Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tiny Birdies Made of Felt

The tipping point for this blog - the thing that really pushed me to get my act together and share little tidbits of creativity with friends and family - was this project, and the support and engagement it inspired. So it seems like the right place to start.

I worked on these little cuties over a few days, sometimes even staying up past my bedtime to finish one more. When I complained about being tired, my husband's response was:

"You're still recovering from your raucous night making tiny felt birds."

Clearly, this will not be his last appearance on this blog.

The birds, as I brought them to be one by one, started integrating themselves into our daily existence. Husband clearance is essential to any craft project that might become a permanent fixture in our home, so it was essential that he loved the birds as much as I did. He has assured me that he does.

The pattern is a slight adaptation of one created by Lisa Jordan and showcased on Sew, Mama, Sew! Feel free to post a question in the comments if you're thinking about trying the pattern yourself.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Big Debut

I have a secret.

My mom was right.

Yours probably was, too.

That's a huge secret.

What was my mom right about?

My mom's dream for her little daughter, pictured here, was to be a writer and illustrator of children's books. Or just a writer. Or just an artist. Or a designer. Just something really, dramatically different than what I do now, which is make people uncomfortable by talking about difficult subjects, like sex, violence, and death. Something creative and positive, Elana, not so depressing all the time.

I realized my mom was right some time in the past year when I found myself writing a post for my professional blog (not depressing, it's about suicide prevention!) on I realized that I loved writing, that I was actually good at it, and that it would be really cool to do it more often than I have the opportunity.

I also realized my mom was right some time in the past couple of years when I was sitting on the floor futzing with beads, wire, and miniature pliers, creating a piece of jewelry. Also, again, thanks Mom, when I was knitting a hat for my friend's new baby. And when I was making a birthday card for a friend. And when I fell in love with a pattern for making tiny felt birds.

My mom is a big fan of mine. She is always proud of me, even when I'm making people talk about uncomfortable things. I think she'd like it if I were a little more proud of myself.

Only recently has it become really trendy to be really proud of yourself, and put it out there - there's a whole industry of shameless self-promoters, of which I'm apparently a part (as a blogger, as someone with a Facebook profile, as a tooter of my own horn for my economic survival, as there's no such thing as having a job without having to prove your value added). As I'm usually a little late on picking up on trends, I'm a late adopter with this one, but I'm here now.

So, this blog is for me, and for my mom.

As my mom would want it to, it's going to focus on the positive. It's going to be all about being creative.

Because we are completely incapable of not becoming our own mothers, I have become a crafter, a hoarder of yarn and beads, someone who carries a gallon plastic baggie filled with crafty gear with me on trips.

Because I get paid to do social change, which is a neverending process, in my down-time, I make stuff. In particular, I like to make small things that don't take much time, like earrings or baby hats, because in real life, there are so few opportunities to actually be done with something.

I'm lucky to have met a bunch of people other than my mom who are really interested in and supportive of the little things I make, who often ask me to show them what I'm doing. Since no one ever got anywhere being shy and keeping all of the interesting parts of themselves to themselves, this blog is a way to share my creativity in the way that has increasingly become the way of this world - through absolutely shameless self-promotion.