Wips and Blooms- July 2015

It's been a month since I committed to this creative challenge on Instagram and I have really enjoyed the results. Nothing fills me with joy more than being tagged to a picture of someone's happy moment. This month was a riot of seasonal colours and a few cooling moments ducked inside away from the summer heat in the northern hemisphere. I loved it. 

wips and blooms July 2015

wips and blooms July 2015

Here's a round up of just a few of my favourites- it was really hard to limit myself to just five! I particularly liked the strawberries in korutumi's and the crisp white linens in the background from Daniela. I feel so summery just looking at these pretty pictures. 

wipsandblooms July 2015

Top left: @devonsunyarns

Top Right: @korutumi

Middle: @docksjo

Bottom Left: @danielaknits

Bottom Right: @melliferamel

Thank you to everyone who joined in. I coast by the hashtag regularly as a little breath of fresh air on busy days. It makes my heart glad to see so much appreciation of the seasonal colours around people as they work. It feels like a special sort of mindfulness to craft and take note of the change around us. 

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Want to join in? It's simple. Snap a pic of your favourite blooms with your current work in progress and share with the hashtag #wipsandblooms. If you can tag me (@aplayfulday) that would be even better because I'm sure to know you're playing along when I get a notification. Also, it means other people discover that this is happening and want to join in- more pretties for us to feast our eyes on and be inspired by!

I'm not fussy, it can be any of your making and any bloom. Show me what's making your days playful and I'll be back next month with another round up of my favourites!

Happy creating!

My Creative Identity

This July I will have been writing a blog for over 5 years and during that time there's been a fair amount of  unpublished blog posts: posts that I didn't publish in time to remain relevant, things I didn't love once written down or some that just felt too raw. I've always been pretty protective of what personal information is shared about myself and my family and have worked hard to shape 'A Playful Day' into a space in which I can feel good each time I log back in. A post that felt difficult to write sits on the page, waiting to greet me when I return here and that changes my safe space, making it feel less fun to be around. 

It happened that a few weeks ago I wrote something that felt really good to pour my heart and soul into. Writing is such a strong release for me and there it was, black and white, punctuated (some of which was correct) and ready to share. 

I chose not to hit publish. 

It was about when my page views hit the upper 20 thousands per week that I noticed I stopped writing personal blog posts. If I'd been reluctant to use this space in that way before, I was more so with a sense of audience watching. I had created A Playful Day to remind me to find a playful moment in every day and that was my mission. I felt like I needed to focus there and avoid too much mess with an audience that continued to grow each day.

I noticed it spilling over into social media too. There were conversations I read but rarely commented on. I sat in a neutral zone, determined to only encourage positive conversations and to continue to support women in their making and business. I say women because this is predominantly the audience and people I work with but of course, not exclusively. I also feel very committed to women creating and defining their own terms either in business or their creative expression. It has always been the undercurrent of what I do. 

 

That unpublished post irked me though. I started to feel as if the words in this blog are no longer my own. The whole point was for this to be a place I entirely owned and shaped for no one else but me. 

So I'm returning home again with this one.

There is always a story behind every post. Sometimes it's as simple as 'my camera is at this angle to hide the mess in the corner that I didn't tidy'. Other times, like today, it's a deliberate refocusing on my original purpose of creating this website: to find a playful moment in every day. Just like 5 years ago, I have found myself in great need of something playful recently and so here I am once more, putting the playful before the storm. 

What does Creative Identity mean to you?

What does Creative Identity mean to you?

So this month I will be really pushing myself to make and really show what creativity means to me. I would love to hear from you all as I look inside of myself and attempt to answer the question 'What does a Creative Identity feel like to me?'

My creative identity is entwined in the sessions I lead with other business women. We create together, pondering the best way to convey how a yarn creates the most enticing texture when knitted into a fabric. We play with words and images to best share that with an audience in a way that is loving, intelligent and appealing. I talk with them about their passions and dreams and we help shape goals that allow them to keep developing their own Creative Identity. 

My Creative Identity is also joining up with others to bring a beautiful project to life (stay tuned for some news, there's some magical things ahead I can assure you) in way that I can feel proud of when people ask me what I do for a living. 

However, the Creative Identity that resonates the deepest for me on a daily basis is the side of my crafting that happens in the intimacy of my own home. It binds itself with motherhood, friendships, my home and well being. It's in the moments I withdraw into near silence, the only outward show of my thoughts are as I pause to examine the way a stitch just caught a fleck of colour to stunning effect. I become absorbed, letting hours of stress and to-do lists melt away as I just lose myself in an activity I cherish and adore. 

Wildflowers and season change can spark so much joy

Wildflowers and season change can spark so much joy

It's also watching my daughter as she runs towards me full of exuberance, her little hand clenched around a bunch of new wild flowers. She deposits them happily in front of me and obligingly, I sit naming them all, delighted that she too now celebrates the changing wildlife around us from season to season. Just as I do, she roots herself in the changes mother nature brings, drawing in all that colour and texture into her happy moments each day. She learned that from me and I am so glad to have given it to her.

My creative identity is everything I hoped I could be and more. 

 

 

What does creativity mean to you? If you are making and sharing your creative endeavours this month please do let me know (@aplayfulday on Twitter and Instagram) and as always, it's wonderful to read your blog posts joining in the conversation. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

#creative_identity

For the Love of Writing

A few nights ago I was melancholy. There were various events over the last week that left me listless, dissatisfied and a little emotionally raw. In the past I kept a journal which I poured my soul into but having stopped the habit years ago, picking up a pen now feels overwhelming.  I felt like that was what I needed though and while the blog helps my urge to write and tell tales, I don't have that same release any more.  

I started at an empty page wondering where to start. I needed to work through, cataloguing things to find a pattern, a catalyst and hopefully reach a resolution. I didn't know how to any more though. I was overwhelmed by the words I suddenly didn't have and still, there was this noise in the background, making it hard to focus. I wanted it out so I could move on. Nothing BIG was wrong. I was just blue and struggling to move on. 

So I put out a plea via Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry and found others who kept journals. A few different systems were suggested:

- Bullet Journalling (I NEED this in my life too, also I need something reflective too though..... how to incorporate?)
- One thousand Gifts. (while not religious myself, I found the idea of finding joy in each day interesting.... this could easily be included in the Bullet Journal format)
- Every few days, writing highlights and notes, collecting pages, adding details through tickets or photographs (note: I would love a polaroid for just this reason)
- 5 year diaries. A small note each day that you return to year after year. My grandfather has done this for decades. I hope to inherit these as I understand the preciousness of the daily act. 
- A journal with additional clips and sticky notes, colour coded for different types of note such as knitting, anxiety and shopping lists. I liked this idea a lot. 
- Doodles, yarn swatches and a visual index of things that have provoked a reaction. 
- Journals with prompts such as quotes or images already on the pages.
- Describing your immediate setting as a way to launch a meditative entry. 

I've been left with lots of ideas that I like so I wanted to share them with you. I might try and develop a 'system' and share it again, inviting you to join me. 

Do you write? And if so, how? Come tell us over in the group. There's more than just me who'd appreciate the inspiration I can assure you!