Thursday, April 30, 2009

crafty vs creative

I have been thinking about the difference between being crafty and being creative for the past few days. I think they are two very separate concepts.

Being crafty relates to enjoying what your hands can create. The description in Proverbs 31:13 perfectly defines a crafty person: "She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight." (No disrespect meant to crafters who choose other mediums; the basic idea is the same whether you are looking for paper or fabric or cakemix.) I will freely admit that I am crafty. Very crafty. Good at doing crafts.

But creative, not so much.* Being creative, the art of coming up with something completely new and different out of the nether regions of your brain, involves things like original thought and innovation. Breanna stopped by the office yesterday; her artwork is the output of a truly creative mind.

I am more of a follower of patterns and directions, and this is where I think the line in the sand is drawn. If you are the kind of person who says things like "well, I didn't like how the neckline looked on that sweater so I changed it and added a hood and a zipper up the front" then you are creative, never mind that you started out with someone else's pattern. If you are the kind of person -- and I am firmly in this camp -- that says "wait a minute, this doesn't quite look right, I need to go on ravelry and find out how someone else has solved this problem" then you are crafty. It's not a bad thing to be, and you still can manage to turn out a lot of amazing handiwork, but it sometimes has its limitations.

Lately, though, I have left my crafty comfort zone and wandered into creative territory. An idea bubbled up from the nether regions of my brain about a year ago. I have carried around a little notebook with me since then as I worked out the details. My goal was to have the product in the ACR booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend, as I had purchased a share of the space. With my feet to the proverbial fire this week, I finally huffed and puffed and pushed and groaned and complained and gave birth to**... Card'n' Wool*** greeting cards.

("happy birthday to ewe")
("sorry to hear you're under the wether")
There are quite a few different ones and I keep coming up with more ideas while I work. For now, however, I am working like crazy trying to get the last few ready for sale. I am almost nauseous with nerves and I think I am having palpitations. I usually don't put myself out there like this, and maybe all this stress is the downside to this creative gig.
I can't imagine how nervous I am going to be this weekend when the cards are finally on display for everyone to see. Come visit me in the ACR booth, if you are in the neighborhood. I'll be there both mornings, and I promise not to puke all over your shoes.

* Certain readers (*cough* my mom *cough*) may argue that I am, in fact, creative, but she's my mom and her judgment has its blind spots where one's own offspring are concerned.

** Many, many thanks are due to the Occasional Domestic and Livestock Overseer's sister, who loaned me a graphic tablet, showed me the rudiments of Adobe Photoshop Elements, and kept insisting that it would be better to make a template. She was right. Many, many thanks are also due to my BFF who somehow always gets stuck helping me in the clutch.

*** My LSH came up with the name in about three seconds flat. I hemmed and hawed for three days and didn't come up with anything nearly as creative or clever.


  1. Kris, as a veteran of the puking all over your shoes school, the cards are wonderful.

    Do not worry about the sales aspect. At Md, the people are so frazzled after the drive, you would have to throw acid in their faces to get them to notice anything subtile. Welcome to the art world.

    I would love to spare you from anything that would make you lose faith in your creative abilities. It's a nasty aspect of the games.

  2. That is a genius idea! You can make more and we will try to seel it at our summer farmers market table. ** you should patent the idea : )

    Thank you so much for coming to take care of Milkyway. I am so grateful. I am sorry I didnt have the iodine. It seemed she had more time in her pregnancy...what do I know : )

    Thank you ...we are humbled with your kindness. Lunch in the coming weekends?

  3. The cards are awesome!!! You will do fine with them - just remember to point them out and talk them up, as people may not expect to find anything for sale at your display. A little salesmanship goes a long way!!!!

  4. I heartily object: My observation is that you are, indeed, creative is extremely logical. Creative endeavors never take a straight path to completion but zigzag to the final point, overcoming obstacles, refining processes and often arriving not exactly where you expected. Hence, you are extremely creative!