For years I wondered what I could get 'into' to express the creativity that was dying to be expressed from within. This call was strong, and yet I could never find a career, hobby, past time, art form that made my heart sing.
I am going to share with you a slightly embarrassing story (go ahead and laugh at my expense - I would), just to show you exactly how much I tried to find my 'thing'. I mean, I tried and tried to much comic effect. When I was just newly living with my husband-to-be, I thought that marionettes seemed like fun. I mean, after all, I had done much community theatre; wouldn't puppeteering be the PERFECT thing for me?
My unsuspecting partner did what most would do for their loved one; he went and ordered marionettes direct from the Czech Republic. He could feel my enthusiasm and passion and wanted to support my energy. The puppets arrived, and sure enough, they were delightful and crafted with great care. They consisted of an old man and his wife, and I was so excited when the box arrived and I pulled the duo out. I thought to myself 'time to bring you to life!'. And so, I picked them up and tried to manipulate the control bar with the many strings. In that daydream bubble above my head, I imagined myself one day wearing an all black ensemble (artsy turtleneck, of course), commandeering my puppets like a composer with his orchestra.
It was awful. Instead of walking, they made these very twisty, clumsy, jerky moves as though they were dying of strychnine poisoning. They tangled and fell over each other, strings all over the place. What I thought would be an eloquent movement of resin and cloth come to life was just a cacophony of ridiculousness. At that point, I realized that some practice would be involved. But too late - I was turned off. Once that 'switch' goes off, it's off (at least in me, that is). I mean, if I can't be reasonably good at something right away, then I'm going to have a meltdown.
And so began a parade of failed creative ventures. I tried candy barrettes for little girls (my daughter was wee at the time). Instead of looking bright and stylish, my candies looked like they had been pre-chewed. I tried sculpture since my husband is an artist. I hated the messiness and bland colour of the clay. I thought maybe I could be a comic strip artist (NOT to be confused with strip artist), but my drawings looked like I had done them with both hands tied behind my back while I was blindfolded under water. I thought that I could train my brain to become a psychic! But when I held up cards and tried to imagine what the number was on the other side, I couldn't be further off; I'd guess King of Spades and it would be the Two of Hearts. I started an online magazine - nope. I invented a pet bird carrier called Nest To My Heart - nope. Quit - Quit - Diddly - Quit went the tune.
It seemed useless. I was never going to find something creative for my heart, which felt like it was flapping with futility against its cage bars.
Until Easter came along, that is.
I was trying to find a few Easter Bunny gifts for my daughter and came across a little needle-felting kit. When I saw it, it appealed immediately to me. I loved the bright colours, the wool, the proposed process. I thought that my daughter would LOVE it (read: I thought I would love it).
I purchased the kit and the Easter Bunny delivered it to my child. Of course, I needed to test it out. My first piece was a little purple mouse and I was absolutely delighted and so proud of what I made. The sound of needle poking into wool was very satisfying which was a natural fit for my hyper and fidgety nature. You can poke extremely fast if you wish which provides for a wonderful outlet.
My newfound love for needle-felting led to so many creatures and characters being made. And, eventually, it led me to my discovery of wet-felting (stay tuned for my next post about this form of felting!). Soon, wool painting became a passion for me and, fast forward - I now have a studio and teach felting classes. I am almost ready with my new book called "Learn to Paint With Wool! - An Introduction to Wet Felting". I have this site and am pursuing more initiatives.
If you feel like you go from shiny thing to shiny thing and that you never stick with any pursuit, you might just surprise yourself if you try felting. Take it from me - the person with the mental closet of unfinished pursuits. You CAN find your happy place.
Whether your fixation becomes felting or something else entirely, just keep exploring. One day, you'll fall in love - I promise!