Every day our children spread their dreams
beneath our feet. We should tread softly.
- Sir Ken Robinson
A couple months ago the wonderful Trixi (commonly referred to as 'magical kids sewing guru' around these parts) of Coloured Buttons reached out to see if Ri and I would like to join her July 'Sew a Softie' brigade and the answer was, "yes, please... and make that a + 2 because H would like to join, too!" It had been many months... 7 months to be exact, since Ri and I had picked up a needle and thread to create our Fa La La LLama for Trixi's December Sew a Softie. H, on the other hand, has gone from having zero interest in sewing to regularly asking to "sew some stuff". If you follow us on the gram, you might remember this collaborative piece we worked on during the Flu Season From Hell, 2018 or the folk art sewing plate that she inspired me to create. She has been way into it and finding every excuse to join me on my art store runs so she can peruse the fabric section. Each art store run = a new fabric swatch for HER MERMAID. The mermaid stash has grown into a very fat stack of textile goodness, so imagine my surprise when I pulled out "the stack" and she said, "I'm not in the mood to sew today... I want to paint." We tried, Ri and I, to convince her, but I knew better. Creativity is a spark from within, not something that needs to be yanked and molded from the outside. The lady knew what she wanted and who was I to let my agenda stand in her way? Was I a little disappointed that the sewing day we had all been looking forward to was going to look a little different? I was... but I got over it and then we got into the making. I never played softball growing up, but catching curveballs in the art room? I am a pro. So I pulled out a box of paint daubers and some beautiful cotton duck that I was saving for another project and I let H start painting. I redirected my sewing attention to the project Ri and I were going to work on, only to discover that my heart was not in it. Now I wanted to paint and when I asked Ri, SHE wanted to paint. What about hand-painted fish? Ri's eyes got wide... "YES!" So the initial plan was shelved for another day, we seized the opportunity before us, and now I get to share this experience with you. Sometimes abandoning the plan feels a little uncomfortable but this experience reminded me of the magic that happens when we stay open to the creative process, wherever it might take us. Yesterday there was a flow that was far better than the plan. It was easy and fun and this little school of fish makes me SO happy because it is filled with spontaneity and connection. It will serve as a reminder to tread softly (as Sir Ken says), step back often, and let them lead.
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