Friday, March 20, 2009

The Jumper's Triplets, Creativity, and Last Day of the Blogiversary Giveaway Party

Here's The Jumper and her little ones. Aren't those little backends the cutest with their fluffy legs and long tails? There are two boys and one girl. They are still penned up by themselves but all are nursing and seem to be getting along well. It's a good thing her udder is so large and droopy and her wool isn't as long as many of our sheep. It makes it a little easier for the babies to get at the milk. I'm pretty sure there will be a pecking order on who gets the most food and who is nudged away by the more aggressive lambs. It's going to be interesting to see how they grow.

This is it - the last day of the big four day blogiversary giveaway here at "Getting Stitched on the Farm." Thanks so much to all who have entered and spent their time typing answers to questions in Blogger - I know it can sometimes be frustrating and things don't get through (like my mom's comments - she can never get it to work). It is very touching to know that you would take the time out of your busy day. I urge you, if you do have the time, the comments the past few days have been very interesting and are worth a read.

You all know how I work alone.... putting this and that project together, waiting for them to get into print, hiding the projects until I can reveal them. It seems that I never do make anything, doesn't it? Keeping this blog has become a special part of my life and I thank every single one of you for reading and indulging me on my soapbox once in a while. One thing I did learn this week from running this contest is that I have very interesting blog readers! It has shown in the comments section!

Today, I have a really lovely set of prizes. I want this last question to make you think a bit... I've been thinking about "creativity" lately. I often hear people say as I travel around town "Oh, you're so creative... I just can't do it. I want to, but I can't." I always say to them that "Oh yes you can." When I go to teach classes, when I can get myself off the farm, I hear a lot of the same. Knitters will say "I'm not good with color. I can't do embroidery."

For me, that is all a bit hard to understand. I am so ensconsed in making things, designing things, all the time that I can't understand when someone says they can't do it. I personally think that everyone has a creative bone in their body - it is just buried under layers of supposed education, doing things the right way, feeling hemmed in by life's necessities and daily chores. I try to help people find their inner designer, help them to have the confidence to step outside their box. Even The Farmer last summer declared himself an artist. (I must be getting to him.) He told me that the sunflowers were his art. And I whole heartedly believe him - and have always thought so. Creativity can be found in many walks of life - it doesn't mean paper and paint, needle and yarn, guitar and voice. Art is everywhere - if you look for it.

So that is the topic of the question of the day? (It came to me at 2:05 a.m.) What makes you feel creative? Do you have any rituals you go through to get your creative juices flowing? Is there anyone you look to for inspiration? What is your art of choice? (Think outside and inside the box here folks.) Did you have a special mentor in your life that made you feel creative and helped to develop your talents? Do you find certain stumbling blocks to your creative path and how do you get over them?

That's it - run with it. Can't wait to see what you write. There are some fabulous prizes today!
First off is the hot off the DVD press of the latest season of Knit and Crochet Today - Season 200B which is not even for sale yet. This has been kindly donated by my friend Candi Jensen, Producer of the K&CT Series for PBS.

The second part of the prize is some Julia Yarn donated by Nashua Handknits. Whoever wins this bunch of yarn is getting one skein each of the four new shades of Julia along with a few of the already established colors. What a coup - yarn colors even before the sales reps see them! (sssshhhhhhh - don't tell!) The third and fourth parts of the prize are copies of my books Colorful Stitchery and Kristin Knits donated by the kind folks at Storey Publishing. The fifth part of the prize is a complete set of my postcards - both knitting, floral, and sheep related.

You have until noon on Saturday to sign up. Have a great weekend everyone!

Shelly in Bellingham, Washington was the big winner of Wednesday's prizes. Congrats to her.


KPiep said...

Creativity - now there's a loaded topic if ever I heard one! After years of books, blogs and podcasts on the subject I think the only thing I know for sure is that it's a highly personal issue.

For me, there are a few rituals that I go through when planning on spending a large chunk of uninterupted time with either spinning wheel or knitting needles. I have to have my coffee and I have to clean up my workspace. I need a fair amount of privacy and quiet - especially as I'm normally a stay at home mom with two wonderful, and wild little girls. I like to have something to listen too - but not music because then I tend to do whatever to the beat, and that can mess me up. An overhaul of the entire stash also can be a useful tool in getting my creative juices flowing - as can a 'nap with the stash.'

However, I've recently become aware of my need to loosen up and let go a bit. I found myself feeling very depleted after finishing a major spinning project (which was a job for me, not personal) and my normal - more organized - methods haven't been working. I need to play, and let go, and just have fun.

My go-to art of choice is knitting and/or spinning. There are other things I'm attracted to (beading, embroidery, tatting, sketching) but I just don't have time for everything. Then again, maybe everthing else is what I need right now...

Bonnie said...


Have to slow down the pace when I want to use my hands or write or
even cook. It's like the slow food movement and it's good for the soul thus bringing in the thoughts to create. I do also know that all creativity comes from the Lord. My best thoughts and creations are thus started.I do come to blogs now as virtual magazines for visual ideas to spur me on. I look to book for ideas that help my worldview be such that my family and friends are well loved. Thus I have to live at a pace that
helps me drink that all in to produce as a sunflower drinks in the sun to become tall and hovering over the garden! Beauty is a source so that's why your blog is one I look to although I live in the suburbs and not on a farm, but I can gather the wind , the beauty and the atmosphere into my soul and it lifts me up. Although I'm not a painter, real art fills the crevices of my heart, mind, and soul so that I'm nourished!
Blessings on your labors.


Carla said...

I feel creative, when I dream, think or plot something and then am able to pull it off.
I think this applies to all areas of creativity -problem solving, cooking, knitting, child wrangling ( you get the idea)
Happy bloggiversay as well!

Elizabeth Psyck said...

For me, creativity is all about how yo look at things. I taught kids art this past summer along with an incredibly talented artist. She created great work, but I saw how it demoralized the kids (it was TOO GOOD). I tried to explain to them, it's not always about the finished project, it's about what you see in your head, how you look at things. That's why as much as I love drawing and painting, I prefer photography for the end product. I can get things to look exactly the way I see them in my head, which is impossible with my limited artistic skills. (Also, for me at least, I see knitting as less artistic and more mechanical. The way I knit, I love to deconstruct the knots that I'm making with these two weird little sticks and a piece of string and see how somehow that ball of yarn turned into a scarf or a sweater or a pair of socks. But I also don't design - that's more of a time issue than anything. Maybe when I'm only working one job instead of going to grad school full time AND working two jobs.)

Maggie said...

What spurs my creativity? Hanging out with other creative people! I am primarily a quilter/sewer first, knitter and beader second, and the occasional scrapbooking. I was just at one of my quilt guilds last night. We had LOTS of show and tell! Several of the ladies had been at a quilt retreat last week. My goodness, I can't believe how they took the same pattern and came up with so many ideas.

Also, this being the first day of spring, I am changing out the dark winter clothes for my spring COLORFUL clothing! This creates the urge to create something out of the wonderfully bright spring colors. I even put away my dark sock yarn and pulled out some fun, funky yarn to spur me!

I am going on a quilt retreat next week and can't wait to be immersed in creativity for FOUR WHOLE DAYS!

Maggie -

Heather L. said...

I agree with you on creativity. I do think everyone has a way to be creative inside. One of my ideas is that the lack of something is what can really spur on creativity -- lack of money, lack of resources, lack of stores, etc.

For inspiration -- I have a whole set of blogs I read just for inspiriation -- yours, anna marie horner's, betz white, soule mama, susan b anderson, ysolda, etc. I also love magazines -- country living, good housekeeping, martha stewart, victoria - I get ideas from textiles, pillows, etc. that I see inside.

Just getting into my craft corner and starting to work is inspiring too.

Anonymous said...

I have tried to enter each of these and my comments just didn't show up. I can't understand it, so I'm trying the anonymous option this time. I get inspiration by browsing the yarn aisles and when a yarn calls me, I try to think of what it wants to be. It usually works. Of course, seeing the work of other people also often inspires me.

Christina said...

My mother is my artistic mentor. She is a gifted water colorist and artist. As a child I was always fustrated by art when I used the typical art mediums like watercolor, pencils, pastels, etc. I couldn't draw. I began to feel like an art failure. However, when I took up knitting I discovered a medium I could finally control and create with. Knitting needles and yarn have therefore given me a voice in the world I previously felt hopeless in!

QuiltingFitzy said...

Life makes me creative, my mother made me an artist of all sorts. She instilled in me that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing well.

I see pattern and color in everything around me. Drives me absolutely bonkers that I must, at this time of my life, spend my days working for the government. While my fingers click away at the keys, I'm designing pretties in my head.

I stitch for 20 minutes each morning, between the time that my bus delivers me to the office and when we are allowed to begin work. I know this is my contribution to my sanity!!!

Lauren said...

Music is what helps me get into that creative mindset. Somehow finding the right song, the right voice, opens up that door in the mind that lets my thoughts flow from mind to paper much more easily. Motown artists are always favorites, along with Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky and the alternative rock of the mid-90's (how's that for a combo?)

Anonymous said...

I'm another one who likes to tear pages out of magazines. For years these pages languished in file folders where they never saw the light of day. But recently I started cutting out the parts I liked and pasting them into scrapbooks that I can flip through anytime.

I also sometimes like to walk through the shopping mall, just looking at everything and maybe taking notes when I see something interesting.

But mostly I think it's the yarns in their beautiful colors that make me want to do something creative.



Claudia H said...

I think we can either be inspired by creativity in others or so awed by it that we think our own efforts aren't "good." So I try to let go of my own value judgments and go with the flow, create, enjoy the process, and live with now, today. There is creativity in everything we do, if we allow ourselves to perceive our lives and our world freely. That being said, I get pretty bogged down in daily details and frustrated by little time to create. So, I nudge creative stuff in whenever I can. I knit in the car and on my vanpool, sketch ideas into a notebook I carry, and literally fall asleep dreaming of projects and details. I enjoy all kinds of hand's on stuff: beading, knitting, crocheting, sewing, gardening, cooking, canning, assembling found objects from my old house and barn, writing, needlework, scrapping and stamping, calligraphy.... If only I could receive the gift of time for my birthday! The best thing about living with a creative mindset is that I can practically count the times I've been bored during my 51 years. Claudia Horner,

Hilda said...

What a great topic. I think where I am most original is in cooking. I'm not scared to experiment, having a bank of successes behind me. When it comes to quilting, it's more of a struggle to be original. I haven't developed my own style as much. I did participate in an online group using the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, and I found it really helpful in developing creativity. It's hard to keep the spontaneity we are all born with alive as we grow up and conform.

Wendy said...

I would have to say, from a very early age, that my grandpa was my mentor....(He passed in 1997) He always encouraged me to be creative, and loved to be creative with me. In fact he even wanted me to take it to new heights and go to art school, I never did...I draw, paint, crochet,knit, embroider, tat, just about anything I can think of to do I do, even cook, garden you name it I do it, or at least try. I use my children for inspiration,now...I LOVE to make things for them, and I love color and unusual...I try to keep the imagination and creativity fun for them and myself...Whether it be how we decorate cookies, to how we build with the Tinker toys...I love to make them stuff, sometimes using a pattern and others just letting my mind take me along with the yarn and hook. We are always thinking of creative ways to "cook" and make meals fun and good. Even in our walks we are creative with what we may see or hear....
I would have to say that my "Art" of choice, right now, is my children...they inspire me and I them, they keep me learning and I hope I do the same for them. They will be our future and hopefully by my hand of molding their young minds that they will be an asset to society and the future ahead. Everything I do I do with them in mind, from crocheting to cooking, to not so much cleaning instead more playing...

basilwendy (at) yahoo (dot) com

Sarah Dedmon said...

I find inspiration all too easily, through my knitters group or lately, through the Blogs that I read. In the course of one hour I could find 10 different patterns or yarns that literally make my heart beat faster.

Putting that inspiration into motion, however, is another thing altogether. I am currently a stay-at-home Mom (read:unemployed) to two energetic boys. My husband and I work together to try to find myself a little bit of "creative time" every day, as it adds to my sanity, or seriously detracts from it if it's missing :). I become very frustrated if I reach a place where time won't let me get any of my projects to completion, blocked creative energy!

I am a passionate knitter, I crochet, sew, and do embroidery. I think that people who say they aren't creative just haven't found their medium. I have friends who shake their heads at my creations and bemoan that they "should" learn to knit. I tell them hey - it's supposed to be fun. If knitting doesn't get your juices flowing, find something that does! Furniture refinishing, gardening, rearranging your house, whatever it is! We all need to know the sound of that particular inner voice.

Like your first commenter, I also need a nice space of prep time before I begin, and prefer a clean workspace, some coffee and a bottle of water. It's better for me if I can dive right in first thing in the morning, BEST if I'm the only one up!

Happy Friday -

Sarah Dedmon (

Karen said...

Wow - that is a wonderfully generous prize. Every two weeks I get together with a group of friend for our spinning get-together. All of these women are very creative. After 2 1/2 hours with them I go home with my mind just jumping with creative ideas. Sometimes I can't sleep - and often I am rummaging through stash, magazines etc so I can get started on something right away. I value these get-togethers very much. We have been doing this for about 8 years.

Sarah said...

My children are my mentors. Their incredible skills and ways of seeing the world around us are constant motivations. My daily walks into our Waldorf school also provide inspiration--the smells of beeswax burning, bread baking; the sounds of violins and recorders; the beautiful watercolors on the walls all make me mindful of the sights, sounds, smells, and activities that I want my children to experience at home.

Anonymous said...

Creativity for me comes when I learn a new pattern or technique. I follow all the 'rules' by the book. Then I start breaking the rules trying a little of this or that, mixing up patterns and colors to create a unique design that pleases me. Knitting the same pattern with a variety of yarns, colors and stitch patterns allows for alot of creativity. T try to make as many variations as possible and keep comg up with more ideas.

Lollie said...

My interest in the fiber arts goes way back. My grandmother used to knit and take me with her to the yarn shop when I was very young. I began making my own clothes and quilting in my teens. I was a quilter for a very long time and then started knitting because it is so portable. Now, knitting is my real passion, but I also dabble in spinning and crocheting and do a bit of weaving. I love making things for friends and family.

Deborah said...

I'm an artist, which helps with the obvious part of creativity...watching my mother (now 93 and legally blind)paint, sew, cook, etc. was amazing growing up. She could make magic out of virtually nothing. I was watching and learning more than she realized. The National Geographic with it's great photography of people and places stretched my imagination beyond my home town before I could read. I had a wonderful professor for oil painting in college. Besides being an amazing artist/illustrator, he was an excellent teacher and mentor for me.
Music, especially classical, helps me focus. It has to be instrumental when I work because vocals clutter and distract me. I'm drawn to color, that's what catches my eye first, and then shapes and texture (you get the picture). I approach my projects as I would compose a painting, with attention to subject, color, balance, composition, etc.
It's difficult to choose my craft of choice--knitting, spinning, sewing (hand and machine), painting, drawing, photography, cooking, jazzing up junk furniture--this is a huge list and I don't have time to add more! I do more knitting now because of it's portability. Knitting's got it all--color, texture, composition, sticks, and yarn. I'm on the go, and can just grab a WIP bag and dash out the door, which is what I need to do now!!

Hilary said...

I have always been a pretty creative person - mostly in areas of arts and crafts, interior decorating, writing, and my favorite thing of all is gift giving, which is why I love knitting so much, because I can make my gifts from the very beginning. My mom is probably the inspiration for my creativity - she is a master quilter and pretty handy at other forms of art too. We were homeschooled growing up and creativity was highly fostered in our home. My biggest roadblocks to creativity are time and space, the lack of both. :-)

I SOOOOO want some Julia yarn!! Pick me, please??? lol

Chris said...

hmmm . . . I think much of our creativity - and our "need" to create - was put inside of us by our Creator, as part of our personality, who we are.

For me, it's always fascinating to be able to make something useful and/or beautiful out of a ball of yarn, or a flat piece of fabric. But some of my friends just don't have an interest in making creative things - it just doesn't seem to be in them (they have other talents though). I think almost anyone can learn how to make something, but the joy and satisfaction of doing it isn't the same for everyone.

I have a friend who enjoys helping others put together a financial budget - really!! She loves it, and it gets her excited and happy to do it, just like crafting is for me.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your creativity with us, Kristin!

Francis said...

Creativity is not something that you can pencil in for a certain time. I find I must not be tired and rushed to let the ideas in. When I visit Santa Fe or an art gallery, my creativity starts to flow. I look to blogs and books to give me ideas from decorating to knitting. I have been working on the Babette Blanket pattern and it has opened up my ability to work with color. I think the more you attempt to see color and design details, the more often it will happen naturally.

Iron Needles said...

It's very difficult for me to be authentically creative. I have to see something then springboard from that. I can use someone's idea/pattern/concept to start, then go my own way with my own stuff.

Maya said...

For me it takes more than following a pattern or copying an idea to feel creative--I have to bring something of my own to, but it can be small. Seeing anything in a new way, a new arrangement, a new use, those are creative decisions.

I wish people would quit worrying about whether they are creative or not and just do whatever it is they want to do. Why do so many feel there is some judge saying "oh no, not good enough."? There isn't!

Caryn said...

I would have to say Martha Stewart was my first inspiration. I loved reading her 'good things' section in her magazine. I've always enjoyed doing things with my hands, guess I get that from my mom (she is pretty crafty). I love to knit and scrapbook and have done some stamping too. I do better copying than coming up with orginal ideas, but sometimes thru copying i get an orginal idea. i'm not a visionary type person and i envy my sister in law who can see things before they are made! oh how i wish i could be more like that. til then i'll stick to getting my ideas from what others have done!

Laura from beautiful West Michigan said...

I can feel the creative juices flow whenever I walk through a fabric store, a yarn shop, Michael's or Hobby Lobby or an art supply store. The colors! The materials! The tools! I worked with our school's art club for a couple of years and "had" to search out projects to make. The internet was a great way to get ideas. Also, we took a tour of Kendall College of the Arts in Grand Rapids and as we went from floor to floor, I kept saying "I want to go to school here!" The older I get, the freer I become to try all different creative outlets because I just don't care so much what people think anymore, more comfortable being my quirky self. My favorite is knitting, but I do love decoupaging and mosaic work also. I've even been able to give stained glass and glass bead making a try and loved it! If I had unlimited resources, I would pursue glass work more. Perhaps once all these kids get married or move out, I can free up some "art" money! Love you, kids!

Leslie said...

When I lay my head on my pillow at night, everything in my mind goes crazy! I wish that happened during the day but I think it's the "trying to get to sleep mode" that gets it going. I'll lay there creating the most amazing stuff! The best part? They come out perfect every time which, most of the time, makes it unnecessary to even create it in real life. Does that make sense? :)

Music is a great source for me as well. Since I've found Pandora, my house is always filled with relaxing instrumentals that really help me find the peace and focus that is so key for my body.

Mama Urchin said...

I really feel like a big part of being creative is surrounding yourself with people who value creativity. Sadly, not everyone does. I'm lucky that I grew up in a family full of creatives (quilters, knitters, crocheters, gardeners, embroiderers, bakers) and then married into one as well (knitters, sewers, woodworkers) so I have enjoyed the benefits of that. But, I have seen that if you don't have a network of people who value a creative process even if the results are so-so you can get discouraged very quickly. So I say, if someone feels un-creative they should go somewhere people they see as creative gather (a guild meeting, an art show, a poetry reading) and make some friends.

Bonny J. Dutton said...

I always feel creative when I am surrounded by colourful fabric, yarns, fibers, flowers. They seem to "speak" to me in regards to what they wish to become. Sometimes the creative urge is so powerful that I feel overwhelmed and can't decide what to design first!

Prissy said...

I'm an only child, which has its pros and cons. But the point I'm making is that by not having any siblings to play with (and really not all that many neighborhood kids), I had to be creative to entertain myself. Mom taught me how to cook, but I played in the mud, etc. all by myself. Also, when I grew up there were only 3 tv channels to choose from and most of the time the shows weren't really kid stuff, so I didn't spend much time in front of the tube. My Aunt Pat taught me how to knit when I was 8. All I had at my disposal was yarn from Woolworth's (a five and dime that no longer exists) and there were NO PATTERNS! Oh My! So I would have to design sweaters for my dolls. And even though they didn't look all that good, I was tickled to death with them.

Jennifer said...

Gosh - I've been creative my whole life that I can't imagine life without creativity. I'm also a very orderly person, so I like symmetry and dramatic angles. I'm not a ruffly, lacy kinda gal. I am inspired by travels and colors I see around me. Flowers, buildings, majestic scenery - it all inspires me. Also, necessity has often been my muse - while camping I decided I needed to make a soap on a rope - so I knit a little lacy bag and VOILA - soap-on-a-rope.

What a great week of great thinking. Thanks so much. LOVE the Jumper x3. Too cute.

Anonymous said...

I have not been able to comment successfully before. I read above that another unsuccessful blogger used the anonymous option and it worked. So, I will try that.

I love making things, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, baking and more. Most I do on my own, but I find I am the most creative when I am doing things with my grandchildren. I made bead bracelets with my granddaughter Emma a few months ago. I was careful with my color choices and my bracelet looked very nice. Emma just grabbed whatever bead she felt like and strung it on. When I looked at the finished bracelets, mine was OK, but hers was beautiful, colorful and cheerful.

And the most creative person I know is my five year old grandson Jonah. For example, a couple of days ago he went out to the garage, pulled things out of the recycling bin, and built... I don't know what to call it, but it had towers and bridges made out of all kinds of boxes, and chimneys of pop cans, and garages for toy cars.

I think real creativity is tightly connected with having fun with what you are doing.


Junebug said...

What a toughie! I'm one of those folks that wouldn't self-describe as creative in the artistic sense - I have awful color sense, and I can't draw/sketch/paint worth a darn. (I can do math diagrams and chem molecule sketches pretty well, though!) I do, however, have a pretty developed aesthetic sense and a keen appreciation for beauty, and to me, even though that appreciation doesn't result in the creation of something tangible, it is still a form of creativity. Or, when I actually am creating something (usually when spinning, stitch-marker making, or jewelry-making), I kind of just go with what feels right, and that's my creative moment. When I'm knitting, any modifications I make to the pattern or even making sense of the pattern instructions count as a check in the "creative" column. So I guess, simply put, I think creativity takes on many different forms and makes appearances in everyone's life - even if not everyone recognizes it every time!

Kathleen C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen C. said...

I think one of the biggest things that stops people, that stifles their sense of creativity, is criticism. Not the helpful teaching sense of the word but the "that's the wrong color your lines are crooked negative soul squeezing" sense of the word.
I've seen and had both, in my life and in my family and friend's lives, and I know it makes a difference.
People become afraid to try... afraid of doing something "wrong". Fear is a creativity killer.
I try not to be afraid.

I live a creative life... my vocation is as a theater and dance costume designer/teacher. My avocation is in the textile arts (spinning, knitting, weaving). I paint and decorate and garden and bead and knit and my life is surrounded by and infused with creativity.
I work with a team to produce a show... and I do have to adapt and blend with others ideas... but not to the point where I will not let others determine what constitutes a creative thought or product.

I play with color and line. I dream in color and texture. My world is one big playground and NO BULLIES ALLOWED.

ETA: I got so riled up I forgot to include my email! coneryka at jmu dot edu

Kathie said...

I have been enjoying reading all the posts all week and really loved seeing the triplets, they are adorable and learning more and more about life on a farm.
I can't wait till we retire and live in a slower paced area then metro NY....
my creativity comes when my sewing room is clean and tidy! I am inspired by antique quilts and finding the right fabrics for the quilt I want to reproduce or the quilt I want to make that was inspired by an antique quilt I saw/studied.
I know I will be thinking about this question for a week and will come up with a much better answer than this!~
thanks for a great thought provoking week

Nancy Jalbert said...

When most people say "I'm not creative", I suspect that the phrase really means: "I could not sustain myself with my creativity". I would bet that there is confusion between actually creating something, and the valuation of the creative output. In our society, simply creating something does not insure that is has “value”. For a lot of people, that outer “value” is a necessary corroboration.

Haven't you noticed how many stressed out executive types will remark about a hand-created gift: "Someone has too much time on their hands!". The implication of this horrid phrase is that this handmade thing has no value vis-a-vis the deadly striving necessary to survive the economic jungle. Unless every moment is dedicated to the desperation of economic survival, it is "useless".

We live in a society that is high on anxiety. The sense that a vague threat looms over our every waking moment infuses every breath we take. It comes at us from the TV, the radio, from the internet and from print media. There is an ever present sense that one small misstep and you will lose your economic life, your very identity will be stolen, and that there is no safety net to stop the ensuing freefall.

Creativity emerges from depths that stand apart from desperation, from anxiety. I'm sure that living on a farm, being close to the reality of life (and the reason that I turn to this blog, to taste that- even if vicariously), is a powerful antidote to the toxic culture. Standing "outside" the mainstream provides a surcease from the endless toxic messages of our media. I note that people here have commented that you have to create a "space apart" emotionally, physically, and mentally where creativity can happen.
Perhaps we should be careful to uncouple the term "creativity" from the term "marketing". Everyone is creative, given the creative "space" to allow the spark to happen. Not everyone is a "marketer" who can sell that creativity in the wider world. I believe that most of us confuse the two, and think: "I am not creative", because I cannot count on my output being economically valued in the wider world. Then the question becomes; “How can I value what I do…even if the world around me does not (yet)?”

Nancy Jalbert - Pittsburgh

thecrazysheeplady said...

The only thing *I* think I do that's creative is painting our farm's Christmas card each year. Oh, and the banner on my website and blog - I think that's pretty neat. However, if I didn't have the inspiration of the farm and animals that live here, I'm not sure how much "creativity" I'd come up with on my own. I love to look at books though and am always amazed at the endless possibilities, whether spinning, knitting, weaving, painting, gardening. And I love your husband's thoughts on the art of planting sunflowers. Absolutely!

Cami said...

I think the thing that has helped my creativity is all of the great blogs!! I love seeing different ideas and using them as a springboard for my own creation. I realized just the other day how much influence the internet has had on my creativity. My son needed a costume for a school project. Instead of trying to find a pattern, which is what I used to do, I just made a pattern and trusted myself to do it right. So that is the best part of all of this, more confidence in my abilities!! I love sewing, (clothing, costumes, home dec and quilts), knitting and my newest is spinning. The instructors that I have had for knitting and spinning have inspired me to do more. They were incredibly supportive and encouraged me to challenge myself. Thanks for this question, it sure has made me reflect on something I wouldn't usually think about.

Ellen Gormley said...

I never studied "art" until college, when I signed up to be an art major. As a kid I filled an entire notebook with intricate compass drawings with elaborate color schemes (oh! how'd I'd like to look at that now). I'm inspired to be creative by newness. I do appreciate vintage and used items, but nothing inspires me like a fresh skein of yarn, a new box of pencils, a blank sheet of paper. When I'm stuck, I usually choose the color that speaks to me at that moment and see what happens. I'm most creative when I have the least expectations.

Becky said...

Ok....yes, it is very difficult to convince myself that I can be creative. I mean I am CPA afterall. But, I believe that after so many hours of conventional, left-brained thinking that my right-brain starts screaming to be used.

So, I look at what other people have created and think....yeah I can do that too. I imaging holding the soft strands of yarn and the sensation and rhythm of knitting motion, all to the end result of a unique gift or memento. I do get quiet inspired by your creative use of color (in fact, I just bought myself a color wheel to give me a bit of confidence).

I also love to look at the artistry of knitting magazines from the UK...just a bit different than our US magazines. But, the final source of my inspiration is admiring the fine artistry on for all their needlework projects.

Thanks again for a glimpse into what I consider a Dream Life!!


caednkat said...

What makes you feel creative?
Caring for my family, as strange as that sounds. I tend to get struck with creative inspiration while I'm cleaning, doing the laundry or other mundane household tasks.
Do you have any rituals you go through to get your creative juices flowing?
No, not really. Although once I start feeling the urge to create I know browse around on Ravelry.
Is there anyone you look to for inspiration?
Not really inspiration I don't think, but my brother really spurs me on. Him and his wife think I can do anything and that really helps.
What is your art of choice?
Life... I don't craft just to craft, I craft for my family and for my home. Seeing these things in my home and my families homes makes me happy.
Did you have a special mentor in your life that made you feel creative and helped to develop your talents?
He didn't help me develop my talents but the main reason I wanted to learn to crochet, knit and now quilt was/is my grandfather.
Do you find certain stumbling blocks to your creative path and how do you get over them?
Just trying to find time to fit in everything I want to do.

Angela said...

Wow, what a generous prize! No wonder you are making us work for it.

I think that seeing colors makes me feel creative. Piles of yarn, a line of fabric bolts, pretty papers just get my brain going in a million directions.

I don't have any rituals that I know of.

I am most often inspired by others' creativity. Blogs, magazines, books with beautiful pictures. I also am inspired by good writing and music. They seems to open up the creative possibilities in other forms.

Right now knitting is my art of choice. However, I enjoy scrapbooking or other excuses to buy paper (I also love office supplies). But I would really like to develop sewing skills for clothing especially.

I don't have any specific mentors.

Stumbling blocks...too many to mention. The main one now is a lack of dedicated workspace. I enjoy a clear workspace. That's way knitting works well for me, it can be done in a comfy chair.

I don't know that children are really stumbling blocks in of themselves. However, the start and stop nature of that young children impose on life is a real challenge to me. I tend to be somewhat single minded when I am doing a project and don't want to be bother by outside interruptions. Truthfully, I often don't do things because of this and I don't know how to get over this except to just try and not give up before I start.

I have really enjoyed the lambs.

Eva said...

Creativity is a possessive partner. He wants me to get up with him and go to sleep with him, and when he's here, he wants me to work and not to leave off apart from eating and sleeping. Creativity is jealous on other jobs, but when conditions are right, he gives more than I can use at once.

Joan K said...

Knitting is my craft of choice. I crochet also but it just doesn't inspire me like knitting. I was taught to knit by my great aunt although I didn't knit for many years. I figured it out by myself mostly when I went back to it. When I learned about knitting backwards I figured that out myself.

My favorite inspiration is Ravelry. When I am thinking about a project or looking for a use for a particular yarn I'll search for projects. Once I find one that fits I'll look at all of the ones people have made, searching for hints and variations, looking for pictures of people my size to see how it looks. I sometimes will search on google for a particular sweater if I can or even Ebay if I am looking for pictures from a book.

I find books inspiring, but I never seem to stay with only one for a long time. There are just too many out there and I have hundreds of knitting books and patterns.

I am also a cook. I use meals I eat out and descriptions of food combinations to make dishes as well as tweaking traditional dishes.

Katrina said...

I didn't plan to comment but have been contemplating your post's questions for the last couple of hours and here's what came to mind.

I've always felt creativity bubbling inside me. Frequently as I put my mind at rest images, designs, colors burst through. Some of my best ideas come as I shower or fall asleep at night. For further creative helps I go to the library or search the internet to see others work and not limited to the areas I work. Some of the best ideas come from something completely different than what I do. I then put it all away and create with the impressions left from what I've viewed. My arts of choice are child rearing, quilting, painting (though not much since child rearing!), and most recently knitting. I have to thank my grandmother for helping me to not fear trying new things. She is very creative and people laugh and tell her "You can't do that," or "You're not doing it right." She just persists in what she's doing until, through trial and error, she comes up with something she likes. Its usually something beautiful. She taught me to not fear what you want to do even if you don't know how to start. My greatest stumbling block is getting into something and its not going quite as I like. What I found works the best it to just be persistent. It might mean walking away for a few days but usually there is a point where things don't seem to be coming together and if I keep working there will be something element or ahah moment that brings it all together. Then its knowing when to stop!

Being creative has been a life saver. It truly brings me joy and has helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life.

cate said...

Goodness! How did she manage to carry three lambs in her belly? It must have been awfully crowded in there. I love that expression on her face as she’s eating.

I think people are creative more often than they realize. If you decide to substitute a spice in a recipe just because you want to see how it turns out, that’s being creative. If you decide to wear a scarf with an outfit rather than your usual necklace, that’s being creative. If you decide to take an alternate route home because it can help you avoid some traffic, that’s being creative. If you decide you want to knit long sleeves for a sweater in green yarn even though the pattern calls for ¾ sleeves in red yarn, that’s being creative. It’s a whole series of little decisions you make and actions you take because they suit you or appeal to you.

People think being creative has to be a monumental thing, which makes it seem like an obstacle. It’s kind of like writing a novel. It sounds like a huge project, but if you break it down, a novel has chapters, and chapters have scenes. Write a scene a day, which can be just a few pages, and sooner than you think, you have enough scenes for a whole novel.

I do all kinds of things to get in a creative mood. I look at my favorite art book of pre-Raphaelite paintings. I look at Remedios Varo’s intricate machinery in her paintings. I read Neil Gaiman’s graphic novels or one of Oscar Wilde’s plays or poems. I put Yo-Yo Ma’s version of the Bach cello suites or a Crowded House CD into the CD player. I get out the watercolor paints and swirl colors around on wet paper just to see what happens. I go for a walk (see Julia Cameron’s Walking in This World). I go to the library and walk among the shelves and pull books down at random.

My art mediums of choice are writing and knitting – funny how “spinning a yarn” can apply both to writing and fibers. They both have their creative and technical sides. If I get stuck in one medium, I go do the other one for a little bit and I can usually get unstuck. I can think out plot points while knitting, and I can “unravel” a tricky spot in a knitting pattern while writing. I don’t choose to analyze how it works, I just go with it.

I also use a little Eastern medicine wisdom. In Eastern medicine, there are certain body systems that are active or dominant during the night and day in two-hour blocks. Creativity apparently can peak between 5 and 7 am, so I try to get some writing done then. Also, acupuncture is great for getting things unstuck, both physically and mentally. It gets the Chi moving again.

CrazyAnn said...

I am one of those people who does not think of herself as creative. But what happens is that I start a project thinking it will be just like the pattern, or just like a project I have seen at a quilt show, or a sweater on someones back. And quickly without even thinking much about it, it morphs into my own thing. Sometimes just a little, sometimes it barely resembles the original idea. Even with my crazy quilting I feel like I have to have a drawing that is not my own to copy. But then my own flair comes into play as I work the design. But I do say I wish I could draw. I really really can't. No I promise, I really can't!!

Natalie said...

I don't think there is one thing that makes me feel creative. It's usually some random thing I see somewhere on TV or in a magazine, or on a blog that sets me off. I would say I'm a purposeful/practical person, so my creativity is generally to fulfill a practical/purposeful need. I think my art of choice is my house...decorating, organizing, cooking, cleaning. Those are the things I'm thinking about all the time! I don't think I've ever had a mentor in creative respects. I think Time is my only stumbling block. There aren't enough hours in the day when one has a full-time job.

Willow said...

Creativity is such a broad term. I could say that as a teacher of literacy I am creative. I don't create fascinating games to teach kids to read but I produce great results using methods that work for each child. Perhaps that's more that I help them to be creative.

In the world of words I am fairly creative. Where did I learn? By reading, by writing, by studying grammar with an amazing teacher, by studying composition with another amazing teacher.

My creative muse in knitting is a friend who is a master knitter. She's my 'wild child' friend who helps me takes risks in putting together colors and shapes I would not normally do myself. I'm an alone worker--I create best when I have long periods of time to sit and think and use my hands in spinning, knitting, crochet, and yes, in gardening. First I am soothes and relaxed by the repetitive nature of these activities and then I find myself looking at the objects around me in a different way.

Photography has opened up a completely new world to me. I discovered I have 'a good eye' and now I often see the world through the lens of what makes a great photo.

I was fortunate to read Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer when I was in my 20s. Her concept of finding and making beauty in the everyday has stayed with me all these years.

willow at

Anonymous said...

29 years ago I was studying Graphik Design at "Kunstschule Alsterdamm, Hamburg". All people said I was sooo creativ, but I didn´t feel so.
Four years later I began working at an advertising agency. Full action every long day. The people were happy and said I was sooo creativ, but I didn´t feel so. I changed to a big industrial firm with an advertising group. Best success, but I wasn´t happy.
After five years I became mother. Now I have three children. I am happy! I am creativ! That is what I wanted to do in my life.
Creativity I have every day: Make the best of destroyed toys. Make the best of old trousers. Stitching little flowers on the holes in the T-shirt. Create a nice present, when there is no money to buy one at the end of the month.
Oh yes, now I feel creativ.

Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland von

Renna said...

Your generous gifts keep getting more and more fabulous!

And congratulations to Shelly!

I'd have to say my mom has been my inspiration, and mentor, if you will. She never really taught me to craft as a child. As a single mom raising two kids on a waitress' salary, there was not the luxury of time. She was an excellent, self-taught, seamstress who sewed all our clothing, mine and hers. I was given carte blanch access to all her fabrics and notions whenever I desired to hand sew garments for my Barbies. Later, when my mom remarried and got to quit work she was always into one craft or another. Sometimes I participated, sometimes not, but one thing's sure, our home was a crafty one. I grew up thinking it was natural to always be crafting. It's always so surprising to me to meet women who have never crafted. Inevitably, I'll find they grew up in a home void of crafts. I'm appreciative of my mom who always encouraged my inner craft person.

To this day, my mom,no longer able to craft herself, is my biggest encourager. When I taught myself to knit, and proudly showed her the little baby hats that were among my early projects (full of errors, I might add!), she praised them as if I'd knit the most elegant of garments.

As to things that get my creative juices flowing, I'd say it's looking at the things others have created. These days, most of my crafting energy is spent on knitting. Browsing through knitting magazines and books, as well as looking at projects on the knitter's blogs I read, always gears me up to tackle new projects!

ikkinlala said...

Some of the things I use my creativity for are knitting, cooking, gardening, music, and math. I see myself as a creative person now, but for a long time I didn't because I was always bad at art class in school - I'm glad I got over that. I'm inspired by a lot of different things at different times, but the most reliable source of inspiration for me is nature.

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Charlotte said...

What a wonderful prize! I hope I win it.

Creativity is something I've not really ever devoted too much thought to although as I've gotten older, I've decided I'm more creative than I thought I was. What starts me off is often a lack of something. I want to cook something but don't have all the ingredients for the recipe I have in mind. So I determine what ingredients I do have and how I can combine them into something tasty.

Creativity in knitting (and sewing) often starts from that same place. I have this yarn (or fabric) but it isn't enough to knit or sew what I have in mind. So what do I have that I can combine with it? How can I tweak the pattern? Often times the "tweakings" end up prettier and nicer than the original idea.

About 12 or so years ago I signed up for a "do a painting in a day" class through a free adult ed program. I got so turned on by that experience that I signed up to take lessons with that teacher. She helped me look at things differently. Before working with her, I would say (and still do say) I draw like a 5-year old. But she helped me see shapes and when I needed to paint a figure sitting in a chair in one of my paintings, she told me to just look at the shapes of the colors in the painting I was copying. I did what she said and, lo and behold, the figure was there. Unfortunately, my teacher died from leukemia and I haven't found another I like as well so my painting has kind of stopped. But lately I'm finding I want to paint again.

Busyness will stop create activities for me. It certainly has with my painting. I need a block of time to really get into whatever I'm doing and when I'm so busy with other things, I don't allow myself to have that time.

Being creative is renewing for me so sometimes I just must take some "me time" and make or cook or sew or do something in a creative vein.

Traci F said...

Before I can quiet my mind and tap into my creativity, I must have everything else in order. If my house is a mess or laundry is waiting, I just can't get in my element. This is especially difficult with four young daughters. There's always something that needs to be done and with the youngest ones, it's always an emergency! Getting out from under all the responsibility is what stands in my way of having enough time to create. When I do settle in, it's knitting for me. I've been knitting my whole life, taught by my Babci when I was 7 years old. She learned to knit and crochet when she was 3 years old in Poland and for all of her 85 years she has always been my inspiration to create and teach myself new things.

caroline said...

I get the juices flowing by looking through my stash of clippings, magazines, and photos. I usually find some theme that's been trying to get my attention, be it a color combination or a design idea.

I like to browse catalogs like West Elm, Pier 1, Sundance, Anthropologie for ideas.
thanks, Kristin, for the lovely and thoughtful questions.

Carol said...

My creative streak comes at any time. I could be looking at an old photograph or leaves or kids on the playground. I love color and how it mixes and swirls together. Then I want to reproduce it in another medium like knitting, quilting or gardening. Kaffe Fassett has to be my ultimate guru. I even try to enliven my veg patch with more color by planting interesting vegetables. Jane Brocket did a great newspaper piece on patchwork veg gardens.

Bonnie said...

I have been drawing and making things since I was a kid. I think I felt the first glimmer of wanting to be an artist because of van Gogh's paintings. As a teenager I was so drawn to his life and art. In my early 20s I made the commitment to being an artist. Because I loved art history, too, I was considering going to grad school in art history, but I knew that was a "fallback" plan and what I really wanted wasn't to analyze and write about other people's art, I wanted to make my own.

I knew there was a strong possibility of failure, and that it was going to be hard. But now, at age 52, I feel all the struggles have been worth it. The hardest thing has always been finding enough time. I have no one to support me, so I have to work a day job to pay the bills. It's draining, and there is never enough time nor energy for my creative work.

So many things inspire me. Other artists and their artworks, nature, poetry, music. I can't live without going to galleries and museums. I once dated a guy who grew up in Manhattan and he had never set foot in the Metropolitan! I couldn't get my head around that. If I haven't seen art in a while, I get such a strong hunger for it--for those moments when you are delighted by something new and wonderful, when you realize someone else has seen the world in a way you haven't, when you feel a connection to another person's heart through their artwork.

Anyone who wants to be creative can be. Even if you have a family and a full-time job, you can carve out a half hour a day. I don't believe in waiting for inspiration.

The question is, at the end of your life--which who knows, could be tomorrow--do you want your life to be nothing more than a series of "wish I'd done this or what" moments, or do you want the satisfaction of knowing that you did what you came to this earth to do?

As Rilke wrote in Letters to a Young Poet, " . . . your life, even into its most indifferent and slightest hour, must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it."

Anonymous said...

i think that to be truly creative, you have to be willing to make mistakes. many of the people who come into the yarn shop to ask me questions are SO afraid that they are going to mess something up. this one woman in particular keeps buying different hat patterns and yarns and always wants to stop after about 2 rounds of crochet because she's afraid it's going to be ugly, so right now I'm working on talking her through to finishing something (anything!) so she can have a little faith in herself and her creation. she is so self critical, it makes me sad.

for me, i can hardly go a day without making or dabbling in something. last night i was so interested in a certain technique that i really wanted to get started straightaway, but it was 2:30 AM and i knew i needed to go to bed- that can be hard sometimes. to really get into it, i need to have an empty apartment and no obligations later in the day (like: what will i make for dinner?). i am inspired by pretty much anything- it's never directly correlated- it might be a color, or a stitch, or the way someone put something together. i'm often afraid that i'll run out of ideas but something always wanders my way.

the only thing that really trips me up sometimes is when i feel like i *have* to make something to pay the bills, but that's another ball of wax.

p.s. my publicist is going to send you a galley copy of my book. :)

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

There are so many ways to be creative. Knitting, sewing, spinning, crafting, cooking a meal, setting a table, arranging flowers. Everyone of us can do at least one of these and of course there are many others. I truely believe that everyone is creative in some way. I can always find creativity in everyone even if they can't find it.
What stirs my creativity? Could be almost anything. Today it was 2 paper mache bunnies on a store shelf. Brought them home to decopage. Going thru my scraps now. Thanks for this opportunity to share.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Anonymous said...

I have gone through periods in my life when I have felt like every creative fiber in my being has dried up and gone away...mostly during times of stress like four preschoolers and when my parents were ill and dying..I had no time to do anything creative, it was just survival mode. When those times passed, and I started sewing and knitting again, many times I would feel like I couldn't make any decisions about color, or original ideas about design, so I would just start again with a pattern or a kit, of something that I really liked, and once I got "working" just flows back. The more I create, the more creative I flows. I find inspiration in nature, from reading books, reading blogs, just looking at fabric and yarns, artwork etc. Sometimes I will just go in and rearrange my stash, look through my yarns and fibers, and ideas will come to me.

I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments this week! It was inspiring! Smile. What fantastic giveaways, Kristin!

Good luck with Jumper's lambs...they are so cute with their tails and glad to hear the weaker one has done OK so far.

Terri in Medford, Oregon


Anonymous said...

Happy Bloggiversary!!!

Creativity....well I am not a right brain person so creativity doesn't come to me easily. I like to knit, embroider, sew, garden and cook/bake. I get inspiration from blogs, not necessarily to knit something like someone else, but to just pick up my knitting and keep going. The same happens with sewing. I can look at a blog and see a great skirt someone has made and it motivates me to my sewing room to make handkerchiefs that I can then embroider. The gardening juices get flowing as soon as we have a warm day. It can be in February, but it reminds me to get out there and get going on something. I have 4 children so the cooking inspiration comes daily, and several times, to feed these little bird mouths waiting for me to put something in. I learned to knit, sew and embroider at 4-H club throughout my childhood. I hated doing those yearly record books and all those public speaking contests my mom signed me up for, but 4-H was very beneficial to me, even though I didn't know it then.

Keep blogging, I LOVE keeping up on what's going on, on the farm.

Dawn Andrews, Easton, MD

Nanci said...

Oh Kris, you made me think of what I just loved to do for years. I even had a chance to teach it at public schools in the area for quite a while. I would go to a teacher of grades 6-8 and ask if I could spend a couple of afternoons with their classes and teach them my favorite craft stuff for kids.
They would need 3 coat hangers, masking tape, lots of newspapers and tissue paper cut into scraps.
From this they bent the wire hangers into shapes, made their geometric patterns, taped all of them together and started to do papier mache. I never had any trouble getting teachers to agree to this as the kids loved doing the craft and when it was over for the one afternoon that it took to papier mache it, we hung the designs on nylon string from ceilings. The next week, the tissue paper was applied to the dried papier mache and if overlapped colours were "blended" the creations were totally unique!
The creations were hung to dry, and then coated with a varnish. Amazing and you know 10 years later, these are still loved by the students. I don't do it anymore, but I still remember being called...the art teacher.
You made me think outside my quilting box today. I just love the little triplets. Hope they grow up gray also.

Diane H K in Greenfield said...

As someone who survived and graduated with honors from an art school with a reputation for a grueling workload, I'm very fortunate to have a lot of mental tools at hand for getting the creative juices flowing, and the means to execute creativity as well.

Creativity is such an integral part of my life and my work that I can't separate it from who I am. I'm not always "wildly creative", but I'm okay with that.

I will say that the two places where I come up with my best ideas are while I'm having a shower, mowing the lawn, and when I'm mucking out the sheep stalls and paddock. It's crazy, but it's true!

Anonymous said...

I dont think I entered this contest correctly...That's Me. I may be repeating all this but, last night I reread the article in a 2002 Lion Brand Knit magazine, where you told of your reintroduction to knitting on a train and finishing the sweater when you reached you destination. I am still impressed. Your books and your appearance on Create TV still inspire me. I was wondering if you also spin? Since I am a new "Blogger" that question may be mute. I will try and catch up on your blog. Keeping my needles crossed that I win, SOMETHING!
Renee in Rushville, IN

technikat said...

I am most creative in my cooking. I love thinking over what's in the pantry and fridge and imagining what I can cook with what's available. I have a solid base of cooking knowledge to draw from and get inspired by reading cookbooks.

In other areas I don't consider myself very creative. I like to knit, but I knit mostly from patterns. I took drawing classes and draw fairly competently, but never know what to draw.

When I still was employed, I was a software developer. I used to think I was very competent but wasn't very creative at that but then reflected on how I solved the problems presented and realized that this was also a very creative process. The solutions need to be teased out; they're not obvious.

That said, I'm in awe of the creativity of crafters, such as quilters and embroiderers, who create art from such humble ingredients.

Melanie said...

I consider myself creative and love to make things with my hands. I recently completed a "Master" Class with renowned bead artist and teacher, NanC Meinhardt. I wanted dearly to make mixed media projects but I found them challenging and the results of my work moderate. I kept avoiding my primary media, wire, because it was too easy. I had the idea that one must suffer for art and therefore it must be hard. In truth, that which comes easily is frequently where we do our best and strongest work.
My interest in your blog was peaked by two things: 1)I am interested in Spinning, yarn and knitting - all that color and texture speak to my creative heart and 2) we have purchased some agricultural property and my husband is planning to be a farmer! I teach and hear the laments about not being creative quite regularly. I do my best to be encouraging. I find adults are used to being competent and get very uncomfortable trying new things or being beginners. You have to work at creativity, but I think it is nearly as much persistance as it is skill.

Cher said...

Happy Blogiversary. Cute sheep! My creativity gets kicked in gear by sunshine, friends, family and especially grandchildren who think I can knit, crochet, cook or bake anything they can dream up. It gives me warm fuzzy feelings when they say, "Gramma you make the best ___ in the world."

Lyn said...

Creativity, well I thank my mum and dad for encouraging me when I left school at 16 for letting me make my own choices and I chose ART and DESIGN. I went to collage and followed my dream and now I have the most fantastic job of teaching Primary school children how to be creative and explore and experiment and 'Have a go'.
So I see creativity in every thing (in my job you always find something good to say about a child's work to boost their confidence) and I see it in shops, at friend houses, in books and magazines (a great inspiration) and I just create.
I wish I had a workroom/studio to be able to leavce all my 'things' around but I don't at the moment. So I have to know I have at least an hour free ahead of me before I sit down to tackle something. I attend loads of workshops (felting and monoprinting in the last fortnight) and that always makes me rush home to have a go.
I am creative and I am lucky enough to be able to do it, think it, talk about it, teach it and live it every day!

Sharon said...

I think my desire to make things is something so ingrained in me. I've done some type of needlework my whole life. I use colors, patterns, books and magazines to inspire me. I learned I could often make something by looking at a similar idea in a picture. I try and find time everyday to be creative, whether it is through fiber or words. It is just me.

Sheryl K. said...

I feel creative when visiting a yarn or fabric store, or reading a blog with beautiful pictures of other people’s projects. I graduated from college with a degree in fashion design, and the intent to design knitwear for a living, but have never done so. As an administrative assistant I spend free moments in the day visiting blogs such as yours. I am quite inspired by people’s talent and leave for home in the evening with the ambition to design my own sweater, fabric tote, or quilted item only to be sorely disappointed in myself that after the chores are done, the only thing I can do is sit on the couch and knit someone else’s design. The weekends mostly hold that same disappointment. I have to choose between cleaning the house or sitting in my knitting studio working out a design. I know the choice sounds easy, but my husband and I have 3 indoor cats--I'm sure you get the picture.

Fear is also a factor in my seemingly lack of ambition. I am afraid of designing a garment that doesn’t look good and wasting ‘precious’ yarn from my huge stash. When I was solely a machine knitter, I only produced my own designs. I have been mostly a hand knitter for about 10 years and mostly knit other people’s designs.

I find that the best way to fight the fear is to spend time organizing my studio the night before, and getting an early start in the studio on a Saturday morning rather than starting chores.

Susanne said...

Well as so many have said that is a loaded question. I have felt very uncreative this past winter (at least I HOPE it is over) and found it long and somewhat dark. As a result, I didn't knit nearly as much as I wanted to, nor complete projects that had been so exciting to me in the late summer. I found some inspiration in knitting books, yes I have yours too, in blogs and staying in touch with cyber friends. It is difficult to talk about a mentor as I have no knitting friends close by so I do rely on the blogs to keep me inspired. Spring however as it stands, seems to have me coming out the other side of the darkness and into a more creative place. Let's hope it continues and reading your blog has certainly given me that push!! Wonderful stuff these questions and responses.

Anonymous said...

Creativity, I can't say i am usually all that creative, although recently most of my creative endergy has gone towards trying to find tasty ways to eat vegetables for me and my boyfriend, he is a very picky eater, of the eeew! green! variety *sigh* Although when I have the time and supplies I really enjoy watercolors, my inspiration is usually a beautiful scene or item that pops out at me, for needlework I work strictly off patterns not talented enough to come up with designs on my own. People I get inspiration from...usually a roommate or one of the blogs I follow.

Anonymous said...

For me, creativity is expressed in the very essence of the way I live life. I'm very expressive and passionate and handwork is just one area that I can display that. Although it comes out naturally in decorating my home, preparing meals gardening, and farming.

Color became a healing agent in my life 4 yrs ago when I was dying of chronic lyme disease. I used color to pull myself out of the pit and often said that it was like Prozac to me! Color in itself is just happy! And when I surround myself with it, I too am happy.

I find that nature inspires me even more to live life to the fullest. My creativity is spurred in the most delicate tiny flower in the field as I mow. The sighting of bluebirds and robins and purple martins. It makes me sing and I have to have an outlet to express the innermost parts of my being and I do that through handwork usually with lots of color!

Being creative is in my blood. It was passed on to me from my Gma who was an immigrant from Austria Hungary in 1904. She just had a love for life and expressing it through gardening, knitting, sewing, embroidery, crewel, crocheting...well, I don't think there was anything that she didn't do. And I'm probably the same. I'm so grateful for her example. I wish she could see how she influenced my life.

Anonymous said...

So many good and interesting things written so far. For me being creative is tied in with being joyous - not necessarily happy - but joyful and grateful. It opens me up from fear and criticism which is usually self-directed. Knitting and writting are two areas where I always find joy and feel a buzz of creative energy when I am doing them. Recently I have been teaching drama class after school to 30 kids (K-5)with my husband. He is an actor and I have a degree in theatre. It has been a wonderful experience. I am remembering why I got my theatre degree nearly 30 years ago. Being able to open up the world of self-expression for these students is the most creative I have felt in years. Very satisfying.

Debra in Seattle

Anonymous said...

i get bored and start watching a dvd - at which point my hands start itching and i *have* to do something with the moment it's mainly knitting since the sewing machine is two floors away from the dvd player :)


coffeechris said...

I can relate with people telling me your so creative...I share your thoughts on everyone is creative, in some form or another, that makes me so happy. Accepting creativity was more of a challenge, no one in my family embrace this, I was not encouraged, so it was a struggle. What has inspired me is finding other kindred spirits along the way that have stretched me and have become great friends. I wish as a society we would place higher value on the arts and nurturing our children to be free and creativity no matter what their passions. I am grateful for all we make this a priority in their world.

Suzanne said...

I have to say that I never think that I am that creative. Knitting is just something I do. I like collecting patterns so that I can just knit and not think too much. I think that I am usually so stressed out about work that my knitting is just my release.

Last year, I was looking through stitch pattern books and found ones that I had marked up years ago to make things for my niece. I actually sat down and used the stitch patterns in a scarf and cowl that I wanted to make. It was fun to see my vision of what I wanted to make actually appear.

Lately, I have been drawn to color and have actually strayed away from my usual colors to all the other colors that I usually avoid.

jane said...

seeing colors out of context. Being outside in the sunshine or maybe dark clouds with sun streaking

Fran said...

When I feel creative - or want to create something - I go outside- to the garden in season - to the woods in the winter - and pick or cut whatever appeals to me - I bring it home and create an arrangement of display with it - it looks beautiful or interesting for a while - and then, as it changes, I use what is still good or useful to create another thing - until it is all gone. I've always done something like this, but I got more inspiration and learned techniques at Flower Camp several years ago - I find this practice opens my eyes to new and different color and texture combinations and that I use in my knitting too.

Anonymous said...

My mother was my first creative source and now it is my daughter. My mother was a talented seamstress and dressed with flare and lots of color. I still wear matching and coordinating colors from my socks to earrings. I don't really feel very creative myself. I look at books and other peoples projects to get ideas for my projects and the colors to use.
My daughter is an artist and just being in the same room with her when she is creating is exhilerating. She recently gave me a challenge to just pick some yarn or roving and one of my dye colors and do a little bit of several colors, just to get myself started. I'm going to really.
Sharon from Va

Jenny said...

Creativity is an inborn desire in every person. Anxiety and fear strangle our creativity and stifle our ability to bring joy to ourselves and others. I struggle at times with my creativity. I have so many ideas that I can't possibly bring them all to fruition. I am most creative when I sing and when I teach. Teaching is a creative art that expands minds and opens hearts. I love the feeling I get when I see the light turn on in my children's eyes.

If you want to see a great youtube video on creativity, watch this:

It's so inspiring!

Anonymous said...

I feel the most creative when I just do it. Anything, even if it is coloring in a coloring book ( a guilty pleasure from my childhood days).
I don't ahve any rituals that I can think of, just getting it and doing it.
I like to get inspiration from blogs and nature and everyday life.
I've kinda taught myself how to do everything. I hhave had people show me the basics but then i take it from there.
I find that i am the biggest stumbling block to my creative path. I lack confidence in my abilities and tend to belittle my creations. I know they are good, it just seems like there is always someone better than me, whereas I feel like I am better than no one else. I have a really great mother in law though who consistenly praises me and asks me to make her little things, even though she is far more able to make stuff for herself that is better than what I can do. She says I will develop in time and that I am still young. I tell myself that too, but I feel like I have been at the same skill level for the past 10 years.
I am also horrible at time management. So, there ya go.

Turtle said...

You know, i have never understood that either. I mean, i have had projects not turn out like the picture in my head but they turned out good. And if you don't try how will you know?
My mom , aunt, uncle and grandmother were all creative people. They sewed, drew, painted, crocheted, cooked, gardened,played music etc.. They always encouraged me and allowed me to try things. I honestly do not have just one favorite medium of art outlet... although i do love fibers! I also sing in a band and used to own a storefront in hawaii for scrapbooking plus. Crafting keeps me sane and i lvoe to find creativity in nature and antique stores.
I still love your little spot you redid last summer with the bright paints, and specialty printed fabric you made, that inspires me!

Terri said...

I'm not a particularly creative person, myself, but I do love to make things. However, the blogs I read regularly give me great inspiration, and I do find that I can take someone else's idea and carry it further. So, I guess I have to thank all the generous folks in the blogosphere who are so generous with their creativity!

Two Beans said...

Photography and Baking are my outlet of creativity. Knitting is not, it is a process for me.
Since I am a stay-at-home Mom, I don't have a moment of quiet to myself to even think creatively. Occasionally, I would escape to a bookstore and browse through books. During those self-times, I found ideas and interesting thoughts came to me.
Being short on cash also make me quite creative in using what we already have, rather run to the craft store to get even more supplies. Being perfectionist is big deterent to the creative process.
I am kind of embarrassed to say that my 5 yr old gave me inspirations. Embarrased because it is like tooting our own horns. He can draw/paint way better than I can. He can build complex things out of Legos and he is only 5. His imagination just soared. He is so free in his thoughts that I occasionally have to remind myself that I should just make things without worrying about the perfect final state.

I know I am stressed out when my hands itch to make something.

Candied Fabrics said...

What makes me feel creative - usually a certain combination of colors...or arrangement of shapes. While I blog, I'm always copy pix of things that catch my eye, keeping a digital scrapbook if you will of inspiration. When I feel stuck, I browse through that,and it usually gets my juices flowin'! I'm a quilter who only sews with fabric I dye myself!

anniejs said...

Where do I not find inspiration? Books, magazines, catalogs, nature, church, the internet...

My first serious foray into creativity came in the form of beads and making jewelry. I have been playing with beads for nearly 20 years now. I will probably always play with beads.

And this play with beads has lead me down more interesting paths than I ever thought possible. 11 years ago I started making my own glass beads as a response to living in a place with no bead stores. I have been exploring glass beads ever since. The color and flow of glass is extremely appealing to me. I took several art classes in college and was told I had difficulty visualizing 3-D. I find it amusing then, that I make beads. I like the isolation of working alone in my little studio. When I am in the "zone", I feel connected to what I call the "universal hum". The idea that all things have a resonance (resonate at a particular frequency) and when I am making beads I am plugged into that.

My beadmaking lead me to metal work and I spent almost 2 years in jewelry school. There I learned the importance of keeping a sketchbook..not only with drawings but also of images that I find appealing. What I realized when I looked back on my body of work from that time what how much my Unitarian church influenced my work. I had pieces based on hymns and church imagery.

I still do work in metal but I really enjoy the color and instant gratification of glass. Plus, with small kids, I just don't have the time for metalwork. And with arthritis encroaching, I'm trying to save my hands for as long as possible (sad, I know but it's genetics...)

When I"m feeling stuck, I like to go to stock photography sites and just look around. I also enjoy seeing what friends are up to on places like Etsy. Or I give myself the freedom to revisit old favorites (especially with beadmaking) and from that familiar action, I can move to another new place. Fabric stores are another place where I can be immersed in color and find inspiration.

Knitting helps me think about color and texture. And it gives me some of that instant gratification for when I can't get to the studio. More and more, I'm finding knitting helps me to feel plugged in, in the same way that beadmaking does. Especially now that my studio time is at a minimum with a 4 year old and a 14 month old.

cathy said...

I don't know why, but, growing up, being told to be creative was the one thing that made it harder. In art class, or when I had to write an essay, I found it much easier if I was given some structure as a jumping off point. "Do anything you want to" was deadly. I've loosened up a lot since then. Maybe it's a matter of confidence!

Beth said...

I feel creative when I see beauty and want to create more beauty. I've been mostly inspired by women who are thoughtful and helpful, who love what they do and love to share it. I have one special friend, young enough to be my daughter, who shares her love of knitting, color, handwork, and more as well as her eagerness to try new things, sewing, cooking, more. She is such an inspiration and encouragment to me, teaches me new things and makes me eager to create well.

I also get inspired by looking at things that people have made and by playing with materials whether it's paint or fabric or yarn.

Kristin, you are also a source of creative inspiration as are a number of other writers, designers, artists, and artisans that I have met online. But I sometimes find myself sitting and looking at beautiful work and thinking, "Hey, turn off the computer. Stop looking and start doing." So, the internet can be a good spark, but sometimes it consumes more time that could go into really doing.

Thanks again for your generosity this week. Oh, to win Julia yarn. That would be delightful!

Theresa said...

My creativity rituals always start with cleaning my desk, making myself a latte and finding a sunny place to work. For whatever reason, even if I am just sitting by the window, seeing the outside world makes me happy and that helps give me the mojo to do something creative. I think making myself coffee is one of those ritualistic things that helps me clear away the other things going on in my head that get in the way of letting my hands move.

Finally, my daughter has helped me to be creative, too. There's nothing quite as nice as seeing her little hands wrap around something i've made her "Mommy made this!"

Joanne said...

What a fascinating topic! I'm answering because of the topic, not the prizes...Happy Blogiversary!

Like others, I'm inspired by the world around me. However, I need to be well rested and-well--bored---to be creative. When I taught full time, I had few ideas and even less energy to invest in creative endeavors. It took all my effort to be a good teacher full time. I didn't write much, I didn't knit much, and I did knit and spin,but it was rote and by pattern. So, much like Virginia Woolf, I need a room of one's own. Time, space, and funds to make creativity a daily reality. While I've struggled a great deal in Kentucky during my husband's time as a professor here, I can say that not finding a teaching job here turned me into a full time creative person...and I love it. Some days are all business, but give me a deadline and some yarn or a word count and all of a sudden, I'm away in my mind.

Oh, and an imagination...I think everyone has one, and you need it to be creative. Mine is sometimes so vivid that it scares my friends and family!

JaneElizabeth said...

I'm at my most creative when I become very, very quiet and listen - listen to what is deep within. It can take minutes, hours, days, even weeks to be able to become this quiet, touch this place - especially if I've let my world become too loud and busy. Now that I've passed 50 I think I've finally learned never to let it get very loud. Each day I search for the silence and it is rich with creativity, thoughts, ideas, smiles, joy, laughter - a mixture of child and adult. And if I can be outside with whatever nature is to be found that day - sun, moonlight, dew, trees, grasses, leaves, flowers, insects, the wind on the lake or even a puddle, rain, clouds, rocks, whatever..., well then it is a very rich day indeed, because nature has so much to offer to all the senses, incredible colors, patterns, textures... I have also found the times just before I fall asleep and wake up to be extremely creative and I get a lot of ideas during these times - my mind wandering freely, not held by anything. Like gifts being handed to me. Thank you I say and slowly take them, cradling them, nurturing them. It's all there if I become aware, notice, stay in the moment. Yes, for me it's found in an awareness of silence, nature, deep billowy relaxation and being in the gift of the moment.

Susanknits said...

I love sitting down and looking through my craft books or cookbooks for ideas. Magazines are another source for me - especially the ads - especially ones with rich color - deep reds, bright rich yellows, wonderful shades of green (my house reflects those tendecies). As I'm writing this maybe its the color that inspires me and translates itself into a wonderful new project that my eyes just enjoy drinking in the color as I'm working on it. That is one of the reasons I so enjoy your book-the colors are so delicious! Thanks for all your hard work.

Kira said... do I get the creative juices flowing? I never really thought about it before. I guess I am often inspired by things I've seen other people do, but then my own project will take on its own spin...My creative outlets are knitting, cooking, and gardening. Thanks for your blog!

Jennifer King said...

Getting out for a walk or working outside makes me think more creatively. I live in a pretty area in a small town, I love it here but sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is to get out of town. Traveling always makes me see the world in a different way and new project always come more easily when I'm away.
Love that last pic! Jen

Knitlee said...

This has been so fun...getting to know people and finding so much out about you, Kristin. I would say that I find inspiration in books, blogs, and magazines. I love your books-and go to them frequently. Not just for a particular project, but for the feeling a photo or a room may give-colors used or maybe fabric, texture. I like to sew, knit, just taught myself crochet, scrapbook, and photograph. I would love to get into watercolors, but can only handle so many hobbies at one time. I would also love to try spinning and dyeing my own fibers.

jada said...

I am primarily a beadwork artist but knit in my spare time. I also love to hike and I'm not sure if it's bloodflow to the brain or thinner air at higher elevations but creative ideas often come while I'm hiking high on a mountain. I also like to see other creative ideas in magazines and at galleries and shows.

Kara said...

I tend to think of creativity as an approach to all that I do. If I can be creative in the non-artistic parts of my life, I'm certainly a happier person for it. So at work when I have to make a presentation, write a report, respond to an email, etc., etc., I tend to look at what improvements I can make and use a sense of creativity - not just produce a routine, typical product. Certainly observing nature and color are huge sources of inspiration, finding pattern in things - all of this brings me joy and makes me feel like making stuff. Listening to podcasts like Craft Sanity, checking in on blogs such as this one is great, too. Knitting and paper crafting are my primary choices, but I love to branch off into other art forms as well. My mom is my mentor, although I didn't realize it for many, many years. She has a creative, yet practical approach to all that she does and we grew up surrounded by art, a huge vegetable garden, and a seemingly unlimited supply of art and craft materials. Creativity is joy for me. The more I can relax about the end product, the more I enjoy the process and can't wait to start it all over again for the next project. Thanks for sharing this blog, Kristin and posing such great questions!

julie z said...

What makes me creative? Seeing fabric and yarn and patterns! I'm a big pattern person. I see something I like and I want to make it myself. And I want to try everything--some mediums "stick" others become the "been there, done that"! I always have several projects of different types going at once. No boredom here!

CTKnitter said...

Creativity is something that I don't think I have. What I do have is the ability to see someone else's idea and tweak it to make it mine. Is that creativity? I'd love to discuss this. I just followed a thread from one blog to another to a magazine site. There I found a pattern for a throw that "talked" to me. Mainly I quilt, but knitting and crocheting are my portable crafts. I love color and feel. I walk through fabric and yarn stores touching and running my hands over everything. Finally something "speaks" to me, be it a fabric or yarn, and makes me want to do something with it. Not always is that evident when I buy it. Want to see my stash of fabric and yarn? It's very satisfying to make something that is all your own-even if it is the interpretation of another's ideas.

Jennifer and Steve said...

I feel most creative when the sun is shining, I've enjoyed a good hike and am listening to inspiring tunes! I am so into fiber right now and know my love of crafting came from my Mom, even though she does not craft much as of late. There is much I plan to explore in the next year with respect to craft...

Have a great weekend! Thanks Kristin. :)

Gail said...

What makes me feel creative is , looking at beautiful things. It could be anything as long as is is beautiful to my eyes, I get inspired!

Kim said...

I believe everyone can be creative, some of us just want to be more than others. OR maybe some of us just LIKE doing for ourselves more. I find inspiration not so much in specific places, but more through the energy of other's creativity. I am a knitter, but seeing a quilt, embroidery or sewing project can inspire.

Jodee DeBates said...

I think I am most creative when I get to spend time outside in the fresh air clearing the gardens and clearing my mind. Once I come inside I get to work on my latest knitting, crochet or sewing pattern and I can concentrate better.

JFibers said...

I really love color. My favorite color changes all the time based on what I'm feeling, or the season, or how it is paired with another color. When I discovered dyeing wool, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Even if I don't always spin the wool I dye, I just love creating color combinations. Painting gives me a similar feeling. My house is full of color- the walls are all different colors and most people walk in saying that it's very cozy but you get that occasional person who is overwhelmed- I feel so bad for them.

Anonymous said...

I don't have the kind of creativity that comes up with new ideas, but I can look at other's ideas and put my own twist to them. And that's ok and enough for me. My biggest problem: very strong tendency towards symmetry; can make things boring.


Dianne said...

I've never felt myself to be particularly creative---I think because I often need inspiration from others. I felt as though I should be coming up with ideas "from stratch", if that makes any sense. Reading all those other comments, I see that most crafters do use someone or something as a springboard for launching their own ideas. I love magazines and books, and use them a lot. (I posted about buying Marie Claire Idees a while back, even though I cannot read French!) And reading blogs, such as yours, have been a huge influence. I live on a farm and have animals so I'm certainly visually inspired and stimulated by what I see around me. I especially need some clear space around me (time alone) to think about something I've seen or read and I do find I get ideas as I'm drifting off to sleep. I think the one thing that hinders my actually creating is that I want to do too many things and have a difficult time focusing on just one project.
Great questions this week...very thought provoking.

Anonymous said...

All I have to do is walk in my sewing room and start pulling fabric, or start digging in my yarn stash and I come up with about 43 new projects I want to start. I also spend way too much time on blogs, but they're so inspiring! All I know is that I would die of boredom if I didn't have my creative outlets!

Nan said...

I feel most creative when my hands are carrying out the ideas that float in my head-it just seems like magic to me. My Mom made every event special in some small way-she put that extra special touch to every holiday. I try to make ordinary days special in some small way whether it's cooking, gardening or making a sweet little gift for a friend. I try to live each day creatively! I recently "discovered" your blog and I want to thank you for your inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Those triplets are too cute!

As for answering the question, I am a longarm quilter. I find a lot of inspiration from other longarm quilters and from meeting with a small group of friends to quilt for pleasure. I surely don't do that often enough. I find lots of designs for the quilting in my surroundings, from carpets and wall paper to the kleenex box. You never know where you'll find inspiration. Taking a break from what you're doing and working on something else works too. I like to knit so I'll do that for a bit and then I'm ready to tackle my personal quilting projects.

I enjoy your blog and thank you for sharing it with us.

Beth said...

My mother always said "Creativity is born from boredom" I'd like to add also lack of money, resources, etc.

How do I come up with my ideas? Mostly when I am doing a mundane activity like kneading bread, taking a shower, vacuuming, weeding the garden; something that lets your mind wander. When your mind wanders it allows solutions to different design, creativity dilemmas. Then "pop" a brilliant idea surfaces and you are ready to create.

Anonymous said...

~ great questions ~
I too, agree that we all have creative ways we see things, make things and we are all artists.
I am inspired by Kristin Knits. Kristin's knitting and embroidery books and fabrics. other books/artists: Kaffe Fassett, Andean Folk Knits, South American textiles, vintage Dutch tiles and fabrics, the countryside of Italy, and most especially looking at the ocean makes me feel creative. Since I'm far from it now, I have my ocean nature treasures, sea glass, smooth stones, etc., and I look at photos of Blue Hill,Castine and Cape Rosier, Maine,some of my favorite areas. I also like looking at Alexander Calder's art/mobiles and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
All patterns in nature. Waldorf inspired watercolor paintings and art.
My art mediums of choice are yarns for knitting, drawing, watercolors, papier-mache' and collage work.
I'm really inspired by the humanitarian works of people I read about: Greg Mortensen, who wrote "Three Cups of Tea." Virginia Wolfe and the beautiful Charleston House, which was painted inside by amazing artits, writers and poets, featured in a Kaffe Fassett book.

An amazing mentor I had was my brownie troop leader, Marianna. She was absolutely creative, dressed like a most colorful gypsy and was able to give her "little brownie girls" strength in spirit and confidence.

Anonymous said...

- When I want to make a gift, made by heart, to a friend, loved person, etc, I feel creative: when I think to the person I can view the right thing for him!
- Magazine's ideas make me feel creative. From a nice thing I can imagine some other things that become beatiful and crafty!
- Also blogs or websites inspire me.
- I love to knit, to crochet, but also to do cross-stitch. I Love to sew, to make things with felt... I LOVE all the things we can create by our own hands! :-)
- My mother teach me to knit, to crochet, to embroider, to sew... All I know is by her. I am so grateful to her! And now, by internet, I can learn also new & different ways to knit!
Thank you again for this great chance Kristin!
have a nice week.end

Francie Horton said...

since i have so many different forms of art and craft that i do there are so many different things that make me feel creative. it can be music, the colors of my toenails, wildflowers (weeds) in the backyard, the kids' artwork from school, an idea late at night...

Deborah (aka Mt. Mom) said...

I grew up hearing stories about how my mother decided never to sing because someone (probably her brothers) made fun of her singing as a child. She never did seem to get over that. I decided not to be quite so sensitive!

It seems to me that, as I get older, more things I do are habitual and it's harder to break out of a groove and spend the energy to do something completely new, esp when results are not assured. So, it's easier to knit (which I do most every day) and have "creative" ideas about how to do that, than it is to break out and embroider (eventhough I like it when I do do it.)

d d s w i f t (at) g m a i l (dot) c o m

Paula said...

I am 65 years old and only now coming to feel at all creative in my own life. There are several things I need to be creative.
1. Familiarity with the materials ... I'm taking art classes for the first time in my life and just beginning to feel good about what I am doing ... because I am not comparing my work to the others [all of whom are "better" but still I'm okay with that now].

2. Time to think and work with hte materials ... I can't be rushed in any of these projects

3. I am slowly learning that even good or great artists work with and work on and work over their work as their eyes and minds decide on changes ... and sometimes starting over is the best decision

4. E.Z. wrote of "blind followers" and for so many years that is how I knit ... or did anything. Now I'm taking it upon myself to work with and work over patterns until they suit me !

Creativity is both dangerous - it takes me wild places and wonderful because it takes me wild places. The older I grow the calmer I feel and the more I trust my instincts however non arty I may think them.

Paula said...

I am 65 years old and only now coming to feel at all creative in my own life. There are several things I need to be creative.
1. Familiarity with the materials ... I'm taking art classes for the first time in my life and just beginning to feel good about what I am doing ... because I am not comparing my work to the others [all of whom are "better" but still I'm okay with that now].

2. Time to think and work with hte materials ... I can't be rushed in any of these projects

3. I am slowly learning that even good or great artists work with and work on and work over their work as their eyes and minds decide on changes ... and sometimes starting over is the best decision

4. E.Z. wrote of "blind followers" and for so many years that is how I knit ... or did anything. Now I'm taking it upon myself to work with and work over patterns until they suit me !

Creativity is both dangerous - it takes me wild places and wonderful because it takes me wild places. The older I grow the calmer I feel and the more I trust my instincts however non arty I may think them.

elizaduckie said...


It comes out of my subconscious, a quieter place in a busy mind. It seems to work away, I still myself and tune into my inner voice to hear it speak. In ideas and sometimes pictures, sometimes full blown projects. Often surprising, always inspiring.

What blocks it? Other thoughts, or things that interfere with the time or the ability to still myself in order to listen.

Donna S. said...

I am not a designer or artist in any way. I am a "copier" so blogs & books like yours are what inspire me!!!!!!!

Melissa said...

I find my inspiration in nature. I love colors and textures. Mixing and morphing.

I am looking forward to some spring temps and the color returning to Western Mass!

Anonymous said...

I find myself being inspired to create and "do" when I meet on Wednesday nights with my knitting friends and the world's best knitting instructor - Ina Braun. The conversation is inspiration and theraputic and I love seeing what everyone else is working on.

Knitting is the best therapy!

Sandy in NJ

BD said...

Creativity for me is something I treasure because it is an escape from my work-world. I am inspired mostly by colors I see in nature. I suppose the Creator's handiwork is a main source of energy from which I draw my ideas. Something as simple as a ray of sunshine can greatly affect the colors of the object it illuminates. I do not have a formal studio; just my desk. Beneath a corkboard covered in ideas from magazines, swatches of lace or knitting, pictures of my kids and dog and sitting at a desk covered in paperwork with balls of yarn pushed to the back and my circulars hanging off the branches of my desk lamp, this is where I daydream, think about what to knit, embroider or sew and create next. BD

emsres said...

Okay, I know my comment is too late for the contest, but I wanted to post it anyway. My children are my inspiration when it comes to creativity. Where I get bogged down in the details they just sit down and start to create. It's all about PROCESS for them where I tend to always be focused on the result. I have to work at it, but I'm trying to be more like them when I comes to my creative projects. When it comes to all things in fact.

KnitNana said...

Oddly enough, color inspires me - a walk thru the fabric store? Immediately, ideas begin to perk. But texture inspires as well, so seeing fiber, touching fiber, and I'll have to get busy with something. My art/crafts of choice are knitting and sewing, used to be embroidery before the eyes began to go.

NOW? A stroll through others' blogs, seeing their projects, their photos, the colors, textures in photo representation. Wow, starts the juices flowing for me.

Finally, nature: it's color and texture again, here, but beyond anything I can hope to emulate, Mother Nature is the consumate artist.

Thanks for being an inspiration, as well! And congrats on your blogiversary

astoriaAnn said...

My grandmother is my creative mentor. She took me aside from my daily life and showed me how to create. She showed me, over and over again, how to crochet. She planted marigolds and showed me how to harvest the seeds and dry them and keep them for next year. We watered them together and always drew paths through and between them with sticks and then put the hose at one end and watched the rivers form. We started seedlings for all sorts of plants in full seedling trays. We "made due" with all sorts of things, using plastic milk gallons for bird feeders, recycling clothes into quilts and sewing our own. In short, she taught me how to *be* in the moment, and how to *see* and how to *smell.* And those lessons are the lessons I needed. That being and seeing and touching and smelling is where all the creativity comes from.

bwilliams said...

Creativity...I think creativity is an innate desire within each of us. If one believes in God as the supreme creator of all, incuding man, how could one not see that man is instinctively inspired to create. Unfortunately for most people our desire is snuffed out like a flickering candle by a regimented educational system that prescribes right/wrong answers to problems without allowing us to seek our own solutions (let alone our own questions); as a teacher in public school I am continually amazed at the way we have institutionalized the minds of children. Personally, I am inspired by just about everything around me: nature, literature, the media, my friends and students. I am especially inspired by visual stimuli: color, pattern, texture, contrast. I try to keep some sort of recording device with me, be it pencil/paper, or camera/cell phone to capture ideas as they come to me. I also keep a clip file of sorts with imagery that catches my attention. When I am feeling a little less than inspired I sit down with my sketchbooks/clip files/notes and soon my brain is percolating again. I guess if I had to choose persons who inspire(d) my creativity I would need to give credit to my husband, who ALWAYS supports and encourages my creativity, and to my late father and grandfather who allowed me the time and freedom as a child to pursue creative outlets. My art of choice fluctuates; I love watercolor and paint highly detailed realism using drybrush techniques. My subject matter is my life and my surroundings in rural Appalachia. I also love textiles and work with spinning, natural dyes, knitting, crochet,embroidery,weaving and basketry. My current loves are spinning and knitting. I have a pretty good library of resource books and an adequate stash of fibers, but I am continually on the lookout for new inspiration.

M&M said...

Creativity is ME! I am creative in everything I do! I feel sad when others say they are not creative; because we all are and it is simply not acknowledging it that foils the creative juices! They are always there and desiring to maple syrup!
I do wish that I didn't have to work a full time job and could just expound on creativity all the time, this make me be even more creative since I have to be creative at something mundane!
My inspiration comes mostly from my surroundings, but also from folks like YOU! Keep up the wonderful sharing of your creativity and your life!

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