Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Artistic Mother }{ Book review

(Here's a confession) I only began devoting more time to handcrafting activities last summer.

Ever since I can remember, the only thing that I kept up with was writing. I tried to draw and kept sketchbooks throughout adolescence. But my drawing is less than stellar, haha, and I would always throw it away in frustration.

Then when I immigrated to the US I lost my voice. I don't mean my physical voice, but my writing voice. I couldn't use the words like before. I didn't grasp English the way I grasped Portuguese, and eventually my grasp of Portuguese loosened. I forget words, use them incorrectly and end up with a Portenglish.

I couldn't write (still can't) but I had (and still have) this force that drives me to make, create something. So I taught myself to knit. Awesome! That started the ball rolling and the force became stronger than ever. Then N. was born and I wanted to do things for her, but couldn't find the time. But maybe I could take pictures of her? So I began to take photos last summer. Oh boy. I was ecstatic.

What does this have to do with a review? I'll stop blabbering and get to the point.

The book I'm reviewing today was a turning point for me. It holds a special place in my heart, because when I came across it it opened my eyes to the possibilities of being a creative mother. The author, Shona Cole, shows in her own life how you can manage all these different roles you're called upon to hold and that pull you in different directions - in her case mother, wife, writer, artist - and not lose sight of your priorities.

Some things I really like about this book:

  • It comes with easy tips on several topics - photography, writing, mixed media - so that you can get started. This is good if you are interested in photography as a complementing activity to, let's say, your blog but in and of itself. She shows you don't have to be a professional photographer to take some great, heartfelt images that will go well with your art/writing.
  • She offers a plan of how you can fit time in your schedule, even just a little each day, to move your creative dreams forward. There are several projects in the book that relate to this point, setting up your priorities, your goals, and then coming up with a plan to achieve them.
  • It comes with instructions and a list of materials for many projects that look gorgeous and involve your role as a mother too. A lot of the projects could end up as family treasures, or hanging on your wall. The instructions are easy to follow, there are plenty of pictures to go with it, and if you start with the basics you can develop the projects your own way. Once you have the basic techniques down, you can go wild and create so many other things with them. Ahhhhh, creative bliss......
Shona is a writer and mixed media artist, and she's also the homeschooling mother of 5 beautiful children. You should check out her blog as she shares more tutorials, poetry, and all kinds of wise thoughts over there. 

I can also tell you, there's nothing I don't like about this book. I highly recommend it for any busy woman, not just mothers, who are also artists (of any medium) and struggling with motivation and finding time to fit art and creativity into their busy lives.


    1. I've seen this book and wondered about it. After reading your review, I may have to snag one for myself!
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    2. Oi querida!!!
      Amei teu post, seá que tem trduzinho em português?
      Se tiver vou ler, porque não sei administrar meu tempo. Sou que nem a musica "deixa vida me levar!hahahha
      Bjos para as duas meninas !

    3. I'm not even a mother and I want to check it out now!

    4. Sounds really interesting - and I can so relate to what you describe; the NEED to create something, anything..!

      YES - I did see "The Others"! I loved that movie; also goose bumps moments. Beautifully filmed as well. :-)

    5. I will definitely be checking out this book. I need ideas! :)

    6. I couldn't write (still can't)
      For the first time, I'm going to disagree with you! You write beautifully! I wouldn't read your blog if you couldn't write.

      I'm going to look into this book and her blog because as you know I'm struggling to balance all the different aspects of my life and add in time to craft! This book seems like it will be a big help.

    7. I just posted on Shona's blog that I had also written a review of her book - and then I saw your comment saying the same. I'm loving it as much as you do - and also have kept up with writing most of my life, but art is all new and awkward to me. What luck for us!