Creative Gifting: Handmade With Love

Handmade with love.

So loved is the artful gift made with hands and heart. The love and thoughtfulness that went into creating it, and the love and joy felt receiving it. 

Through art-making, the experience of creating, we express our love by crafting an idea, image or object. Through art-giving, sharing a creative experience, we express our gratitude and appreciation for the people we care about. Through art-taking, experiencing what is created, we receive the gifts of creativity and feel the love of its expression. These are ways to creative wellness.

My friend Rosemary is the art-maker and art-giver of these lovely owl mittens. I am the lucky art-taker who joyously received her stylish gift. Because creativity inspires creativity, I am moved to be an art-giver, to write and share my story and to express my gratitude. Rosemary is a master of knitting works of art. Her expertly crafted creations are mindfully knitted with a super soft woolen yarn, some she spins by hand. The mittens are practical and beautiful, and they feel like pure nurture and warmth. The first moment I put my hands into those animated owls I wanted to take a chilly walk and let them fly with me. The one-of-a-kind gift can open the heart and imagination. My heartfelt thanks to dear Rosemary, who is a wizard at knitting and other artistic alchemy, including baking the best bread that ever met butter.

A creative gift, made by the giver, is a special treasure. Making a gift often reflects our interests and hobbies, and the things that make our lives better and more meaningful. The holiday giving season is an opportunity to make and give gifts that come from the heart and express our originality. It is also a wonderful time to buy from an artist or craftsperson. Shop at your local art galleries and craft fairs. You won’t have to look too far to find original handmade gifts for those special people on your gift list. Artwork and cards, fiber arts, candles, jewelry, woodcrafts, ornaments, and baked goods are gifts that celebrate life and creativity. Whether handmade or manufactured, a creative gift can be anything that relates how we feel about the person and is something that person may want, need, or don’t know they desire. The gift is that two people are present, both giver and receiver, in the reciprocal flow of appreciation and gratitude. That is the best present.

With hands and heart, explore creative gifting as a way to express yourself and appreciate all those loved. Wellness blessings from Art HOPE and all the best for a happy, healthy holiday season.

Monarchs, Mums, and Metamorphosis in Maine

A feast before taking flight.

Nature amazes and inspires in every season. It is October in Maine, the light is bright and low in the sky, and the air is crisp as the sun moves southward. Brilliantly colored foliage and hardy flowering plants give up their splendor to leaf peepers and creative wellness seekers. What could be more refreshing than a post-card perfect fall day in New England? Then, a pause and a feeling of awe as I catch a glimpse of the feeding habits of a butterfly.
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Practice, Practice, Practice

Artwork is work.

Painting is not just painting. It is looking, seeing, and recording what is observed. It is feeling and expressing. It is a way to swim in a visual medium that, like swimming, takes practice.

Being good at any creative discipline takes practice. It is called artwork because it is work. To practice creativity you need to show up in the creative moment and do the work that flow requires. It is challenging because pure creative flow can happen at any time and in any environment. It can happen when working, learning, sporting, playing, or dreaming; and sometimes when showering. However inspiration comes, creativity is a movement. It is intuition, improvisation, and innovation. Finding ways and time to get a creative process moving must complement your lifestyle. To make a sketch, note a lyric, buy an ingredient for a new recipe, make travel plans, or record a novel idea is not always easy in the timeline of a busy day. Like making time for a workout or spending quality time with a friend, when creative practice is a priority we benefit, and the creativity that we are practicing gets better and better, deeper and deeper. A creative practice is something that enriches us in an on-going process that we enjoy and look forward to doing. To master our creativity we need to practice, practice, practice, not because it is a way to get to Carnegie Hall, because it is a way to wellness. Continue Reading