If you give a moose a muffin…
A delightful children’s picture book by American author Laura Joffe Numeroff, where the cause and effect of life’s choices are played out in somewhat silly examples.
And what happens when you give a moose a muffin? He asks for jam, of course, and when he’s finished eating all the muffins, he’ll want you to make more. That entails a trip to the store. Of course the moose would like to go, but he may need to borrow a sweater; he might notice a button is loose, in which case he’ll require a needle and thread.
Or in my case, give me a well equipped sewing room and I will disappear for days. I won’t be wandering around in the wilderness, lost to myself and society, but I will lose track of time, completely. I will start more projects than I can finish. I will have even more ideas rambling around in my mind than I dare begin. One thing will lead to another, and another, and so on and so forth. Until it becomes apparent that I am not free as a bird to do whatever I want. Reality beckons.
On the most recent occasion, many hours in my Mom’s sewing room began with one simple project. Produce bags. I wanted to make lightweight cotton bags to replace the single use plastic bags at the grocery store. I had a good idea of what I wanted to make.
The first tangent was taken by my Mom. I could see that her serger needed a thread to be replaced, as the cone was almost used up. She sat down to do that and all was going well until one of the other threads broke free. Then she had to get the manual out. The pictures are not overly helpful and she cursed whoever designed such a complicated system. Then she thought of going online. I assumed that meant to watch an instructional video. No. To buy a new machine. One that was easier to thread. If they were not so expensive, Amazon might well have delivered a new machine to her door by the next day.
Once I got sewing, other projects came to mind. Keeping with my sustainability idea and wanting to make good use of the serger, I made a pile of unpapertowels. Once I started to think of replacing paper goods with fabric, I cut out a bunch of handkerchiefs for my son. (He probably wouldn’t use them outside the house, but no matter). Then I went to town with placemats, napkins and coasters, using up a variety of other fabrics. When my Mom saw this, she found a big piece of fabric she had started to make something with and decided to finish it. Then I made her some placemats.
The only reason I stopped sewing was, I had run out of time. I would still be there now, if my life had not called me back. And I burned my finger on the iron. So I needed to take a break anyway.
I love the process of being free to follow your curiosity. My husband has said it is how he learns best. Which might explain why he liked to read the moose book to our kids so much! I think there is no better way to illustrate the twisty path of letting your mind wander, to a child. For it takes a rather complex idea and simplifies it to something that even a moose can do.
The only downside has been a certain level of distraction. To follow every tangent which might pop up, can lead one down a rabbit’s hole. You get really lost down there and might not find your way out for hours. Not the best use of time when you are on a deadline.
But it is a shame that some of us spend an awful lot of time completing tasks and projects, rather than letting our creativity push us into unknown territory. There is something lost when there is not a good balance. We should not be so focused on a goal that we don’t even notice the flowers along the way, let alone taking a moment to stop and smell them.
#creaspatreat – Join me in this creative journey. I am on a mission to start a global movement, focusing on the importance of creativity in our daily lives. Together, let us see where we can take this. I look forward to hearing from you! Please share your thoughts. Feel free to send an email to: Christine@dailycreatives.com
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