Dec 1, 2011

End of Summer Challenge Winner!!

The winner is Michelle Simkins of Greenfingers!!

I asked her to share a bit about herself!

A little biographical info: I grew up with a crafty mom, in a public school that had good electives and offered art and music as part of the regular curriculum. That combination gave me lots of room and resources to make things from a young age. One of my grandma's taught me to embroider. The other one taught me to crochet, though I never really got past making ridiculously long crochet chains. I also started composing stories as soon as I learned how to write. I've always been happiest when I was either reading a novel or making something, whether it was an object or a story. No surprise that I grew up to choose creative pursuits as my work.

Where do you get your inspiration? My creative inspiration comes from everywhere. Usually it starts as a picture in my head that won't go away, and often I'm not sure where that picture came from. Other times it comes from wanting a finished object--a knitted pouch for my tarot cards, for example--and not finding a pattern anywhere that makes me happy. Once the concept is fully realized, my color and embellishment choices are kind of intuitive. I work by what feels right. Which sometimes means groping around and trying different things until I get that "a-HA!" feeling.

How long have you been creating original knitting patterns? I created my first pattern in 2007. It was the knitted goddess pattern, and I woke up one morning with the idea almost fully formed in my head. It only took two prototypes to have the pattern the way I wanted it.

When & where do you create? I create whenever I can. Ideas seem to come at me pretty regularly, though sometimes it takes a long time to get around to exploring them. I have a spreadsheet on my computer for ideas, so I don't lose track of them. I mostly create in my bedroom or living room, when I'm working on knitted items or writing. If it's something with herbs or flowers I work outside in an old fifth wheel trailer that's heated with a wood stove.

How does it fit in your life? Creativity kind of IS my life. Right now I'm spending all of my time creating, doing energy work and readings, or volunteering. I quit my day job a few years ago and now I work for myself and love it. But my creative priorities are constantly shifting, and certain processes and methods come and go for me. I always love knitting, for example, but how much time I spend on it varies drastically from one month to another.

What advantages to see in being a part of a team and participating in events, like this challenge? For me, being part of a team is about finding other creative people to connect with. It's been difficult to participate lately, with life and family keeping me busy, but I've really enjoyed seeing what other people are creating, sharing ideas with them, and troubleshooting/problem solving with them. And challenges are wonderful because they give me a little creative kick in the pants. With a deadline and some parameters the creative process gets narrowed down a little, which makes it easier in some ways. Other times, the possibilities are so limitless it can be difficult to know where to begin. A design challenge gives my wheels a direction to spin in. Also . . . it's fun to meet a challenge AND to see how other people meet the same challenge.

Thanks for sharing Michelle!

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