Monday, October 01, 2012

31 Days of Creativity......

Hello, October - here we go.

31 Days of....???

I will think of a title before I hit "post", which will be before midnight, I am quite sure. What about creativity. Hmmm. I could do a history of how I became a creative soul..... and I could talk about things made and how to make and still to be made and.....


31 Days of Creativity - a beginning.......

Once upon a time, I was called a Jack of all trades and master of none. Things like that tend to stick because they can be damaging, but actually, it is probably a truthful description of me and my talents/skills/gifts/attempts. Isn't it strange how things work? Just yesterday I read the devotional from The Purpose driven Church, and Rick Warren said - talk about your gifts, your skills, your talents, because they are an indication of what God had in mind when he created you. He does not make mistakes.

Back when I was a child, we had no TV, as I have told you before. It was only introduced to SA when I was a student. So we made our own entertainment. I can't say I remember making many things as a child other than rigging up towels to make a tent. However, I soaked up knowledge. Little bits about everything I could think of. And I read voraciously. My mother was the queen of crafty skills. She could sew, crochet, knit, bake, ice cakes, embroider, do tapestries, and I think she even went on a millinery course too. So we always had a home full of fabric and thread and paper patterns and wool and Mum was always busy sewing/crafting up a storm with Auntie Myra to totally stock huge fetes with amazing goodies to raise money for the church. The two of them were unbelievably good at what they did. They called themselves the Busy Bees. I think our dining room table was permanently hidden under mountains of things they needed. And their oven gloves were and still are legendary. They are lined with thick blankets and the underside is dark fabric, and I still have a box of them here. Everyone loves them because they are superb.

You can absorb these skills by osmosis, you know. Or parts of them.

Actually, Marge and I probably wanted to do totally different things back then. Exciting things. Have adventures. It was only as we got older, married, settled down and found out that money does not grow on trees, that we discovered latent talents for creative things. And two mega enthusiasts were born.

We laugh at times, about how neither of us, and Mum is also included here - ever studied creative arts. No-one taught us how to make things. We all followed an academic route through school and university and then found ourselves falling in love with making things. And over the years, we must have made millions of different things. Before the advent of computers, back in the days where we had to buy books, or take things apart to see how they were made - it required a great deal of ingenuity. Now things are easy - especially with places like Pinterest to spark a new idea. However, all those years of trying to work things out for ourselves has meant that we can look at a picture, and make something. Marge and I both have good eyes for sizing up things.

And, after all these years of creating stuff, we also have all the tools we could ever need and then some. I know new-fangled machines appear all the time, but it is never necessary to have all the latest and best, unless you are running a business and it can create more turnover, of course. We poddle along with aged equipment quite happily.

I have destroyed 2 overlockers (sergers) in my time. They died from over-use, and certainly did not owe me a penny. They were fantastic, and I made so many tracksuits, pyjamas, kiddies clothing, PE bags and  to be honest, they made everything I made look professional. One day I will get another little one. Nothing fancy.

 When I was teaching textiles - sewing, really, I had an overlocker in the classroom, and I was the only one who knew how to thread it - that made classes a nightmare, because the kids loved using it and for the life of me, I could never work out how or why they always managed to snarl the whole machine up to the point where I had to spend 10 minutes re threading. But they also loved the professional finish it provided for their first attempts at making things. The sewing machines were like that too. Re-threading 10 times + a lesson.....

Actually, here is an excellent idea for any of you wanting to teach your little ones how to sew on a machine. On an A4 sheet of paper, draw a few straight lines, and get the children to sew, without thread and using an old needle, along the line. Next, draw a pathway - 2 lines like your would draw a path, and make the path a little wiggly. Then get them to sew down that. Then make it a far more complicated path, and they will be developing skills which they will need to control the fabric through the machine. Remember, two hands flat on either side of the needle, steering the fabric/paper, and a gentle foot on the "accelerator".

I used to teach the boys how to sew using racing driver terms. They all had to get a sewing machine driver's licence to use the machines threaded. Boy racers (who seldom remembered to lower the presser foot before slamming the foot down on the "accelerator" had their licence suspended. It was hilarious, and they all loved learning that way. Suddenly, it wasn't a girlie thing any more.

Jack of all trades.........

It is true, I suppose. I love quilting, but have no desire to be a true"quilter" using complicated patterns and intricate stitching. I just love simple quilts. I admire complicated ones, but LOVE the simple ones. A little bit of the skills, - enough - but not all of them. That will do me.

And this ramble will continue tomorrow, and who knows where I will go then. This is going to be fun!


Vee said...

Loved the discussion and found myself nodding along. When did I finally discover that I was going to enjoy creating and gardening. Late in life. Perhaps too late in life!

You know, Linds, my machine has no accelerator. I just push a button and off it goes. This makes everything handy if one hasn't selected the highest speed. If I have, yikes!

I'm thinking simple quilts are the way to go as well. Currently, I'm working on potholders with some of the fancier designs. It's fun. Wish I had known about this in geometry class as it might have helped.

Happy planning and writing for 31 Days of Creativity!

Crystal said...

I have to agree with you too! I watched my Mom sew and then started doing simple things in Home Ec and 4-H. Those were great training grounds but my love of creating with fabric and paper only was truly evident to me after I turned 40. I'm looking forward to reading your next post! And thinking about how I might join in - - -

Needled Mom said...

We were so lucky to NOT have had all of the gadgets. I have always loved figuring things out on my own. The kids do not know what they are missing, do they? How on earth did you go through two sergers??????? The threading of them has always been such a nightmare. I can't wait for the rest of the stories!!

Linda said...

I'm looking forward to this Linds.

The Bookworm said...

Thanks for the suggestion for practicing with a sewing machine needle on paper. I think I'll have a go at that myself - sewing machines frighten me because I feel as though they run away with me and I have no idea how to control them. I am even worse than a complete beginner because I am a panicky beginner!

Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.