Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Creativity Anxiety and the Home-maker part 2. - Treasure Within

"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;" KJV

 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you," NIV (1 Thessalonians 4:11) 

by Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter Creations

I am in awe of the imagination and talents of Beatrix Potter. We can step into her sweet, imaginary world, and never want to return to our own.

Illustration by Beatrix Potter Who wouldn't like to enjoy a pot of tea with Mrs Tiggy-winkle?


Did we miss out on an invitation to the rabbit's Christmas party?

Even her little mice are better than we are?by Beatrix Potter

Now we have had a cheerful time looking at these lovely pictures, we must come back to our own world - because if we do, we will be able to discover the treasures within ourselves that we didn't believe existed!

This is the problem of creativity anxiety in the home-maker. It is a huge, huge problem because when we spend our time in awe of other's creativity, our standards have become so high that we have 'failed' before we have begun.

When we have collections of unused patterns and tutorials, to recreate the beautiful things that other ladies have made (and have generously shared), we may not reaching within to the creativity that God in His wisdom designed us for. We are all creative beings, just like He is, but we must unlock it to express it. That is scary isn't it?

Home-makers of the past didn't have this problem on the whole. They HAD to get creative. They HAD to be resourceful. They did not possess hundreds of patterns and tutorials and media images and factory-made goods, and myriad choices of 'crafting essentials' that the merchandisers tell us we cannot miss out on.

For those who may be saying 'Yes, but I am the exception to the rule, I do not have an ounce of creativity in my bones', I , respectfully do not agree with you!

Do you know, that fabric will tell you what it wants to be, if you listen quietly? : )

Here are just a few ways to begin to unlock and develop your hidden creativity, for yourself your home and family. Please let me know how you get on.

Do not try to be someone else. Trust that you do have hidden treasure within and try not to compare yourself to others.

Have a pretty basket or tin of basic sewing supplies beside your favourite armchair. Needles, a few pins, a reel each of black and white thread, some small, sharp scissors and a thimble. Don't worry if you don't know how to use a thimble. Just experiment until you find what works best for you. If you have a sewing machine, have it on hand all the time somewhere in the room so you can set it up quickly. It does not matter if you don't own a machine. Hand-sewing, as you practice it, is relaxing, pretty and easy to pick up. In fact, many ladies prefer to hand-sew a lot of the time. You can make dresses, aprons, and so on by hand. It is easy to make a button hole by hand. It just takes longer, so enjoy the process and do not worry about a machine. When people see you like sewing, you will most likely receive offers of machines that they no longer need or use anyway.

Take your time Do not make yourself deadlines. Go back and look at the paintings of the ladies and girls sewing in the first part of this series. Enjoy the process. Do not be too ambitious. Running a happy home, means sewing on buttons, taking up hems that have fallen down, getting a few scraps together and sewing a simple doll. Hemming around a square of fabric to make a handkerchief or cutting old tea towels (dish towels) into squares and hemming round to make cloths to wipe the kitchen sink dry after use.

Ask people for unwanted scraps or pieces of material You don't need piles of fabric. Pick out a little that you like and put the rest aside. Keep that little piece beside you for a while, maybe even a few days. Pick it up and look at it. What does it feel like? Is it the sort of thing that you'd like for a handkerchief or a dish cloth? Would it be nice cut out (2 identical teddy bear shapes, or heart shapes) sewn together and stuffed with polyester filling? If you need to look up basic stitches you can find an old book or Home Living has some excellent advice and ideas for beginner sewing. When you have come up with an idea for your fabric, then begin to make it. If you sew something the wrong way, use your sharp scissors to carefully unpick and redo the stitches. This is part of the learning process and is necessary.

Even a tiny scrap can be folded roughly around a little doll, cut and sewn on each side to completely delight a little girl.

Try and pick up a bit of small sewing every day. In my own experience, I found that I didn't enjoy it at first because I certainly suffered from creativity anxiety. But persevere, and you will find you begin to truly enjoy your sewing.

I have concentrated on sewing, but you may wish to knit, crochet, make cards or paint. You can adapt these ideas for any creativity that you like.

Happy, creative New years to you all, ladies.


  1. What a wonderful post to start the new year. Allowing our creativity to begin slowly but beautifully! Since the Christmas celebration has passed, now I am itching to begin to sew once again. I moved my treadle to the living room to have me nearby for when my family needs me...ideas are truly swirling inside my head :-) Thank you for sharing...

    maria b.

  2. I hope you had a joyful Christmas maria b x. We are going to have such fun with our joint themes on slow creativity aren't we! Like you, I am itching to get sewing. I don't have a treadle machine, but I would love one one day. They are exquisite works of art and machinery.


  3. This was another wonderful post! I am going to start a little embroidery project.. and I can't wait. My granny taught me. but I haven't tryed it in years... so we shall see.

    Happy New Years,
    Amy Jo

    1. Thank you Amy Jo, I can do cross stitch but it is a long time since I have done an embroidery project. I think I will do soon though as embroidery can be more fun. I will have to refresh my memory on the basic stitches. Happy sewing x

  4. This post is so encouraging.....I definitely suffer from the type of anxiety from comparing myself to others. Scripture tells us that it's unwise to compare ourselves to others.

    Thank you. You seem to make everything seem so possible....

    1. I am so glad to be of any encouragement. Thank you Mrs.B I am learning as I go too : )

      Who said that ' a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'? Things are so possible as we gently encourage one another. I have managed to get blogging, because of the encouragement and help of others.

  5. I am one of the women who have sooo many bookmarked projects I just can't seem to get started on any. Thank you so much for this wisdom. I plan on following it. I too sew with a treadle sewing machine - as we don't have electricity. I love my machine. It sews nice and slow - my muscles don't tense up as they used to do with a fast moving electric machine. My treadle is in the dining area of our home. Again - thank you for this wonderful post!
    blessings - carol

    1. Hello Carol. The way you have described your experience of sewing with a treadle machine is beautiful - and you have it in a convenient place for ease of use. Thank you for your kind words x

  6. I certainly needed to read this post, as it's sometimes difficult to get into the "homemaker spirit" when you're not always feeling at your best. I still have the "dream" of making my own basic skirt drifting back and forth in the recesses of my mind . . .

    Thanks for sharing these words. There may still be some hope for me yet! :)


    1. I understand a little how you feel, as I have quite low daily energy levels myself and have to pace myself carefully. Maybe it would be fun and easier for you to do smaller projects than a skirt. They are all useful parts of home-making. A skirt can be quite too much to cope with, but hemming small handkerchiefs or cloths, or appliquéing shop-bought fabric pretties to clothes that you already own, can be very satisfying.

  7. What a great view point. That time spent allowing inspiration to happen is what is missing in this society of now and faster.

    I'd love for you to share this with my Thursday Link up - as this post seems inspired by one astounding works of literature!

    Stop by on Thursday if you can.


    1. Hello Marissa,

      Thank you for dropping by and leaving your kind comments. I am following your blog now so hopefully will be reminded on Thursday to link up this post.


  8. "Creativity anxiety", I love that expression! I have certainly suffered from it. My husband's mom is an excellent quilter and when we first got married, I pressured myself into trying to become like her. My husband was so sweet in encouraging me to not try to fit into another person's mold.

    At first I thought I just wasn't creatively inclined, but now realize that we each express creativity differently. That's not just okay, that's a GOOD thing! :)

    Thanks for this great series!

    1. Lovely to hear from you Anna, and thanks once again for your kind email.