Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Food For Thought - The Power of a Modest Upbringing

Thanks to Gwen for reminding me of some things about creativity that I had forgotten about!

I am the third of seven children. I have two older brothers and four younger sisters. Guess who was the one responsible for a lot of things around the house? Not the boys! As early as the age of 7 I was responsible for helping with laundry folding, changing my youngest sisters, and keeping the other two busy by finding things for them to do.

Back then there was this thing that some of our friends had; it was a doll that came in a book which had clothes printed on the pages. You cut them out and folded tabs over the body (this was fun!) One of these books probably cost as much as a dozen eggs...so my Mom would opt for the latter. She encouraged me to try and copy the idea and make my own. I could find some box board to make the doll, and typewriter paper to make the clothes which I could colour with crayons. Funny....one of my sisters mentioned that doll a few weeks ago!

But that was only one of the many projects that we did over the years....we also made Barbie clothes, made puppets and a theatre for shows, Christmas decorations (including popcorn strings). I know there were many more ... but what they were is not as important as their influence on shaping creativity! After all ... necessity is the Mother of Invention!

It is quite possible that the need to create our own fun actually helped to develope creative talents still with us today!

Marie

1 comment:

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Marie, thanks for the great letter. Loved it.
Funny , you should mention paper dolls. You brought back lots of good memories. thanks. Another trigger!
When we used to visit our grandmother in Riverview, NB, she would always find things to keep us busy. She would get out her old Sears & Eaton's catalogs, we would flip through the pages, find a model we liked or wanted to be that day,then cut her out and stick her on heavier paper or cardboard from a cereal box, we would flip through the pages again holding her up to the various dresses & clothes to see if we could actually make any fit & make sure we cut the needed fold over tabs for attaching. We were occupied for hours doing this. We made "whole families with great wardrobes". After that we started setting up housekeeping & cardboard box houses with all the good stuff we could find in the catalog.

She always had every envelope that she ever received cut open & flat & stored away, right beside her ball of string & she always got some out for us ... said we should use them to draw some pictures. We did & had fun & the encouragement was so stimulating.
Life was simple back then, & paper was a lot more valuable, in more ways than one.... thanks again, gwen

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