Flax and Twine is a space to explore my creativity in all forms that it may take: knitting, sewing, crafts with the kids, photography, painting, whatever I may discover.
I grew up loving to make and create. My mother taught me to knit at the age of 7. I was a manic rug hooker, a pot-holder crocheting monster, and a cross-stitcher that didn’t know when to stop. The pleasure and joy I received from making things with my hands wasn’t easily matched. I loved everything from the peace and quiet in my mind during the process to the pride and satisfaction in seeing the finished project. I absolutely adored the process of making and of seeing. As a young girl, I found myself entranced for hours looking at photographs, colors, pattern, light, dark, ribbons, yarn, fabrics, you name it. As I got older, however, the knitting needles, the cross stitch, and the photo wall gave way to pencils and calculators and the drive to finish a project paled next to the importance of getting A’s.
Hand work was not valued in my family. Actually, it was more a learned devaluation of creative things and efforts. My family communicated loud and clear that value and love came from achieving. This meant working outrageously hard to get the best grades, become the captain of your sport, get into the best college, and obtain the best job with a salary to match it. In my drive to achieve and please, I sublimated my love of making things to the critical act of “reaching my potential.”
And now, I say, what if I reached for the wrong potential? Maybe my potential is still inside. This I want to explore. In the past, I have not given myself the space to acknowledge my creative drive and to allow it to surface. Sure, here and there, I would take a painting class, knit a sweater, or take a sewing class. But I placed no value on these acts, still. I would squeeze these expressions in when I could or skip them if I had other obligations. They were always at the bottom of the list.
Now, I want to give myself the gift of more space, real space, space that is protected, to explore these creative desires. But, I find myself faced with other problems. Do I trust my creative instinct? That is to say, even found, how do I own my creative being? How do I explore it without any preconceived expectations. How do I value that love of making things? How do I pursue my ideas with confidence?
This blog is my first step towards that. I want to enjoy making things. I want to play with color. I want to revel in beautiful things. I want to take photographs. I want to paint. I want to be adventurous and try new things. I want to create knitting patterns. I want to do projects with my kids. I want my children to know and, more importantly, to VALUE making things with their hands in the way that I missed. I want to discover more about who I am. And, I want to blog about it here.