Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Creative Correlative

As my sanity wanders dangerously close to the abyss, my creative urges start gurgling and swishing in all directions (and unfortunately nowhere in the vicinity of my next novel). My bones ache to create something, and in this case, something useful and fun. My neighbor, a dear young friend, is having a baby shower this weekend. It will be her first little bundle of ecstasy, so I really wanted to do something special. But let's start with the end of the process...the card.

Today, we have a brief oasis before the scorching 90's return tomorrow, so I spent most of the afternoon outside—eating, reading, drawing, PAINTING. Yes, it's been years, and I mean years, since I got the watercolors out for my own enjoyment. So today I decided to paint a card to go along with the gift I made for little baby Neighbor. And Ghost Daughter has been inside far too much, so I roped her into bringing her new paints out on the patio, too. And voila! Her work of art. She painted it for her brother, his "welcome home from Boy Scout Camp" gift. (ouch...missing him again...)

While she splattered sky all around and grew a watercolor flower and a happy camper, I sprouted a jungle. Now remember, it's been years since I did anything like this, so I'm a little wobbly with the brush...and the pencil. But, I wanted to carry over some of the fun of the gift I made for baby neighbor. Yes, the theme is a baby jungle. No particular reason. I just know that my friend is doing the nursery in yellow and green and they don't want to know the baby's sex until he/she is born. So off to the fabric store for something baby, but unisex. A Jungle! Why not? I found these cute fabrics and they just seemed to fit. And with the final approval of Ghost Children, the theme for a brand new baby quilt was born (sorry about that pathetic pun!)

So, since my writing impulse has been stunted by all this waiting and worry, my creative flow had to find another pipeline, and that would be the quilt. Little baby monkeys, elephants, giraffes, lions, and hippos all peeking through the jungle foliage. How fun! So, in a week or so, I had made a pin-wheel quilt, complete with hand-sewn binding. (Let's hope it doesn't unravel and become a baby hazard...hand-stitching is definitely not my talent!) I love putting these together, though. I've done quilts for both my kids, and they still use them. So far, they haven't come apart...after 8 years, too!  Cards are always hard for me. I tend to like the funny ones (Farside and other twisted humor) or the clever ones. But this time, I really wanted something that drew the color and brightness from the quilt, so I made my own. And, as part of the gift, I'm also including the board book Goodnight, Gorilla. I don't know what the jungle swallowed me up on this one, but I hope it's not too much for my neighbor. There is still a lot of baby here and whether it's a boy or girl, every little schpunt loves jungle babies...right?

Yes, there is a high correlation between creativity and sanity. At least between my creativity and my sanity! When I get stuck in the worry bog, I simply have to find a way to make something new so I spend less time racing through that doomsday scenario over and over again. Ah...creativity therapy.


  1. "Yes, there is a high correlation between creativity and sanity."

    Ah ... that's why I've been kinda nuts these days. I better start doing artwork with Just Son again.

    Love those watercolor cards, by the way. BEAUTIFUL. And the quilt is simply adorable.

  2. Thanks, JM. Man! I have got to to this more often...the painting, I mean. Maisie and I had such fun, such meditative, delightful fun.

  3. Beautiful, MaryAnn. Yes, I think creative souls need creative outlets. I'm glad you're painting again ...

  4. Wow! You do lovely work, MaryAnn. When I get stuck with my writing, I frequently turn to my paints and canvas. There's something relaxing and satisfying about using your hands to create something. Sending good vibes to you and your husband.

  5. Everything is beautiful!!! Great work!

  6. Cool! I'm jealous of your quilt-making talents. I tried to make a quilt once - what a disaster!


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