Friday, September 4, 2009

How many fairies fit in a box? The creative process

Don't read this - it's a work in progress. I just needed to write and the camera is in the study which doubles as Moonshine's room. Once she wakes my time is gone.

The Background
I’ve been feeling down this week – over reacting to little things. Like I made Rainbow a new pair of spring pants. She tried them on – they fit perfectly and looked really cute and even better she really wanted to wear her “ice-cream pants”. So she did but then got permanent marker on them on the first wear. I’m not upset at her – as long as she’s clean at the start of each day - I’d rather she had fun then stay clean. But I felt down.
I also feel stuck over what to do with the tops to accompany Rainbow's new spring pants. (There's another two pairs cut waiting my attention - which is probably what I should be doing now.)
Finally I feel like maybe I'm not creative nor particularly good at it. This is kind of a realisation based on all the amazing stuff that's out there in blogland. Is anything I do ever original? Is anything really worth sharing? (This blog's purpose is two-fold - partly it's about keeping a record for me and my girls and partly it's about finding kindred spirits. Other than my Mum who quilts and Dad who paints, craft just isn't part of our friendship groups lives.)

Then it happened... (key dramatic music - lots of banging of piano keys)

The Start
Then on Wednesday morning I found at crafty crow the link to these ‘Tiny Travelling Doll’s House’. They were so enchanting and would be perfect for Rainbow Girl’s pocketful of fairies. (“Fairies with hoodies” says the Gangster Rainbow girl!) So I spent the day playing around with it in my head thinking do I make a dolls house or improvise and make a portable mushroom
So I decided to do both. On Thursday I drew up a template. (I'll scan it once I get the spare scanner from Mum. Fine tuning as I went - front opening and card inner frame mean I don't need a matchbox. Matchboxes in short supply.

The realisation
I then started thinking maybe I could do a blanket stitch around the edges with embroidery thread so it looked sewn together when it clicked. The whole thing could be felt. It didn’t need a card frame. That was a pretty big jump in my thinking - it seems so logical in hindsight. That’s part of the definition of lateral thinking (not that this is truly lateral) - it’s logical in hindsight. It’s also how humour works – the catchline isn’t what you expect but makes sense. Sorry I digress but I love it when my professional learning makes sense in my own life.
But that realisation – it didn’t need a card frame opened up my thinking.

It could be
1. as designed
2. as designed without the frame
3. without the inner box (the box restrict (Trixi at does cute little buttonhole openings - go and look at these) Though it would possibly need lining to look finished inside
4. without the sides – much simpler to sew.
5. More 3D maybe adapt my little mochi's mushroom tutorial
6. All in one piece – adapted from Moonshine’s Snuggy. The mushroom cap like Snuggy’s head then gather the fabric into the stem.

So now perhaps I'll make all of them. Rainbow doesn't need 6 portable mushrooms but maybe I need the buzz of creating. I love the feeling. I use to have that same feeling when solving work problems. I can't still. I just want to walk and get lost in my thoughts. Strangely after both my babies I suffered from a anxiety disorder and I responded in the same way - the same spiralling 'out of control' thinking. It's like hold on for the ride. It's like I've had too much coffee. I wonder if creativity is a drug!


  1. Hi Kristine, I think the idea of 'being creative' and 'being original' is really over-rated. Does it really matter if what you make is original or creative? Who defines these words anyway? If you love what you're doing, then that's the only thing that matters.And if you want to share it, then it's worth sharing.
    By the way I really liked your little fairy and even though I should be doing a whole lot of other things I started making her!

  2. Hi Trixi,

    I wanted to reply but not sure the proticol, so I hope you eventually read this.
    I had thought of deleting today's blog as it reads a little like a mad woman! I know that that's not why I craft - that it's the enjoyment of the making, the satisfaction of the completion and the joy of seeing my daughters love my 'creations'. So you're right that makes it worth doing.

    I'm pleased you liked the fairy and I hope to see your finished fairy. What else are you working on at the moment?

  3. Hi Kristine, I am enjoying your blog. It is really interesting to read about someone elses creative process and thoughts. I think you are right the buzz of making things (in my case quilts) is addictive! I also think your daughters are lucky to have such a creative Mum!

  4. Hi Kristine,

    Still thinking about what u wrote: you're right, creating something original does give a real buzz...know what u r feeling...used to feel like that myself but over the years i have found that creativity is a way of thinking about and relating to things that u learn as much as it's something u just have. Anyway, have a good week.