My life is surrounded by inspiring images. I collect them like a spinster collects cats. For instance, right now my kitchen table is covered in magazine pages ripped from their glossy books. Each one includes a picture of something I am drawn to: a chunky cable knit, a fuzzy throw, a sequined handbag. I’ll file them away with all of the other images I’ve got stashed in piles and in notebooks around my house.
This curated collection of inspiration is gathered, however, not for me to grow an ever-expanding list of things I want. Rather, I collect so that I can create. And going from consuming to creating has taken me some time. Let me explain:
Many of you are probably familiar with a post I wrote a few years ago about a certain faux leather bomber jacket that I just HAD to buy after I received an ad for it in the mail. You see, that used to be my pattern. I’d see something on television or in a store window or in a catalog and begin to plot when and how I could purchase it. I was, in a sense, an advertiser’s dream.
With a little introspection, I began to observe this pattern. And I came to the conclusion that maybe looking at catalogs and magazines wasn’t such a good idea for my pocketbook. I wasn’t, after all, handling the temptation of gorgeous images very well.
However, as I shared above, things have changed a bit since that faux leather bomber jacket. Most significantly, I started to create more. First it was just pillow covers, and then throws. After awhile I upgraded to fashion and accessories. And the more I created, the less tempted I was to consume. Soon I began to notice that as I walked through stores, my thoughts would linger on “how can I create that look myself?” instead of “when can I buy that?” The same is true for magazines and catalogs and beautifully curated blogs. Rather than tempt me to buy, they now fill me with the creative energy and ideas I need to keep creating new things–like many of the projects you see on this site.
From Consumer to Creator
So during a season of consumption, I’m taking a minute to reflect on how exciting and fun it is to create. And how, through the gradual passing of time, I’ve gone from being primarily a consumer to primarily a creator (or at least the balance is more half-and-half). Not that I don’t have a holiday list started! (my creativity hasn’t exactly dampened my skill at finding lovely things I’d like to have…) But it’s a list that includes a few things to help expand my ability to create (like some craft books and new yarn), and also some things I can’t create even if I tried (like a sharp kitchen knife or a Kindle).
And in the meantime, I’ll keep collecting inspiring images and rejoice that they tempt me to pull out my needle/thread/yarn/saw instead of my wallet.Read More Thoughtful Christmas posts