Kind of creative every day

A few days after the new year began I was directed to a site encouraging readers to pledge to be creative every day, in some way. This brought up mixed ideas for me, because in some ways I try to be creative just about every day (often involving food, for some reason, or presentation of educational material in such a way as to make it not seem like “educational material”) and in other ways I feel that these attempts are not valid because they are creative interpretations of activities I choose to do anyway, not truly independent or innovative thought. For example, I want to knit TMoTH a hat. I could follow a pattern, but having a creative outlet is exciting, so I knit him a cable hat that was all mine from cast-on to cast-off. Every row was a new adventure because the cables weren’t charted and so it was very organic in its growth. I was very happy with it. But it was a hat, a knitted hat, and I knew how to make knitted hats already and it was just a matter of making it. It wasn’t like I created an elbow-warmer from first principles.

But I guess this kind of thinking is what leaves one curled up in the fetal position crying on a Tuesday night. Ahem, might in theory leave one curled up in the fetal position crying on a Tuesday night. So in the spirit of our pioneer ancestors finding creativity in the basest of activities and materials, I will attempt to find the creativity in the days as they occur. I won’t always do this–I do actually look for times in which to interject my own creative endeavors–but the fact is that lately, I haven’t had the chunks of time I need to begin a big creative project, nor the mental space to play with it. Once it’s begun it can play and I can play with it and use a few minutes here, a few there. Until then, I make do, I suppose, as our foremothers did. So,

On Monday the 3rd I worked on said cable hat, as I also did for the rest of the week. (Pictures will eventually show up here, once there are any.) I also explored a little watercolor painting with Geeklet.

On Tuesday, baking day, we painted a gingerbread house with sunflower seed butter and nuts, and put it outside on the front porch for the birds. Also practiced sketching. We instituted Family Drawing Night, where after our evening mean we all drew in notebooks for 15-20 minutes. Awfully fun.

On Wednesday, more cable hat.

On Thursday, more cable hat.

On Friday… what did I do? I’d finished the hat. Hmm. Need better record keeping.

On Saturday, I was nice to myself. I bought Japanese notebooks emblazoned with inspirational Engrish in which to keep all my notes for whatever volunteer jobness I have going on (I bought several notebooks). This is Step A in my Plan To Find Ways To Be Nice To Karen (part of the whole “Embrace” program). Crying ensued. Seriously. A little notebook with “Fruit Train: Welcome to the country of the fruit. What do you see in this fruit? It is a train that carries your dream” made me seriously emotional. Call it a creativity breakthrough. Or a be-nice-to-me breakthrough. I’d been using 12-year-old half-shredded notebooks that were losing pages as I used them. Not anymore! Ha!

On Sunday I was too tired to be creative. I took G to the farmer’s market, where we explored the world of the asian pear and wondered whether there are asian apples as well. We made up stories about eggs and music bands and dogs and potatoes. I was too tired to be much creative after that.

So, the lesson, we see, involves better record keeping and a greater effort to be truly creative each day. I honestly think I was more creative than this but lacked sufficient record-keeping skills. (Should that be spelled with a “z”? Surely not.) I know that there was certainly more making involved. I drew a cow at some point.

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