Of Crafts, Creativity and Jumping from Frying Pan to Fire


Lately I have been suffering greatly from craft envy. I have found myself bemoaning my complete lack of talent in the crafty sewing stakes and have decided that instead of being such a wussy when it comes to making things from scratch, I will throw myself in at the deep end and have a bloody go. Now the problem with this enthusiastic (if terribly naive) approach to the whole business is that I am a horrible, horrible perfectionist. I have been blessed with one main talent in my life and that is that I have always been able to do pretty much anything I put my mind to without too much effort. I remember it began with ice-skating back when I was a tweenie. My mum had a friend whose daughter had had lessons and we all went to the ice rink. I sailed (literally) through my first ever experience on the ice including learning how to skate backwards, while said friends daughter clung to the side like a limpet. Same with horseriding, same with dance (for which I had a gift when I was much younger and less portly). However, this gift is not all its cracked up to be. Firstly it meant that my mum always had me (unconsciously) in competition with everyone else and that’s a kind of pressure that no kid needs and secondly, it meant that I became very impatient with any personal failure. This all translates to, if I can’t do it perfectly straight off, I am liable to set fire to it and myself.

Soooo, it is with cautious enthusiasm that I have set myself this project to be completed within the next 4-months in time for my daughters second birthday. Yes, its a sock monkey. I know it probably doesn’t seem like much but its a huge step for me. Y’see I love crafts. I have folders at home filled with pages torn from magazines and downloaded from the internet showing me how to do everything from producing the perfect Macaroni Cheeeeze to knitting myself a Bible. I positively salivate over the perfect images with a maniacal grin on my face. I dream of curling up on my newly upholstered sofa, eating the perfect macaroni cheese, striving not to get any on my newly knitted bible with a sock monkey sitting next to me.

I truly envy these amazing creative women whose blogs I have been pouring over. DocWitch is one such being for whom I have such admiration. Anyone who can do crafty things, raise a child, hold down a full time job AND have any time at all for other things is to be worshipped for the Godess/God that they truly are. Me? I’m lucky if I can get through an average day and cook dinner. I long to be more crafty. I love the idea of handmade things, of giving thoughtful, beautiful gifts to people I love that I have taken the time and energy to create myself. There is something so special about it. (BTW thank you for my Beanie’s gorgeous Crayon roll-up – she adores it and the crayons within. Many a wall in our house has been visited by her early impressionistic endeavours!). I’ve always had this thing, this quiet passion, for crafts and now I’ve discovered Family Circle magazine and completely fallen in love with it. I know. I’m so middle-aged it ain’t funny. It’s just that its chock full of great recipes and fantastic crafty ideas with ALL the instructions. And some of them I think I could actually do! So – having written in (blog)stone that I am going to make a sock monkey for my little monkey’s birthday, I will have to go ahead and do it. Lest the shame of this post hang over my head like those dreams where you find yourself in school naked and without your homework.

As if this wasn’t enough, I have also made another commitment (actually two)that started today. (I am nothing if not insanely optimistic when it comes to starting new things), I have commited to 30-days of Japa meditation. I’m not trying to manifest anything in particular, I just would like to revisit the stillness and peace I once experienced during an impromptu fire meditation and which I have written about in this blog (see post The Stillness We Seek). I need to quieten down my head for it is always so very busy in there. The third commitment I have made is to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. So this morning, after my Japa meditation, I did my morning pages and this week I will go out with myself on my very first Artists Date. I’m very excited. I hope I bring myself flowers.

And so, it is with a burning hot bum (a result of leaping from Creative Frying Pan to Meditative Fire rather than because someone is sitting under my chair with an open flame) that I leave this post. I will be recording the effects of my 30-day meditation experiment AND I will be recording how I’m going with my sock monkey. I may also mention how things are going with The Artists Way. We’ll just have to see if I am still able to move under the weight of all these self-imposed obligations by next week.

PS. This post was rudely interrupted by Mother Nature plunging us into sudden darkness at around 10.30pm last night. We stumbled about in total blackness, walking into doors, tipping things over and knocking things off other things until I found a box of matches and began lighting the candles. Thank goodness for what DocWitch calls Witchypooness – my house is stuffed to the gills with candles and soon the house was lit up like Christmas. It was actually very romantic – I actually look good in candlelight. I retired to bed to read and felt very Jane Austin. Reading by candlelight, indeed brushing my teeth and washing my face by candlelight did have a very Pride and Prejudice feel to it. I almost expected a very arsy Darcy to come bursting into the room to tell me how ‘ardently I admire and love you…’ Well, a girl can dream can’t she? Yummmm. Sadly, he wouldn’t have had the time to step out of his britches as the lights suddenly came on again and life was back to its unromantic normality in seconds – though I noticed my hubby had grown a beard.

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3 thoughts on “Of Crafts, Creativity and Jumping from Frying Pan to Fire

  1. I think you’re very brave to take on so many commitments and then go public about it so that you have to do them!Also found the rebirthing post interesting. Do you think they may be related?

  2. Witchypooness is a very useful and covers a lot of ground don’t you think? It can relate to a state of being, one’s mood, or accessories. Tres bon.Hurrah for crafty mojo m’love! And shucks for your compliments…but I’m not so much accomplished as compulsive. I must google ‘japa meditation’ – sounds like what I need. In fact, you have inspired me on a number of fronts. I’ve been thinking about returning to the Artist’s Way for some months. I really used to enjoy the date with myself, (which is about all I get these days anyway).Good luck with the sock monkey. Looks a beauty! Know what you mean by perfectionism. Crafting has really taught me to slow down that way and enjoy the process. It’s also humbling. Even after 30 years of sewing, (my word), I frequently have to crack out my unpicker in order to get errant seams straight.

  3. Possibly related – I’ve certainly had more drive to get up at 5am and actually meditation which I couldn’t have done a week ago. I have been thinking about these things for a while, so maybe the rebirthing just gave me the extra push I needed.

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