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Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Grateful A Day #6: Creative Community

I am so grateful to be part of so many creative communities. I love life as a stay-at-home mom, and I feel amazingly blessed to get to spend so much time with my kids, but after a day spent playing Enchanted Forest a dozen times with my daughter or volunteering at my son's first grade, I particularly value the opportunity to interact with other grown-up, kindred spirits.

I participate in many different creative communities, including various Etsy teams. Most of my volunteer time goes to SF Etsy, for which I am the team captain. A lot of energy also goes into my leadership council position for I Heart Art: San Francisco. I am a long-standing member of the EtsyBloggers and EtsyMom teams, and I recently joined the South Bay Etsy team for folks in the South Bay San Francisco area.

Much of this community happens virtually, through various online venues (which is perfect for the schedule and committments of a SAHM!) but more and more often I'm able to participate in some real-world stuff. It was such a treat last week to get together with some of my SF Etsy folks for our Craft Swap and Meet Up at TechShop SF! Just today I finally finished up the banner that I'd started at the Meet Up (thanks, GoGo Craft!) from our banner workshop. I'm looking forward to using it to decorate my craft table at the Jingle Fest Craft Faire in just two weeks! (And let me tell ya, participating in a craft faire is definitely being part of creative community!)
(Actually, checking out this pic now, I see I might want to tinker more with the lettering, maybe outline the white with black to make it "pop" more. I am especially pleased with how my stencilled dragonfly turned out, though.)

The Meet Up was extra-special, because my sweet friend and team co-leader Rochelle of Haute Mélange organized a little gift for me from the SF Etsy team, in recognition of the time and energy I give to the team. It's a car magnet with the SF Etsy logo on it, and name and the web address for Mama's Magic Studio! Rochelle wrapped it up and had everybody sign the package. Some very sweet thank you messages on there. Wasn't that incredibly thoughtful? That's the kind of boost I only get from being part of creative community. Good for the heart, good for my hands (which always love learning how to make something new!) and good for the soul.

Rochelle, me, Devon of TechShop SF, and Lisa of Tickle and Smash -- Craft Swap organizers Extraordinaire!

All my Etsy stuff definitely feeds my need to be part of something larger than myself, something with creative spirit and energy, but I also have the privilege of being part of other creative communities. While it's not as active as it once was, since our kids are now in school, I was very involved with BJ's playgroup (and, to a lesser extent, BB's as well) -- and let me tell ya, that was one great bunch of gals! Motherhood is nothing if not creative, and I'm still friends with many of the moms that I met through those groups. And now that BJ has started elementary, I have the great good fortune to be part of the parent participation community at his school. It's not the same kind of creative energy that I get from my other involvements, but it is amazingly rewarding and a huge boost to be part of all that.

It all takes time, and a lot of it, but it's worth it! You get what you give with these sorts of things, and because I give so much of myself, my time, my energy, I really get a lot out of participating in all of these creative communities. It keeps me sane, keeps me grounded, connects me to what much of what I value most in myself and in the world. Definitely lots to be grateful for!

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