There’s something to be said for the act of making. Perhaps it’s because we are giving something to the world, instead of taking. Instead of feeding that consumer inside of us that tells us, quite literally, to consume, we rather – and with intention – dip our toes inside that invigorating, inspiring flow of CREATING. Making something out of nothing. Using our hands to transform something into beauty, or use.
Whenever I spend time making, I both step out of myself and into myself more completely, as if the two can coexist – as if I’m stepping away from the me that is bobbing around on the surface with all my measly worries and complaints and tasks to complete, and entering more deeply into the me that resides inwardly, where something like my soul rests, with its peace and wisdom and clarity.
I truly believe all of us are makers, not just the ones labelled the creative types. We can all benefit from the meditative, grounding force of what happens inside when we allow ourselves to just stop, and focus, and go still, and use our hands and minds to make something out of nothing.
Making time to make makes me a better me. All the other things flourish because of this, first.
Dear reader, I sit here and write to you even though there are pots and pans piled in my sink and clean washing beeping at me to hang out. I sit here and write even though there are emails to return and texts to reply to and parenting books to read and babies and work to give myself to, and a million other things which I fool myself into thinking need to be all lined up before I allow myself to fill up with time spent being creative. Writing that blog, sewing that dress, picking up that camera, finishing that children’s story, starting that vegetable garden, playing that guitar.
But here’s the thing. There will never be a perfect time to start. Life is a great big mess and there will never be a day without a loud list of to-do’s, but we must just dive in anyway. Right now, I am doing an online filmmaking course. It’s not a good time to do it. Not really at all. I can’t remember sleeping for longer than two hours in nine months. I have three very small children who need every inch of me. I have many photo sessions to edit and meetings to prepare for. There are, like a lot of people, a long list of other things pulling me in different directions and demanding my attention.
But for me, making is something that needs attention and care just like the dirty dishes do. Learning how to make more beautiful, heartfelt films has inspired me and energised me over this past month more than I can say. Joel has even picked up my new film gear and chased the kids around the backyard playing around with it, too. It’s fun. Again, a way to step out of yourself and into yourself all at once. But it doesn’t have to be embarking on a new creative course of sorts. It can just be ten minutes. Just ten minutes for a simple little project at home. And that’s enough for the current to recalibrate us.
So, having said all that, a very simple ten minute making idea for you today! And a list of 35 easy Making projects to enliven that creative spirit and get your hands and minds moving.
- Roll beeswax candles
- Dry herbs
- Watercolour paint alongside your children
- Plant a flower garden
- Beeswax modelling
- Naturally dye white clothes items or linens with things from your kitchen or garden
- Write the first entry to that blog
- Collect flowers and leaves from your garden and try sun printing
- Take photos on your iphone, just for fun, and edit them with an app
- Thumb through some recipes books and try a new recipe
- Cross stitch
- Write in a journal
- Grow some herbs – even if in a few small pots
- Sew a simple pillow case
- Arrange flowers
- Make a simple seasonal garland with jute and glue
- Press some flowers, turn them into cards, or preserve them in picture frames, writing something about the day on the back.
- Bake a loaf of homemade bread
- Make homemade play dough
- Make some simple cleaning products
- Make a new music playlist
- Write a letter to someone you care about
- Make some essential oil sprays
- Rearrange the furniture in a room, or switch up the decorative items – a vase here, a lamp there.
- Knit a simple scarf
- Paint some furniture
- Make some wall hangings out of favourite material and embroidery hoops
- Make your own beeswax wraps
- Make a dried orange garland
- Decorate a wreath with dried flowers or grasses and hang on your front door
- Do a puzzle while listening to beautiful music
- Get some chalk and draw alongside your kids on the driveway
- Paint a rock family with your children
- Start a veggie patch
- Make some herbal smoke sticks!
Which brings us to this homemade lavender, sage and rosemary smoke stick tutorial, not that it needs much of one!
Really, you can dry pretty much any woody-stemmed herb to make a dried herbal bundle for your home. I used these three because that’s what I had growing. Follow the step by step below and have fun making!
Step 1: Gather woody-stemmed herbs. Sage, rosemary, lavender, tarragon, thyme and marjoram are some wonderful options.
Step 2: Snip your herbs to a size you are happy with and while they are fresh, bundle them together, putting the largest herbs on the outside. I put the lavender and sage in the middle, and the rosemary around all of those herbs to secure them all in place.
Step 3: Secure it all with a natural baker’s twine or natural string, like jute. You don’t want anything synthetic as it burns. Just keep wrapping the string around and around until it’s all held into place.
Step 4: Pop the herbal stick somewhere to dry for at least two weeks before lighting.
Step 5: When two weeks are up, light the end of the herbal stick and allow it to burn for a few seconds before blowing out the match. Every time you blow softly on the herbs it should give off more aromatic smoke. When you are finished with your ritual, stamp out the burnt ends of the stick and store away.
Happy Wednesday, friends!