Just be Creative


You’re so creative!

That’s a comment we hear all the time. But what does it really mean?

Are some of us born creative, and others not?

I think it begins with family. If we grow up thinking we can, we probably will.

I was lucky.

No, my family wasn’t rich. My father was a teacher, and there were nine of us kids.

One day he decided to build our house, so he went down to the hardware store and got a hammer. Then the library to get a book. Then he did it. It took eight years, but we had a beautiful house with handmade furniture.

I loved to spend hours with him out in his workshop. Anything we could dream up, he’d figure out a way to make it.

I dreamed that someday I could have a place like that.

I wanted a place where anything was possible, just like in Daddy’s shop. Maybe I’d have kids, and we could spend hours together just making stuff.

That sorta happened.

I’ve got a studio filled with looms and sewing machines, it’s not like my dad’s workshop, but it was where my daughter and I spent hours making things together. I remember jiggling her little baby sleeper with my toes while I made jewelry on my worktable.

Her teeth marks are on my spinning wheel.

She had a playhouse in the corner of the studio, and a little  table of her own to craft on while I made my art, too.

She learned to sew, and she dreamed up things for me to make for her. My wishes came true. I only have one daughter, not nine. But I sure have lots of memories.

The photo at the top of this page is Cherry at the loom my dad made for me when I first discovered weaving in college.

And here’s what she made. She was only five. I think she was, and is, amazing.

Of course, I’m her mom, so I can say that.

I’ve probably said it 1,000 times over the last 25 years. We moms just can’t help it.

It all started with a book

I found a great one with all the plans to make a table loom. Easy Peasy.

I was sure I could make my own loom. At least I was sure I could get my dad to make me one.

It worked.

That was my first loom

I got my second loom with my student loan money. I didn’t eat much. I’d rather have a loom.

Most of my weaving equipment was made by my dad. I think that’s why I loved weaving so much. It involved so many luscious wooden tools, easy to get your dad to make for you.

And then there was my mother. She was a painter, and made everyone feel like Cherry did in this picture.

In college, people would ask what my parents thought of my studying art, which was of course not practical.

I’d tell them the story of when I was trying to figure out my life’s purpose, she told me to go run off with an acting troupe.

I tried to imagine myself running around in tights or whatever that would involve.

Just be creative

Cherry hated it when her teachers would say that.

They couldn’t tell her how to be creative, just go do it. What does it mean anyway?

Being good at art requires skill. Being creative is willing to take the time to learn.

The word creative has now turned into a noun. We are no longer creative types.

We are Creatives.

Sounds good to me.

Growing up, we never talked about being creative. My parents just showed us how to do it. I made a lot of mistakes out in my dad’s workshop. So what? I was having fun. Just hanging out with him.

Cherry and I had fun too, just hanging out. Either she had her own project, or she was working on the same kind of project I was.

Those were my favorite times.

I still love it when she comes home and clutters up my studio with her projects.

Now to your family

What does that word creativity conjure up in your brain?

Is it a foreign thought? Something you’d like to be, but just can’t get it?

You don’t have to be able to knit, sew, paint, or whatever.

You don’t have to be able to draw a straight line.

Artists can’t either, but they learn how to put all the squiggles and shaky lines into a picture.

Any kind of art can be learned. if you like to do it you’ll practice and get better.

I want to help you find out what you like to do, what you want to get better at.

Maybe you’re like me, and just love to try it all. Anything new is fun for you.

Maybe you haven’t ever had the chance to try out some art stuff. Well, I’m going to help you find your way.

This is my first post for The Creativity Patch.

I thought I was very creative in deciding the name (never mind that all of the names in the entire world seemed to be taken).

We’re growing creativity here, just like a farmer would grow potatoes in a potato patch. We’re growing artists!

And I also think I’m clever because a patch can be a patch for sewing.

Just wanted to make sure you got my little joke.

I hope we can become friends while I help you find ways to slow down and enjoy your kids, or your mom, or anyone you’d like to make things with.

So plant a seed and watch an artist grow, whether that artist is your child, or you, or both.

Soon we’ll all be bonafide nouns. We will be creatives.