Sunday Mail Column for 26/9/10: The one about creativity

Sequins, it turns out, are good for the soul.  Which would be good news if we weren’t about to hit a major sequin-shortage thanks to the return of The Boy From Oz.

Last year I wrote a column on what my friends and I do when we’re feeling glum. Some friends go for a surf, others go running or shopping or watch favourite DVDS. Me? I tend to go for a walk in the fresh air and listen to trashy, cheery pop.

When I told all this to my friend Anna not so long ago, she had a different blues remedy entirely. When the world seems bleak, she gets creative.  Anna reckons that just the act of making something – like say, sewing buttons or sequins onto an old denim bag – revives the spirit.  I think she’s right.  A little bit of magic happens when we decide to get creative.   In a world of mortgage payments and credit card debt there’s something soothing about letting the right side of our brain take over.  I like to call it the “Playschool” side of our brain where amazing things are fashioned out of a few cardboard boxes, pipe cleaners and foil.

Recently I’ve become a fan of the Australian site It’s an online store for handmade goodies. There’s everything from patchwork scarves to framed vintage cards, ladybug dresses for little girls, crocheted laptop sleeves, polka dot coin purses. The prices are reasonable and everything is unique. It’s the Lady Gaga of the retail world. I log on and get all inspired to make things but then I tend to wander off to the kitchen to eat Milo out of the tin and contemplate the mortgage.

But maybe it’s time to just have a go. Are you tempted to dip your big toe into the creativity wading pool with me? The next question is, where to start? Glad you asked.

Leisa Gill is the owner of Pandemonium Café in Paddington and on Saturday 2 October at 3.30pm, she’s running “Cardmaking for a Cause” … an afternoon of glue sticks, glitter, ribbons, stickers and whatever else you need to make gorgeous handmade cards.  The event is for everyone – including those of us who wouldn’t know a glue gun if we fell over it.  All the cards will be donated to the Leukaemia Foundation in memory of Leisa’s mother Sascha who passed away in June, just 25 days after being diagnosed with Leukaemia.

Leisa says, “My mum and I would spend Monday afternoons sharing our ideas and making cards together since we had subscriptions to two card kits each month.  I wasn’t interested in making cards at all after mum died but a friend motivated me to make this happen in her memory.”

The cost is $10 per person, which covers tea/coffee, nibbles and a $5 donation to the Leukemia Foundation. Meanwhile Leisa will be supplying all the cardmaking materials.   For more details go to or call 3369 4420

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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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