What is creative?
The act of creating, making, forming, renovating, starting fresh, a silk purse from a sows ear…bingo.
When I was a preteen, and awakening to the world of fashion and magazines geared to my age, I remember seeing a great ad for, of all things, tampons.
Stay with me here.
This was no simple “Charlie” perfume ad, Maybelline mascara promo, or Frye boot come on.
This ad was a photo of a young, hip girl. Long blond hair. Very tan (this was before we realized the dangers of skin cancer).
Kneeling on a beach, she proudly displayed her latest creative transformation–an old innertube painted with bright flower power flowers. But the really intriguing part of this page is found in the lower right corner–she dons her grandmothers lace tablecloth, transformed into a swimsuit cover-up.
Sprawled across the top of the page, were words to the effect of:
“Next, I think I’ll make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear…”
I was in love.
I turned again and again to this ad. It completely captured my imagination. I wanted to be this girl…not for her blond hair and tan body. No. I wanted her confidence. I coveted her tablecloth cover-up. Most of all, I wanted to figure out how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Absolutely.
In the great amount of years since I was a teen, I have created hundreds of original and beautiful items—beaded earrings, necklaces, bracelets; handwoven towels, blankets, table runners, fabrics; hand painted silk scarves, ties, purses, original dresses and blouses; bridal gowns, headpieces; children’s clothes and toys; draperies, shades, decorations; men and women’s clothing; bedding and quilts….and yet, that holy grail of creativity, the sow’s ear-silk purse, still eludes me.
About 6 years or so ago, I found a Battenberg lace tablecloth on eBay. The day it arrived, I cradled it lovingly in my arms, remembering that beachy seventies girl and imagining myself in that ad. I almost gave in to the urge to create the new from the old, but stayed the course.
This lace confection graces the table in our dining room.
But I just might try to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear…