Neu Fibers

Quilts and Fiber Art by Julie Brown Neu
Creativity

Creative Play Newsletter – Finding Joy

I’m struggling to get into the holiday spirit this year because my work has really been getting me down. I put a hold on my Victims Quilt project over the last five weeks to work on another project – a comfort quilt for a close cousin of mine who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has started her chemotherapy. She’s only eight months older than I am and was a playmate of mine as a kid so this whole thing really hit me hard and spending most of my days thinking of her while I made her quilt did not make it any easier. A few weeks ago, I had a day when I was just so filled with sadness because I realized that I have spent the bulk of this year either making memorial quilts for mass shooting victims or quilts for women with breast cancer and it was just too much.  I closed the studio door and took a few days off.

I spent my time off looking for joy. I went outside and walked to a toy store and then a coffee shop. I went to the library and picked up a quilt fiction book. I made a cup of tea, a plate of gingerbread cookies,and curled up on the couch under the in-process quilt and read all afternoon. All of that self- care helped me to feel better, but it didn’t totally break through my funk.

I decided to work even harder at creating joy and turned to Creative Play™. I knew Creative Play™ was great for fostering creativity,but I didn’t realize what a vital part of an ongoing art practice it was until I needed it to help pull myself out of my despair. I cleared the studio table, focused on the word “joy” and made two small pieces over the span of a week solely for play. And, it worked. Both pieces are now hanging on my design wall,giving me a small daily jolt of joy when I walk in the room.

Two small quilted art pieces representing joy. One has a red heart on a purple background and silver lines of stitches. The other is an inked image of a hot air balloon in a sunrise sky.

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