Feather Your Nest

This beautiful wool applique was just posted on Facebook yesterday and I was taken aback at the wonderful interpretation. Toussein Martine used my Feather Your Nest pattern to create this custom piece as a wedding day gift and ‘remembrance’ for her son and new daughter-in-law. How lucky are they! I am always so pleased when someone has the confidence to use one of my patterns and ‘makes it their own’, especially as they pour their heart and skills into making it. Toussein chose to focus on the birds with just a few feathers and leaves – rearranging the birds to face each other (this reminded me of the wonderful ‘fraktur’ paintings done in early American art, but most certainly a carry over of ethnic designs brought over from ‘the old country’!). She used colors which likely were either favorites or meant to match a decor and she also carefully chose to simplify many of the patterns stitches, etc. All for such a wonderful keepsake.

Sometimes it takes a bit of ‘nerve’ to learn to trust your own choices, especially if you have been convinced that you have very little artistic talent. I recently had someone ask me about creativity and whether it could be taught. My answer – “When you were two or three years old and someone gave you crayons or other materials and asked you to make something, did you refuse, hang your head and say you weren’t creative? I doubt it – ask any little one. I firmly believe that loss of belief in our own joy of creativity really has more to do with when we learn that others may judge – and we are too young or simply not strong enough to resist that judgement and pursue what brings us joy in our hearts. The good news is that as we get older we can consciously choose to ‘dig deep’ and find that lost creativity, letting other’s judgements fall to the side. While we all have different skill sets that can always be learned and improved, all of us can foster our creativity in whatever venue we choose!

[Just an important side note here: please realize that the ‘making it your own’ I am addressing here is VERY different from copyright violation when a person copies a pattern – or a portion of – and passes it off as their own or creates it to make an income!]

Just love this take on my fairly new pattern ‘Feather Your Nest’. This was created by Margaret Munn and I saw it when she posted it in the Wool Applique group on Facebook. What a fun surprise. I so enjoy how she chose to simplify the pattern – eliminating many of the feathers as well as minimizing the use of beads, etc. And then she chose the bright yellow feather for the bird’s beak! It is well known among artists that simplicity (knowing when to quit!) is sometimes much harder to achieve than one would think. As I design my patterns I do realize that there are so many different choices that I can make in creating the design – ultimately there is no one way to present an idea. Margaret obviously had the confidence to let her own creativity ‘play’ and created this wonderful take on Feather Your Nest!

I think it is important that those of us who pursue creative activities always remember that we need to make our projects our own. I’m not talking about copyright violations, etc. but the personal choice to make a piece that is meaningful to oneself or (if a gift) to the recipient. As I have said before, as a former art teacher, nothing delighted me more than the student who would surprise me with a whole new take on an assignment, and with a bit of encouragement developed pride and confidence in recognizing their own creative soul. You do know that we all have one, don’t you????? Think you don’t? Just ask any young child to make or create something and they are unabashedly filled with an abundance of ideas!