My Creative Friend: Mom!

I'm excited to feature a very special creative friend this month, who needs very little introduction. She taught me to love crafting, along with everything else I know. It's my Momma!

{ Mom }

Tell us about yourself, Mom!

I am Carole Ann’s Mom, Jean, and I am honored to be her creative friend. We have done many projects together over the years - I remember when Carole Ann was about nine, we made a little quilt of pink hearts for her doll's bed. My mother, myself, and Carole Ann made a lot of plastic canvas projects - ornaments for the Christmas tree, tissue boxes, and even purses. I dabble in a lot of different kinds of crafty things. Recently I've been knitting because it's a project that I can take with me on the bus to work each morning. I became part of a group that knits prayer shawls for hospital patients, and my latest project is knitting red heart scarves for women undergoing cardiac surgery or who are in cardiac rehab. My favorite project is making pillow covers for travel-sized pillows.

How did/do you learn and improve your creative skills?

I’ve never had any formal craft training. But I see something I like, and my thought is: I could make that. I’ve always said that I'm not the one to come up with the crafty ideas, but I can copy things that I see.

Do you call yourself an artist? Crafter? Artisan? What's the right word and why?

I am definitely a crafter. To me, being an artist involves being an expert and coming up with original patterns and ideas. What I do, I do for fun.

How would you describe your creative process?

A few years ago, one of my family members had surgery and received a travel-sized pillow with a flowered material cover and a card that said, "This is your get well plant. Plant it wherever it feels good." I liked that, and decided that I would make my own pillow covers. As a nurse, I'm drawn to projects that give comfort. A soft pillow to put in just the right spot - behind your head, to raise your foot, etc. - seemed perfect. The most fun part of the process is choosing the fabric specifically for the person I'm making it for.

{ Ian's pillow }

Carole Ann's boyfriend Ian recently had surgery, and I know that Ian spent a year teaching in Japan, and so I picked out some Japanese fabric just for him. Carole Ann has a pillow too - can you guess what's on hers?

{ You guessed it! Carole Ann's pillow }

I like to pick novelty prints - a favorite sports team, dogs, cats, princesses for little girls, sailboats, and I even found some happy birthday fabric. For me, the joy of giving the gift of a pillow is that when they see it, they know it was made just for them.

What is the first creative moment you remember?

I have a rag doll that I made when I was in kindergarten many years ago. The muslin body is discolored but the little dress and yarn hair look pretty good. I don’t remember actually making this doll but I remember a lot about that year in kindergarten - I remember my teacher's name, Miss Toronto, and my first boyfriend, Joseph Murphy, and that we had a class picture that was taken on the steps of PS109 in New York City. It's funny how a little doll can remind me about a time so long ago.

What is your favorite thing you've ever made?
Before my parents moved from our childhood home, I saw a project in Family Circle Magazine about making a needlepoint reproduction of the front of a house, and I said to myself, "I could make that." I took a picture of the house, and brought it to a needlepoint shop where they helped me plan it on the canvas. I chose the colors for the house - white with black shudders - and worked on it for a couple of months. In the end, I got it framed and gave it to my parents as a gift. My mother still has it. It meant a lot to them!

Thanks so much for sharing, Mom, and for being such a wonderful and supportive creative inspiration for me. I love you!


**My Creative Friend is a series of blog posts featuring the creative practices of creative women in my life, posted on the last weekend of each month. By sharing our processes, my hope is that we can all learn, grow, and be inspired in our own work. To view previous posts, click on "my creative friend" under labels on the right side of the screen. If you're interested in being featured, please contact me!**

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