How To Be Creative - Finding the Time

Last Friday I opened a dialog about what it means to embrace creativity from the prospective of homemaking and invited anyone who had a thought to drop me a note or leave a comment. I received a couple of very touching emails, one snark-0-gram, some thoughtful questions, plus the various spam offers to increase the size of my "member" ( who actually clicks on those??)

While what I wrote resonated with some it lead someone to wonder if  "being a creative homemaker" was yet another pressure that we are taking on at a time when there is so much going on in our lives - that it is an unreasonable goal. I spent a bit of time thinking about this since lets face it, I don't know any of us who are not really busy these days so this seemed like a valid question. (p.s. it was also very nicely written as opposed to the person who said I was little more than a Stepford-rehash- ahem!)

Let's face it, I nor anyone I know can be everything to everybody  and in order to take care of others we have to care for ourselves first!..  For me the expression of my creative nature and my desire to create is so strong and so apart of me that to ignore it is a recipe for one grumpy mama!  For others it's a part they want to nurture and explore further but thinking about when to learn to sew, or paint or do pottery seems such an impossibility that they feel cut off and shut down before they even get started!

One way I have found time to incorporate my creativity is to make it part and parcel of our lifestyle. Admittedly this can lead to things being a bit messier than is comfortable for some  but the rewards tend to out-way the down sides.

An example of  incorporating would be the fact that we have decided to only give homemade/personalized  gifts to those we cherish and attend their birthday parties and graduations etc..  I wrote back in April about jumping off the BIG BIRTHDAY  BANDWAGON and homemade gifts is one of our ways of practicing this with the added benefit of some terrific one-on-one time with my kids while we create special things for the people we love.

This weekend we had not one but two birthday parties so Sam and I spent a couple of good hours making and embroidering together.  I will admit to a total bad blogger moment in not getting any shots of the first project but did get my act together for the second project which was this snazzy insulated custom lunch bag for Sam's friend Marcos.

Sam picked out the very cute design from Urban Threads and then  attended the embroidery machine, switched the threads and sewed out the design. From there he told me how he wanted it to look, cut out the fabric for me, pinned and  fetched me cool drinks  and waved me with a palm frond while I sewed :)   We were a great team.  Both got what we needed- win-win at it's best.

Of course I am no fool and as the mother of 6 I know that when your children are younger that you have to be more creative with your time and talents but naps times, early morning and late nights all present times when the creative muse can be invited to play. I have sewn since my children were small, they sat in my lap at the machine, sat beside me on the floor and played with scraps and went onto sewing their own small things as young as age three. It is possible to find the time if you want it bad enough.  The average adult pends 4 hours a day watching TV, maybe that time could be put to better use?

Sharing my creativity with my kids is one of the best gifts I could give them. So no matter the sewing room or the kitchen they are welcome to come learn with me and for those times when I want to create alone, well that is why *I* can stay up late with out asking permission :)


Vicki O'Dell said...

Hi! Visiting from crafterminds and HOPING to leave a comment! :)

The Creative Goddess

Ruth Putney said...

Hi Maddie! I'm 70 years old, all my kids are grown and so are most of my grandkids. I live alone and can do what I please with my time and energy. I find your blog entertaining, educational, and inspiring. You go girl!

Brenda Cregger said...

HI Maddie you know me...I am on the same quest it seems. Time is precious and we do not learn to manage it very well for the most part. I commend you for all your posts, inspiration and creativity. We all have talents, it may not be too create but all talents take time. Sharing those talents with our family and friends is what it is all about. Everyone is a homemaker...if you live in a home. So sorry for the person that feels that is pressure. I think being creative about it, being intentional is essential for our happinges and our families. So keep up the good ideas. Thank you so much Bren.

angela said...

Hi- I totally agree with you- you can only take care of your family as well as you look after yourself- for those of us who are creative- it only makes sense to incorporate that creativity into our households. I'm a trained artist- who doesn't have much time to make the capital A art I went to school to learn to make now that I'm a full time at home mama. It's hard to paint detailed portraits, or carve intricate pots with a two yr old helper, but if I don't vent that creativity somewhere I'm not a very patient mama.
Thankfully sewing, cooking, parenting all give me a means to fit creativity in, and it's possiblt to do that with my helper- so she gains form it too- I also sew with her on my lap, and ignore the wonky seams that her help can sometimes create.

I think that the pressure to be creative at home can be too much if it's coming from outside sources- I find that the pressure on myself is almost always coming from me- from my need to fill my creative well by doing things- most times things that other people don't see the need for me to be doing (you're making cheese with a two yr old??!!! just buy it already!)

But also, my creative pursiuts tend to replace some other things- like cleaning - my floor could possibly be washed more- but it's not my priority- and it's what I give up to sew a bit more. it's all about balance.

Sorry for the long winded comment-love your blog- Angela

devorageller said...

I was really glad to read this post (and the one last week). I used to reject ideas on homemaking as being terribly old-fashioned. But as I've begun the process of living places as an adult, I've found myself increasingly interested in creating an environment that is comforting and supportive for myself and my family. It's a way of feeling in control of my life, because so often control is something of which we are deprived. And in doing so (as creatively and cheaply as possible), I've noticed a huge difference between my own outlook on life--as a creative homemaker--and that of some of my relatives, who deliberately ignore their own creative homemaking potential.

Also--I, too, have made hand-made gifts for loved ones and close acquaintances a personal goal. I am a PhD student and adjunct lecturer, but try to devote a little bit of time each week to making something to give to someone else. We're all busy, and taking time (one of the most valuable things we have to give others, after all) to make something for someone often proves to be more meaningful than a store-bought gift.

Sorry for such a long note--I really like your blog, and find it really inspiring, even though many aspects of our lives are quite different!