Creativity and inspiration can come from a sense of wonder and awe, and we can only feel that through gratitude and appreciation. Valuable emotions to foster.
There are some things we've been meaning to do for a long time in our home. Some small changes that make life all the more simple, and more rich. And while small, these are sometimes the hardest changes to make. We've been wanting to take a moment at the beginning of each evening meal to express gratitude- one thing from each of us that we are thankful for. Simple, yes? But with the tumult of getting dinner on the table, and at a time of day when all of us are at a low ebb, it just hasn't happened, although those feelings make the exercise all the more pertinent!
That was, it hadn't happened with regularity until this week. It was another small change that also brought this one into being. We sat down as a family, and talked about one thing we could do a little differently this week, that would make life better for the whole family. And then pledged to try and act on that one difference, paying attention daily. Using this as a platform, it was an easy step to start expressing what we are thankful for also.
|beautiful books made locally with recycled paper|
We each picked out a gratitude blank book. And on Sundays we sit down before dinner and talk about what behaviour or action we are going to work on for the week, then write it in our books. On each day of the week, we add one thing for which we are grateful. Our family list has so far included- "I'll listen more", "I'll put myself in another persons position to understand better" , I'll try not to get angry so quickly", "I appreciated going to the beach to drive my toy car", Oh! I appreciated that too!", " I appreciated finishing building my stone structure- for the sense of accomplishment and seeing a project finished"....
Another expression I am making is to make a gift for someone that may not often get handmade gifts themselves, or chose to make something for themselves. It started out in the idea of making for the makers in our lives, but has actually manifested in a gesture of appreciation for someone, who perhaps least expects it. My list of such people is full- not necessarily of my closest friends- but always people who have helped me, always so willingly, without expectation. I need to recognize them with a gesture of handcrafted love.
I'll be sending out one box in each month of 2011, and this week I sent out my first one.
Nicole has helped me on several projects- at the last minute, when I was stuck, and I so appreciate her help.
For her, I made a baby size hat from the Living Crafts Childs Hat pattern (baby sizes coming!) for her new babe on his way. And a little Love Gnome, for each of her two girls.
And most important- for Nicole herself, a wool felt lamp. I made one for her, similar to the one on the right. I don't have any single pictures of the lamps illuminated in this way- but this gives you the idea! The lamp is carved with an image of a full moon and stars over a shadowy landscape, chosen to celebrate Nicole's baby moon. The light that passes through the wool is so soft, soothing, warm and glowing- just right for long night with a new baby.
|packaged and ready for mailing|
It feels so good to think through and pay attention to that which we are grateful for, both daily and within the broader scope of our lives- the people, places, things and events that enrich us.
I do believe that this opens up our creative mind to experience wonder, delight and awe. Hearing about what others appreciate also helps us to see our own worlds through different eyes. I'd love to hear what you appreciate or are grateful for this week! Please leave a comment!
August 17, 2011
Note: The wool felt lights are now available in my Etsy Shop: Kattikloo, in the new Kattikloo Kids section!I'll be adding finished Love Gnomes, make your own felt light kits, and more felt toys and accessories for children over the next few weeks! Thanks for visiting!