I am creative by nature. I’ve always liked making things. In 6th grade, I was teased because I would bring my craft projects to school to work on during the time our teacher would read to us. He let us do what we wanted at our desks during that time as long as we were quiet. My classmates were aghast that I would prefer to be crafty than play a video game. Then again, all my classmates but two bullied me that entire school year.
I love being around other creative types. Stick and I feed off of each other’s creativity. We can take an idea one has to the next level, and sometimes even to one or more other levels.
I always have some project I’m working on, or some project I wish I was working on. I love to do needlepoint and cross-stitch, even if I haven’t taken the time to come up with my own designs. One of my college friends and former roommates taught me to cross-stitch. I can work on it for hours on end. There were many nights I stayed up all night working on a project because I lost track of time. It’s why I generally try to have the TV on instead of music at times when I’m working on projects. Music, I lose total track of time. The TV at least gives me some sense of awareness of how much time has passed between shows or movies. I never kept any of my cross-stitch projects. They were always given away as presents. I think my favorite one is of a kimono I did for Granny and Papa to go on the scrapbook I did for them. The scrapbook that was confiscated by a certain family member after Papa passed away. I have not seen it since even though she said she only took it to “scan it in.” That was 6 1/2 years ago. *sighs*
The day before Granny passed, Stick came down to spend some time with me and get my mind off of things. She brought all her jewelry making supplies with her and we spent some time making jewelry, after she taught me the basics. I was a jewelry making fiend after that. One year, I made jewelry sets with birthstones for all my aunties, female cousins, Stick, Stick’s mom, and a few female friends. The set pictured above (which also included a bracelet) was a present for my cousin-in-law for her wedding shower. She wound up wearing the necklace and earrings to her wedding. Let’s just say I was over the moon when I saw it on her as it was a great understated compliment to her dress. Not too flashy. Not too simple.
Scrapbooking is probably one of my oldest hobbies. Since I was a kid I’d put together scrapbooks of pictures with ticket stubs, boarding passes, etc. This was way before scrapbooking became big business and you had all kinds of papers, cardstocks, and embellishments. I don’t know where all of those scrapbooks are now. Probably in my parent’s attic. Or in some landfill. Who knows. I didn’t take them with me when I moved out because they were in the attic.
Anyway. Stick helped me make the transition from physical scrapbooking to digital. With all the stuff available, it can be so easy for the computer challenged to do. Again, I make a lot of scrapbooks to give away as presents. This page pictured was one of the pages I made for my Grandma. In our culture, the 1 year anniversary of a loved one’s passing is important. Since I could not fly home for it, I put together a scrapbook from when we were all home for Grandpa’s funeral. This was one of the first pages where I really created (with a little help from Adobe Elements) a background paper. I did another one where I textured the paper I made. Pretty cool stuff. I’m still learning what I can do with Elements since I don’t get to play with it much. I’m still trying to get through all the physical pictures and products I have to clear some space.
Cooking is another avenue for creativity for me. I learned how to cook while I was still young and took over the majority of the cooking in my home when I was in Jr. High. Once I got comfortable with food, I started playing around. Let’s throw this in with that, a little of this, then some of that. Yeah. I play with my food. Once I use a recipe a time or two, I start doing my own spin on things. Papa made a great chili, but he only made it once a year on New Years. He shared the recipe with no one. Finally, when I was in college and living on my own in a studio apartment, he broke down and gave me the recipe. Of course this didn’t sit well with other family members and he had to end up sharing it with them, too. But he gave it to me first! I am the #1 grandchild after all. Anyway, I made it his way a few times, then took off with it. I have my own chili recipe inspired by Papa. Pictured is the raw cake that I was challenged by some gluten-free blogger friends to make after we were commented on Facebook about gluten-free cake. I figured the raw cake was appropriate since it has chocolate, raw cacao to be exact, and it transports me into a chocolate wasteland.
Writing is a major avenue of creativity for me. I could be happy doing nothing but writing all day, even if it was something that never got published or was just an exercise. So, what you read on my blogs is part of what I love. I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite poems from grade school was about a fictional rabbit. I named it Merrit. hehe I have dozens of short stories and a couple of books I’ve started but haven’t quite finished. I’ll share some poems and stuff on here later on. I do an exercise with Silly Sissy that we call Sketch-2-Sketch on her studio blog. I write a character sketch and post it. She then sketches based on my description and posts it. She’s overly critical of her work, but she does an amazing job with taking my description and sketching it out. Silly Sissy has tried to get me into freelance writing after I did some copy for a website she did last Summer. I could jump in with both feet and do it if I wanted to. I’m not sure I’d get the same joy from it. There is a difference between writing because you have to meet a deadline and writing because you derive immense pleasure from it. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to mix the two and enjoy it. Me, well, it’s too much like having to turn in a college paper. It was pretty cool to see my copy on a website though.
There are other things I’ve toyed with like fashion design and interior design. I made my own curtains, shams, bedskirt, and duvet cover over 10 years ago because I just couldn’t find anything to go with the theme in our bedroom. For a while, I was a Trading Spaces junkie. You couldn’t talk to me while it was on, unless Heidi was putting hay on a wall. You especially couldn’t talk to me if Vern was on. His designs were the inspiration for design of our bedroom. I have put together collages on canvas for art work. It’s a great way to display a lot of pictures without spending a lot of money on picture frames.
I have never considered myself an artist. I just mess around really. Before I was 10, I took some painting lessons. My teacher didn’t like that I added to the oil painting and she had to “fix it.” I thought it looked just fine. I think she forgot to do some happy clouds on her own canvas. I never cared for the drawing lessons in grade school. All those rules in art. I think that’s why I never took an art class. I don’t play by the rules. I just put down what I feel on paper. Much like I do in all my other creative endeavors. In college, I really started to toy with sketching on my own. I just put pencil to paper and let it flow. I even took a few pictures of myself and friends in an attempt to draw people. I think I did a fairly decent job.
Bottom line, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m happiest when I’m creating.