Stitch Merchant
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Using What You Have

I find that overabundance can stifle creativity. I'll give an example to show what I mean. If you want to have vegetable soup for dinner once a week and you went to the store and bought the same ingredients you would turn out an identical soup every week. I'm sure it would be tasty but it would always be the same. No experimentation. No creativity. Blah. But if you were to start using what was in the fridge instead of duplicating the same thing over and over, your creativity will inevitably grow. You'll have chicken based soup one week, maybe a beef base the next, tomatoes sometimes, asparagus in the spring, parsnips in the fall, lentils yes, beans maybe. But there would always be choices and pairings and things that work well and things that don't and through all of that experimentation you will end up with an abundance of variety instead of an identical soup week after week.

I was reminded of this simple principle of Use What You Have when my friend, Svenja, returned to the market to sell her beautiful flower arrangements. They're stunning and she does it all with flowers she grows, things she finds and trimming she cuts from trees and shrubs. The results are seasonal, unexpected and always new. I've had arrangements with chive flowers, dill flowers, sand dollars and one even had a squash. This week it was snail shells and moss that grows around here like a weed.

The saying is true. It's not what you have, it's what you do with it that counts.