Musings

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  1. I’ve been thinking about creativity (again!). I wonder what you are afraid of.

    Are you scared? Do you tell yourself – I don’t have time. I’m not interested. I can’t do it. You know all the stuff we say to ourselves so we stay where we are. I’m guilty of that.

    But with creating – it’s different. You see, my mother taught me to sew and knit – because she learned when she was young. She made her own clothes for herself and me. So I grew up learning crafts. And I saw that even though my Mom worked, she did crafts. At one stage, she was into ceramics. Often painting at the dining table and then taking them to the store where she could get them fired.

    When I had my children, crafts became part of our day. We started having an art drawer full of goodies – glue, paper, felt, those fluffy wire things – what are they called?? – oh – pipe cleaners! – stickers, scissors, googly eyes, pom poms. And even though I got out the materials at first, the kids soon got excited and starting making stuff. It didn’t really matter what they made of course. It was all ‘ooh that is sooo beautiful’ or ‘wow you’ve done a great job with that’. But it was a space where they could let loose their imagination. And it was a special time for us as a family.

    Recently I met another business owner and we were discussing all things about life, including making things because of course that’s what I do. She explained how one Christmas she didn’t have much money, but she had lots of fabric from previous projects. So she decided to make bags, cushions and other fabric items as presents! How wonderful would you feel if you received a handmade bag  that no one else had! And she got so much joy doing it – I could tell from her face as she talked about it.

    Because although we might think creativity is all about the outcome. It isn’t. It is about the process. How you do something. How you start. Where to start. And then taking those steps through. While you take those steps, something starts connecting – your brain and your hands. What I’ve learned recently about this, is that connection between brain and hands is powerful. It gives you concentration. It gives you focus. It is mindfulness. It is relaxation.

    This is what crafting is about. Giving yourself space to relax. And yes, you make something at the end which is useful for your home or as a gift. But it is that process. That feeling as you’re making that wonderful thing and exploring your creativity.

  2. Patterns are everywhere. Have you ever wondered how they’re created? Of course, there are plenty of graphic, fashion and other types of designers who make patterns for a living.

    You can create patterns yourself too.

    Using polymer clay, you can easily learn a few basic ways to create pattern. It is an essential first step to creating. Why? Because you can build your confidence by starting with simple designs.

    It is like anything we want to learn…start with baby steps and then progress to walking. You don’t need to have prior knowledge to start. As adults, sometimes we want to know how things will turn out, especially when learning a craft. We want to know the end result.

    The creative process allows us to ‘make something’, however it also gives us the flexibility to change. And that is where you will see a difference in your thinking while working with polymer clay.

    So starting with a pattern means you can experiment. You might want to stick with a simple swirl design in one colour and place the swirls together forming a uniform look. Or you may want to create several swirls in different colours and then put them together.

    I usually have samples of creations I’ve made – bracelets, earrings, pendants, candle holders, or pens – at my workshops – so everyone can have an idea of what can be made. But remember that it’s only idea. You can use that idea to give you inspiration. Sometimes that is all what you need. A bit of inspiration. And watch what happens when your mind opens up to the possibilities. Whether it is choosing colours that coordinate or clash, it is your interpretation.

    Patterns – a great place to start your polymer clay journey.