Wednesday, November 20, 2013

creativity

Welcome to Week One of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood
by Lucy H. Pearce

Today's topic is Nurturing a Culture of Creativity at Home. Be sure to read to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Join the Carnival and be in with a chance to win a free e-copy of The Rainbow Way!

November 27th: Creative Heroines.
December 4th: Creative Inheritance.
December 11th: The Creative Process.

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Today I am joining my dear friend Lucy in her blogging carnival to celebrate the launch of her new and gorgeous book The Rainbow Way. 

It is, as the title suggests all about cultivating creativity particularly for mothers. It is a wonderful guide and handbook, filled with amazing insights into both creativity and motherhood and also has loads of great practical suggestions to cultivate your own and your family's creativity.
(I'm also very excited because I'm in it)

I have always been a  creative person, as a child I spent so much of my time drawing and painting and sewing and making. My mother was and is an incredibly talented and creative person and always encouraged our creativity too. My favourite subject at school was art and all through my teens I spent many hours in the art department working on some project or another.

Reflecting on this subject has made me realise how much creativity is an expression of my happy and true self. I create best when I am calm and at peace with myself and the world. It feels then, at those times, that creativity happens through me, not by me. It is effortless and joyful and I am able to loose myself for long periods of time in stitches and brush strokes. In the same way when I look back I can see that during the darkest period of my life I created nothing, not a drawing or a painting, nothing at all. I was void. 

When I first moved to Ireland I started to feel a bit better and the urge to create came slowly creeping back. I asked for some oil paints for my 23th Birthday and taught myself to use them. There is some of my work on this blog post here. I think it would be fair to say that I dabbled and that was about the extent of it.

And then I fell pregnant with Rebe and this tidal wave washed over me. The need to create was unleashed and I felt frantic trying to find a way to satisfy that craving, every bit as gnawing and real as any craving for chocolate. I continued painting, I didn't really know what else to do, but it just wasn't doing it for me. I did have another problem in that we were broke and I felt I couldn't justify spending money on expensive supplies, especially as I was unsure what or how I wanted to create. So I just made do. I had 2 and a half balls of scrap yarn and a few crochet hooks so I made a tiny, tiny baby hat, making it up as I went along. I cut up old t-shirts and sewed them into little toys to hang above the cot. I went back to painting a little after Rebe was born but I had no space to paint in and my heart just wasn't in it.

my raglan jumper from handspun teal yarn
Then, dear friends, I discovered knitting! By this time I was expecting Benny and it was so much easier to learn to knit having a small little somebody to knit for. Knitting was and is wonderful for me. You can pick it up, have a 2 stitch fix, then put it down to take someone to the loo. Not only are you doing something creative, but you are creating something that is going to wrap people in love and warmth and, if you can pull it off, make them look super funky!

A year or so later I discovered doll making and haven't really looked back. It ticks all my boxes; it allows me to be creative. I can pick it up and put it down as required. I can be as imaginative as I like with them and it is also a way to make a little extra money for the family. I like also the political statement I make quietly through making them, that handmade things, made with love and natural materials are better for the planet, the buyer, the maker and the recipient than any mass produced, chemically laden-ed plastic rubbish. 
Now I am getting better at sewing too, I tend to make the kids many of their clothes, like these trousers I made for Rebe last week,
really soft organic cottons, stretchy waist and elasticated around the ankles so they won't drag in the mud or sand.
Another way that I like to create is here, I love writing these posts and I think that perhaps writing is something I may do a little more of in the future, who knows?

Cooking and baking too is a creative act, and I do plenty of that!

Because creativity is so primary for me, I feel it is very important that my children live in a home where their own creativity is encouraged and celebrated too.
I see in Rebe the same frantic need to create. Some mornings she will be pacing around in her nightie muttering 'What should I make? What should I make?' before an idea strikes her and she's off and running. It's times like these that I find it important to have the necessary means to create.
getting the felt box out
benny's finished christmas tree ornament

So we always have paper and good quality pencils and paints in supply. Glue, card, pipe cleaners, felt, fabric, needles, stuffing. All essentials in our house. Also things like lego, playdough, baking, simple open ended toys like play cloths all encourage and allow creative expression for all ages groups.


Something I have found really useful is having a 'work table': a second table in the kitchen where the kids can get as messy as they like, as close to meal times as they like and if I don't feel like cleaning it up straight away I don't have to.

All 3 kids have a different need to create. Rebe, as I already mentioned has a very high need to create, it's an important part of who she is. Benny on the other hand, has less of a need to create physical things, his is all in his imagination and play. Joa....

toy dog completely wrapped in sellotape 

scribbled face
well I think Joa's creativity might need a little more channeling ;-)

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and grab your free extras (first 200 orders only!):

- exclusive access to a private Facebook group for creative mothers


- a vibrant greetings card and book-mark of one of the author's paintings.


Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble

or order it from your local bookshop!
Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares an extract from the chapter Nurturing a Family Culture of Creativity.

Lilly Higgins is a passionate food writer. Now a mother of two boys, she's discovered a new calling: to instil in them a love of food and creativity in the kitchen.

DeAnna L'am shares how visioning the New Year with your child is an invitation to be inspired: use creativity and resolutions to create a fun road map for the year ahead.


Molly at Talk Birth on Releasing Our Butterflies - balancing motherhood with creativity.


Laura shares some of the creativity happening at Nestled Under Rainbows and a few thoughts about creativity.


Georgie at Visual Toast celebrates her own unique culture of creativity at home.


Esther at Nurtureworkshop spreads the love of the ordinary, the delights of everyday things that can be an adventure of the imagination.


For Dawn at The Barefoot Home creativity is always a free form expression to be shared by all in a supportive environment where anything can be an art material.


Naomi at Poetic Aperture is a mother, artist and photographer who tries to keep her daughter away from the expensive pens and paints.


Aimee at Creativeflutters writes about keeping your sanity and creativity intact with small kids in the house in her post: Mother + Creativity - They Must Coexist.


Amelia at My Grandest Adventure embarks on a 30 Days of Creativity challenge...you can too!


Becky at Raising Loveliness explores creating with her smaller family members.


Jennifer at Let Your Soul Shine reveals how children help us connect to our souls, through music and movement.


Mary at The Turquoise Paintbrush shares her experiences of creating with kids.


Brooke at violicious spent too much time worrying and trying to be creative instead of letting it flow.


Joanna at Musings of a Hostage Mother explains why creativity at home is important to her in her post "I nurture a creative culture."


On womansart blog this week - nurturing a creative culture at home.


Creative woman at Creator's Corner loves color and uses it to paint, draw and decorate to inspire herself and her family.


It took until Amy at Mama Dynamite was pregnant aged 35 to discover her dormant creative streak - she has found lovely ways of tuning into it every since.


Anna of ArtBuds is a trained educator and art therapist. She has been creating all her life and nurturing her daughter's creativity at home is a priority.


Deb at Debalicious shares how her family enjoy creativity at home.


Emily at The Nest explores how creativity runs through her family's life together.


Jennifer at OurMuddyBoots sees that encouraging creativity in children is as simple as appreciating them for who they are: it just means overriding everything we know!


Lisa from Mama.ie has discovered that a combination of writing and traditional crafts can provide a creative outlet during those busy early years of new motherhood.


Anna at Biromums shares what nurturing a culture of creativity means to her.


Zoie at TouchstoneZ argues that the less they are interfered with, the more creative children become as they grow up.


Darcel at The Mahogany Way celebrates creating with her kids.


Molly at MollyLollyLoo explores her family's shared creative times.


Liz at Reckless Knitting shares how she celebrates creativity with her family.


Sally (aka The Ginger Ninja) of The Ginger Chronicles is continually inspired by her own mum and grandmother.


Just being creative is enough, says Nicki at Just Like Play, as she ponders her journey of nurturing a creative family.


Allurynn shares her creative family's musings in her post "Creativity... at the Heart of it" on Moonlight Muse.


Laura at Authentic Parenting explores how being creative saves her sanity.


Mama is Inspired talks about how she puts an emphasis on the handmade in her home, especially in the holiday season.

Kirstin at Listen to the Squeak shares with you several easy ways for busy mamas and dads to encourage their children to be creative every day.


Chiswick Mum believes that a healthy dose of chaos is the secret to nurturing creativity at home.

Mila at Art Play Day always lived in her dreams, sleepwalking through life ... now she is finding out what creativity is all about.... her inner child!


Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From describes how picture books can nurture creativity in young children.

15 comments:

  1. Thank you, thank you my love for joining in the party (and for sharing my baby book!) It's so lovely to hear you talking about your creative journey and your reflections on what creativity means to you and each of your precious little Angels. xxxx

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  2. Lovely post. I keep a low drawer stocked with crafting essentials in my kitchen that my girls can access anytime they like, though we have only space for one table in our kitchen. I love the idea of having a dedicated creative space for them. I'm glad to have found your blog through this Carnival, I must have a look at your dollies!

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    1. thank you :-) We have both open shelving for paints, pencils etc but I keep some of our crafting things like glitter and sloppy paints and glue up high and they need to be asked for otherwise all sorts of craziness would happen! Glad you found your way here :-) x

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  3. such a beautiful blog. Love all the things you're creating!

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  4. Another carnival mama has a creative kids table too! I must get one sorted for my gang! http://kirstinmcculloch.blogspot.ie/2013/11/nurturing-culture-of-creativity-at-home.html

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  5. I aspire to your creative kids table... ! beautiful post, I loved reading about your creative journey x

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    1. it really is handy and I like most that we don't need to worry about mess or cleaning up, that creativity can just happen stress free and without time constraints x

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  6. It's fun to think of the generations of creativity as they manifest themselves in a family. I have tons of great memories of craft projects with my mom, and she continues to do them today. She must be the main influence on my own creativity. I am so excited to be fostering my daughter's imagination and play… can't wait to see what comes of it. Like I wrote in my post, I definitely think I am learning just as much, if not more, from watching my daughter create.
    Your idea of leaving some projects out is great! I am always hesitant to do that because I don't like messes. But a designated area is a wonderful idea.

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    1. i definitely find Rebe's creativity contagious, we sort of feed off each other that way, actually my mum is in that loop with us too, which is lovely :-) yes messy craft table is def the way to go!!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story (creative path). So inspiring!

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