Friday, November 6, 2009

Inspiration Overload

I found this book on Amazon Marketplace recently and had to scoop it up. A copy of this same book was on our bookshelf when I was growing up. Actually, it wasn't on our bookshelf, it was always in somebody's hands, either mine or one of my sister's. A sister now has that copy, with a missing back cover and loose spine, but it's still readable and well loved. Every page of that book is like an old friend, comfortable and familiar.

That book, along with a couple of Pack-O-Fun magazines, were all we had for crafty inspiration. But it was enough. I believe I've made, attempted to make, or dreamed about making every single project in this book. See the stocking pattern above? My mom used that pattern when she made my stocking, which still hangs on my mantel every year, along with the stockings I made for my husband and kids.  There's a rag doll pattern in the book that my older sister made for me. It's the first doll I remember having, and the doll I hand stitched clothes for when I was a preschooler. That book taught me how to knit, how to carve soap, how to sew, how to create.

Contrast those sweet memories with today. I have a bookshelf full of crafty books, a basket full of sewing magazines, an endless list of blogs I love to visit, and just about any idea I want to explore is only a Google search away. I'll never accomplish a fraction of the projects that swim around in my head from all this inspiration. Everywhere you can hear talk of the "information overload" age we live in. Sometimes I think we can also be burdened with "inspiration overload" as well.

Don't get me wrong. I love having books at my fingertips and being inspired by all those creative ladies that let us glimpse into their lives through their blogs. I love the resurgence of creativity and sewing I've seen developing in our country. It's just that sometimes I find I need to take a creative step backwards, simplify my thinking process, and remember to enjoy the simple things in front of me. Enjoy putting needle to fabric for the sheer pleasure of it, enjoy the sound of knitting needles clacking together in a rhythmic pattern, enjoy a completed project being put to good use. Sometimes I need to stop trying to be a more inspired, creative, unique craftsperson, and simply find joy in the person I am right now.

 So, to all of you, have a relaxed, simply enjoyable weekend!

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