Monthly Archives: March 2010

Wife, Mom, Artist

Seventeen months have passed since I became a mother. A big, shiny new title that’s been added to my name. I have to say that as a full-time mom it is the most challenging job I have ever had. What makes it more difficult is that I feel an equal need to still be a great wife, and not give up my passion for art and creating. So how do these roles mix? Are they even supposed to mix?

I used to compartmentalize these roles and segment them in a way that felt like structure to me. I work hard to have structure in my life, and would say to myself when the baby wakes up, “OK, now I’m a mom, do your thing” and then when the baby is asleep and it’s just me, “now I’m an artist and this is my time to work or create” or when I’m with my husband, “now I’m a wife.”

After a while, I grew tired of this way of thinking and acting because they can’t (and shouldn’t) be completely segmented.  With this way of thinking, my need to create as an artist would end up getting frustrated and in turn I would wish away the time spent with my son, awaiting his next nap so I could tackle my next project.

I realized that each major role I have overlap and mesh together to form who I am right now. Now that I’ve had this enlightenment, it makes life a whole lot easier. I choose now to use my creativity to come up with meaningful, creative and fun ways to spend time together. We color, we play with play doh, we read books, we explore outside, we play music on the piano and sing (no TV!). I can say now that I am content when I’m with my son and I don’t wish I was doing anything else.

I look forward to when he gets older so we can do all kinds of projects together. I love how my friend Mandy will take drawings of creatures her kids have created and sew stuffed toys that resemble the drawings.

I love how this artist has immersed his kids in creativity and art with amazing handmade toys and art projects.

So now I no longer watch the clock and live for his next nap time. I’ve blurred the lines of artistry and motherhood just by loving my time with him and focusing on where my role as a mom and as an artist intersect. Sometimes I can start a project when he’s awake and then finish it when he’s asleep. Ultimately, his nap time becomes my focused work time. I always have a mental list of things I need to do when he sleeps and I do what I can in that time.

Creativity and motherhood are not separate entities. One does not detract from the other and there is no weighting one by shorting the other. It is not about stealing time for creativity from being a mother and vice versa. Creativity infuses motherhood, and your motherhood colors everything about your creativity.

Remember, creativity is a holistic approach to life. It is not just about that painting, sewing, writing or whatever it may be, it is about the way you look at things. It is about being open to the adventure. It is about looking for new uses for old things. It is about coming up with solutions to problems that do not seem solvable. It is about seeing beauty and meaning in the mundane. Creativity is about learning to speak what is in your heart. It is about looking for and nurturing possibility. It is about feeding your soul with what nourishes and about sharing with those around you, in effect, feeding them too. And all that? That’s what it means to raise children, too.

Recent Projects and an Update

It’s been over two weeks since my last post, yikes! I sort of took a sabbatical from blogging to re-prioritize my life and allow myself to process the trip my husband took to Kenya. I’d like to share some things I’ve been thinking and in the meantime, here are a few projects I’ve worked on recently!

A sweet birthday card for my sister.

I’ve been thinking ALOT about which direction I want this blog, my etsy shop, and just my art in general to go.  I came to the conclusion that I really want to focus on:

  1. Making A Beautiful Idea a success
  2. Changing this blog format to include not just art and inspiration, but personal thoughts as well.
  3. Creating for my etsy shop whenever I feel like it…in other words no pressure!

A handmade gift for a sweet friend of mine.

There has been so much stirring in me, whirling around with no where to land that I thought about starting another blog, but I really didn’t want two blogs to keep up with. So evie s. will be a journal for me of sorts, after all I’m not trying to achieve success or fame, I just want a place to express myself completely and if people want to follow, great!

Some cute hair clips for some little girls I know (made from this tutorial).

So I hope to be posting more frequently,  because I have ALOT to talk about. Are there any topics that you are particularly interested in hearing from me about? If so, I’d love to hear!

Kenya Changed My Life

No, I wasn’t able to travel 50,000 miles to Kenya with my husband 12 days ago. No, I didn’t see the faces or shake the hands or hear the stories face to face. My feet never touched it’s soil, but Kenya changed me and it changed my husband.

It was the story of our recently sponsored child, Owen, who is 8 years old, knows 3 languages and wants to be a pilot someday. We give him $38 a month, and with that money, Compassion International gives him an opportunity to not just survive, but thrive. Giving him a chance at an education, and to escape the grip of extreme poverty.

Photo by Keely Scott

My husband got to meet Owen, to experience the joy in his face as he took him to a Kenyan amusement park, to hear his “ahhs” as he saw photos of me and my son, and watch him marvel at how many toys my son had (there were two toys in the photo my husband showed him).

Photo by Keely Scott

It was hearing the quote by Shaun Groves that:

“Compassion International is trying to help release the poor from poverty, but it’s also helping to release us from our wealth.”

It was reading the stories of women like Eunice. Right now I’m wearing the necklace that my husband brought back for me that was made by a woman that has been taught by Compassion’s Child Survival Program.  She rolls slivers of old posters, calendars, and scrap paper into beads coated with varnish.

These mothers are full of so much joy that they have been taught to do something that can provide for the daily needs of their family.

It was being moved by these amazing people who have so little, but yet are so very joyful and thankful. Like in the case of 18-year old Eliud, living alone in one of the most filthy and impoverished slums in the world. In a prayer he wrote above his door and prays each day, that God loves him enough to feed him, bless him, and give him hope for the future.

Photos by Brad Ruggles

It was realizing that in 50 years no one will care about what kind of car I drove, house I had, or clothes I wore. Who am I to be discontent because of what I “don’t have”? I am going to be honest and say that I have felt discontent too many times about things that are so meaningless, like the kind of sheets I have on my bed. Or wishing I had the money to go shopping, when I already have a closet jam packed with nice clothing.

This has put things in perspective for me in so many ways. Where your heart is, that’s where your treasure lies, and my heart has been places that it shouldn’t for too long.

Photos by Ryan Detzel

Thanks for reading if you’ve gotten this far! I know this is an unusual post for me, but I felt it was appropriate and necessary because I feel that my life, (and consequently this blog) is being transformed and I want you to be a part of it.

If you are interested in making an impact in a child’s life, their are 3,000 children waiting to be sponsored in Kenya alone. Think about it — but not too much. Unfortunately we take more time deciding on whether or not to spend $38 a month on a life than on a pair of shoes.

I Love: Kenya

As my husband embarks on an amazing 10-day trip to Kenya with Compassion International, I thought it would make me feel closer to him and his adventure by posting some beautiful things inspired by and from this African country.

Photo left: Samburu Girl in Full Traditional Dress

Amazing jewelry from Kenyan artisans (launching exclusively with Urban Outfitters in Spring 2009)

Maasai Princess // African Dress

Liquid Gold – a gorgeous strand of African Trade Beads from Kenya // Handcarved, handpainted wooden hearts

I love Africa! The bright bold colors, patterns and textures…and the people! So precious and beautiful. So while I can’t travel thousands of miles this time around, I hope to visit in the future.

Where are you dreaming of going someday?