New Years Resolution: Creativity Jar
Build core body strength, eat less meat, travel more, get my new allotment fully operational; these are all goals I have for 2016 but none is my New Years Resolution. Instead I want to do something for myself every day that will nurture and inspire my love of making. This year I’ve decided to start a Creativity Jar.
It’s almost empty at the moment but each day this year it will help remind me to not get bogged down in accounts, or packing orders, or housework, and to make sure that I create something that adds to building more of ‘The Good Life’. It could be a handmade card for a friend, colouring a page in my new desk calender ( I got this one for Christmas: Posh: Coloring 2016 Day-to-Day Calendar), or just whipping up a creative meal. Today I made another batch of my favourite handmade face cleanser based – here’s the recipe.
Both November and December were insanely busy for me with Lovely Greens Handmade Bath & Beauty. This was my biggest year yet selling with Not on the High Street but my own orders direct from the website and wholesale orders from local retailers kept me up to my ears. I’m grateful that business was good but I also felt myself losing a bit of that sparkle while I packed up boxes with gift sets twelve hours a day. I need to create – it’s part of my make-up to do or make something different every day, even if it’s the five minutes it takes to make handmade face cleanser.
When things started to slow down during the week of Christmas I finally felt able to breathe. I wrote out my Christmas cards, which I’d made a couple weeks earlier with friends, and I put together handmade gifts like jars of my own honey and soy wax candles.
I also made some preserves – Elderberry Jelly and homemade Piccalilli using Pam’s Piccalilli recipe from one of my favourite River Cottage handbooks. I made it quite late in the year but it’s a fantastic preserve to make in July and August when you have a glut of veggies in the garden. You can use pretty much any vegetable to make Piccalilli.
Not long after, a recipe popped into my inbox which I imagine was typed out exactly as it appeared on a handwritten recipe card. Some of the ingredients I found surprising and others I had to substitute. I spent a full day and a half preparing and making the ravioli and in the end was so relieved that they tasted exactly like how I remembered them – absolutely delicious. Both I and my family back in the States were really tickled to know that I’d made a dish that means so much to all of us half way across the world and then shared it with friends.
And really this is what my Creativity Jar is all about. It’s creating something every day that brings health, joy, and personal enrichment. It’s the meaning of the Lovely Greens tagline too: Happiness is a life made lovely. Grow, make, repurpose, forage, craft, cook, and love your way there.
I thought long and hard about why I do and make the things I do and the reason that stands out most is the fact that it makes me and others involved feel happy. The simple act of growing flowers and vegetables, collecting sea glass for projects, or simply making a batch of cookies and then sharing it with others can’t do anything other than put a smile on your face. So here’s to 2016 and more creative days ahead!