Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Get Real Series - Work and Creativity

A blogging friend, Adrie, and I happened to both be wondering how the other "did it all".  This conversation led to this six-week series, "Get Real".   Seven women (all of us mothers) from different parts of the United States with different views and beliefs, but with so much more in common, are sharing our voices each week.  This week we share about work and creativity.

I have always enjoyed being creative and would make family and friends gifts from as far back as I can remember.

This has carried through to the present and I am consistently drawn to creative endeavors and wanting to grow artistically and also to learn "old fashioned" skills of making for ourselves and for others, such as soap and rugs.

As our home business has grown to full-time,  I have less time than ever (or maybe it also has something to do with being a mother of 7 as well)  to be fully engaged in the creative process.  Our business requires me to spend quite a bit of time on the computer, packaging orders and wood burning. 

Wood burning began as a creative process, but now I can find it repetitive and am working on challenging myself to stay positive, get through what needs to be done, and then challenge myself to come up with new ideas.

(This was a collaboration to encourage a mom.  All the pieces were put on a key chain for her to carry with her.)

It isn't always easy to get to all of our business needs while meeting the needs of the children, the home, the baking and cooking, the homeschooling, and time to be creative.
But, our home business is an integral part of our life, it is our income that we need to live in this society, in this country.  
We are fortunate to be able to work with our hands on our little homestead making products to bless others and feel good about using wool, wood or organic cotton which can all be returned safely to the earth.

So, figuring out ways to incorporate this gracefully into our days is a constant challenge and work in progress and something that I strive to do gracefully but so often fail.  

Every so often, I do set aside a specific time allotment for a project, such as dyeing yarn or basket making.  

The rest of my creative expression comes in little bits here and there by picking up some knitting needles while reading aloud or sewing some more patchwork while nursing.

(Abby's first knit vest.)

I am grateful, though, that the creative bug has been contagious and most of our children enjoy various forms of handwork and art.  

"It would be well if we were all good hand-craftsmen in some craft and the dishonor of manual labor be done away with." - John Ruskin

"If I buy one necessity of life-
I cheat myself to some extent." - Henry David Thoreau

Please visit the others joining in today ~


  1. This is wonderful, Tonya- thank you for sharing! Especially your thoughts on running a home business and finding time for the other things which are important. There are areas of my life which I have more of a challenge balancing out- that is life isn't it!

  2. I appreciate what a lot of thought and care goes into these posts...time comsuming for someone like yourself who has more than enough to keep her busy. I sure am going to miss them though when the series is done.
    I look forward to your insightful posts each week, giving me something to think about and reflect on through the day.
    Our creative souls make our sometimes mundane daily lives so much more than just living.

  3. It's easy to think of "being creative" as something that has to have a measurable outcome (something produced), and while that sometimes happens in a naturally inspired way, I've learned to let go of those expectations and embrace this entire season of life as an immersion in creativity--birthing and raising children, educating them, sustaining them, I can think of nothing more creative, and nothing that is more work! I love what you say in your last line about our souls making the mundane into something more. It is alchemy!

  4. I love this series! Thank you so much for being generous with your time and thoughts. I love to create things too and find myself laughing at myself because I am always in such a hurry to see the finished product. I am working on learning to enjoy the whole process, to slow down, and enjoy each step.

  5. Lovely Tonya, thanks for sharing!

  6. I can relate to you in so many ways Tonya. Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. I'm loving these posts too. Thank you for sharing how it works for your family.

  8. Your blog is beautiful! We have the same spirit....
    Have a good day from France!