ReahJanise Kauffman is a prolific, inventive, skilled knitter who also develops and sells her knitting patterns online. She’s the kind of knitter I’d like to be if I ever got serious and grew up. Knitting, and knitting WELL are great skills to have. But making your own patterns is taking knitting to a whole other level as far as I’m concerned (remember, I don’t do numbers, and you do need math skills to make patterns). Continue reading “Creativity Talks: ReahJanise’s Inspired Knitting and Patterns”
“All life, living or ‘dead,’ is interwoven like silk
threads in a fine brocade.” — Philip Kapleau
I was in Utah for my birthday this year, visiting my sister. She pulled–from where, I do not know–a pair of Norwegian mittens and a reindeer hat my mother had knit before she went blind, long before she died in 2017.
Continue reading “The Return of the Norwegian Mittens”
Funny, the things that bring people–and sometimes, things–together over time and distance. A friend, Matthew, had broken his favorite tea mug and was upset over the loss of the vessel that fit his hand so well. “The moment I picked up that little mug in the local Goodwill, it felt perfect in my hand. The bumpy smoothness of the ribbing, the heaviness of the glass… holding it just made me happy,” he said.
Continue reading “Coming Together In Imperfection”
Sometimes my daily life is doing, not writing about doing. This past month was pretty much doing: I’ve been knitting like a whirlwind. Socks for a friend; a hat for a COSTCO clerk who liked my hat so much that I had to make her one of her own; 4 tightly-knit birds nests for a North Carolina waterfowl rescue group who had put an SOS for them. Continue reading “Keeping the Yarn Moving”
As you know, this blog focuses on creativity, on inspiration, the effects creativity has on a person, and on where creativity comes from. I want people to recognize their own creativity wherever it lies. I want them to hear their inner voice that says, “I want to make something.” I want everyone to allow themselves to tinker and create, to develop a creative identity. Like William Steagall, Jr. has done in video and in selfies, sometimes as Wild Bill, sometimes as himself. Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Wild Bill’s Online Life”
There were a lot of reasons I decided to start a knitting group this year in my neighborhood outside Washington, DC. Although I’m shy, I had set an intention just before New Year’s to become more engaged socially in 2019. I had seen how my mood in 2018 always picked up while being with others. And I also realized during my New Year’s introspection, that I’m actually really good at getting people together. I’ve been doing it since high school, and people have enjoyed the activities I’ve organized. The biggest reason for starting something was that I wanted to do more things that made a difference to and for people–and I wanted it to be ME who came up with the ideas for how I would contribute. Continue reading “Knitting. Together.”
I met Vicki Teague-Cooper in the 1980s, and bought one of her encaustic paintings while photographing her in her Santa Fe studio. She has been making and showing her art for about 35 years.
Primarily a painter, her work has included oil paintings, encaustic paintings, drawings, watercolors installation art, and monoprints. Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Vicki Teague-Cooper”
Sometimes I’m grabbed by the heart when I look at art. In those times, I don’t look for “meaning” in the painting, I don’t do anything but feel: pleasure, love, excitement, sometimes a physicality that is like melting or merging with shapes or color or line. It’s like falling in love.
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul,
and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
— Henry Ward Beecher
How long must a person knit before she accepts a basic–and crucial–understanding about the craft? How many misshapen, unexpected, Star Trek costume-like sweaters does she need to knit before she realizes she is doing something very, very wrong? How many hundreds of dollars must be wasted on good yarn that is turned into shrouds for octopuses? Continue reading “Lesson Learned Along The Walk of Shame”
As the daughter of parents who went through the Great Depression of the 20th century, I grew up hearing–and believing–that “just because something broken is no reason to throw it away.”
Continue reading “The Signature of My (Im)perfection”