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.

 

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?

Upcycle Project – Dining Chairs (Part 1)

A little while ago I sort of, nearly finished a upcycle project I have been working on.  And when I say “sort of nearly” I just mean that the majority of the hard work has been done and to any other person the project would look to be complete, but, I have more teeny things I would like to do in order for me to feel that the project has come to a close.  The project I am referring to is my dining chairs.

When I moved in to my home I had a dining table but no chairs, which in turn meant nowhere for guests to sit should I decide to invite anyone over for food unless sitting on the sofa and balancing a plate on your knees is acceptable in any circumstances other than when you are alone.  I started searching on Facebook, (who happen to have introduced a nifty little feature called “Marketplace” which seems to round-up any selling adverts from groups and put them all in one place which you can search on by either selecting certain categories or adding your own search terms), for dining chairs or chairs of any kind that I could use as substitutes.  I found some pretty decent looking plastic school chairs that I thought would be ok, they were orange which I loved and free too!  I messaged the seller but he didn’t want to let me have 4 of them, he had 36 to get rid of and wanted them gone en-mass.  I contacted a few other people who had chairs up for free but either they had already been collected by someone else or else I had no reply.  I sort of gave up looking and had decided that eventually I would probably have to buy some which is when I found “the ones”….

I can’t remember what I was looking for on Marketplace, all I know is that I wasn’t looking for chairs, but an ad caught my eye purely because the chairs in question reminded me of the ones my Mum and Dad had when I was growing up…they had the same shape to them, the same fabric, the same colour varnish, the only thing that was different was the back rest of the chairs, the ones in the ad had low backs where the ones Mum and Dad owned had high backs.  Out of interest I clicked on the ad and found that the owner was giving them away for free!  I sent a message and collected them later that day.  1582

I’ve got a white table and the rest of the furniture in my dining area is white so having brown and orange chairs wasn’t really going to match very well.  I decided that I would re-paint the chairs.  My initial idea was to paint the chairs white with a possibility of renewing the fabric on the seats, I was going to pick out similar colours to boxes I have in my storage unit that are pink, blue, yellow and white.  I changed my mind about having white chairs with coloured seats as I found it hard to find fabric in colours I was happy with or that weren’t mega bucks and out of my price range.  After a bit of extra thought and research into costs I decided that I would paint the chairs different colours and chose a white vinyl fabric to do all the seats with.

Next week I will be sharing the first part of the project with you!