Wednesday, April 26, 2006

All Packed and Ready To Fly...

For the first time in a long time, I am going to head to bed at a reasonable time before leaving for a show! I’m all packed, I’ve checked over my notes, props, slides, stitching etc. and don’t think I’ve forgotten anything... so I wanted to celebrate with a quick blog entry before I leave.

I was surprised that Erin was more clingy tonight than Bethany. They find it hard to go to bed knowing that I will be gone by the time they wake up. Bethany tried to insist that she would wake up at 5 am with me to say goodbye. Erin just clung to me and insisted that she didn’t want me to leave. Teaching her to let go is also helping me because I know that I am the one who will have to learn to let go on so many levels during her teen years as she begins to assert her own identity and independence. I can see it starting already... and I just shake my head wondering where the time went.

A savvy stitcher passed a link on to me today knowing that I’d be interested in getting in touch with these ladies and taking the message to a broader level. This is an example of a terrific site that is both educational and informative without pulling any punches. Bravo to a well designed, well written and well thought out site Stop Piracy . Cross Stitch is certainly not the only craft to face this type of piracy in a digital age!

I’m off to Toronto for a wild and wooly weekend of crafts, lectures, information, inspiration and cross stitch! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Healing Power of Being Creative...

While getting ready for a show always sends me into a bit of worry that I will leave something behind, forget to pack something important etc., it is also a fun time of anticipation. I really like meeting stitchers first hand, seeing all of the creative potential that a festival like CSNF in Toronto offers and trying to remind people about WHY it is so important to stay in touch with our creativity. Sometimes, the act of being creative teaches me SO much.

One of the lectures that I am giving this time is about “Legacy Crafting”. It is a look at ways to use crafts to work through grief, honour someone’s memory, create a tribute to someone who touched your life and may have moved away... because to create is to make broken things into something new.

So, as I sat down last night to create a sample for class, I was taken by surprise when the project demanded to go in a different direction that I had planned. I’d wanted this to be a way to work through my anger and despair about the industry... about the fact that what I created was so easy to steal... about how it would be ok to leave this behind and move on to something else...

Imagine my surprise when the project became an explosion of word, image, and my favourite colour. It became an affirmation of all that I believe about being creative... about expecting miracles... about following your heart... about adventures into the unknown. I completely lost track of time while I was creating this sample in that magical sense that caused the Greeks to create the second word for time - KAIROS. Unlike CHRONOS, time which can be measured, KAIROS is that time which transcends measurement... where it ceases to have meaning. Like when you spend time in the company of someone you love, when you disappear into a good book, when you get so lost in creativity that suddenly time has flown by. Anyone who has ever glanced up from a stitching project to see how late it truly is when they just intended to “stitch one more little section” can understand that vortex.

That kind of creativity is NOT draining. It restores, it recharges and it exhilarates. There is that moment when you step back and look at what you have worked on, imperfections and all, and marvel at the fact that your hands brought it to life.

When we create, we touch that deeper sense of wonder, that deeper sense of creativity... and it should not take us by surprise. Though this has been given many names by many cultures, one of the most universal and abiding among all of them is Creator.