Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Birth of a Blog

Well, here I am in the blogsphere at last :) I've considered -- and even attempted -- blogging a couple of times, but I never really had a focus -- a real REASON to blog. And, given that I am easily sucked into cyberspace, where time is a nebulous concept, I have always been afraid that I would allow too much of my life to be consumed by the details and intricacies of blogging (especially since I know so little about the technical stuff).

But now I have a very specific focus: creativity. That is, my plan is to explore that aspect of God in my life, and in the lives of my family members. I’ve always liked “making” things, but I would never have considered myself an artist by any stretch of the imagination, nor would I have seen “art” in many of the creative things I’ve done. But lately, I’ve been thinking about the many ways “creative” can be applied to me and the people in my life, and I’m thinking that, really, we all can claim the title of “artist” to some extent . . .

I’m not really sure when the transition started to take place – the transition to seeing myself as creative – as an artist in the image of the Master Artist. Perhaps it was when I read Edith Schaeffer’s Hidden Art  last year. She defined the concept “as the art which is found in everyday life” – serving a meal, setting a table, decorating a room, reading a story to children, gardening outdoors or in a window-box, painting, singing or playing an instrument, writing letters, choosing clothing, arranging flowers . . . an endless list of commonplace activities that give each of us an opportunity to express ourselves as creative, unique individuals. Reading the book was especially meaningful for me as it is one I remember sitting on my mother’s bookshelf as I was growing up. And it was clear to me as I read that the book had profoundly influenced my mother’s way of thinking, right down to her hoping my father might turn the motor of an old washing machine into a pottery wheel. That never happened, but the candle-making, flower arranging, and the collections of “pretty things” clearly found their inspiration in that book, as evidenced by the scrap paper notes scattered throughout it. Somehow, that gave me a glimpse of the image of my mother in me, as well as the image of our Maker in both of us. That was significant for me.

If I go back a little farther, though, I can see a broader creativity connection to a book by Karen Ehman called A Life that Says WELCOME: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others. That book challenged me to consider ways to bring beauty and creativity into things like hospitality and stewardship of the resources we have. I read the book shortly before we moved into our current home, and was excited to implement some of the ideas she described. What was particularly exciting was the fact that we now had space for a room devoted entirely to creativity. My husband is an artsy kinda guy, and he was glad to encourage creativity in our family by setting up a room for that purpose. We have actually shared a few date nights working in the “Art Studio” (upgraded from “Craft Room”) together. That has helped me to explore my own creativity a little bit – and given me opportunities to see that, ya, maybe I CAN create lovely things . . .

More recently, I’ve been inspired by Mary E. DeMuth’s book, Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture. It’s not a book about art or beauty, but it recognizes the value of these things. Not only does she advocate experiencing and exploring art in the context of family life, she suggests, “We have the joy of partnering with our children in the act of creation. Just as Creator God breathed this world into existence, as His image-bearers we partner with Him and each other as we create. In this formation of family in a postmodern world, where experiencing the arts has become more and more essential, we prepare our children to meet that world as we embrace the arts and creation” (p117). Sounds like a pretty good reason to me to reflect on creativity.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that this blog will be a place for me to post evidence of creativity in my life – in my artistic endeavours, in the teaching and training of my children, in my home-making, in my memory-making, and in my family at large. I hope you find some inspiration in the words and pictures here. After all -- you, too, are CREATED TO BE CREATIVE!


  1. Hey there :) This is cool! I love how you were very creative in the blog page! How did you get the background!?!?! Mine is so plain and I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

    I'm just joining in now ... and so thought I'd start at the beginning - 'a very good place to start' :) I'll read some more tomorrow!

    Happy blogging! :)

  2. Thanks, Alison:) I got my background from here:
    It's really easy to change!

    I'm sorry I've been remiss in reading yours -- I must catch up! Will see you there soon:)

  3. I wanted to say "Hi" here too. Edith Schaeffer's book is one of the best books for finding creativity in our everyday life. I read it years ago and enjoyed it so much that I've purchased multiple copies. One for each of my daughters and one to lend. She is a wonderful woman and her book is very encouraging and inspiring to see beauty in our common living of life.

    So glad I looked at the beginning of your blog. Love the image of her book cover art. It looks as if it is enlarged. I want to do something like that too, enlarge it and hang it in my kitchen. Another project I haven't got to yet. :-) So glad to have met you and I look forward to looking around your blog even further for more "hidden art."
    altered heART works

  4. Yes, Deb -- I love Edith Schaeffer's book. The image of her cover art is one I found online, but it would be neat to have a copy on the kitchen wall -- just as a reminder :)

    I'm glad you're enjoying my blog -- I sure enjoy working on it. Here I go to re-visit yours:)


Sincere responses . . .

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