Monday, December 26, 2011

Creating for Creating's Sake

Around Art and Soul time, and Christmas time (which are pretty much neck and neck) I feel so pressured to create that by the end of December I'm ready to down the craft supplies, find some chocolate, a good book and a great load of wood to use in the fireplace. Seriously, I'm tired of creating and crafting by that point.

Why do I do it? That is, why do I create in such a rushed and forced manner? I'm not really sure. Perhaps I get so busy throughout the year with teaching, grading, keeping home, teaching childbirth classes, acting as doula at any number of births that I just get pulled too thin. Perhaps it's the emotions of the holidays and knowing it all won't be "just so" and so I get tired of trying. But, more realistically, it's just that every year I question myself. I wonder, "Am I truly created to create?" "Do I truly give people joy through this?" "Is it worth one more year of toil and prep to sit all day at a show and possibly sell almost nothing at all?" And, if the answer is 'yes' to any of these questions I then follow that question up with another, "Why?"

And that leads me to the title. Sometimes it is simply fun to create for the sake of creating. It's fun to see something old take on new life. To see parts become a whole. Conversely to see a whole become parts, and then a new whole, or several new wholes... And the list goes on.

Last year I thought about doing a crafting day with the college ladies from my church. And life happened. And schedules. And doubts. And it never happened. This year I've been trying to host  a small crafting day with two of the young ladies... no longer in college!... for several months. And, just when I felt myself asking all those questions and thinking I should just cancel I decided instead to forge ahead.

You know what? We had a great time. None of us finished a single project, but we all started. We talked about what we liked to create. We talked and talked and listened and listened and became better known to each other. Truly, it gave me joy again in creating at a time when I doubted.

Now, a few weeks later I find myself the proud owner of two new craft books. Gifts from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. One is a general crafting book and the other an "upcycled" jewelry book. And, deep inside where my feelings lie hidden I realize that someone else has seen into my heart, has learned more about me and has given me more than just books, but, in the oddest sense given me "permission" to craft, an incentive to craft, a push to craft, to create, to fall in love with this wonderful hobby/gift all over again.

I've straightened my table, redone my shelves, studied my inspiration board and begun planning for the new year. I don't have to make the same old thing all the time. The last creations I made were actually homemade spa gifts... bath bombs, bath soaks and bath sugar scrubs. Oh my, sooooo much fun. Still creating.. not only the product, but the packaging and all. Perhaps a new venue for Art and Soul next year. Or, perhaps, simply new gifts for family and friends.

But, I've learned that it's okay to create simply for the sake of creating. It gives me joy, peace, a sense of something accomplished (that won't be readily undone like laundry or dishes!) and it gives me happiness. Not a bad trade off!


Exodus 35:30-35

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

Bezalel and Oholiab
 30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts— 32to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them master craftsmen and designers.


  1. We are created in his image, are we not? I have found that all my strongest relationships center around creating something. It almost doesn't matter what that something is: a story, a game, a program, a comic strip... you name it. I have never really tried to sell my art before, even though.some people have tried to pay for it. To me art is something that brings me closer to the people in my life.

    You talked about seeing things come together out of pieces. In the garden, our purpose was to take the pieces that God gave us, the plants and such, and put them together in new ways, arrange, etc. That was before the fall, before death. I doubt the garden actually physically needed looking after back then.Creativity scratches an itch we were designed to have.


  2. Nice entry - that's exactly how I feel about making truffles (and other food for the holidays, for years!) - it brings me deep joy and satisfaction!