Friday, October 3, 2008

I've never been very artistic. I loved writing papers in high school and college, but had little reason to continue writing after that. In my 18 years of adulthood, marriage, and motherhood, my down time has been spent reading and hanging out with my man. I was never one to spend a lot of time scrapbooking, crafting, gardening, sewing, etc. I never really felt like I was missing out on anything, either. I always declared myself as "not artistic" to my family and friends. At one point I started to study decorating somewhat and found that I really enjoyed it. It was appropriate at the time, since we were building a new home, with colors to select and furniture to buy. But after the initial set-up, you can only do so much redecorating without doing a lot of needless spending.

This year has been the beginning of many new artistic ventures for me. In January, about two months after Tessa was born I woke up one morning with a big idea. I wanted to start making cards! Now, this isn't a big idea for most people, but for inartistic me, with a newborn and four other kids to care for and homeschool, this was a huge declaration. I didn't know how I was going to manage feeding and educating my whole crew yet, but I was going to start a new hobby. Where did that come from? And I normally don't have much faith in my ability to create crafty things either. But for some reason, I didn't feel intimidated at all. I have been thoroughly enjoying making cards since then. Some turn out better than others, and I am looking forward to learning more and improving as I go.

Shortly after the card idea, in February, my father in law came and started my vegetable garden for me. I had always told him how I would love to have a garden some day. And he graciously came and got a nice big garden all set up for me. I have to admit, I had always thought of my fantasy garden as just that, a fantasy. But there it was! Now, I don't know if one should consider gardening of this sort as artistic, but as I learned some about plants, it made me long for flower beds and more colorful landscaping. We'll see where gardening takes me next year!

Starting this blog was another thing that came about this year. I would love to find a reason to write again. At this point, my blog posts are pretty simple and more like updates for my homeschool friends. But I am hoping to be able to be more creative in my writing in the future. It's been a LONG time since those papers in school! So I'm hoping it will slowly come back to me. I am so looking forward to spending some time letting those creative juices flow.

Now, the latest interest for me has been photography. I don't know anything whatsoever about photography. And I really don't plan on improving my skills there too much. But I want to start taking more pictures for two reasons. For one thing, I don't want to forget the precious memories I am making with my kids. So, I have become one of those moms who takes entirely too many pictures. That's me. The other reason is that I want to take note of what's surrounding me. I want to be sure that I notice more often the beautiful things that are all around me. I want to pay attention to huge blessings that come my way, whether it be tiny baby toes curled up tight, a warm cup of tea in my favorite mug, morning sunlight streaming through the window onto my waking red-heads, the biggest tree in the yard hovering over Andrew and me as we walk barefoot in the back yard, or a dirt-smudged three year old's feet that has come in from "helping" to clean the garage. These are the treasures in life, and I have found that taking pictures of them helps me to really "notice" how beautiful and perfect they are. I don't want to overlook these pieces of art in my life.

I'm not quite sure why I want to express myself and be more creative all of a sudden. I don't know if it's my age or maybe it's a five kid thing? Maybe it's the effects homeschooling Charlotte Mason-style has on a mom. It may make more sense to me as I look back on it years from now. But I am enjoying my attempt at developing my creative side. I feel like a beginner, for sure. It's even a little embarrassing at times. But something in me wants to get right in there with the kids and write stories, plant a seed and watch it grow, cut and paste, stamp and color, look for natural treasures like a random wildflower or spider's web, and take pictures of it all!

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