06 July 2011

Gwyneth, cooking and craft

Gwyneth Paltrow has a passion for cooking.

I did not know this.

She's also written a cookbook.

I did not know this either.

I read about her in the May edition of the Women's Weekly and found myself relating to her words and her story.

Everyone that has a passion has it deep-rooted in something. And that deep-rooted something is the heart behind what they do.

I know this for myself. I know I love punch art for what it is, but I also love it for what it means to me.

What it is:

~  Fun
~  Colourful
~  Bright
~  Cute
~  Reproducible (I need that in my art. I need to be able to reproduce the same thing over and over. And reproduce it exactly. Don't know why)

What it means:

~  Expression
~  Creative outlet
~  Me. Just me in something.
~  A filling station.
~  Time
~  Quiet

There are more things on this list, but I don't know what they are. I can feel them, but I don't have the words for them. It doesn't matter, that's where the heart of it all comes in. Not everything needs an explanation.

In the article Gwyneth talked about her story and how she started cooking - ie. with her dad. It became important to her and a deep-seated part of her life. She now cooks from those experiences with her dad, it's where the heart comes from.

We had a family dinner recently and we were all in the kitchen helping. I remember sitting on the other side of the bench (not in kitchen, no room) with Dad next to me and the others all around too. There was a lot of activity and chatter and I remember thinking to myself how special it was. I actually suggested to Andrew the other day that we make our own pizza dough. I think he'd be up for it. 

Anyway, I like what Gwyneth said her dad imparted into her through cooking and their cooking adventures together.

That is, his beliefs about food:

~  Invest in what's real.
~  Clear up as you go.
~  Drink while you cook.
~  Make it fun.
~  It doesn't have to be complicated.
~  It will be what it will be.

As I was reading them I thought they could be applied to craft too.

Invest in what's real.

Well, I've done that. I've invested a lot of time, money and myself into my crafting, particularly my punch art. Hello? It's an investment and it doesn't always pay dividends straight away...you gotta wait on these things sometimes. 

Clear up as you go. 

Well, I do that too. Sometimes too much and then I have to pull that thing out again. And then again

Mum used to tell me to clean up as I went in the actual kitchen. I do that to this day and actually try not to make a mess in the first place. You know, peel potatoes straight into a bag (in the sink), so the peelings don't drip all over the floor as I try to get them into the bin in five trips.

Drink while you cook (craft). 

Well, I don't agree with this one. I don't drink near any paper crafting stuff generally because it's a disaster waiting to happen. Actually, not true.  I do have a cup of tea near me sometimes. Once a lady spilt her Diet Coke all over the table in class. Not good. 

Make it fun. 

Oh wow, this is a biggie. 

Things are fun when they're fun. And they're NOT fun when they're not fun. 

You know, I turned my hobby into my living and then I had to find a new hobby (scrapping). I love that I love what I do, but what people don't realise is that it's still work.

I have deadlines, I have things I have to make, I have to force myself to be creative sometimes when I'm just not feeling it. I have to turn up, show up and be 'on'. Frankly, it's exhausting, but at least it's craft which means the work of it takes, but it also gives, so I'm not left in deficit all the time.  

Also, there's a lot more to working in the crafting industry besides the actual creative work. There's so much other stuff I do and it's not necessarily fun. A recent Paperclipping episode was on working in the industry if you want to have a listen. 

Moving on to my hobby stuff. 

I still make cards for me. 
I still make cards to give away. 
I make things to hang around the house. 
I make things to hang around my mother's house.
I make bits and pieces for the fun of it. 

I make stuff, but the process of it is for me.  

And because it's for me, it's my choice when I do it and how. 

My desk, my rules, I've said that before. 

For example, my niece turned 13 and I bought her birthday card. Yep. Totally. 

Walked into the shop, saw the perfect one, paid my money and walked out. So fab. 

Do you think I'm going to push myself to make a card every single time I need one just because I have the skills? 


No, I'm not. 

Investing in yourself through a passion means you make the rules regarding it.

You know what you're willing to do and what you're not.

And what you can do and what you can't.

And also what you won't do.

Sometimes the thought of making a card makes me want to run away screaming, so I take that as my cue not to make one. 

Let me correct that, sometimes the thought of making up a card makes me want to run a mile. Maybe I should start card lifting? Really, maybe I should, just so I can do the making and not the thinking. I should do that.

This whole art thing is a huge lesson in control and surrender all at the same time.  

Let me just say that again...

This whole art thing is a huge lesson in control and surrender all at the same time. 

Life's like that really, isn't it?

Back to Gwyneth's dad...

It doesn't have to be complicated. 

But sometimes it is. 

Sometimes I want to spend hours on You Tube watching other people make things and yet I don't want to make anything myself. 

Sometimes I'd rather surf online for new punches rather than make anything with the ones I own.  

Sometimes I'd rather just go to the beach with the fellas because the thought of crafting makes me want to barf. 

Just because it's my thing, doesn't mean I want to do it every second of the day. Sometimes I don't want to do it for months and that's okay because....

It will be what it will be. 

Just like this post. 

I started out with the Gwyneth article as inspiration and these words are what came out. 

That's life. 

That's craft. 

That's crafting in my life. 


  1. you have totally summed up how i feel about crafting. when i became a stampin up demo everything was about making money adn getting parties etc and 12 months down the track i was feeling blah about it all. i decided to take a step back and be creative again-it also helped that a new baby arrived to force me to do this!! i feel totally better about what i do now and still have someone else paying for my hobby...just not as much rofl

  2. Hi Clare, I know, the joy goes out of it when it becomes your job sometimes. All the fun stuff gets lost, but I'm glad you found a way to get it back and you're happy with the balance. That's what it's all about in the end, hey? Bye now, thanks for sharing a bit about you.


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