• P.M. Neist

Stress and creativity: the flood edition


Project 105 is on hold this week and maybe next. As many of you know, I am based in Houston and even though my family and I are safe and on dry grounds, many of our friends and neighbors are not. Nothing is normal. Grocery stores are either shuttered or half empty. There are piles of debris stacking up on front lawns, helicopters overhead and frantic group texts about who needs what and how to help.

I just drove to a friend's house to pick up a garbage bag of water-soaked clothes and towels. I gave my friend a hug, came home and signed up for more loads of laundry with a school group.

Before the frantic texts and the laundry was a great big heap of anxiety. The way I dealt with it was to make little embroidered balls of scrap fabric. Yep. Seven of them. In a row. Until my fingers hurt.

Why? Because I was scared.

My friend Claire dropped by on Saturday morning and was kind enough to chat with me as I made one little ball after another. I showed her the jar where I keep every little scrap of fabric and every inch of embroidery thread left from my projects. Whenever I get stressed, I take out the jar and make something out of the leftovers.

Sixteen years ago, I lost my house, car and most of my possession in another flood. It took almost two years to get back to normal but there remains a part of me that lives in fear of losing it all again. And there is another part that knows that I can survive on very little, hence the little jars of scrap fabric, the drawers full of the marvelous things I find on my walk and the obsession with up-cycling.

So here are my seven lovely little balls, proof that stress and creativity take many forms.

Before the texts and the laundry was a heap of anxiety.

#stress #flood #Embroidery #stressballs #friendship #laundry

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