the thrill of the creative effort

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of the creative effort.
We should consider every day lost, on which we have not danced at least once.

– Friedrich Nietzsche

It is so crazy to think that March is already past us. This year has flown by already. It’s been a rather interesting year for the Masanotti household. A few wonderful celebrations so far, some beautiful reconnections and a hopeful season of waiting are just a few of the things filling our lives in 2012. March was National Craft Month and well, like many things in my life the past few weeks, I never got around to finishing/publishing this post until now…April 1.

We can still celebrate crafting in April, right?! I think so. I have the wonderful gift of being surrounded by some truly spectacular artists in Charlotte, NC, and surrounding cities. Seriously, there are pockets of friends and people in this small(ish) city that so reek with amazing creativity and talent, it almost seems unfair to the rest of the world to hoard all the goodies here in Charlotte, North Carolina. I must admit, more times than not, I shamefully allow my self-consciousness to leave me feeling inadequate and not quite talented or cool enough to interact with most of these folks like I want.

Right now I am in the middle of coaching my fourth Girls on the Run season. This week, I found myself teaching the girls about being unique…celebrating each others’ unique qualities. I caught myself pleading with these third-, fourth- and fifth-grade girls to not compare themselves because we were all “fearfully and wonderfully made” to be the people we are/supposed to be. As I was saying these things, the words felt bitter to my lips…not because they were wrong, but because it is and has always been a struggle for me not to compare myself to other women…to not let that comparison-game render me helpless, unable to move or be creative like I know I can and should, due to the weight of my inadequacy and self-consciousness.

I’ve been following Molly Barker’s Naked Face Project over the last 60 days and the revelations she had were so, so meaningful to me. If you’re not familiar with the project, Molly and a girl named Caitlyn, embarked on this journey to not wear makeup, etc., for 60 days. Visit The Naked Face Project to see their journey. In conclusion to the project, Molly realized that her negative self-talk, combined with our culture of “keeping up with appearances” from a young age, had made her feel less than, had robbed her of true joy. For me, the physical comparisons creep in from time to time, but more than that, the comparison of creativity has really robbed me from being to creative soul I was designed to be. There’s no denying God gave me a talent and sense of creativity…well, I say there’s no denying it…but I find myself denying it and in doing so, I am my biggest obstacle…my own source of un-motivation.

I’m working through it…just as I asked my girls to work through it last week. That may read pretty deep, but it’s what is on my heart.

In honor of National Craft Month, I wanted to highlight some of these amazingly talented folks around me and hope that you will visit each of their spaces and delight in their creativity as I do. I’m also posting a link to my Etsy shop, because well…I’m insanely self-conscious about promoting my craft, but I think my little invitations are not that bad and I’m not going to let me “inside voices” keep me from “celebrating the joyful, beautiful and enduring” in my own self.

Happy April. Enjoy!

via The Lightnest Etsy Shop

The Lightnest on Etsy
by the stunningly beautiful Paige {Beasley} Maitland
{of who I had a blessed RE-encounter with a few weeks ago }

via Naptime Diaries on Etsy

Naptime Diaries
by one of the most faithful women I know
Jessi Connolly

via Plumcake Goodsie Shop

Plumcake {a collection of vintage, fashion & more}
from one of the most fashionable, hip, SOULFUL:) women I’ve ever met
Anna Hollingsworth
(side note: she also is a FABULOUSLY talented photographer)

Sarah Helser is THE best PAINTER I’ve ever known {in person}.
Her work always calls out to feelings inside me, hidden in the depths of my soul…and it is a beautiful experience…every time.
Here is her blog where she also showcases her ridiculous talent for writing.
If you are in or around Charlotte, be sure to stop by the Renee George Gallery to see some of Sarah’s latest pieces
and prepared to be blown away.

via Swoon Bijoux

Swoon Bijoux by Kim Vinton Dean
{some of the most gorgeous, handmade jewelry from one of the most gorgeous people I know}

and mine…
I design invitations and sell them on Etsy
I have a few designs in the shop but also do custom work, just ask.

I did it.

…and after erasing that last picture/post 5 times, I decided I better keep it up.

One thought on “the thrill of the creative effort

  1. Paige

    Jessica, you are beautiful, and you are YOU. I loved seeing you again after all these years, and hearing what God has done in your life and mine. He’s the definition of beauty and I hope you know how much you look like him. xo


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