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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why do we stop creating ? About my creative dry spell.

For a long time I stopped making things..i would make Halloween costumes and the occasional pillow but I wasn't really creating anything. I was wasting my degree in fashion design that I had gotten into debt to get.

To be honest I really don't know why I stopped making things. I didn't have a job and I had time to do things like go to the gym, have lunch with friends, and spent my summers travelling. I did have three kids but that really wasn't an excuse since I have more now. We were still living in LA and hadn't made our big experimental move out to the country yet.

Little did we know that what was supposed to be an experimental move would be a long term one because our home's value plummeted soon after we bought it in 2008. My husband's career in real estate was going well and there wasn't a lot of stress. The recession hadn't hit yet. Once the recession hit and I saw my husband actually struggling for the first time financially, I started to see my previous life for what it was. I had a degree in fashion design but had completely forgotten how to sew. I was pampered and a little spoiled.

I now believe that when life is too easy, many people lose their creativity. It's too easy just to buy what you want or hire someone else to do it. I think the whole US suffered from this affliction. Easy credit and easy money made people lazy.

 It wasn't until life became more difficult and I was pregnant with my fourth child that I got tired of feeling bad about not sewing anymore and decided to get back to it. Keeping a blog has been an amazing motivator. Seeing all the amazing work of other women all around the world and creating long distance friendships is a blessing. The sewing blog community is a supportive one and I love it!

As a teenager and young person I was pretty resourceful. My parents split up when I was 13 and my mom suddenly had to go to work. She worked long hours to make ends meet. I got my first job at 15 at a sandwich shop on Hollywood Boulevard to make money to buy cute clothes which we couldn't afford and always had some sort of job until I became pregnant with my first baby at 23.

 Thank God I survived those years. My two best friends and my brother didn't. My 15 year old brother and I were left to our own devices after my parents split up. He developed a drug problem and spent most of his teens in juvenile hall. When he was home I would often have to go and rescue him from his so called friends, often dragging him home. Tragically, my brother was killed in a drive by shooting when I was 20 and he was 22. I don't look forward to the parole hearing I will be attending next month. Sitting in the same room with the person who killed my brother is a wrenching experience.

Well, I believe God works in mysterious ways. We might never know why things happened the way they did. We might find out when we die. But we can't regret lost time or time we feel we wasted. If we learned from it maybe there was a reason for it.

Yes, I sometimes regret the years I stopped creating. Maybe I could be like Martha Stewart now! Or maybe not!
And yes, maybe I am also too late to the blogging scene to make a huge splash. But I can't get bogged down by that. I just have to keep moving. I have the luxury of being alive and being able to start again after I fall down.

If you are a mom or even a single woman out there and regretting things you think you should have done with your life, don't ! Life is too short for regrets and it's never too late to pick yourself back up and start creating and expressing yourself again.



  1. Beautiful post. You touched a nerve with me. Even my blog has been quiet lately, and I make excuses not to sew or write.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I don't think that you could ever know how much sharing your story could mean to others. I can relate to more than one element of this tale. I am struggling to create because my job is taking over way too much of my life and when I do find a small amount of time, I am a wreck. Thank you for reminding me about why it is so important.

  3. I do so often feel regret when I've allowed life to get in the way of creating. I'm realizing now that life is always going to get in the way; so I've just got to make creating a priority and fit it in regardless of life's circumstances, most of the time anyway.

    I'll say a prayer for you in regards to having to face the person who shot your brother. I can't even imagine the pain of that. I'm so sorry for your loss and what you've had to go through.

  4. I think most of us can relate to one of more parts of your post.
    It is important to be creative and resourceful in life, but these are difficult skills to teach. More often, I think we need to learn them ourselves.

  5. What a touching and inspirational blog post Justine. Thanks so much for sharing, I'm sure this will ring true for so many people out there!

  6. Thank you for your eloquent & thoughtful post. And huge thanks from my little vintage nook here in the UK for your lovely blog which I always enjoy.

  7. An extremely honest and touching blog post. Thank you for being so frank and giving us this insight into your life, challenges and inspiration.

  8. This is a really thoughtful post, and I appreciate it. I've been thinking about the return to craftiness too: I grew up in the crafty '70s, and everybody did it. Then came the '80s and '90s, and if I told someone that I made my clothes, they would look at me sideways and ask, "......why?!?" with a bemused expression. Now it's cool again, probably because, as you said, we're finally fed up with the thoughtless consumerism, the overspending and debt, the awareness of our place in the system...
    Also, thanks for being so candid. It's easy to read someone's blog casually and think they have it picture-prefect, without realizing that everyone has a deeper life than we can imagine.

  9. Thanks for such a heartfelt post. I'll be thinking of you as you attend the hearing. From reading your blog, and participating in the sharing, I know you have created a good life for yourself, and for others. Keep your eye on your goals, and let your history guide you gently to a new way. I also have "stuff" that gets in the way and I am only now learning to let it go (at 57!).

  10. Thank you for this Justine! So beautifully said, and so appreciated by this single mom tonight.

  11. Thanks so much for your kind words. I almost didn't post this because I thought it was being too personal. You made my day.

  12. I am late reading this, but thank you for posting it. It is very personal, as you said. Inspirational, honest and human. :)

  13. What a touching & honest post, thanks for sharing. The best piece of advice my 96 year old Grandpa has given me is not to have regrets - he says he has none!


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