Day 17: Getting Creative Part I

I could take this post in two directions with a title like that! So I’ve decided to make it Part I and Part II. Today I want to talk about the power of creating: any kind of art and beauty, whether it’s something you can hang on the wall, or eat, or rub on your body. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be “creative,” I bet you are more creative than you think you are!

I'm learning to knit. Again. It's the 4th or 5th time. 🙂

I have known some of my creativity for many years. I am a singer/musician, and eventually that moved into songwriting. I have loved theater for longer than I can count, and that moved into writing music for theater. But as a homeschooling mom of 3 kids, who has usually worked part time, well… some seasons don’t allow for the writing and putting-on of theater productions. Or recording new CD’s. Or singing at concerts.

Melting oils and wax for lip balm

Still, the life-infusing thrill of birthing something in creativity, that’s something I can’t live without. I’ve tried, and it doesn’t work very well. Definitely not the way to find the best Me. So I had to “get creative” in finding new ways to pursue creativity in different seasons. I shared a little bit about this in a past post, when my friend Renee released her first e-book called Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms. I was very honored for Renee to include in her eBook a little peak at my own process of protecting creativity during these busy mom-years.

Lip balm before it cools

I have explored a variety of new outlets, photography being the newest one (and one of my favorites!) As in the photo Rich snapped above, I have taken up knitting and crocheting on a few occasions. I don’t aspire to anything fancy. I am fairly happy with rectangles. I found I really love making things that are useful, and yet beautiful, whether it’s a beautiful yarn I use, a new flavor of lip balm I created, or lovely lotion I rub on my face every day.

Lip balm all hardened.

I decided to experiment with homemade products because of a desire to use healthier products. I had no idea how fun it would be to learn and experiment, and then use my own products! I also make homemade soap, and a liquid hand soap (made from my hard soap bars). An unexpected benefit that I discovered this fall, is that I was forced to make time to renew of our stock of lotion and lip balm with the coming of cold weather. (My skin is very sensitive, so I only use  my only lotion).  I hadn’t made it in a while, so I had a lotion-and-lip-balm afternoon. It was so much fun!

My special facial lotion. LOVE it!

However, in the past year, twice when we ran out of soap, I chose to buy soap. Because it felt very stressful to make it right then. Soap is a hobby of mine, and while it is also useful for my family, I choose to not make it a chore on my list.

My healing lotion cooling.

Another new interest that I didn’t initially choose (because I didn’t think it would be fun) was learning to cook for food allergies. I wrote a lot about that in my 31 Days series last year. But I ended up finding that learning to create my own recipes was kind of fun. It was also useful. (Perhaps I have a type A problem of needing my fun to also have purpose? This is very possible… but another series in itself!)  And while learning to make healthy, delicious foods, we of course, got to enjoy the end results!

Grain free banana bread... amazing!

Fall is a natural time to get baking more. It helps to warm up the house, and we start to crave cozier foods. This banana bread recipe I got from The Spunky Coconut. It is amazing. Oh, I already said that!

In the past I have done scrap-booking, quilting, cross-stitching, and even spent a season learning to sketch. For a little while, I thought perhaps I was flaky for trying so many things, and not keeping them all going. But where would the fun be in that?! I do what I like, I try what inspires me in a given season, and just enjoy the creative process. And if I knit and then unravel multiple squares of pretty yarn, and have nothing to show for it? Well, if I found it relaxing, soothing, refreshing, and fun, it was a big success in my book!

Do you find creativity as refreshing as I do? Have you tried anything new? The Dark Days are a good time to try new cozy things indoors. And to try new things outdoors, too. But that’s another post!

This post is part of my 31 Days series: Embracing Autumn- So long Seasonal Affective Disorder!  You can subscribe to receive my posts daily in your email. Just pop over to my homepage, and type in your email in the little box on the right!

Big SHOUT-OUT to the NESTER, for hosting this fun blog challenge again this year! Be sure to check out the other great series being posted by all of my fellow-bloggers here!

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