A disappointment at the barn this week, we will not now be in for Christmas. The manufacturer of the panels the garage was to be built from has gone into administration without having started production of our panels. It’s a complicated story of a rogue and begs questions about how business ownership should be regulated. Our project managers are those who have suffered the financial loss, and in the face of this, it was impossible to get upset or cross since we are not living in a caravan and will simply have to swallow the disappointment and make new plans for Christmas. Our project managers have really had to do the creative thinking and find a way to get a garage built in a reasonable time frame. The boiler and heating system are to be housed in the garage and much work cannot continue inside the barn until this has been installed.
I have been thinking a lot about creativity recently as I establish my small business The Simpson Sisters which is based upon the positive benefits of being creative. My aim is to encourage people to simply have a go at something creative during workshops hosted around my kitchen table, here they can be guided by someone experienced while enjoying some like-minded company and being fed and watered to boot!
I have met so many people over the years who claim that they don’t have a creative bone in their bodies, and I have sympathy for them. For many years I didn’t consider myself the ‘creative type’ because I don’t draw well (yet!) and didn’t fit into the stereotypical creative in my mind. It wasn’t really until a new friend asked why I didn’t use the word creative to describe myself when I am always making something, and usually have several more projects in the pipeline or buzzing around in my mind somewhere. I think if I had come across the term Maker I would long ago have felt I could be included amongst that tribe.
The benefits of creativity are pretty well documented, and this article I read on Be Brain Fit is interesting, but the following paragraph particularly resonated with me “Crafting hobbies of all kinds — knitting, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, woodworking, gardening, and do-it-yourself home repair — increase dopamine, ward off depression, and protect the brain from ageing”. We do not all have to be fine artists or sculptures to enjoy the process of making something and enjoy the benefits. The documented benefits are in many ways similar to those of exercise, and whilst we should, of course, all make time to keep our bodies strong and mobile I myself have never experienced the dopamine highs from exercise in the same way as I might from the completion of a creative project. My favourite make this week as been the Sloe Gin above, I spent a lovely afternoon in the autumn sunshine picking with a friend and her mum, and Mike and I then enjoyed putting together this year’s brew which is shown above alongside last year’s – a sip of which we might enjoy later!
Life at The Oak Tree Barn will give me many, many more opportunities to explore my creativity as we slowly build our home. The scope for creative endeavours within the barn itself and the garden and land surrounding is endless and I derive great pleasure from the imagining of these while we wait for the builders to complete their creation!