Another creative project our family enjoyed was building a number of hand drums. In the course of one weekend, we sanded, stained, and decorated the drums. It was labor intensive, especially the final lacing and tuning. The sound is amazing. I love the vibration in the room when we play them. I learned that creating something myself can be higher quality and more satisfying than buying something factory made.
One of the projects I did finish during that time was a batik quilt I made for my 40th birthday. I call it “Breaking Out of Tradition” because the center shifts 45 degrees to create a new design. I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted to do, but did not follow any patterns. I learned to be adaptive and that it’s ok to take things apart and re-do it if needed. I also made several smaller wall hangings in bright bold colors. The rainbow-colored spiral wall hanging is called “Ignite the Fire Within.” My captured fabric journal cover was completed during a weekend retreat. It is rewarding to have finished projects in colors and textures that I love.
For my 50th birthday, I learned how to paint silk scarves from the women at St Margaret’s House in the Silk Creations program. They are amazing artists. I love the colors and feel of the silk scarves, which are a joy to wear. I made a large silk wall hanging symbolizing the tree of life and the empowerment of those women, which now hangs in my bedroom. I am inspired every day when I see it.
I can chart my inner growth with these various projects. Others may see art, but I see the inner story unfolding. Art and creativity touch my emotions and help me process them in ways that words are unable to do. When I don’t take time for art, life feels dull and my soul feels heavy. I’ve learned to make art an important part of my week.
What are you doing to cultivate your creativity?