Monday, July 7, 2008

The greatest gift I ever knew was just to be inspired and to inspire too

I can't quite remember what that title is a warped version of.  My mind is always overflowing with half remembered snippets that pop out in the most inappropriate ways.  

Today I have given myself a topic within which to blog and that topic , as you may have guessed, is...  inspiration!  I get lots of inspiration from the blogs that I read (some of them linked over to the right there) and from photos that I look at on flickr.  Sadly, with my brain being the type of brain I hinted at above, most of the inspiration just squirms around in my head keeping me awake at night because I feel so excited but I very rarely manage to see my ideas through to a finished article.  I am very easily distracted by new ideas and there is always a birthday looming that requires a handmade gift that is not the thing I really want to be making.  Plus I am a little bit lazy and very much a procrastinator.  But once upon a time I did see that inspiration through to the bitter end which turned out to be very sweet...

For a long time I had been admiring the work of Jessica at aorta design - her squid ties, these peas in a pod, pretty much everything she does.  I was on placement in school, in a class with an underwater theme so I was looking for activities to do with this and I got really excited at the prospect of teaching little children to sew.  Could I inspire a whole new generation of crafters?  Gasp!  And then I saw Jessica's jellyfish skirt and was hit by the lightning bolt of inspiration.  I decided I wanted to use a simplified version of these jellyfish to teach my class to sew.  With some trepidation I emailed Jessica to ask if this would be ok with her.  For some reason, I really expected her to be offended and to say no but she was delighted and excited at the prospect of her design being made by six year olds who had never held a needle and thread before.  And here are some of the results:

They turned out brilliantly!  I loved them and the children loved them (and kept wanting to sew afterwards - yay!) and Jessica loved them too.  She posted on her blog about them which made me happy all over again.  What am I trying to say?  Well, I suppose that craftland on the internet is an amazing place and that using the inspiration you find there can surely only lead to great happiness all round!

Over the last few days I have found myself being the source of inspiration (on a smaller scale) and have experienced first hand how delightful it is (and how silly I was to think that Jessica wouldn't be pleased that I wanted to use her idea the way I did).  A few weeks ago I made this card for my friend Lorna's birthday:

If you come from Scotland you will recognise the iconic wrapper from the mighty Tunnocks teacake that I recycled to make the background.  Soon after posting this picture on flickr, a nice lady called Alison left a comment saying she would like to use the idea to make cards to send to friends who had moved away from Scotland.  This made me happy but not half as happy as I was when she sent me a link to a picture of the card she had made.  Better still, the picture had been posted by the friend who had received the card and the card had made her really happy.  This story proves my theory that acting on the inspiration you get from others in the land of internet can only lead to ever increasing happiness all round!

And just to round off this joy filled post, after deciding to blog about inspiration this morning I found a new comment on this photo of a brooch I made...

... saying that it had inspired the comment's author to make things to sell at her local markets.  How exciting!  As someone who would love to sell my crafty wares but is probably too much of a scatter brain and procrastinator to ever get round to it, at least I might have pushed someone else towards living the dream for me.  Yippee!

And now my own cheesy rambling has inspired me to leave the computer alone for the rest of the day and actually act on an inspiration that has been jostling around in my brain for a few weeks.  I will share the results with you soon!

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