Creativity pt 2

We’re going to travel down a little path in our mind. Maybe it hasn’t been traveled in quite a long time. It might be overgrown with weeds and brambles. Or it might be trampled smooth. Are there benches along the path? The journey can be just as enthrall­ing as the destination. This particular little path leads to our Creative Laboratory.

It’s housed in a brick building, with no windows and only one tiny door. We’re going to remodel!


We don’t need such a sturdy building here. There are no hurricanes, no floods, no lightning, it doesn’t even rain! So, get your work boots on and your heavy-duty gloves and let’s tear down those walls!!

Our Creative Laboratory is located in a meadow. Pine and cedar trees surround the meadow. Is that waves I hear in the distance? We certainly don’t need those brick walls. We can use the bricks for other things! We’ll make a BBQ, so we can have a cookout and invite friends over to create with us. We’ll build a nice patio. We’ll save some for later use.


That is SO much better! Stand in the middle of the laboratory and look around. The forbidding brick walls are gone. Instead of no windows, now it’s all one big window on the world. That tiny door that limited our entrance is gone. Now we can enter from any point or corner we desire.

Look around! What do you see? We see our mead­ow, trees, green grass, birds, flowers, clouds, sky….the list goes on and on. Look around the inside of your laboratory. We see our art supplies, our fabric stashes, our drawers of treasures. Does this encour­age us to be more creative?

Granted, this is a mind exercise and the Laboratory doesn’t really exist, although in our minds it cer­tainly does. Not many of us are fortunate enough to have such a meadow nearby. But it doesn’t matter!

Let’s tear down those boundaries and forget all the negative/forbidding bits and pieces thrown at us over the years regarding creativity.

Remember I mentioned ‘wasting time’ or our creative efforts being labeled unproductive in the last issue? When you were a child, did you enjoy daydreaming?


Or for that matter, do you enjoy it now? 🙂 Can you remember lying on the grass in the backyard, watching the clouds and trying to figure out what they look like? Or turning over and watching the blades of grass? Letting dirt or sand sift through your fingers? Can you remember the sights, sounds and feelings of those experiences? When you look at the world through a child’s eyes, it becomes bigger and greater and more exciting. It’s a place to explore and discover and learn. As we become older and move into adulthood, there’s not much about the world around us that is exciting. We’re always in a hurry, on our way to work, to the store, to school. In order to have our breath taken away by the world around us, we have to encounter something big. Yosemite, Niagra Falls, New York City, the Grand Canyon. I’d like for us to learn to find wonder in our world. The yard, the park, the house, it doesn’t matter where. It could be lying in bed reading a book, it could be doing the dishes and noticing the colors of the bubbles. So get comfy and start daydreaming! Try to spend a few minutes a day doing this.


Take some time to look, I mean REALLY look at something. Maybe it’s the fish tank, or a houseplant, or your garden, or just the dirt. Try to do this for a few days, maybe a week. When you find something that seems to be more interesting than the other things, study it. Draw pictures of it, photograph it, plan a quilt of it, make a greeting card of it, use it in a story. The possibilities are endless. Let’s try to open our mind and let our creativity take root, grow and flourish in our own meadows.

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Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgivingI wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you’re spending time with friends and family. Remember, we have so much to be thankful for. I’ll be back next Monday.

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The Journey to Creativity – Part 1

creativityI hear people say, “Oh, I’m not creative at all!” or “I just don’t have the patience for that kind of thing. Wish I did.” (when I’m knitting)

They are wrong.

We all have creativity. It doesn’t mean you’re destined to crochet Granny squares for the rest of your life. (Have you seen the Granny Square afghan on my DIY blog? Oh wow!) Creativity is different for everyone. Think about these very different occupations:

    • Car Repair

    • Upholstery

    • Brain Surgery

    • Farmer

    • Architect

Each one of those jobs require some creativity. You will always come upon new situations that need to be solved. That’s being creative.

So, why do we think we aren’t creative?

There are many reasons.

  • Creative efforts might not have resulted in praise.

  • We believe the things that have been said about us – “Oh, she’s all thumbs!” or “My dad always told me I have no mechanical ability.”

  • Sometimes creativity is squelched.

  • It may not have been masculine or a prudent way to spend time.

  • Perhaps it was labeled unproductive.

When we started school, our teacher may have said, “Now draw a yellow flower in the middle of the page.”

Well, what if we wanted to draw several purple flowers all over the page? By ignoring our own creative urges and following the direction of the teacher, we sun-flower-1536088_640may have earned a good grade, but it didn’t encourage that creative seed.

We learned to follow directions, we learned about yellow, and we learned about the middle of the page. But we didn’t learn to develop our natural creativity.

Now, about yellow flowers! There is so much more to learn about yellow flowers! They are beautiful in the midst of the purple flowers.

Yellow comes in all sorts of flavors, and it’s mixed with the green of the leaves and the stems. And what about weeds? What kind of garden doesn’t have weeds? They have a beauty all their own and shouldn’t be overlooked.

There are ladybugs crawling on yellow flowers, or there may be a spider or a grasshopper. ladybug-241636_1280Some of the petals may be larger than others, or even munched off by that grasshopper. Is there a bee? I think my point is made. There can be artistic comment in a single yellow flower in the middle of the page. But it’s not the only way flowers can be portrayed.

When you first read the first sentence about the yellow flower, what was the picture you saw in your mind? Go draw it!

As you read more, did the picture change? Draw it!

Artistic ability has nothing to do with it. Stick figures, stick flowers… same thing!

Don’t be held back because you say to yourself, “Oh I can’t draw!” We can all draw. We just all draw differently.

Don’t accept the label of ‘Uncreative’. Find the place your creativity dwells. Invite it out into the sunshine. Stretch it’s muscles. Give it a little pep talk and let it unfold. In the next two articles we’ll explore ways to develop our creativity. Are you ready for the journey?

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Building Blogs

authorWhere have I been? Off building blogs! I’m serious, since the last time I blogged here until today, I’ve set up and am working 3 more blogs.

“Karen, what are ya thinkin’? You can’t even keep up with this one!”

Well, you have a point there. However, I’ve come up with a schedule, and I plan to stick with it. I have a bad habit of starting things and then abandoning them. I’ve recognized the problem (isn’t that the first step?) and now, I’m going to tackle it. First, I’d like to introduce you to my three new children, er, blogs –  Come with me on our house hunt, and some of the DIY projects we’ll be doing to make the house our own. I talk about – yup – DIY projects, and sometimes I’ll drag out my soapbox, but I warn you about it with a title that says “This post may contain snarky opinions.” This is a site I’ve been working on for over a year. Not every day. But it’s always in the back of my mind – how am I going to get this to work the way I want it to? Well, the planets lined up properly and I held my mouth the right way and blammo – there it was! Just in the beginning phases, but you can open your own little shop to sell your hand knit/crochet items, your digital patterns and it’s all very exciting 🙂

and finally, Oh, this one is my editor’s website. My website highlighting my services as an editor. That first sentence is ambiguous. (and therefore wrong) It’s not the website of MY editor. See how that works? 🙂 This is the one that makes me the most nervous. The minute people start reading it, I’ll be getting email after email – typo here, incorrect sentence structure there, wrong word, etc. etc.

The schedule

DIY Serendipity – I post on Mondays and Fridays and have a Saturday newsletter.

Knits For Sale – Right now I post a few times a week as things unfold and features are added. But, when the dust settles I’ll be posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A newsletter on Wednesday.

Karen Saari – I’ll post on Tuesday and Thursdays. Maybe Saturdays with a newsletter on Mondays. This is the newest site and all decisions have not been made yet.

If you happen to be interested in any of these topics, please go and subscribe to the email posts or the Newsletters. If you knit/crochet/spin/weave you are invited to join us at Knits For Sale 🙂

I’m not selling anything on any of my sites (except for my services as an Editor), so you know I’m not just trying to get sales. I love to write, and I really enjoy feedback, so jump in and feedback!

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My Favorite Part of Reading

'Peasant_Woman_Resting'_by_Léon_Lhermitte,_Cincinnati_Art_MuseumWhen I wrote A World Without Books, it sent me spinning off in so many different directions I couldn’t keep track of them.

I think of a woman, working hard all day cooking, washing, taking care of her children and probably doing outside chores such as collecting eggs, feeding the goats, and working in her vegetable garden. She cleans up after dinner, gets the kids to bed and then falls into bed, only to find herself face-to-face with her Mr., who has hopeful eyes.

No matter how tired I am (and I’ve never worked a day like that one) I always try to read a little bit before I go to sleep. I want to be transported into another world. For a minute.

My favorite part of reading is using my imagination to create worlds, people and scenes simply based on the words the author has written. Most authors use a minimum of words to describe a place, knowing the reader’s imagination will take over and create the place she’s writing about. Here is an example –

This is from At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon. In the form of a letter. “Dearest Timothy, It is a good evening to sit in this pleasant room and write a letter. Correspondence is, for me, a luxury which stirs my sensibilities, especially if it be with an old friend. 

“I believe you’d enjoy the way Martha refurbished my disorderly bookshelves, and put this study in working condition. She has even had your favorite rug repaired, so that when you come again, you won’t stumble over the torn patch and go reeling headfirst into the armchair!”

Can you see much more of this man’s study than just what he’s described?  Words like pleasant, luxury, bookshelves, armchair – all good strong words that give us a feeling about this place, without having to describe it in minute detail.


A Study

This is what I love about writing. My image of his study is going to be unique, inspired by pictures of other studies I’ve seen, and even what I hope to have one day.

This is why the movie is never as good as the book. We already have an entire movie stored away in our mind. It can never compare to the movie Hollywood makes. Our mind has no budget limitations.

What kind of study did the passage bring to your mind? Share it with us in the comments.

More later,


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Saturday Links – Hobbies

Saturday - Hobby

Oh I do love this store – too bad there isn’t one near my house. Like next door.

It’s the weekend. You should relax! Have some fun. Do your hobby. You don’t have a hobby? WHAT? We’ve got to fix that right away. Everyone should have a hobby. You should know the joy of creating something from parts and pieces.

I’m not affiliated with Hobby Lobby, unfortunately. Have you ever been there? I could spend days there (and have) visiting different departments, dreaming of the different hobbies I could take up if Mr. S wouldn’t object to losing another room in the house. He would. You, however, may need a hobby! I have way too many.

Here is a HUGE list of hobbies – if you’re looking for one.

Are you trying to find something for the man in your life? They need hobbies, too. Here are 75 hobbies for men. 

Don’t let a money issue hold you back. Here are hobbies that don’t require a second mortgage. 

Wanna be trendy? Here are the 50 most popular hobbies. Jump on board one of them.

I have a feeling your Saturday is now full! Did you get the sewing pattern or pick a hobby to try out? What was it? Nosy bloggers like me want to know.

More later,


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Writing Ideas – Part 2

Where do you get ideas?Last week we talked about where and how to get ideas for writing. I can walk around for days with ideas bursting from my brain, but as soon as I sit down in front of a white, blank piece of paper (or monitor) – there is no idea within 50 feet of me. Personally, I believe it’s that scary white paper, but that’s just me.

It’s time to invest in The Idea Bank. Last week I talked about writing down our ideas in our Writer’s Notebook, but this week I got this great idea to call it The Idea Bank. Isn’t that what it is? A place to deposit your ideas until you’re ready for them? Yup.

But, first we have to get ideas before we can deposit them. Duh. Here is this week’s tip on getting super ideas –

If you don’t already, begin people watching.

People – watching is like attending the Olympics of Ideas. Ideas are walking in front of you every second. The trick is to capture them. Like with a net! Throw your net out there and reel them in. (I’m not feeling too serious today.)


Every person who walks by has their own unique story. And while it’s not practical or even possible to get each story, we are perfectly able to make up our own! What is it about a person, a stranger, that can spark ideas?

The answer to that question is different for each one of us.

“But, Karen, there’s no place near me where I can watch people – I don’t have time to watch people – Are you kidding? I barely have the resources to watch my own kids!”

Fear not! I wouldn’t lead you down this path without a solution. I’ve shared before that I live in a tiny little town where everybody knows everybody. If I were to sit on Main St. (and there are some lovely benches) and just watch everyone go by, I’d know most of them. Then of course, you have to visit and they want to know what you’re doing and the explanation is tricky … it’s much easier to hide behind anonymity.

YouTube, here we come. Search for ‘people watching’ and you’ll get tons of video that will allow you to sit at your computer and people watch. I kid you not.

Do any of the people in this video look interesting to you? No? Then you’ve got to watch it again. I wrote down 43 ideas. Really! (Boy, there are a lot of people living there!)

How many ideas did you get?

More later,


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