Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gifts to Mentor Creativity - The Spirit of a Creative Woman's Legacy

Have you ever received a wonderful gift that you weren't expecting? Something that you could use right away for a project, or something full of the energy of the original owner which immediately inspired you to try something new?

In 2009, our local arts community lost an accomplished artistic, creative lady who spent her life mentoring students and friends and facilitating them to reach their creative limits. I met "J " through a fibre arts / rug hooking group. Her family chose to take her stash of fabric, tools, books and all of the other wonderful things that we as artists collect for our art, and share it with her artist friends. I was fortunate to be part of her friends group and was recently gifted with something that she used in her creations. Many of us took part in the  exchange - all leaving with treasures that reminded us of her and that we could use to keep the creative process going forward.

What do you do with your precious stash, your books, your tools or your prized work once you are done with them? What a wonderful idea to gift them to your friends.

I was fortunate to receive a hook - one that "J " had used to make her fibre art pieces. I have a fairly large collection of hooks and besides those that I use regularly in my own fibre art, I have many that I have either bought or received as gifts. When I am working on a piece, I'll change hooks and try one or maybe two from the collection. I like to sense how they feel in my hand and to imagine who the lady (or ladies) might have been who once owned and used the hook. Most are hand made (probably by a helpful husband) and from the handle size, give you an idea of the size of the woman's hands. I like to think that the spirit of the woman still lives in the hook - her tool to make the beautiful rugs that kept her home warm.

I have my mother's hook. Sometimes when I am on a deadline to finish a project or am becoming weary of it never seeming to progress, I take out my mother's hook and as I pull the loops, I try to pull some of her energy with them.

"J " 's  Hook

Some unique hooks from my collection 

In keeping with my rug hooking passion, I also like to take pictures of sheep - the source of the wool we use in our art. I use the photos for blank note-cards which I have available at - if interested. The note cards are 5"X 7", acid-free and can be nicely framed.



Mary, Kate and Patricia

Rufus, Annabelle and Lucy
                                                  Ⓒ content copyright 2012 Patricia Winans


  1. What a great idea! I have some of my grandmother's knitting needles and each time I use them, I think of her and feel her near. I remember her patience while teaching me how to knit: she likely unravelled lots of it while I slept and re-did it for me too. I'm enjoying your blog.

    1. Thanks Carol for your nice comments. I too have my mother's knitting needles, crochet hooks, tatting shuttle and all her books. I don't use them often but also think of her each time I look at them. I'm happy that you have your grandmother's needles - they keep the creative circle going.