Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reader Question: What Inspires Me?

There's a question. Probably the single most popular question readers ask me.

Where do I find inspiration?

The question actually frightens me. It makes me want to tear at my hair and run out of the room screaming. I'm only half-kidding. See the problem is this: I do not know what inspires me. I haven't looked into it. I'm lazy that way. And also. I'm kinda scared to go there because I'm afraid to mess with it! I mainly just DO. I don't consider the what, the where, the why of it all.

Is that strange? Should I be analyzing my actions and examining my motivations?


Okay well here goes... Here's where I believe my ideas come from... I guess I believe in the power of doing. I think that, for me, ideas emerge when I keep my hands busy with making and my mind focussed on the material in front of me. I think that the textures and the fabric of the things I'm using, the colours and the shapes that surround me, all conspire to inspire me.

Is that the silliest answer ever?...  Probably...

Just let me add. I believe in something greater than myself. You know? That energy that envelops us all... You know the one I mean, right? I believe in it. I'm almost certain it is involved in my creating somehow. It is the culprit. It's gotta be... Somehow.

So, thank you elusive Force with a capital F that allows me to create and make stuff. Whatever you are and wherever you come from. Thanks for being there. Because if I weren't creating, I would know little of happiness. And I would surely be a bitter thing.

This post is dedicated to Pam, and to the forces of creative inspiration. The above photos feature Brigid's Cross (named for Brigid the goddess of inspiration, fire and fertility), a little challenge Pam issued to me a while back when she wrote: "I have been wracking my brain for two years trying to think of a material other than wheat to make a Brigid's Cross. If anyone can come up with a solution, it's you!"  Since then, I too have been wracking my brain. I came up with two possibilities for the crosses Pam: 1) stiffened yarn, and 2) cereal boxes. What do you think?



  1. Me encantó su trabajo!!
    La inspiración surge en el momento menos pensado...y la suya es muy alegre!!

  2. I like your crosses. Do you eat a lot of cereal? Someone asked me the other day where I get my ideas. Sometimes they just pop into my head. I may be looking at something (or not) and I'll suddenly have an idea for a project.

  3. I really, really I like the cereal box version. I think the more I engage myself in creativity and see what others do, the more my creativity is enhanced.

  4. Love the cerial box cross!

    I find questions about creativity always difficult to answer. I’m more a contemplater than a do-er. Lots of ideas never see the light. I often need a deadline to actually get things done!

  5. "I believe in the power of doing", too! At least theoretically. I spend too much time in my head and not enough time doing. Tweeted that quote by the way, with a link here.

  6. Those crosses are both wonderful! I love your thoughts on your thoughts, Michele. And exactly NONE of your answers is silly.

    In my living room is an oil painting of St. Brigid, patron saint of poets and blacksmiths. I wish you could see it! It's very clear from your work and art that you are continually forging and being forged.

  7. Hola muy bellos serán los molinos que peleaba Don Quijote ? ☺ besos Sandra.

  8. You have inspired me! Thank you for your great projects! I tried your project of recycled bottle wreath and came up with recycled cans project. I have some idea hatching up with it. I hope you can check it out sometime.

  9. I believe that we're all endowed with the power to create from the Creator. It's just part of the stuff we're made of. :)

  10. Wonderful. Creating be gets creating. And sometimes I look at a particular thing I was working with (jewelry making, for example) and I just won't see anything in the beads that day. So I look at something else and see endless possibilities. Funny enough, those possibilities and what new thing I create inspires me with jewelry. It's a "vicious" cycle of creation and creativity.

  11. Its magical isnt it how ideas spring to mind, some you latch onto and others slip past us...
    Great results there. Actually thought the stiffened yarn was what we call over here Wicki Stix.....which I think are waxed, probably strings in different colours.
    We use them with blind kids to make diagram lines. The wax makes them cling to surfaces and eachother, yet they can be peeled apart again.
    Wierd little things frankly but useful with pre schoolers too.
    Wonder how your cardstock crosses would fit together, almost interlocked in a patchwork an offbeat nine patch? Bet youve already tried it anyway...but it could make interesting wall art!

  12. Hey there Michele! Whatever the source, long may it last! Here in Ireland, some of us were taught in school how to make St. Bridgid's crosses. Traditionally, they are made with reeds- a kinda hollow grass that is really strong and durable. February 1st is her Feast Day and that's the day they are usually made. There's a great story surrounding her and ironically, she was I guess "inspired" to make them and find a suitable material as she was by the bed of a dying person (if I remember correctly! It's been a while!), looked on the ground where some reeds were thrown and came up with the design (no back then!). We live close to where she was from and my husband works there (County Kildare). This year, I made him one to hang in his car and keep him safe on his travels. I used coloured pipe cleaners. It worked a treat. Google St. Bridgid. My guess is, she's your kinda gal! Nina. X

  13. Huge lump in my throat right now, my friend. Wow! Whew! What a beautiful, beautiful post to be a little part of. You have touched my heart.

    When I saw the first image and began to study it I suddenly thought - OMG she did it! She made a Brigid's Cross! And then I scroll down to find the stiffened yarn cross as well! And reading your words about simply accepting the gift of inspiration without inspecting it or questioning it - exactly how I feel. Exactly. Don't ever change or feel the necessity to analyze the source or manner in which the ideas are provided. Just keep your heart and mind open conduits.

    I am so thrilled to see that you were able to come up with not one but two solutions! And I have bookmarked the post to share next winter when it is again time to celebrate St. Brigid. I hope you will make a note to re-post then too because the materials you have used are so accessible to everyone and the crosses so easy and fun to make and we can't go wrong by making a small tribute to the goddess of creativity!

    Thank you so, so much for following through on my "challenge", Michele. The crosses are beautiful!

    May your muse be with you!

  14. Love this post Michele, and I love the crosses too. Beautiful.

  15. I love the Bridgit's cross with cereal boxes, and I thought you used Wicki-sticks for the other one! Keep up the beautiful work.

  16. Well said!
    I love how you said, "I believe in the power of doing".
    What a wonderful explanation of inspiration. love it :)

  17. love to have found your blog! I also like to use garbage when creating.

  18. I don't think that is a silly answer at all! I feel the same way.


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