Saturday, June 27, 2009

Why I Create!

I can remember the first thing I created in Elementary Art Class. I was in Mrs. Zachery’s 2nd grade class in Sulley Elementary. It was Halloween and the art teacher gave us a black piece of construction paper and told us to make a cat. She did not hand out scissors, glue, or paint. I was excited! I knew exactly what to do -- take away the parts of that paper that did not look like a cat!

I ripped. I crumpled. I wet the paper with my spit. I rubbed. I tore little pieces off that paper until there it was! A hunched-back black cat with it’s hair standing on end, caught in a frozen scream at an invisible ethereal being! Scary! I got an A+.

That was it! I was hooked! I began to create: glue and paste, scissors and crayons, chalk and paint, you name it, I begged my parents for it! My mother even found crafting kits for me to make. One year for Christmas every Aunt, Uncle, Grandpa, Grandma, Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, Elementary Teacher, Friends of my Mom and Dad…..EVERYONE got Woven Pot Holders I made on a loom. Remember those?

But as I grew, I lost touch with that part of me. Got married, had a baby, jobs were lost, bills had to be paid…………………….Life happened. Until one day, my ‘baby’ grew up and left the nest.

I lost me. I wasn’t needed anymore. I had no one to take care of. What was there to do anymore? My husband had gone with our Son to his Permanent Duty Station. I was alone in an empty house. I had an empty bedroom—albeit a clean but empty bedroom. Dark.

A friend kept inviting me to come to a Stamping Party. I always had a good reason to not go but deep down, I had a really good “funk” going on and I did not want to get out of it! She did not give up—she invited me one more time and told me I was the Guest of Honor! The presenter had a project especially designed for me. Well, I had to go this time—ugh!

When I arrived, everything was set up. Work stations had placemats with our names stamped on them. The colors were red, white, and blue. She had two projects for us, a card and a scrapbook page. They were both a military theme.

I did not want to participate! My Son had recently joined the Military, completed Basic Training, and left home to his Permanent Duty Station. Didn’t they realize I missed him and this was hurting me? I was sad, doggone it! And she should know it!

I frowned. I was here but I did not have to like it! I sat quietly, watching her demonstrate. Hey, wait a minute! That’s cool! Look at that! She was using rubber stamps and ink to make a title page for her son’s birthday party album.

I could do that for my Son! For the start of his Military Career! I was creative as a child. Those “talents” have to still be in there somewhere! A spark started a deep bubbly sense of excitement deep inside me. I felt my soul exhale and start to breathe again. I felt me SMILE!

I had a Mission! I had a Purpose! I had a Goal! I had Something To Do! I plummeted into my scrapbook and never turned back. I firmly believe that God used that Scrapbook as therapy for the Empty Nest Syndrome I was suffering. I am now grateful for my friend never stopping to ask me to come to a Stamping Party!

From that moment on, Creativity returned to my life. I went on to create many more scrapbooks, greeting cards, wedding invitations, birth announcements, jewelry, knitted items until I found polymer clay.

Whoa! This is awesome! Polymer Clay--The Most Fabulous Creative Medium In The World! I can make anything out of it! Again……… I plummeted into my clay creations. I love this stuff! I mean L-O-V-E making things with Polymer Clay. I am HOOKED and forever shall be!!!

I was amazed people liked the things I made from Polymer Clay! They asked me to make gifts out of Polymer Clay for them! They paid me for making stuff for them! I was paid for playing!!!!

Then, I got an email for a custom order--HeartStones!

HeartStones are my own creation, born out of my love and support for my Best Friend. Her husband was recently diagnosed with Stage Four Cancer. I wanted to create something tangible for her. Something she could hold during the rough times she was about to face. Something that would remind her I was praying for her. Something that told her I was supporting her. Something that reminded her she was not alone. Polymer Clay was the perfect medium for my HeartStones.

I thank God for Creativity. It is His gift to me.


  1. I guess I never thought about how my own crafting is theraputic too! My mother MADE me take Home-Ec in high school and I was FURIOUS! I did not want to be married and I certainly didn't want to be a homemaker! I was going to be a business woman! Funny how God knows so much better than you what is good for you. He sowed those seeds then so I could be where I am now. A very happy crafting homemaker!!!

  2. I honestly don't remember the first thing I created -- I have always been creating, thanks mostly to my Mom and her love for creating things! For the longest time, if Mom knew how to make something, then so did I -- and if she didn't know, then neither did I. In college I began to branch out a bit, but not that much. But, when I moved to Rocheter, MN, and discovered Community Education and the amazing things you learn....well, my love for creating grew exponentially! And yes, there are several differences between what Mom knows how to do and what I know how to do -- we have both branched out and discovered new loves, and discovered that while we can certainly appreciate the other's skills and interests, they do not have to be the same.

    Why do I create? Because I can. And because I wouldn't be me if I couldn't.

  3. I remember and made those potholders. I made sure to get a kit for my son when was old enough. We still have it somewhere, along with several potholders.

  4. What a sweet story. Thanks for sharing it Cheri!

  5. wonderful story cheri! i recently found a vintage loom and loops at a goodwill store. i have been making them for my very own kitchen. its still terrific fun.


  6. That is really wonderful. I don't remember you tweeting about this. You really should. You might inspire others to keep helping others or to start their creative juices flowing again.