Take it where you can get it

katiehere.jpgThere's a great new blog I found out about via Craftzine blog- it's Inspiration Boards. Lori has interviewed a couple interesting women, and I look forward to reading more about what keeps all these clever people movin'. It made me think more critically about where I find inspiration. 

On the web there are a myriad of rich and lovely blogs and shops- almost too many, I can't keep up with them all- and I find daily renewal and energy by reading what people are up to. But in real life, things aren't quite so easy, or obvious or something. The constraints of my budget, my time, my reality don't allow me to do as much as I would like, or whip out all the projects I have been thinking about. It often feels like "two steps forward three steps back" as far as getting projects done, and I sometimes feel frustrated that I don't have a bottomless bank account, free childcare, a perfect space and a clear mind.

Rather than allow all that "stuff" to make me crazy, I have realized that I think the real trick is working with what you have and making something lovely. At our local used bookshop, I recently found "In Her Hands" a book of postcards that are images of craftswomen working around the world. I was flipping through, casually admiring the colors, the crafts(wo)manship, the cultures. One image made me stop and stare: it's a Turkish woman spinning yarn in an alley, using both her hands and a foot.


Look at how much yarn she has spun! Look at that wheel! Something tells me that she's not worried about Scotch tension or ratios. For some reason, this resonated so powerfully with me and really made me think about my crafting supplies, my needs and wants. For example, as everyone around me knows due to my incessant talking about it, I would LOVE a drum carder to process wool. But the antique hand cards that Laura is loaning me work just fine, and I really do have everything I need to make yarn from wool. I think that for me sometimes looking for new supplies and gadgets  is a way to procrastinate that scary step of making something new. So I am trying to be mindful of my relative wealth and capacity, I really do have everything I need to get to work and make something!

On that note, here's another unexpected inspiration. I took the boys to the "Dollar Tree," where there are lots of things for a dollar or less. I told Julian he could get a treat after he waited patiently while I was shopping for a dress shirt for Michael, and I found this for myself:


It's this funny little craft kit for kids to make a merry-go-round. It's constructed of cardboard and craft foam with little rub-on decals and Julian and I had a fine time putting it together. I don't know why but it pleases me so much to see it sitting on my dining room table. I know it's plastic-y and strange, but it spins and the propeller really moves when you blow on it. I must have a thing for things that spin these days because I just picked this up on one of the last good yard sale days of the season:


It's a Christmas pyramid that spins when you light the candles that fit into the little metal cups. This one came in the box and it originally cost $4.99 at Big Lots, (check out this one to see what the real German ones look like) but the "specialness" of this $2.00 yard sale find is still very much present and I look forward to using it this Christmas season. 

So, I have a start for my own inspiration board, and I am going to put one together soon. I would love to hear if others have a similar way of displaying or remembering visual "treats" and prompts. 

One more thing. If I did have an inspiration board on my wall right now, this poem would certainly be on it, it's a favorite of mine and I love it when I forget about it just so I can discover it again.


In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever believe
simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while
with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnamed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them
not separate from them as they came and were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks