Monday, March 5, 2012

Slice of Life #5 - On Being Creative

This is part of the Slice of Life Challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers.

Growing up, I loved to lose myself in crafty projects. Being productive and creative has always been part of my life. I mainly have my mom to thank for encouraging me. She sews and I think I naturally saw how she worked to be able to make something from a simple piece of fabric. She would also take me to Michael's or JoAnn's and let me buy embroidery yarn for friendship bracelets or beads to string together. I was always on the lookout for a new craft and she supported my interests. I'm pretty sure I can still whip you up a friendship bracelet with my eyes closed. 

My grandmother was also a very artistic person. She loved to paint and was always looking for new ideas for paintings. I loved her palettes full of paint of varying colors. My Gram and my aunt both enjoyed painting and encouraged me to look at colors and to mix colors. They were always looking for ideas in everything around them.  

Finally, I owe some of my artfulness to the Girl Scouts. We did lots of crafts and I was exposed to so many different kinds of projects. I distinctly remember learning to knit when I was in elementary school with the Girl Scouts. I already loved doing projects, but knitting was something else I found that I enjoyed. There were countless other activities I was able to try. 

Besides the support of these people, I think I just naturally love to create things and am drawn to putting colors together to make something great. I've read two books that talk about synesthesia: Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass and The Name of this Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosh. My best explanation of synesthesia is that it is a condition that some people have where their brain connects colors to specific sensory experiences - whether it is a taste, sound, sight, feeling, or smell. At first, as I read these books, this seemed really foreign to me but since reading those books, I now realize that there are times when colors really speak to me. Sometimes an emotion will bring forth a color or group of colors to my mind. And sometimes a color evokes such a strong feeling in me. I don't really think I'm synesthetic but maybe in a small way I am. 
Today, I made a stop to pick out some yarn for my World Read Aloud Day project this week. I have chosen to read Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett with illustrations by Jon Klassen. This book is a perfect example of colors and pictures speaking to me. I want to curl up in the pages of the book! I can't explain it. I just feel surrounded by the yellow and the warmth and love it exudes. I found the perfect yarn so I can make a fun piece that I can leaven behind after I read to the three classes I will be reading in. I'm so excited! I hope they love it. 

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