Creativity Talks: Shelli Can–and Does–Make Things By Hand

shellican-58-resized.When I first met Shelli Martinez she was
knitting a pair of sweat pants.
Knitting them.
I was incredulous. “Is there actually
a pattern for knit sweatpants?”
Well, no, it turned out, unless I was talking about the pattern she made on graph paper after taking apart a pair of her favorite jeans to see how they were constructed.
I remember thinking,
“I have so much to learn
from this fearlessly creative woman.”

Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Shelli Can–and Does–Make Things By Hand”

Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow

dogfish.sesowIn 2009, I heard about Matt Sesow, a D.C. artist who was described to me as “a modern-day Picasso.” I was skeptical (I tend to be skeptical about most things just-met dates tell me). But when I looked at Sesow’s website, I felt as though my fingers had just been stuck into an electric outlet: the paintings’ energy pulsated, jumped and vibrated. His colors burned.
Continue reading “Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow”

Creativity Talks: ReahJanise’s Inspired Knitting and Patterns

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”

The Return of the Norwegian Mittens

 “All life, living or ‘dead,’ is interwoven like silk
threads in a fine brocade.” — Philip Kapleau

img_8611.jpgI 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.
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Coming Together In Imperfection

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.
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Keeping the Yarn Moving

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”

Knitting. Together.

IMG_7977There 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.”