Eric Carle illustrations on fabric by Andover Fabrics
Eric Carle illustrations on fabric by Andover Fabrics

Sometimes when I feel my life careening off the road because of things I can’t control I have a visceral need to make something with my hands.

Whatever it is doesn’t have to be perfect, but seeing it comes to life between my fingers fuels something inside of me. These creative projects are especially helpful when I can’t do anything about the speed bumps in life like illness or fate – or even when I’m just stuck inside my head with my story.

On such a night, the insomniac that lives inside me found this fabric on Etsy featuring Eric Carle’s illustrations. Not only is the art beautiful, the diversity of the faces resonated with me since I am passionate about diversifying the shelf selection of books for kids. The need-to-make hunger grew over the few days until the fabric arrived, then the materials were the candy fueling me through the crazy.

When these fits of crazy-creation overtake me, I usually don’t plan. (That’s how I know it’s a crazy fit because usually I’m a planner.) I just create and figure it out along the way even if I don’t know how to do the thing I decided I want to do. Bright ideas like this usually hit me at 1:00 am, and I can’t stop working on them until I feel a certain creative catharsis.

After I rode wave after wave of how about we add a pocket! or a strap! and a pouch! wait, need a string…use a shoelace! The tide receded. It was done and so was I. I don’t think it was coincidence that the very next day I stumbled on something interesting to consider for the story that I was working on.

Sometimes you just have to give crazy what it wants.