A Surprising Creative Awakening: The Power of Example

A Surprising Creative Awakening: The Power of Example

This week’s inspiration comes from the handiwork of a new friend from a women’s group I joined a few years ago. Recently the group invited me to speak about my book, Rethinking Possible, for their upcoming kickoff meeting. In addition, they asked me if I could come up with a craft idea that might complement my talk. I was at a bit of a loss, but thankfully, Kim, my new friend and the group’s craft connoisseur extraordinaire, offered her help.

I immediately thought of my decorative mirrors, a charming but time-consuming craft that my dear friend, Beth, had taught me years earlier. Using broken dishes, odd pieces of costume jewelry, and special trinkets and family memorabilia, Beth taught me how to glue and layer each piece around a mirror to create a unique family heirloom.

I found the process especially therapeutic while writing my memoir about adapting to life after significant loss. Both in word and deed, I was pulling together broken pieces and precious memories into a lasting work of art. One process seemed to fuel the other.

Mirrors honoring my daughter’s engagement and my son’s childhood and wrestling career.

But how could that lengthy, labor-intensive project be adapted to fit within our two-hour meeting? I knew I’d be speaking about forty-five minutes. Could my mirror project be reduced to an hour-long craft for dozens of people in a group setting?

I had no idea.

But Kim wanted to give it a try, so I arranged a meeting of the minds, the masterminds. Beth and Kim joined me in my basement’s now-dormant “mirror workshop” and the creative exchange of decades of experience began. I listened and watched the pros discuss the techniques and considerations, but still couldn’t fathom how my mirror craft could be made simple enough for dozens to complete in an hour.

“It’s doable,” Kim said simply after some study and reflection. “I’ll make a sample.”

And she did.

When I saw her samples this week, I was both stunned and inspired! She’d taken the concept, minimized it, simplified it, and offered three versions! Each was done in less than an hour.

I could not only see it, I could envision myself doing it. What seemed unimaginable became real and possible because of the examples Kim made.

I cannot wait to learn her techniques next week at our kick-off meeting. Who knows? It may be time to “rethink the possibilities” of my mirror workshop!

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
—Albert Einstein

Yes! Thank you, teachers Kim and Beth, for your willingness to share your expertise to create an inspiring example of blending the broken and the beloved into a beautiful work of art.

How about you? Has an example ever sparked or renewed a creative pursuit? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Neehah! Note the new name!)

P.S. So honored to be asked to spend time with this fine group of women!

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