tourist season. There, I showed children how to make beaded bookmarks, key rings, and bracelets. Again, it was a volunteer commitment, but one I thoroughly enjoyed – even when there were times I was alone at my table, working on my craft.

When I became a stay at home mom, after moving to Wisconsin, I found that I needed some outlets. Anyone home with young children for extended periods of the day can relate to this need. I felt I was missing something that would allow me to be a better mom when I was home with my boys. Educated formally as a nurse, and being born with perfectionist and serious personality. It was then I realized that I had suppressed a side of myself that was very important to my well-being. Creativity.

First, I started to volunteer at our local Children’s Museum. There, I organized and ran a Craft class for preschoolers called Craft Time with Carol. I was able to rumage through their storage closet to find reusable scraps of paper, yarn, beads, stickers, wooden sticks, markers, crayons, plastic bottles, and more – virutally anything that was donated to create a craft each week. This ended lasting for several years.

However, since that time, in the early part of the twenty-first century, I have been careful to preserve a creative outlet in my life.  As I mentioned, I made jewelry. It is primarily beaded jewelry. It is a hobby that allows me to express myself through color and pattern. It feeds my soul. When I have been too busy to allow myself time to create, I notice a tension and need to return to my craft. It has been such a time, lately.

This year, I am especially looking forward to the end of my school year obligations. A chance to create some jewelry, take some landscape photographs, write my blog, and feed my soul is now here.  If you are looking for activities to enrich your child over the summer, do not look past giving them a chance to be creative. Find out what they like to do. Is it coloring, creating inventions of simple machines like catapults, or making a potato clock? Is it beading? Anyone can find joy in crafting a colorful patriotic necklace or bracelet for a national holiday or making a charm to put on next year’s back pack. Go on a hunt for cast off craft supplies at local garage sales! Make a morning of it! Do you have a budding photographer? With even an inexpensive digital camera, allow your child to experiment with taking photos of their choice – their pet, their yard, their treehouse. Nurture the creative side of their personality, for when that is fed, the possibilities are endless!