Hey! If you're wondering, hey Paige, what's up with all these guest posts? Sorry pals, but I've been quite busy with creating quilt patterns, writing paid content for other publications, learning to block print, dyeing fabric, working on my products for Gallery Boom, and all the other nitty-gritty details about running a home goods business. So, I'm taking this lull in blog posts and turning it into an opportunity to focus the blog on other amazing, creative women and their businesses. Today, we're hearing from Elisabeth Bennett from Shop In the Corner.
Being your best creative self is something that comes up a lot on this blog. Finding your passion and running with it is a topic that I'm wild about, and I'm so stoked for you to hear Elisabeth's perspective. There is so much about being a new mom and experiencing creative burnout that I identify with... and if you're in that spot, this blog post goes out to you. Without further ado, here's Elisabeth:
It took me a childhood, and most of my teen years to call myself a creative. I came from a home where creativity wasn't held in high regard, and I would have rather been a great academic or an athlete....but no, there I was making up stories, designing furniture for my goldfish; and to my parents horror drawing on every square foot of wall space I could get my little hands and a marker on. I was born to create. Now see that as a strength and not a flaw.
My best friend (who happens to now be my husband) has always encouraged the creativity he sees in me. He could see how happy creating made me, and has always pushed me towards that career end. So the start of me really accepting my creativity neatly lines up with when I first met him.
Soon after I got married I found myself working behind a fabric cutting counter, and "borrowed" my moms sewing machine so I could try my hand at making a pacifier clip for my niece. I found the pacifier clips sold in most stores to be strikingly hideous, and they seemed pretty simple to make.
Within a couple of months, Shop in the Corner was born, and I have been happily sewing, taking product photos, writing copy, and designing baby goods ever since. Opening my Etsy shop in 2016 was honestly one of the best things I've done for myself as a creative, and as a person. It gives me a reason to create when I don't feel very motivated, it keeps me busy doing something that makes me excited, and it has turned into a career.
Flash forward to 2018.
I get angsty without a craft project, and I never saw that more clearly than when we had our first baby back in April of this year.
Being a mom to a newborn doesn't allow for much more than surviving, and I suddenly found myself without all the little things I plant into my day to fuel my creativity. Things I hadn't even considered creative such as: picking out my outfit for the day, doing my hair and makeup, cooking/baking, even running errands! Not to mention all the hot gluing, sewing, drawing, and pattern designing I typically filled my days with.
It only took about a week of no creative outlets until I would start getting frustrated with how long simple tasks where taking me. Who takes hours to address 20 cards? Who decides to try a new hair curling method when they need to leave in 5 minutes? Who designs a floral wreath instead of packing when they're moving tomorrow? It turns out a creativity deprived new mom does. My mind was starving for the creative habits I have in my everyday life that I was making anything that could be done creatively into a huge event instead of doing it in a timely manner.
I had to pace myself, and give myself time to do creative things that may not have seemed necessary from the outside, but I knew were very necessary to me. Sometimes spending an hour in my sewing room is more refreshing than a nap. And yes, that wreath could've been made some other time, but I NEEDED to start it for my mental sanity.
If you're a new mom, or even a not so new mom still trying to get your "creative bearings" post children, give yourself permission to make this important. Its not always an easy thing to work into the busy life of being a mom, and mom guilt is crazy REAL, but making creative habits will help alleviate some of the mental load of keeping your little ones alive.
Take the time to be creative every day, even if it's a small task like trying a new hair curling technique. Creativity for the sake of it is self care, and you're worth it.
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In case you missed it... the Fleetwood Quilt Pattern is available for .pdf download and as a booklet. Grab your copy here.