Indulging Our Creative Side

May 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Australia, Family, Mental Health, Ways of Living | 6 Comments
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Creativity - intelligence having fun

I am constantly amazed – though I shouldn’t be – at the number of writers who engage in other creative endeavours.

A few members of my writing group are also artists in paint and/or drawing. Many of the writers whose blogs I try to keep up with also engage in creative activities beyond writing.


Activities among the women include cooking, art, ceramics and pottery, dressmaking or other sewing, crochet-work, knitting and many other arts or crafts.

I haven’t heard much about the non-writing creative activities of the male writers I read, but I suppose there are many of them who are also into other areas of creation – music is one that has been mentioned.


I have found it difficult to get much going beyond my writing during the last few years – I only began to write about eight years ago, and I am now in my mid-sixties. However I have always needed some form of creative activity to keep me happy.

I have always been a reader of course – what writer isn’t? However, I cannot draw for the life of me, nor can I paint or make music – and you don’t want to hear me sing, even though I do break out now and then.

I love to make things. Over the years, I have constructed all sorts of things for the house and garden. They include fences, chicken coops, bird cages, small items of furniture and garden beds.

Leatherwork 2 (1280x960)I learned to do leatherwork when my youngest was a toddler, and loved it. I made the usual things: key cases, wallets and bags, belts, and also bible covers. I didn’t sell them, just made them for myself, family and friends. The trouble was that the cost of the leather became too high for me to continue. With a family of five sons on my then husband’s teaching salary, the money wasn’t available for expensive hobbies.

A nice cheap activity I took up for a few years was woodwork. Mostly, I made small items from scrap wood that I scrounged or was given. The main items I created were fridge magnets, key racks and pen holders, but I also made a couple of larger items. I really enjoyed it.
Our market stall Nov 03

I also took up making rugs for the floor, using the technique that my mother used when we lived in England in the 1940s and 50s, and then when we first came to Australia. I would peg strips of fabric cut from old clothing with a tool on to a sacking base. The resulting rugs can be very colourful.
Pegged rug 2
A few years ago, concerned that all my photographs were digital, and that not many ended up in photo albums – my last album was 2003 – I decided to print the best ones to mount into scrap books. I don’t do scrap-booking as often as I’d like to, but I do at least have my sons, their families and their children, as well as some of our road trips, represented in four or five books now.

Scrapbook 2 (1280x662)

It appears that many writers like being creative in other areas of art and crafts too. What activities do you indulge in to fulfil your need for creative outlets?


© Linda Visman 17.05.14 (539 words) Craft works photos by Linda Visman – my creations.


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  1. Hi Linda .. sadly I’ve never been very craft oriented .. but I enjoy seeing good quality films – we have an excellent society here, theatre sometimes, talks on interesting subjects, and I’ve joined an organisation that offers a range of subjects … so I hope to learn about art history, literature, history, geology .. et al .. and then there’s the museums, gardens and historical places to visit ..

    You are obviously very talented craft wise .. and I’d love to garden if I had one! Good luck with stretching your creative horizons .. you’ll pick up much from your friends … cheers Hilary

    • Hilary, it sounds like you are going to get into some very interesting activities! I think it is great to keep our hands and minds active, especially as we age.
      I love to work in the garden as well, though I’m not the annual flower show type. I like our Australian native trees and shrubs, and the birds that they bring to our yard. 🙂

  2. I admire you Linda. Your own creativity is certainly not stereotypical. It seems that a lot of what you do has a kind of male flavour about it as well. I think that’s wonderful. I must say I enjoy writing. Sometimes I wish I had been more serious about it, but I’m comfortable with the little I do. I love photography and I enjoy sketching. I’ve painted now and again, but sketching has been something I’ve always enjoyed. I also play the guitar, no great shakes, but I like picking away when I have the time.

    “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” I’ve never heard creativity described in that way. Wonderful!

  3. You are right, Don. I am not into fripperies and flounces, but into practical and plain. I even dress that way – I’m a jeans and T-shirt person.
    I love to see your photographs and sketches, as well as the occasional watercolour you do. I believe that you are a wonderfully well-rounded individual – and your posts show that, as well as your empathy and your intelligence.
    I love that creativity quote too. 🙂

  4. Lovely to see your other forms of creativity Linda. I believe we are all born with a creative place in our souls. Those blessed to have found the key to unlocking that creativity have a wonderful way in which to escape the ho-humness of the daily grind.

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