I looked out my window early this week and noticed green shoots poking their heads up through the earth, promising orange-blossomed day lilies in the weeks and months to come. “This must be the end of winter,” I thought, and then crossed my fingers and toes for good measure because here in the Midwest, it is not unusual to experience a blizzard in late April or early May. After a snowy winter that is now causing rivers and streams to overflow as the snow and ice melt, I’m more than ready for warmer weather. Still, I can’t say that I am a victim of cabin fever, since nearly every interest I pursue takes place indoors—reading, writing, crocheting, sewing, needlework, paper crafting. But when the spring sun streams through my window, it brightens my day, putting a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. Everything is green and new again, or will be soon. It’s time to clean house, air out the cobwebs, and let in the fresh air.
Whether you are prone to a case of the doldrums or not during the cold, snowy months of winter, spring is as good a time as any to examine where you’ve been and you want to go, and to set new goals. For me that means taking inventory of the materials I use to crochet and stitch and craft, replacing items in short supply, sketching or jotting down ideas, and making lists of tasks to accomplish. It also means sweeping my project areas clear so that as I de-clutter my physical space, my mind can begin to play with new ideas. Those new ideas, like the day lilies that fringe my back yard, play at the edges of my mind until they finally grow and blossom.
So, what will the next few months promise, creatively speaking? A little over two years ago, I opened my first Etsy shop, JN Originals, which sports one-of-a-kind crocheted and felted wool accessories such as needle books, flower brooches, spa cloths, Java Jackets, scarflettes, handbags and more. I needed a home, however, for paper goods—especially those that can be used by other people for their own self-expression. Thus Mister PenQuin was born, featuring note cards, tags that can be used as journaling spots or gift embellishments, sewing notebooks, altered clipboards, bookmarks and folded books. Sometime this spring or summer I plan to open a third handmade goods shop, Dancing Thimble, that will provide space for my fabric creations, focusing on solutions for home, storage and personal use. What does that really mean? For starters, you’ll find fabric envelopes for e-book readers like Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Amazon.com’s Kindle. Likely e-book jackets will follow, as well as padfolios for writing tablets. Aprons for craft sellers to stash a receipt book, pen and cash as they sell their wares at craft shows will find a place in Dancing Thimble, along with fabric organizers for crafting tools.
I guess I don’t really have time for cabin fever, or whatever you call those feelings of restlessness or mental stagnation that prevent you from taking action. As the sun shines through my window—or the rain feeds my growing day lilies—my pen walks across the page, giving life to emerging ideas.
© 2010 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.