Reclaiming our creative selves

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children doing artThis week’s Change the World Wednesday challenge has a more holistic feel to it than most.

For my friends across the pond, it’s been Thanksgiving and Reduce Footprints has asked them to enjoy their time with loved ones.

For those of us who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, it doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the celebrations!

I love how the Universe has the habit of bringing us just what we need.

For the past month I’ve been really busy. So busy it’s been taking its toll on my relationship with Mr and Little Miss Green. I think we are all guilty at times of taking those we love the most for granted.

When we’re busy we get irritable and take it out on those closest to us. This has certainly been my pattern of late and the person who bears the brunt of most of my bad moods is Little Miss Green.

I’ve been feeling very guilty about this but have been coming up with the usual ‘When this…’ or ‘when that….’ excuses about when I will stop and spend quality time with her.

No wonder her behaviour has changed recently and we’ve been somewhat strained with one another.

Well, reduce footprints has asked us to spend some quality time with those you care about and on the same day I read a lovely article in Green Parent magazine called “Why Art matters“. It’s all about taking time to enjoy creative pursuits and I know who would benefit from that right now! The defining moment in reading that article was in realising that in recent weeks I have been a bit OTT with housework. When I’m busy I turn into a control freak because if everything gets out of hand in the house I can’t deal with it.

So instead of the space to make art, make a mess and get creative I’ve been getting stressed over imagined chaos and demanding things are tidied away.

Little Miss Green is extremely creative and I realised that not only have I been stifling this but I’ve been denying her quality time with me as well. What better way to address both issues than to take a few days off and play together?

Out came the artists pastels, the beeswax, fabric scraps and play dough. I put aside all my ‘it takes longer to clear away than it does to make something’ grumbles and allowed my inner child the freedom to express her creativity. I’ve tended not to do this very often because I was bought up with the idea that crafting was a ‘waste of time’ and not an academic pursuit.

We sat in front of the fire and allowed our imaginations to soar. Little Miss Green crafted Yule cards, did some drawings and we talked and really enjoyed one another’s company. We did some baking and prepared pots for our indoor microgardening challenge. We got out our favourite colouring books and scribbled outside the lines. We allowed hard beeswax to soften and mould in our hands to decorate candles with. We played board games and told stories. Clothes were made for cardboard dolls and miniature bed clothes were fashioned from scraps.

It really was a ‘Thanksgiving’ celebration; one of giving thanks for each other and the wonderful life we share.


  1. Small Footprints on November 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    What a touching post. It reminds us that when all is said and done, it’s our relationships with loved ones that matter. So glad that you took some time to play … and I hope it brought both you and your daughter joy!

  2. Mrs Green on December 24, 2010 at 6:47 am

    @Small Footprints: So true and especially this time of year when the world focuses on consumerism and ‘getting stuff’. It was lovely and I need to ensure it becomes a regular feature throughout 2011 – thanks for the inspiration!

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