I realised the other day that I have become bogged down with day to day stuff and have sort of forgotten the joy of creating art and craft for the sake of it. Over the Christmas holidays I had the constant company of my youngest who is also very creative, and watching her flip from writing to textile craft to drawing to beading and then restarting the cycle, reminded me of what I am missing. Just the joy of doing something that doesn’t have a defined goal and objective at the end of it. So she and I had a craft afternoon together when the others were out and/or at work and it was such a good soul-food experience that I have decided to make sure I do something creative every day, and on days when I don’t have time I will definitely do something creative! Like my little one (who turned 11 yesterday so isn’t so little), my loves are textiles, drawing, paper craft and writing.
Actually she and I are very similar in lots of ways but as her exposure to some really quite challenging crafts has been a lot earlier than mine, so I am expecting she will be far more accomplished than I was, should she want to be. She is an accomplished seamstress and is a complete whiz on her little sewing machine. And watching her wield scissors and fine needles is something to behold. Just lately she has developed a passion for creative writing, which is helping her no end in her quest to overcome the ravages of Dyslexia (spelling, word formation, reading, etc). Also I have just noticed her craft and sewing box is bigger than mine…hmm, looks like I have competition 😀
So, anyway, as I was saying, a craft a day is my aim, for now at least, until I can get my head back into how much I enjoy it mode again. I started with textile crafts in the holidays but have moved onto my more recently favoured (thanks to university) paper craft.
Fits neatly into the palm of your hand.
Above is the little paper dog I made last night. And below is my lil’un on her sewing machine.
My daughter making a little felt pocket.
I have just realised my new year starts at a slightly different point than that standard 1st of January. Or the changeable Chinese New Year (31st of January this year). It actually dawns of the 10th of January, tomorrow. Along with my own new year date comes a taking of stock and a nod to wear I’ve been and how far I have come, and we have come. As my new year of the 10th of January only started 6 years ago, it is still fairly new, and yet in that time I have:
- Moved house twice, including clearing, packing, organising, unpacking, etc, etc etc, the whole thing. The first time my eldest was 14 and youngest was 5. The second time my eldest was 18 and youngest was 9 – second time was much easier! Both moves were down sizes, so both required huge clear-outs. Loved both moves.
- Learnt to drive. Took me a year and one failed test. It is still one of my most favourite achievements to date (after having kids that is). Bought my first car.
- Went back into education. Firstly just one morning a week, then full time university for 4 years. Loved every minute of it.
- Got divorced. I can’t say I celebrate this, but it is notable nonetheless.
- Completed the Race for Life. Epic wonderfulness.
- Stood up to one local authority, and won. Shouldn’t have had to do it in the first place, but given that I did, I am so proud I managed it.
- ‘Diagnosed’ with Dyslexia. This is here as, after I recovered from the shock of it and stopped being angry with everyone (and myself) for not noticing sooner (I was 41 when it was ‘discovered’), I embraced the difference fully and started to understand my coping mechanisms. Two of my children are also Dyslexic, so we share tips and understanding.
- Graduated with a 2:1 in Fine Art. Say no more.
- Became a student representative and was nominated for Faculty rep of the year. Loved that too.
- Learnt to love public speaking. Now, if you had known me 6 years ago at this point I could barely caste my gaze off the ground, so to be able to stand in front of a room full of people and debate the merits of employment education, give talks on artists, debate with lecturers about the strengths of another’s work, etc, well, let’s say, you wouldn’t recognise me.
- Gave a presentation that enabled me to join the artist group I am now with. This is my future.
- Taken part in and/or co-organised 5 exhibitions in the last year.
- Found myself. I didn’t know I was lost till I discovered myself. This is a good thing, although I think age has turned me into a bit of a gobshite at times. Tough.
- Had therapy. Fabulous stuff. If you are willing to work hard on yourself, this is so worth it.
- Discovered my ‘other’ side. The bit that makes me special. 😀
- Got a paid job, and another voluntary one.
- Rekindled and maintained my relationship with my father.
- Found love – couldn’t find it elsewhere until I learnt to love myself again.
And many many more things, this list seems tiny compared to what I have achieved, but this is perhaps the most palatable (for want of a better word) and publishable. This list is not in any particular order. So, it has been a busy 6 years. Here’s to the next six!