Welcome to my first blog post. Here is where I will attempt to tell you how I experience creativity. As I’m writing and also making things, a lot of memories come up. So I’d like to share some of them with you and also some ideas about what’s coming next in terms of my creative endeavours, as they are happening.

As the name of the blog suggests, I tend to meander as I create and I have a feeling that will happen with writing these posts too. Memories, ideas, flashes of inspiration, silly mistakes, they all happen not in isolation but overlapping and sometimes all at once so it is hard to see the start of one and the end of another. Much like life. This is how I experience and enjoy creativity and I hope to share some of that with you through this blog.

I was asked to write a blog – a few times! First of all, what is a blog? Of course I have heard the term but was never interested in what it meant. Is it initials for something? I looked it up and it seems it is just a made up word for writing a kind of diary on the internet (Blog27 is a Polish music group). Blogging started in the late 1990’s!! So it’s high time I found out about it.

I have never written a diary so this is a bit alien to me and I am also technically challenged (bit of a problem). I really admire people who can easily find their way around a computer – apart from the basics I am lost, I feel my head is scrambled.

This reminds me of when one of my sons was small, he called scrambled eggs – ‘jangled begs’ – that’s what computers do to me.

I once did an Art and Ceramics course that included computers, that was the only part that terrified me. I had never sat in front of one and a mouse was something the cat chased. Anyway we had a wonderful very patient teacher and I learnt to manage ‘Word’, to email and to do simple graphics. That’s it!

I also learnt to welcome a challenge and try something new. I love to try different crafts and even mix them up at times so maybe it’s time to try a blog and see how the two mix. Luckily Sinead and Caitriona (my daughters and co-workers) are very good at the technical side of the business as well as the rest of it so they will help*

Sinead suggested a name for the blog – ‘Marie’s Musings’ – I am not really a musing person – sounds a bit formal. I couldn’t think of a word for Jangly Scrambles so we put it to the vote and asked our newsletter subscribers and facebook followers to help. Our favourite suggestion was ‘Marie Meanders’, suggested by Anne Synnott. I like this name because that’s what my brain tends to do.

It’s like I have a little bird in my brain, hopping around from one thing to another. It settles for a while on one idea but quickly gets distracted and hops off to another. Sometimes I have to try to persuade the bird to stay in one spot until I have finished what it has inspired me to start, sometimes I don’t bother. Following the bird is too much fun sometimes!

Life is not always plain sailing and I’ve found having an interest in a craft settles the mind which in turn puts a problem in perspective or gives me temporary reprieve from it. The colours, the textures, the designs are therapeutic and uplifting to me. Being creative is part of my life, it’s something I have to do. It is not an escape, it’s a joy. It’s like the ultimate friend, it provides comfort when I need it and also launches me into a feeling of uplifting fun, it’s like a journey. Pick a colour you like, put it with another and see where it takes you. Keep adding to it and see where it goes, especially using up scraps as then you cannot overthink it, you use whats there. One side of the brain stops overthinking, the other takes over and the magic happens. There is a example below of one of these projects.

Sewing is something that can be done in isolation or with other people. I enjoy both and it’s  been lovely to meet so many amazing people through quilting and crafts. I find them so generous with their time and time, inspiration and skills.

An elderly lady once said that we have a duty to pass on our knowledge of crafts otherwise they will die out, we try to do that in the shop by sharing what we have learnt and continue to learn with others.

*but only if I’m not making too big a mess in the shop during a creative episode!

my first blog ever

Here is an example of playing with scraps. I used a background of calico, gathered some leftovers from a project and cut and positioned them piece by piece using bondaweb on the back. I played around until I had them in a way I liked. I stuck them down with the iron, sewed around them with various stitches, added embroidery and a few beads and backed and bound it. It is not actually quilted as it is a small piece and I didn’t want to add any further stitching to the top. It is fun to do small pieces inbetween big quilts, it takes the pressure off your back and rests the brain and allows you to play.