Everyone Has Some Artistic Ability

October 31, 2016


Everyone has some kind of artistic ability

I started this blog several years ago after some pretty tough times turned everything in my world gray. I felt like I was living in one of those old black and white movies I love so much. Getting lost in their dark plot lines and pithy dialog was always entertaining, however existing in a reality without color, was not.

Then one day, I came into my kitchen and noticed a vase of beautiful red tulips smiling at me from the kitchen table. Gosh, they were pretty. I had been buying them each week at the grocery store for months, but for some reason that morning, they were extra red and I really saw them and what a difference they made in my day.

And on my psyche.

No, none of my problems had suddenly disappeared, but my attitude changed almost immediately and snapped me back to life. I remembered how much I loved my home, crafts and decorating. I thought about how much joy I had derived from those activities and how much I missed those simple pleasures. They may not have been important in the grand scheme of things, but they were the activities that fed my soul.

Somehow, in all the madness of those crazy years, I had let that fact get away from me.

The tulips reawakened me that morning and I decided right then and there to find something of beauty in each and every day in my surroundings.

A blooming flower.

A neatly made bed.

Something festive for my front door.

A holiday banner.

And I decided to share it with you.

I figured I could show people how to feather their nests for next to nothing even if they had never crafted before, spread some smiles and keep myself honest and accountable on my quest for beauty in the everyday.

So far, so good.

Nothing I do is difficult, it's all perfect for beginners and those on a budget. The glue gun is my best friend and when I say that anyone can "do this"... I truly mean that anyone can "do this"(insert your favorite craft here).

I never use power tools (with the exception of a sewing machine ~ and I do that poorly, trust me!) and most of my creations have been derived from the kindergarten crafts I used to do with my students a million years ago.

So seriously. Anybody.

And yet.

I constantly have people tell me that they have no artistic ability whatsoever and they could never make my crafts.

Insert my grimace face here.

I don't like to hear that.

Perhaps it is the kindergarten teacher in me, but I firmly believe that everyone has some artistic ability.

Everyone.

I started to write about it in my last post on pumpkin painting, and it's been bothering me for awhile, so allow me to elaborate.

Ok. So maybe you can't paint like DaVinci or sew clothes or build a something from an old pallet or refinish a chair.

Guess what? Neither can I. Nor do I want to do anything of those things.

Like ever.

That's not my passion, so I don't even try.

I am a lazy crafter. I make things, because I am too cheap to buy them or I can't find what I really want.

Seriously. I don't even have a craft room.

I am such a product oriented creator. The faster I can get the job done, the happier I am....and that's ok. Life is too short to do things you don't want to do in your free time.

But don't want to and can't are two different things altogether.

Case in point: Sewing.

I have people tell me all the time that they can't sew.

Kindergarteners sew. Up down, up down. It really is that easy. The machine is even easier. If you can drive a car, you can sew on a machine. Just push down on the pedal and stay in your lane.

No kidding.

Can't paint? Uh-huh.

You know kindergarteners do that, too.

Of course, I'm being a little sarcastic here, but not to make fun.

To make a point.

You see it's really just a matter of trial and error...but only if you want it.

I want a wooden sign, but I don't want to hand letter. I stink at it, so I cheat by getting the guy at Home Depot to cut my board, then I paint it without sanding or priming and slap a sticker or some wooden letters on it.

Rustic Wooden Farmhouse Sign
Easy Farmhouse Sign
I find a way to get from A to B and suddenly I look like I have tons artistic talent and natural ability, when what I really have is a keen understanding of my limitations and some rudimentary painting skills.

I make it work, because it's my passion.

And it may not be yours, I totally get it and support that, not everyone wants to craft, but it makes me crazy when I hear my friends tell me that they have no artistic ability whatsoever.

You see, I don't think being artistic has anything to do with sewing or painting or crafting at all. I think that definition of art is just way, way too narrow.

So you can't make a curtain or whip up a seasonal wreath.

Can you cook? Do you bake? Do you garden? Do you arrange little vignettes in your living room? Do you paint your own nails without getting the polish on your cuticles? Is your hair and make up always on point? Do you design websites? Do your shoes match your bag? Do you set a fabulous table? Can you carve a jack-o-lantern? Do you arrange grocery store flowers for your table? Do you throw a great party? Do you wrap gifts with ribbons and bows? Do you groom pets? Do you scrapbook? Do you knit, crochet or quilt? Do you take pictures? Do you write or sing? Can you dance? Do you decorate your home for the holidays?

Well, every single one of those activities is an art form in and of itself.

Every single one.

And that makes you an artist and a person who possesses a great deal of artistic ability.

Suddenly a few painted puzzle pieces glued together don't seem so impressive anymore.

make a banner with puzzle pieces
Puzzle Piece Love Banner
Do they?

Just don't tell the kindergarteners that.

Now it's your turn. Let me know what your artistic talent is...I can't wait to find out!


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58 comments:

  1. Kim, this is so true! I taught preschool for years before homeschooling my kids so maybe there is something to the teacher turned crafter. Like you, I gravitate toward simple and am usually motivated to make what I want rather than spending the money to buy it ;) Have a lovely week!

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    1. I think that teacher turned crafter is a definite thing...must be all that misplaced cutting and pasting energy!! ;)

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  2. what an absolutely wonderful and inspiring post.
    i love the analogy of the black and white movie to your life before the red tulips.
    i too love those movies. not the film noir necessarily... but all the old romantic ones.
    i named my new apartment 'safe harbor' for a reason.
    i'm healing. regaining strength. both physically and emotionally.
    no crafts for me necessarily but more a 'making of my life as art.' creating beauty around me.
    alexandra stoddard has always been a favorite of mine. and your post reminds me of her.
    have a wonderfully creative week dearest bean! XOXO♥
    and oh yes... if people just knew what that cheery touch of red does for one's soul! LOL!

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    1. Your comment is a compliment of the highest order, Tammy. Thank you so much and from what I have "seen" you are certainly creating beauty around you...especially in the friendships you have cultivated online...xo

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  3. Fantastic post! I was originally attracted to your blog, because of the name. Exquisitely Unremarkable, suggested to me a person who found joy in the ordinary...and I knew I had to follow you. I think we all have a talent for something....we just need to discover what it is...mine, indoor/outdoor gardening. Enjoy your day! ;)

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    1. Donnamae, what a nice comment! You know, yhat is exactly what I wanted it to convey with my blog name...a sense that there is exquisite beauty lurking in our unremarkable, everyday surroundings. It's just waiting to be noticed. I am glad that is what you thought of when you heard it! Now...if I could just spell it properly every time, I'd be in business!! ;)

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  4. This was a great post Kim. It helps us all to remember we all have special talents within. I think my passion has always been my home. With all the stress in our world and in my own life I find my home to be a safe and peaceful sanctuary. So feathering my nest on a very tight budget is a must for me. That is what I love about your crafts. You do something easy and fun and it does not have to cost a lot of money. Perfect combo! Have a great Halloween today and wonderful rest of the week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Thanks so much Kris…and you feather your nest beautifully and inspire us all along the way!! :)

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  5. Kim, thanks for reminding me that I CAN put my mind to something and make it turn out, not perfectly, but to my satisfaction. That is what the majority of us can accomplish and to be reminded of that occasionally is a great gift. I love all your crafting and ideas and how you look at the world through rose colored tulips! Happy Halloween, my friend.Judy

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    1. Thank you, Judy! I have to say that when I started blogging, I truly found my people. Whether they be bloggers themselves or crafters, I love talking shop and sharing with others. I am glad that I can inspire, but I have been equally inspired over the past three years! Who knew the internet could be so much fun? ;)

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  6. Love this, Kim! You're so right...everyone has something they do well. For me, I think home has always been where my heart is. If you asked me when I was a little girl what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said "A stay at home mom." :) I've always loved being in my home and decorating it on a budget. I even like cleaning my home. Gasp! Lol!

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    1. No gasps here! Cleaning is like therapy for me, Lisa. I like it when everything is in its place and the house is shiny and neat! Then I can sit down and look around at what I've created. That is my enjoyment! :)

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  7. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote! People have always asked me about something in my home. Where did I get it? I made it. You DID! Everyone can do it if they just put their mind to it. But more importantly IF it's something they'd actually enjoy doing. (And I don't have a craft room either...)
    Brenda

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    1. Thank you, Brenda! And I think we do ok without a craft room!! ;)

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  8. Hi Kim, this is such an inspiring post and I totally agree on the creative side of our lives. You are so right, everyone has something they do and enjoy which can be called artistic even if they don't realize it.
    When I taught beginning decorative art painting, usually on the first day students were so reluctant and would say, "I can't do this no matter how hard I try" In the end, that was a forgotten phrase as once they started to really enjoy themselves, they found they could beginner paint and accomplish something wonderful. It was just a matter of trying and not thinking of failing before you even begin.

    Artistic endevours don't have to be difficult or complicated to be successfully completed.
    Your tutorials and projects are the perfect inspiration for everyone. Thanks for sharing!
    Wishing you a nice evening and Happy Halloween!

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    1. Thank you so much, Celestina Marie! I agree with you wholeheartedly and I think that sometimes all a person needs is a kind soul to guide and encourage them. Your students were lucky to have you there to help them find their talent! I am sure they are grateful for that! :)

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  9. My absolute favorite is still that amazing red hydrangea wreath and I need to make me one of those asap!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. SO easy, Debbie!! I say go for it! :)

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  10. It's really nice to read this, Kim, because I often tell myself I'm not going to be able to do a certain craft but if I push myself I can...then I feel terrific! I'm glad you pointed out that creativity exists in all sorts of things because I'm a really lousy crafter but pretty good at setting the table!!! ;-D

    Jane

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    1. You certainly are...and cooking and writing and decorating...I could go on and on, Jane!! :)

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  11. Great post! I so agree, I truly believe everyone has been given a gift. Sometimes we have to search a bit to find out what it is but it is there and practice does help too! Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Practice does help, Lynn and I think if we are passionate about something that is all that matters! :)

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  12. You are absolutely right that everyone has their own unique talents and artistic abilities, but trust me when I say I can't use a sewing machine! And yes, I've tried. Several times. I am so bad at sewing that I actually FLUNKED the sewing semester in Home Ec class in high school! I'm not ashamed to admit that because yes, I do have other creative outlets which I'm good at, especially cooking and baking. Good thing we're all different, otherwise it'd be a pretty darn boring world! :-)

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    1. Yes, you totally excel at cooking and baking…two things I do not...but love looking at on your site. I can almost taste your soups!! My husband always tells me that I would make a great chef at kids’ restaurant. You know, grilled cheese, chicken fingers, hot dogs. I don’t believe it’s a compliment. ;) AND if it makes you feel better, my machine hates me…I spend more time ripping and unjamming the bobbin than I do actually sewing anything. AND if I’m going to be really honest here, it’s not just my machine, it’s any machine I touch. So I am thinking it’s operator error. Hmmm….

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  13. I so agree, I do think everyone can be creative. I love to cook, garden, decorate & I'm pretty average in everything....even just cleaning & rearranging makes my house beautiful & makes me happy....it doesn't take a lot of talent to clean. I feel so much better about myself & my day when I clean up & organize.

    So today's creative fun:
    - sanded & stained the serving ledge on my screened porch,
    - scrubbed clean the lounge chair cushion (it was filthy from summer use)
    - wrote a letter to the parents of my little boys Sunday School class(we're planning a packing party for Operation Christmas child)
    - organized all the donations I've been given for our packing party & made a list of what I still need to buy
    - planned a meal I'm taking to a friend on Friday, her husband just had surgery
    - cooked a home-style breakfast (just for me!)
    - made a dinner salad for supper(which he raved about) plus a smaller one for my husband to take to work tomorrow
    - made myself a yummy homemade vanilla latte then cleaned up the kitchen
    - took a few photographs of the fall leaves in my yard
    - scheduled a breakfast date with my married son for Wed.

    I had more on my list to do today but I spent the morning having my teeth cleaned, running by Walgreens & Braum's then ran into a friend & chatted for about 20 minutes. But it was a full day. I even had time for a morning text conversation with my daughter-in-law & another text conversation with my son while I fixed supper.

    I think we need to look at things we plan & organize, especially when we do it for others, as loving on others in creative ways. There really is no end to it!

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    1. Wow, Jenny, you are so productive and creative!! I wish I had your energy and your talents! I do agree that organization and planning and definitely keeping a clean home are all creative and artistic pursuits. I need to tear a page out of the Jenny handbook and get myself more organized!! I am going to print out your comment and keep it as motivation for myself. :) Thanks so much for sharing!! You have started a fire under me!

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  14. Hello Kim and happy November! I think all of us have something we can contribute to the world around us and when we find it, there is NO STOPPING US! I so love your kitchen and the "contrasts" are remarkable. Thank you so much for coming to visit my post! Happy November swet Kim!

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    1. That's right...no stopping us once we find our creative groove! You seem to have many, Anita!! :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend. Happy fall!

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  15. I totally get this whole post and love your encouragement for us lazy crafters. I think for me there has to be a desire for crafting which I don't have as much anymore. I did it ALOT in my 20's and 30's. I love seeing others craft projects and if I want to make one, I am a great copier. I guess that is my craft skill! Don't shoot me but I bought a fabulous, huge stenciled sign at TJ MAXX today in red that says COFFEE in ivory. It will go in my cobalt and white kitchen (with red accents). I figured by the time I got the large board, painted it and bought the huge stencil (very expensive) then I would have paid at least half of what I did pay. Which was kinda pricey. Sometimes you just have to go for it. Could I have done it myself? Yes! Did I want to? NO!!

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    1. AnnMarie, I am a firm believer in buying it if it’s right. Sometimes DIY just doesn’t cut it…especially if you are not into making it!! Like I said, life is way too short to spend time doing things you don’t want to! Enjoy that sign!!

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  16. Oh Yes! I learned how to sew all by my little self about 17 years ago. I made our first born son his crib sheets. No they were not perfect, but I had fun doing it. I still sew once in awhile, and even though any of my works are not perfect. I am happy I did and try! Not to say that I do not get upset. I do, and I have cried out loud pulling my stitches out.
    I wish many a time I was a seamstress like my mother, who sewed my wedding dress! But my mom would not teach me to sew, because she was left handed, she said she did not even want to try.
    In the next week or so, I plan to sew some Christmas napkins. My lines may not be 100% straight, but I will be happy I tried.

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    1. Wow...your mom made your dress?? Now that is talent! I made a dress in home ec once and it looked like, well, a dress that a 7th grader made in home ec!! Haha!! ;) I have been there crying over the stitches, too, or when my machine will not behave and the bobbin jams and tangles. My grandmother could sew like your mom....a lost art. Now I glue and stick. Oh well, we do what we can!! ;) Can't wait to see those napkins!!

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  17. Kim my day is not complete unless if I have created some beauty somewhere. Some days there is lots of time and others I'm lucky to find a few moments - so I keep multiple projects lying around. Today my four year old daughter asked me to teach her blanket stitch for a little project she is crafting. I did and would you believe it she caught on to that stitch instantly. It was special....I think for those of us who do create it is our way of making the world a better place. I enjoyed your post and the comments.

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    1. I am not surprised that your daughter picked it up so quickly…apples do not fall far from their trees! She’ll be weaving and knitting right along with in you in no time, I am sure of it! :) What a lovely gift to pass along…

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  18. It was inspiring post and one I kind of needed to hear. I don't venture out of my craft comfort zone...Maybe it because I already have several crafts I enjoy doing and don't need/want to learn another...or maybe it because I'm being safe. As an example I've had a Cameo Silhouette for over three years that I'm intimated by? What's up with that. Maybe I could bring it to you so you could lean and teach me how.

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    1. Haha, Cathy, that is so funny! I have always wanted one, but thought that I would never be able to figure it out! Maybe you need to show me!! ;)

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  19. It has taken me 16 years to finally realize I have abilities and I am happy I realized it. It would have been sad if I never learned this lesson. Great post, Kim

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    1. You, my friend, have abilities…I have seen them in action and the results are fabulous!! :)

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  20. Thank you for your uplifting post. It is always good to be reminded that each of us is special and talented in their own way. Have a lovely and memory filled week.

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    1. I am a firm believer in that, Jann! Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope you have a lovely week, too. : )

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  21. Kim, I have been living in the black and white since I lost my job in May when the pharmacy where I was employed was sold and relocated, I was devastated. The adjustment has been much harder than I anticipated so I poured myself into my home. I practically drove my poor husband crazy with all the projects! Well, now they are all done, and thanks to your post, I finally sat back yesterday and realized that what I do IS important, and my home reflects that. It's a warm, welcoming place that gives me a great sense of satisfaction and joy with every chore or change. Thanks for bringing me back to the beautiful colors of the world!

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    1. Nancy, I am so sorry to hear about your hardship. It is not fun when life throws us a curve ball. I am so glad to hear that you were able to find some meaning and comfort in my words. That brings me so much joy and truly makes me happy. Our homes are our havens and keeping one, feathering our nests is an important job. It fills us with pleasure and gives our family a comfortable, beautiful, safe place to recharge. Important indeed. Thank you so much for weighing in today and sharing your story. Here's to more days filled with color!! : )

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  22. I agree . . . artistic talent is found in many ways . . .
    for sure in the kitchen in creating a meal . . . .
    Really, we've all been quick and creative with food . . .
    In my early days of "first apartment" I was quite creative with bricks and wood to make bookshelves.
    Fly fishermen are often very creative in making their own flies for fishing . . .
    Yesterday while painting a friend showed me a FAN brush . . . OH MY . . .
    What fun that was . . . I felt like an artistic genuis in five minutes . . .
    Great post Kim . . . we all have a bit of creativity in us . . .

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    1. Yes, we do and it's there if we look for it and widen our definition of what being artistic or creative really means. Thank you for your sweet words, Lynne. You certainly are gifted in that area!! I love reading your comments...always.

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  23. I enjoyed your post and all of the comments. Our family has a lot of very creative people but I am not one of them. I am able to copy and follow a pattern or a recipe but not so much to start from scratch with a totally new idea. And I am okay with that. I can adapt those patterns and recipes to suit me. I don't always have time in my day to do the activities on your list of art forms but the day is better when I can squeeze something in. Thanks for your post. Happy fall.

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    1. Lorri, I always laugh when you say you're not creative, because you have created some of the most beautiful food I have ever seen...your cheeses and breads...plus what you grow on your farm...I mean farming is certainly an art form in and of itself. Even if someone has a pattern, the end copy or creation is their own version and oftentimes better than the original. And I love my tulip tags and banner. I keep then on my desk and stare at the pretty every day. Who says you can't a tulip banner at Christmas!! Happy fall to you my friend.

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  24. I was going to say..."oh but I am very horrible at drawing," which is what I think of when you say the words "artistic ability." But I did teach myself to sew & made several square dance skirts. And I groom the dog. I even groomed one of our cats until she died. Can you imagine clipping a cat? Not the easiest thing in the world, let me tell you.

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    1. Uh...I had cats and that clipping was a nightmare. Definitely an art from, Florence. Definitely!! :)

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  25. Did you write this just for me? I know you didn't but it sure felt like it. Creative is not a word I would often use to describe myself. I can be inspired by someone else and make something though - if I take the time to do it. Taking the time is really the hardest part for me.

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    1. That time thing is always a nuisance isn't it? You have created a lovely home (with another on the way), two fabulous ponds, a pound cake that still gets pinned over and over again from my account, plus you have created a popular blog that I can't wait to read whenever you pop up in my feed and many friendships across the miles! I would say creative is a perfect word to describe you! :)

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  26. Sending a cyber high five your way. The ability to create is nothing more than the desire to do so. When someone says they can't cook or sew, as an example, what they're really saying is it is not a passion of theirs because really, all it takes is the ability to read and MAKING the time. NO excuses.

    XXX

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    1. I’ll take that high five, Doreen! Gosh, I wish we lived closer for a visit. I think we would get along famously and spend a lot of time laughing!! :) Maybe on one of your trips you can swing by for a giggle! xo

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  27. +I just stumbled on your Blog today, and I am glad I did...you are exactly right! "but only if you want it" and "I make it work because it's my passion" fit me to a tee!!!!
    I have been feeling a little bit like a female Peter Pan lately. I am a divorced 58 year old woman, with no family, with friends all older than I, that sews, gardens, cooks, paints, etc...I love it all!!! I realized that I just want to play, and do what I want. I struggle to learn new things, like hand embroidery, but that's OK...practice makes perfect.
    So, thank you for making me feel better today, and not like I have to apologize for just being me!
    Kathy

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    1. Kathy, your comment just made my day. I am so happy that you found some inspiration and joy in my words. That is my reason for writing. I think you will find a lot of kindred spirits among the commenters and don't think you are alone in your desire to play and craft. Creativity feeds the soul...thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and I hope you have a wonderful afternoon. Happy creating! : )

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  28. I have visited your blog often, but when I read this I just had to comment! So true and thanks for saying this!!!! I LOVE my home. It is not fancy with high end furnishings. It is warm and cozy full of second hand castoffs that I either redo or love them as they are. I do not sew great either, but it doesn't stop me. No one has ever noticed any of the slight errors I make and I so enjoy the process. The older I get the more I want to create, it makes me happy!

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    1. Sue, I think that we are kindred spirits!! I can relate to everything you just said!! Your comment has totally made my day and thank you so much for weighing in.

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  29. Kim, you are my inspiration! You remind me that perfection isn't the goal, accomplishment is. Did you see my latest spur-of-the-moment creation - the old ragged wood barn? I thought of you. Just whip it together with what you have. Of course, I laughed when thinking of the chop and table saw and air compressor! You don't like those!
    I had a season of black and white. What a difference crafting would have made! In the middle of that, I recall one day where I didn't get dressed at all, but worked on wrapping christmas presents all day long. It was glorious! If I had continued that, by making something else, and something else, the black and white might not have lasted as long...
    I was wondering about the significance of the red tulips. Red is an energizing color, certainly.
    This has been a pretty scattered comment, but that's me!
    What is my creative bent? Oh my! Wood. Fabric. Scraps of anything. STUFF that needs a new life. Power tools. Hand tools. No tools. And when I have a clean space (a rarity!) it's so easy to let something flow and come up with another neat and useful project. EU, upgraded to power tools! I love you to death!

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    1. Nancy, you have always been such a sweet supporter and I have always appreciated it. I think that you are very creative and super talented. You make something out of nothing and share you lovely ideas and creativity with the world. I think that is pretty amazing. xo

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