Craftishness, Mamaishness

For when you just don’t know what to make.

Yesterday, I posted this article from Crafting Connections on Read It, Make It!’s Facebook page. (Go ahead and click ‘like’ while you’re there. You know you want to.) It’s a review of a book about eliminating creative blocks, and they share a simple activity to do when you feel like being creative but have no idea how to start.

Here’s the pitiful part, for me: I am very well acquainted with the “creative block.” Writers’ block and I are close personal friends. A movie about my life would include such memorable scenes as me, staring at my bookshelves, utterly unable to commit to one particular book. There would be a heart-rending moment in a fabric store, where I’d stand, weeping, with The Smiths playing in the background, while I struggled to figure out exactly which sort of cotton quilting weight novelty print to buy.

Unblocking exercise

So, while I know well the feeling of a block, I am woefully unable to overcome this sort of thing. It’s the Internet age, right? Surely, I should be able to Google a solution to this problem – but I can’t.

Thus, I was completely relieved to find out that A) I’m not alone, and B) there are people who actually sit around and think about these things, and therefore are able to help other people deal with them. {For the record, I am well aware that this probably tops the list of First World Problems, so I’m trying to keep some perspective here.}

I set out today to do the activity mentioned in the blog post: drawing circles. I’m completely unskilled at drawing, but I doodle like no one’s business, so this felt like something I could manage.

I found some paper, straight out of the printer, and colored pencils. This is not fancy stuff, y’all. The pencils are clearly labeled CRAYOLA.

Unblocking exercise

Verdict: THIS STUFF WORKS. Wow. I sat down with the girls this morning, and just started making dots. (Mine were ovals instead of circles, just so you know.) It was weirdly calming, and it also intrigued Bethany in particular. She started giving me ideas of what the ovals might be: raindrops (it’s raining); polka dots on a dress; eggs in the grass. Then, she had me draw some ovals on the paper she was using to draw a garden.

And, I kid you not, while I was doing this, about five ideas of things I’d like to make sprang into my mind. I didn’t even cover the whole page, and I already feel better.

Unblocking exercise

My free advice for this rainy Friday? Draw some dots with your kids. Something good is bound to happen.