I'm home from a wonderful weekend of fellowship and cross stitch, but I did learn that sometimes, you have to improvise your creativity when you don't have all the pieces you need.
I’d fully intended to give away the Perforated Paper Castle ornament that I taught in Toronto, but the more people asked to see it and exclaimed over it, the more I decided it needed to stay on MY tree. Stitchers will be able to get that pattern after December 1st on PatternsOnline.com , so hang in there! Luckily, Jeannie had brought along some colours of perforated paper for me to play with. Unfortunately, after a full day of teaching, picking up Bethany from volleyball practice, Nick from school and then rushing to get to retreat in bad weather, I forgot the sheets of blank graph paper that I usually bring along with me...
So I made my own.
Next year, I will remember to put that on my packing list, slow down and check what I have before I race out the door or end up bringing an entire ream of graph paper along just so I don't have to make grids like this again. At least I know I can make one without a computer!
FIrst, I sketched out the letters for JOY and stitched them in overdyed threads on the white paper. Then, I flipped the paper over, borrowed a pencil from Mom and began to figure out how to create a geometric snowflake shape around the word.
I am not the most math gifted person. There was much erasing and slightly colourful language used when I realized that I couldn't get things to work out PERFECTLY... but I took my own posts about perfection to heart. So what if I had to fudge things a tiny bit near the end... I know where the glitch is, but I'm not going to point it out! Eventually, the snowflake shape was ready for me to cut out. I LOVE perforated paper!!!
When I flipped the design to the right side, I discovered that one section had a bit too much white space for my liking, so I added a holly button from the shop. I also thought it might be nice to add some braid and beads to catch the lights from the tree.
Then I made my own cording for the top then hung it on the tree for the ornament exchange!!
INHALE: If we wait for the perfect moment when we have all our supplies around us and everything is just right, then we will have far less moments in which to be creative. This is what I was trying to find more of during my year long adventure... ways of just jumping into the deep end and mucking about to see what I could come up with. No, I didn't have everything I needed or hoped to have with me, but the Creativity didn't need them. It just needed me to be willing to try and work with what I had on hand. How many missed moments go by because we tell ourselves "Wait, I'm not ready!!" ??
EXHALE: Find another crafter that you trust. Decide to try this challenge together and see what happens. Set a date when the two of you can get together for some uninterrupted creativity time. Mark it on the calendar and then get ready with this homework before hand. Each of you should choose a variety of interesting craft items or items related to the hobby you both enjoy. Limit it to less than 10. Put the items in a bag that you cannot see through. When you get together, exchange bags, settle down and see what each of you can create with these mystery items within an agreed upon time limit. It doesn't have to be perfect or beautiful or even something you keep. You just have to be wiling to try... and laugh... and enjoy each other's company while you see where your Creativity takes you. I can't wait to see what some of you come up with!