When a need arises to draw something or make something that is slightly creative, I usually am the last to volunteer; or more correctly – I don’t even volunteer.  My first response is typically, “I can’t even draw a straight line.”

Recently I’ve realized that while I still feel that way, I have been expanding my creative horizons.  I am not ready to display or sell anything at The Clay Rat Studio but I am enjoying and even looking forward to my next creative venture.  In case you need a little inspiration to see what you already do, or if you want to kick start a new idea, here are some I’ve enjoyed.

Cooking – I follow recipes when baking, but when cooking I like to experiment – try a little of this mixed with that and see how it comes out.  Thankfully I have a husband who is willing to try new things and encourages me in this.  There has only been one thing over all the years I’ve made that we both said, “let’s not have that again!” and funny thing – that was made from a recipe in a popular cooking magazine!  In fact right now, I am drooling over the smell of the turkey soup I just made for tomorrow’s dinner.

Knitting – as a pre-teen girl my Great Aunt Mim taught me the basic knit and purl stitches.  I never really did much with it,  but over the years when we had summer interns live with us (all from one family) I watched in awe at the amazing creations that seemed to magically fall off their needles as they rapidly clacked together.  So I became inspired and picked my knitting back up; especially with Martha’s skillful assistance.  I’ve now made slippers for all the nieces and my sister and me.  I can make a decent dishcloth and a respectable scarf.  I have dreams of tackling socks – but that may have to wait until retirement!

Sewing – Over the last year when I was able to bring my sewing machine back upstairs in our home I became quicker to do our mending and repairs.  But it was time to do more.  This past fall I made Jerry one new shirt and today cut out another that I hope to sew this week.  What a feeling of accomplishment to see something come together!

Painting – this was a real “out of the box” experience for me.  I had never even dabbled (ha!) in painting other than in high school art class, and I don’t believe anything made there ever made it home!  A few years some friends introduced me to “Painting With A Twist” (you can learn about it here.)  While my finished projects will never be mistaken for a Renoir or Monet (though possibly an abstract Picasso – ha!) they’ve been a lot of fun

and given me an opportunity to bond with friends and family, and also to learn a little bit about shading, and blending colors, etc.  And to be perfectly honest I’ve also gotten to see how my elementary attempt to follow the directions can be corrected by the skillful instructor’s hand (Hmmmm-  sounds like there might be a life lesson in there – you think?)

What’s next?  Zentangle  A friend and I read about this a couple years ago and talked about taking a class but “chickened out.”  Then I learned that a very creative and artistic friend had learned the art of Zentangle and is now teaching it to others.  So January 17 I am heading to The Craftery to learn a new way to let some creative juices flow.

Besides having fun, meeting and reconnecting with people, and learning something new there is something even more beneficial from these times.  It is the connection with our God who is the very essence of creativity!  One of the things I marvel about is how many greens there are.  I am not talking about money green, or cookie monster green, or green with envy.   When spring starts to come to your neighborhood behold how many shades and varieties of green there are.  I cannot tell that any of the greens in this beautiful earth are identical.  Wow – how can that be?  I feel certain that there are greens that are so deep into rain forests or jungles, or other isolated areas that only God has ever seen them.  How awesome is it that the God who created the universe didn’t just use the “Green # 601” but took such delight and care to expand our understanding of green!

As I see God’s creativity (and green is jut one way I see it – if you need more convincing of God’s creativity contact me; I’d be glad to share more!) and exercise a bit of the creative spark He placed in me I come to know God on a deeper level and can ponder and enjoy the gifts He gives us in fresh new ways.  Thank you God for creating us in Your image that includes creativity.

So tell me – how do YOU exercise your creativity?  Please leave me a comment either here or on Facebook.  Maybe I’ll even choose a comment at random and send you one of my Zentangle tiles!