Creative Muse Crafting

Each started with the same figure, a little brown gingerbread man decorated with white.

Beginning ‘Naked’ Ornament

The challenge: how will you re-decorate this felt ornament in one hour?

In a quiet moment before Christmas, my niece Katie, my sister Geri and I set to work. The three of us gathered around the Christmas table, piling it with plastic project boxes, stashes of needles, thread, beading wax, scissors, and other essential elements of crafting.

My travel stash of red, white and green bugle and seed beads, along with odds and ends of holiday décor served as the feeder for the project.

Mother’s Missouri table became grand central.

Only one rule, Katie’s rule, applied: no copying.

Given age, location and occupational differences, our approaches differed.

Twelve-year-old Katie’s inspiration was instant. She quickly sewed “Ho, Ho, Ho” to the ornament’s waistline and requested some felt. Carving a stocking cap from a piece of white felt, she set about decorating it with beads.

Simplicity and creativity prevailed. “Little Clause,” pictured below, won our hearts and took first prize. He was also completed short of the contest-imposed deadline.

Katie’s ‘Little Claus’ Ornament

Geri tackled the project with enthusiasm in spite of never previously working with beads. A quick lesson in bead embroidery served her well.

After thoughtfully considering her design, she used both bugles and seed beads, positioning them in a colorful contrast around the little form. Her clever completion decorated a Christmas present for brother Phil.

Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get a picture.

The joy of introducing the project entertained me far more than any other aspect. While I managed to make progress during our one-hour session, I chose to further embellish “Holly Curl” during the drive home.

Mary Ellen’s ‘Holly Curl’ Ornament

For some reason, my creative self enjoyed the thought of the competition more than the competition itself. I’d planned and gathered materials for the project, but neglected to pre-plan designs.

Has this ever happened to you? When you tap your creative muse, how quickly and intensely does she appear?