07 December, 2014

The Little Spark (Weekend Reads)

What a fun, fantastic book!

Carrie Bloomston has written a book that will appeal to everyone from the dedicated quilter (who will know her from her fabric designs and Such Designs) to your neighbourhood mom. And the baker down the street and the barista and the grandfather mowing his lawn. That's because, as Bloomston reminds us, everyone is creative.

This book is an excellent resource and reminder for all of us. It needs to sit next to the teapot or on the bedside table. Grabbed when you are feeling both a bit rundown and totally inspired. That's because its premise provides focus, optimism, and the opportunity for reflection.

Organized around 30 Sparks, or activities, that you can do to bring your creative life into focus. Do them in order, do them randomly, or pick and choose. It doesn't really matter. Some, for example, are in the spiritual realm where I simply don't work. I'm a more literal person and it didn't bother me at all. But that's me. I found so many exercises to be a good opportunity to be introspective, to look inside and examine some long held beliefs or discover a truth I wasn't facing. I've read the book twice. And I know I will go back to it again, and again.

Yes, this book is kind of like therapy. But fun therapy where you are creating along the way and encouraged to keep going. It is also tremendously inspirational. Filled with quotes, stories, and examples of people living a creative life - from a juice bar owner to a modern dance studio where the women are all over 40. It doesn't matter your craft or activity, you will find inspiration in here.

One of my favourite Sparks was "Have a Secret". In this section Bloomston encourages us to create something and not tell anyone about it. Don't show it to anyone, don't share it on social media, don't even tell anyone you are doing it. Quite poignant in this day and age, don't you think? (And totally contradictory of me who lives an online life and has published books filled with my work and family.) But it is a telling lesson, to create for yourself and only yourself. To not worry or feel prying eyes. To not look for validation.

I'm pretty impressed with Stash for having published this book. You know how I feel about quilting books with more writing in them (Yay!) so to have published a book with no sewing at all, that's impressive for the publisher. I think it was a calculate drisk that will pay off because this book has a big life outside of quilting. Of course quilters will love it, but so will anyone else with a creative spirit. It goes without saying, of course, that the book is a visual cornucopia too.

"Creativity takes courage. It takes courage to be who you are. It takes courage to step into the unknown, to dig around in your soul and see what you find, to follow your passion, to start something new." 

Stash and Bloomston are giving away copies of the book. You need to go to Carrie's blog to enter. Even if you have your own copy I would enter so you can get a copy to give to your best friend! Go here to enter.

Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of the book and asked to write about it. But I'd already read it in preparation for a class I am doing in the New Year and will be recommending it as part of that too.


Suzanne said...

I'm definitely adding this to my reading list.

Unknown said...

Just finished the sample on my Kindle and I will definitely be ordering it. The openness and vulnerability of creating can be daunting and some inspiration and ideas to move ourselves forward is just what I need .