My Tinkering Challenge

Growing up I found it fascinating to explore my parent’s creative spaces. From my dad’s functional wood working space in the basement to discovering old boards hidden away in the barn. I would randomly create designs by nailing nails into boards or find eclectic old boards to build simple furniture. These projects were by no means executed perfectly, but it was uninhibited creating with what I viewed beautiful, while being resourceful with what was accessible to me. It brought forth a sense of pride when a vision came to fruition. While I am still fascinated with wood and the potential of what it can become, my heart was sold to my mom’s sewing room. With a space dedicated to her fabric and sewing, she would sew everything from her own wedding dress to tailoring her 1970s sport suit jackets. She was always elegantly poised and her clothing was always tailor made to fit her perfectly. I would spend hours in her sewing room watching her sew or rummage through her pattern drawers. My mom installed a sense of ‘if you can imagine it, it can be created’. She had a talent I was inspired by and to this day still aspire to attain.

As we move into a new year, I reflect back on how creativity and textiles has always been a part of my life. From childhood creations in my mom’s sewing room, to rewarding myself after exams in university with a few meters of fabric, to working at a 40,000 sq. ft. fabric warehouse for 8 years. Anyone close to me can attest to my obsession of sewing as I’m sure they have ALL been gifted a sewn project from me. So, as we move into the New Year I am going to take the path of least resistance, as I search for direction in life, and embrace what naturally consumes my world, TEXTILES.

Last year I chose “BUILDING BEAUTIFUL” to be my mantra to guide me through the year. My goal was to bring beauty to my surroundings in simple esthetic forms. From beautiful tea towels and wonderfully sewn cloth napkins, to simply taking my fabric out of boxes and displaying it in my sewing room. Beauty was built around me. The words I have chosen for 2017 are ‘CURIOUS CREATIVITY’, and to help execute these words I have created a challenge for myself; to sew through my fabric. (If you’ve seen my fabric stash, you probably can’t wait to see how this will pan out!) I want to use the fabric I have collected over the years to experiment and expand my tool box of creative techniques while being resourceful with the supplies I have already accumulated. The challenge is not really to sew up ALL my fabric (because that would be ridiculous ;P and near impossible), but rather to focus my creativity and inspiration while staying within a budget. I want to sew together long-awaited projects and to share my creations with you via a blog and an online store.

“The Universe buries strange jewels deep within all of us and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels – that’s Creative Living.” – Elisabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

In the year ahead I hope to accomplish two things. To complete projects which were initially planned when the fabric was purchased and to follow new ideas and projects as they present themselves. This would include a variety of bags (storage bins, grocery bags, carry-all bags), blankets and quilts. I hope to execute things I’ve always dreamt of completing, like perfecting the perfect summer dress, sewing an elegant homecoat (house coat), and sewing a custom fit melton wool jacket. I also hope to explore new crafts this year, such as wool rug hooking, embroidery embellishment, lino block printing and stenciling on fabric. Last but not least, I love beautifying my home with new tablecloths, napkins, tea towels and aprons, so I would love to share these with you as well.

While expanding my creative process, I hope to build a level of accountability for myself by building a community of readers around me (a Julie and Julia inspiration), I also hope to inspire you to dig deep into your creative tap root and to live a life of fearless creativity. I want to motivate you to share your talents with your family, friends and with the world. It’s a vulnerable undertaking but I believe ones creative talents enrich the world.

“The most valuable and important things in our lives come to us when we cultivate the courage to be vulnerable, imperfect, and self compassionate.” – Brene Brown of Courage Works

Thought Provokers: What are your memories of creativity while growing up? Do these things still fascinate you now? What’s the one thing that could consume your day without you noticing the time fly by?

Next Blog Entry: Where the Curated Fabric Collection Began

Pictures (From Top to Bottom): 1- My mom in a 1970s fortrel suit in my Grandma’s garden. 2- My mom heading out on a date, sporting a new dress. 3 and 4 – Examples of my mother’s handy work and the many pictures taken of my sisters and I.

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