For some of us, the best ideas come at the worst times, times when life is too busy and too harried to add even one more thing.
But these can also be the best times, because we are already energized and in the best frame of mind for brainstorming.
A friend and I met at a local coffee shop this morning to have an exploratory meeting for the sake of dream-casting a potential fiber arts ministry group at our church. We both arrived with Christmas projects in hand--mine was a pair of Christmas socks in the making, hers a set of crocheted coasters to include in gift baskets. We spent the first few minutes sipping our coffee and chatting as we worked on the projects. It's somewhat an understood part of the agenda--these meetings must include a prelude of hands-on fiber time and conversation about our current project work.
Only 10 minutes or so is required, but these minutes set the tone and even do something to the organizational structure of the mental work to come. Then we got down to business and had a very productive first meeting.
This session, however, was a big shift from a couple of my recent projects. For one, I made fancy party wares for a holiday open house-soiree serving as a fund-raiser to support a friend's toy drive at her church. Bring a toy and receive tea, scones and holiday cookies while browsing the booths.
My booth offered sparkling scarves, hats and headbands; warm-and-wooly hats, gloves and scarves; velvety stockings to hang on the mantle and knitted pomanders for a scented "something extra" to hang on the tree. Working with the shiny, sparkly fibers was fun, but even more pleasant was the atmosphere at the event. The tea, scones and holiday cookies were available to us sales-folk, too; and the salespeople were good friends of mine, so the event felt more like a party than a "work" day at a craft fair.
That event came right on the heels of one in which I made holiday scarves for my choir's performance at the Gaither Christmas Homecoming concert. Lots of red scarves made all in a row.
And of course, knitting lessons have woven throughout all these projects, given in the part of the house where the lessons, spiritual direction sessions and ministry teas all happen. Such a great space for building memories of intimate communal gatherings.
All that to say this: if you like diversity in your hobby choice, fiber arts are a great way to go.
Happy holiday project work!