Saturday, February 4, 2012

Re-purposing Our Creativity

January's meeting presented many of us with a new challenge: thinking outside the box. Many of us don't consider ourselves very creative, and simply follow a pattern verbatim, using the same yarn and accessories the designer used. However, Polly put together a program for us that made us stretch our creative muscle a bit. She demonstrated how an old pair of jeans can be made into a bag that she called her "Girl Scout Bag" because it looked like the sash worn by Girl Scouts. A very clever idea, in which the pockets of the jeans became the pockets of the bag, and the legs became the handle, or over the shoulder strap. She also had a couple of old sweaters that had either been accidentally or intentionally shrunk and felted, one of which had been turned into a very cute handbag by sewing up the bottom, sewing in a lining so the v-neck would be the bag's opening, and using the sleeves as the strap. The other sweater she held up and asked for ideas as to what we thought it could be made into. The exercise nudged us into looking at the sweater as not simply a sweater, rather to visualize it as something completely different.

After the exercise we broke into 4 groups, and after receiving a bag of miscellaneous items, such as bits of ribbon, beads, yarn strands, fabric swatches, flower picks, buttons, old yarn cones, old jewelry, etc., we set to the task of creating something from them. There was much laughter as different items were snatched from the piles in the middle of the tables, and we began to get into the creativity "zone" as our works of art were born!

There was a Halloween-like cat made from a yarn cone and bits of black yarn, a "purse" made from an old checkbook cover that had been covered in fabric, utilizing lace as the handle and a button for the closure, a wristlet from a tubular piece of foam rubber that had been covered in felt, with a fringe glued to the edge, and a lace flower and leaves from an old Christmas decoration glued to the center. There were also a couple of other characters made from old yarn cones, and the pièce de résistance, Gorgeous Gladys! Gorgeous Gladys was sort of like a puppet as her "mouth" moved, and Mar told everyone Gladys was sporting a lovely fascinator on her head!

What we discovered from the exercise is that most of us are much more creative than we originally thought, we just don't give ourselves the credit we deserve. The challenge for us now is to utilize some of that non-linear creative thinking when going off to knit or create our next project.

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