How I Stay Creative

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Being Creative

I’d love to say that I’m always creative and have ideas going round in my head all the time, but like all energies, the creative energy that generates ideas ebbs and flows as unpredictably as a river after a heavy rain.  I have days, weeks, and rarely, months, where I seem to be forever creating and crafting and the ideas seem to keep on coming at me, but I also have times where my ideas and passion for creating seem to dry up and shrivel away to nothing.

In the past, staying creative was easy – university provided me with loose themed projects to work on, our own interpretation of the topic was hugely encouraged.  It made thinking about topics and things to do incredibly easy, in some ways it took that ability away from me.  I found it easy to come up with creative ideas when there was a topic presented to me.  We had group chats about our work and the direction we wanted to go in with our projects along with feedback from our peers and lecturers.  We focused on research, trial and error and then the final outcome.  Having other persons input into our ideas really helped.  But now I’m alone and away from group discussion, the onus is on me to continue with being creative.

After I finished university I had this itch to continue to make things but had no real idea of how to start and what to do with this energy inside me.  I had very little skill in knowing how to use this energy and formulate it into solid ideas.  I dealt with it in the worst way possible.  I sat and did nothing, letting this feeling fester and then wither.  While I did continue to take photos and create other bits and pieces here and there, it was nothing like having a project and something to really focus on.

And then the fear started to creep in.  Fear that what I was doing wasn’t good enough, fear that what I was producing didn’t have a point, fear that my ideas were limiting my work and without discussing my ideas and getting feedback and opinions that my work wasn’t somehow validated.  So I stopped.  I stopped creating, I stopped thinking, and I felt like I had lost a part of me.

What really got me back into creating and being creative was social media, I found some Instagram accounts that I liked, I joined Facebook groups where my interests were embraced and where people shared their work with others.  And I slowly started to re-gain confidence in myself and my ideas.

Now, to stay creative I read articles that are related to my interests, I read blogs about crafting and art, I follow lots of Instagram accounts that are working in a similar way to me, and I research skills I’d like to learn.  There are so many craft ideas pages, tutorials and step-by-step instructions on the web that have helped me to.  Lots of the big hobby stores have pages of ideas to read about too, which help.

I keep a notebook of ideas, my phone holds lots of web links, I have saved articles on my pc and I am subscribed to websites that email projects I may be interested in that I can refer to when I hit a wall which helps me to overcome an “artists block”.  I have realised that I don’t always need the guidance of others to help me create and I follow my own set of rules.  I no longer care whether what I create has a point, means something or whether others will like or understand it.  I create for me.  That’s how I stay creative.

 

A Quote

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Image from http://www.jarofquotes.com           Author of quote – unknown

I stumbled upon this quote a little while ago, I can’t remember what I was looking for but the quote stuck with me and I couldn’t seem to forget it.

For me, this quote seems to sum up my life and my art.  The quote has a sort of Alice In Wonderland feel to it which I really love.  My life has taken me on a journey that I never expected to take, even the most highly planned decisions I have made have turned out to have the most unexpected consequences and I embrace them fully, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.

The way I create art and put together my home and my dress sense seems to work in the same way.  I start out with a general idea of what I want to achieve and along the way, things happen, often other thoughts and ideas emerge and the finished thing is not how I expected it to be.

I think we all have to embrace the unexpected, try not to see things as mistakes or things we have done wrong, see them as things to learn from, things that educate us and make us the person that we are.

What quote has stuck with you?

 

Monthly Goals

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I think it’s always a really nice idea, at the end of a month, just to sit down and think about some things that you want to achieve in the following month.  I am going to share with you, today, my little list of goals I want to achieve this month.  I have split my list into 4 sections covering my blog and social media, home, art and craft and personal.  Here are the goals I’d like to achieve this coming month.

Blog and Social Media

  • Stay on track with my blog routine.  December was a mad month for blog posts, I more than doubled the usual amount of posts because I wanted to share so much about Christmas and Christmas Ideas but now that is all over I’m going to try to get back to my usual routine of posting on a Tuesday and Friday.
  • Share more on social media.  Especially Facebook and Instagram.  Though I have got these platforms, I haven’t been using them a great deal for one reason or another so this month I am setting a goal to share at least one blog post image or the link to the blog post to these sites.
  • Change my blog domain.  Upgrade my blog extension from a wordpress.com extension to a co.uk or another extension to make it easier to share my site across social media platforms and make it easier for people to find my blog.

Home

  • Defrost freezer and deep clean fridge. I really like to do this in the New Year, not only do I get to have a nice clean fridge and freezer I can also take stock of everything that I have got in there, decide what needs using up, what I could do with getting rid of and what I need to stock up on!
  • Wash Sofa Covers.  I tend to do this job every few months and love how fresh my room smells once the covers are back in place.
  • Create a cleaning timetable.  When I lived in my other house I had a cleaning timetable in place but since moving I’ve not really had one.  A cleaning timetable helps me to remember to do things like make sure the right bins go out on the correct day.  This month I want to create a new timetable and write it into my home planner and (try to) stick to it.

Art and Craft

  • Make some more candles.  I made some candles the other  month and would like to make some more as it was really fun and a great way to relax and it means I will always have something to gift as presents.  I’d also like to research methods of making candles as there are so many different techniques!
  • Start making cards again.  I used to make lots of cards and even started to sell them for charity a long time ago.  I’d like to get back into making and giving my own cards to friends and family as it is a bit more personal and special than buying shop bought cards.
  • Start a scrapbook/journal.  This is something that, again, I used to do years ago and am thinking that I would like to start doing again.  I have a La De Dah Journal already which would be perfect as a scrap journal.  There are lots of different papers you can buy to add to the journal and so many different ways to use the pages that it would be the perfect choice for what I’d like to do.
  • Work on Lettering.  I bought a dot grid book a short while ago so I could start working on my own lettering and create my own alphabets to use in my journal.  I think that cold, dark, January would be the perfect time to start on this project.

Personal

  • Finish reading The Snowman.  I started reading this book back in September just before I got diagnosed with stress and anxiety.  Since then, because of my medication and symptoms associated with my mental health, my concentration levels have meant that reading a book or watching a tv show have been hard work.  I’d really like to finish this book by the end of January.
  • Plan another craft event.  I really enjoyed hosting my Crafternoon in aid of Mind and it got me thinking about maybe hosting a craft group every few months where I can get my friends together and we can learn new crafting skills together.  After talking to everyone that came to my event it seems that this is something that they would all be interested in.
  • Arrange another trip to London.  My brother and his family live in London and I really want to go and visit them again so this month I will try to make some plans to visit in the near future (hopefully end of Jan or Feb sometime!).
  • Go out for the day.  Since I have been unwell I have really struggled with basic things like shopping and running errands let alone visiting friends and going places.  Leaving the house in general has been a daily struggle as my anxiety seems to build so much that I can’t seem to even step outside my front door.  This month I would really like to make a change to that and am going to plan a day out somewhere, even if it’s to the local shopping centre or park.

What is on your goals list this month?

A Look Around My Home – Living Room

THIS POST IS IMAGE HEAVY… (just to warn you incase it doesn’t load on your device…)

I’ve decided to add to my blog “A Look Around My Home” posts, essentially photo room tours, partly to share with you what my rooms look like and how I style them but also to serve as reminders to me.  I like to move things around, add things and take things away so sharing these posts will be a little reminder for me in months to come, how my room looked at certain points in time.

Today I am sharing photos of my living room.  I hope you will like them!

This is the full view of my window sill.  I received the hanging which I use as a curtain for my birthday last year, you can find similar on Amazon .

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Unicorn Ring Holder and Votive Candles

I bought the Unicorn Ring Holder and the votive candles (part of a set) from Asda.  Unfortunately the Unicorn Ring Holder no longer seems to be in stock but you can buy similar here.  The votive candle came as part of a set of 2 along with a reed diffuser which smells absolutely divine – really fruity, from Asda.

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Bell Jar Unicorn

The Bell Jar Unicorn also came from Asda.

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Fairy in a Jar

I bought this little fellow about 20 years ago when I was on holiday in Devon from a cute gift shop.

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Incense Burner and Tea Light Holder

The Incense Burner was purchased in a local shop and the Tea Light holder was a Birthday gift from a friend a few years ago.

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Moroccan Tea Light Holder and Incense Burner

I bought the Moroccan Tea Light Holder in my local TK Maxx.  I can’t find the item on their website but you may find similar in store!

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My Coffee Table and Hurricane Lamp Candle Holder

My Coffee Table was a bargain find from FaceBook Marketplace and was free to whoever collected it! I’d been searching for one like it for what seemed like an age and is now one of my favorite possessions!  I can’t remember where I got the Hurricane lamp from but use it every now and again as a vase.  At the moment I like using it to hold a chunky church candle.

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Coaster

These coasters were a Christmas present a few years ago from my brother, Richard.  They never cease to make me smile!

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Coaster
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Coaster
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Coaster
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TV and TV Stand

I bought my tv stand from Argos and was using it previously in my bedroom to store clothes in.  I moved it downstairs after my neighbour gifted me her spare tv when I moved in.  It currently houses a few ornaments and my classic (original) Sony Playstation and games.

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Skull, Dragon and Candle

I’ve had my sheep skull since I was in college doing an Art A Level (back in 1998) when I used him in several drawing lessons.  I named him Bob and painted him silver several years ago.  The Dragon is made from Welsh coal and was a present from my brother Richard.

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Terrarium, Frog, Tortoise and Candle

I bought the terrarium (complete with a fake succulent) in Asda, they don’t seem to stock it on their site anymore but you may be lucky to find one in store.  The little frog was a present from a friend when she was on holiday, it opens up and can hold really small things.  The tortoise is made from Tigers Eye, it was a gift for a birthday many years ago.

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Close up of Terrarium, Frog and Tortoise
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Corner of My Room

I love this vignette of the corner of my room!  The chest is from my friend who runs RoofRack Ragamuffinsa local shop here in Pontypool.  The table lamp was upcycled by me (I added the dinosaur fringe).  The dinosaur planters were a gift from my Mum and were purchased in Morrisons supermarket.  The little table is a find from Facebook Marketplace. The plant and pot came from Wilkinsons.

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Small Gemstone Table, My Little Pony and a Duck

Here’s a close up of the little table, I bought it from a lady on Facebook Marketplace, it holds a handful of gemstone chippings, a plastic duck and a customised My Little Pony which I’m in the middle of decorating.

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Lenny and Pigwig with my Fish Lamp

These wood carvings were made by a friend and I bought them at festivals I have been to.  They are called Lenny (the big one) and Pigwig (the smaller one).  The lamp is filled with water and when switched on a light shines up through the water and cycles through different colours, it produces bubbles and little plastic fish bob up and down.

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Cuddle Chair and Reading Corner

This is where I like to sit and read my books.  The cuddle chair is from Facebook Marketplace.  The floor lamp I upcycled myself. (You can read about that here) The bookcase came from Ikea.

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Book Case and Floor Lamp

The camel mobile was bought at a museum in London on a trip there years ago.

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Ornament Pyramid Shelving

On the top of the bookcase is a pyramid shelving unit that I painted gold.  It is filled with small nick-nacks.

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Glass Jar and Skulls

Next to the pyramid shelves are 2 jars, one contains tiny bird skulls that I found and used in art classes for drawing and painting skills.

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Glass Jar and Sea Anemone Skeleton

The other glass jar contains a Sea Anemone Skeleton that I found on a beach when I was on holiday a few years ago.

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Decorated Bottles, Puffins and Tortoise

This shelf holds items that I inherited when my Grandma died.  I have no idea of the origins of the decorated bottles or the puffins.  The little tortoise is a holder, when you lift off the shell there is a place to keep small items.

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Horse and Carriage, Feathers, Oil Burner and Skull

The next shelf down is home to my Horse and Carriage that my Granddad bought back from one of his trips abroad.  The oil burner was a gift from my manager when I worked in a pub and the skull was a present from my Dad a few years ago (it’s a money-box).

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Another View of my Horse and Carriage, Feathers and Oil Burner

I’ve collected feathers for years and have chosen to display some of them in a pink candle holder on my shelf.

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Shelf with Books and Buddah Ornament

This is where my “books to read” reside along with my filofax and other bits and bobs necessary for everyday life that I tend to lose!  The Buddah ornament is a backflow incense burner that I bought a while ago from Amazon. (You can find backflow incense burners here)  The bottom shelf (which you can just see…) holds books and the rest of my planners and diaries.

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Artwork and More Shelving

This artwork is something I created on my Foundation Art Degree.  I have placed it onto the chimney breast and placed a shelving unit below it as the chimney is not used anymore and the fire-place has been blocked up.

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Top of the Shelves

This is my candle shelf!

From L to R

Big Iridescent Candle (Asda)

Small Pink Candles – Moving in present from my brother Richard.

Reed diffuser (part of a set from Asda)

Silver Pineapple Tea Light Holder (no longer available – Asda)

Smaller Iridescent Candle (Asda)

Silver Skull Candle – D.L and Co

The small glass photocube was a present from my workmates when I left my last job.

 

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Candles and Reed Diffuser
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Llama Mug

My Mum bought me the Llama mug to use as a plant holder.  It’s currently housing a silly dinosaur pencil!

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Candles, Art and Squishies

The votive candle holders (S & R) came from Asda and stand for Suzi and Roxy!  The squishie animals came from Wish.

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Gemstone Bell Jar, Candles and Holders and Wooden Box
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Wooden Box

I can’t remember where I bought this little box from, its been in my possession for longer than I can remember.  It currently keeps incense cones safe!

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Gromit Head Wobbler
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Troll

I had this troll figure (and the other one shown lower down in this post) as a Birthday present when trolls were all the rage first time around (in the late ’80s!)  I’m surprised that I still have both of them given that many of my things from then have got lost over the years!

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Cat Salt and Pepper Shakers

I love this pair and their cute faces!  They are salt and pepper shakers that I bought for a uni art project several years ago.  I have never used them for the purpose they were made for but as ornaments to have out on my shelves!

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Cat Money Box

This was bought years ago from a charity shop!  I use it to keep Roxy’s pocket-money safe!

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Troll
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Keeper

Another of my ’80’s childhood toys that has survived many moves!

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Salt Lamp and Side Unit

The salt lamp was a Birthday gift a few years ago.  I bought the side unit and drawers from Argos to use as side tables as I didn’t have any.  I have one for each side of my sofa and are perfect for putting a lamp on and holding a coffee cup.  They are also perfect for hiding paperwork and magazines!

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Coffee Table, Sofa and Cushions
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Sofa and Cushions

The sofa is a new addition to my living room.  I did have a sofabed in the space (you can see it here) but decided to move that to my spare room.  I found this (and another one) exactly the same on Facebook Marketplace for £15 for the pair!  The bolster cushions and covers are from Amazon (you can find similar covers here )  The rabbit cushion was a Christmas present.

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Sofa and Side Unit

The anglepoise lamp on the other side of my sofa was given to me by my brother Richard when I moved in.  I’ve seen similar in several different stores including Argos and Ikea.

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Wall Clock

The wall clock is one of my favorite things!  My friend gave me it a few years ago and I couldn’t decide where to place it.  When I moved in here I knew that I would put it on the wall space behind my sofa!

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Salt Lamp
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Wall Picture of My Niece and Nephew

This picture of my niece and nephew was printed by Saal Digital.  If you want similar then there are several places you can upload your own images from to be turned into wall pictures!

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Disco Ball

I’ve had my disco ball for years and years and previously had nowhere to hang it.  I’ve hung it in front of my room divider curtains.

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Room Divider

One of my room divider curtains.  I wrote a post about them here.

What is your favorite item in my living room?

Why I Started This Blog

In the past I ran a few different blogs, I had one for my art and uni projects, one for my planners and diaries and one for beauty products but keeping them all going at the same time, remembering to write posts, schedule them, take photos, link back to products I used or other relevant sources, update social media platforms became a bit overwhelming.  I struggled to think of content to write, write posts and get them published.  It began to feel like I was writing each day and chasing my tail, not really getting anywhere.  Eventually, I just gave up as it was all becoming a bit too much to keep up with.

Recently I had been thinking about things that I used to do for fun and realised I really enjoyed writing and sharing ideas and thoughts, and that I really, really missed blogging.  In the beginning, when I started blogging I found the whole process of writing, taking photo and updating my blog to be fun and a way to relax, it was almost therapeutic up to a point.  And I wanted that feeling back, I wanted the space to share art things, decorating tips and ideas, food, beauty, whatever I wanted to, or could think of writing about.  I wanted to get back to blogging, maybe not with the intensity I had before but I still felt like it was something I really wanted to do.

I think the reason I failed blogging before was that I had several blogs all specialising in niche subjects and because of the nature of the blogs and their blog names I felt like I couldn’t add other subjects into the blog, that I had to stick with the given theme I had chosen.  It took me a while to really think about what I wanted to write about and share on a blog and whether I wanted to really start a new blog.  I wrote down subjects I wanted to write about and really thought hard about the type of blog these subjects would fit into, one that would give me the freedom to add any subject matter I wanted without having my readers wondering why I had added something that was “off theme”.  I decided a lifestyle blog was the best style to go with, it would give me the freedom to write posts about art and decorating, alongside posts about what I was reading or thinking about.

So I started this blog as a space for me to share my life, experiences, ideas, thoughts and life with you.  I started this blog as I enjoy writing and taking photos and because I find writing is a kind of therapy, it is something to help me mentally and somewhere I can log my life and look back on things I have done and ideas I have had.  I started this blog to give people ideas and inspiration.  That is why I created this blog.

If you are interested in the Story Behind My Blog Name you can find that post here.

If you blog, why did you start yours?  What is your blog about?  Do you write about a niche subject or something in broader terms?

About My Colourful Life

I’ve always been an avid maker of things, artist, creator and photo taker, bargin hunter, tryer of many things, reader, and blogger.  I have run lots blogs in my time but have found that keeping them updated has been a struggle when there are several to update so, now I have decided to keep everything simple and move everything to one blog and see what happens.

This blog will be a little bit of everything, from my art things, household ideas and creations, fashion, reviews, photos, my projects and how to’s, tips, ideas, recipes, places to visit, things to do and see…pretty much anything will go here!  I suppose you could call it a lifestyle blog…

I decided to call the blog “My Colourful Life” as I love colour, any colour – all the colours of the rainbow, and I hope to share with you some of the colourful aspects of my home, from the upcycling ideas I have had to the soft furninshings I surround myself with.

I recently moved into my own home and have spent time trawling the internet looking for cheap furnishings and things I could cusomise and make my own, along with plenty of decorating and hope to share some of the projects I have worked on as well as things I would like to do as well.

Along the way I hope to share money saving tips and tricks and how to create looks on a budget as well as sharing the best places to look for bargains.

If you have any ideas or questions or even suggestions for future posts you can always contact me at my.colourful.life@outlook.com

I have also set up an Instagram feed which I will be adding images to – you can find that here