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What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do (and Your Mojo is Taking a Vacation)

As I have mentioned a few times recently, I am in a bit of a creative slump.  Every time I try to make something – whether it be a card or a collage, something out of clay, or just a doodle – it turns out rubbish.  It is very depressing and frustrating and makes me want to hide under the covers, eating cookies and crying into my phone (which, of course, is opened to Instagram so I can look at lots of other artists’ AMAZING work and depress myself even more).  That’s just how I roll.

So, in lieu of actually creating anything, I am working on creating a space in which I can work, be inspired and, hopefully, get my mojo back.

My craft room is a disaster zone.  There is no other way to describe it.  There is stuff everywhere and my actual working space has been reduced to an area of desk approximately the size of a drink coaster.  It’s terrible.

I need to de-clutter, big time.  I need to get rid of stuff that I am never going to use and organise the stuff I will use.  I need to make life easier for myself and prepare some things ready for starting new projects.  Most importantly, I just need to tidy the heck up!

With that in mind, here are a few things we can all do to make a space that is conducive to creativity and inspiration (or, at least, one that won’t make us depressed), and some suggestions for making the most of your creative slump time.

  1. If you’re a card-maker, organise all your card blanks and envelopes.  Match up sets and put “odds” aside.  If you’re really being good, get rid of them (give away or recycle bin).  If you’re a hoarder, bundle them together in sizes.
  2. If you have off-cuts of card, try making card blanks to fit your odd envelopes, so they’re ready to go when you need them.
  3. Go through the old books you’ve been collecting/hoarding to cut up, and cut out text from them. Maybe a phrase or word will inspire you to create. I keep a jar filled with sentences and words I like, so they’re always on hand. This is a good task to do sitting by the telly, with a cup of tea.
  4. Get stuck into your stash of scrapbooking/cardmaking papers.  CULL THEM.  Do you really need the lime green and bright pink, polka-dotted paper?  Maybe you do.  Most likely you don’t, and that’s why it’s still sitting there.
  5. Organise your adhesives.  Do you have ancient, dried up bottles of glue/Modge-Podge/Gel Medium?  Or is that just me? Get rid of them.  Also, go through your adhesive tapes – put them in one spot so they’re easily accessed and not sticking to things they shouldn’t.
  6. If you’re like me and tear out ideas and images from magazines and then leave them lying about the place, collect them all up and take some time to organise them into files or scrapbooks.  I have a file each for recipes, home decor, and fashion, as well as one for card ideas, one for quotes and articles, and another for general craft inspiration.  Make them look pretty and inviting – they really do help when you are in a slump and needs some ideas.
  7. Now get rid of all your piles of magazines – take out what you need (see # 6.) and chuck the rest in the recycle bin.  Some magazines are totally awesome and you want to keep the whole thing – that’s ok, but it needs to have a home.  Put it on a shelf or somewhere that you keep other inspirational books.  Don’t leave it lying about.
  8. Rubber stamps.  I swear they multiply.  I don’t remember buying them all and yet I seem to have hundreds.  I recently got rid of a whole box of them – gave them away to friends and donated them to op shops.  I haven’t missed them and don’t know why I kept them for so long.  If you haven’t used them in a while, it’s time for them to go. There’s only so many times you can use that teddy bear stamp or the one with the funny phrase that was hilarious in 1994 but not so much now.  Organise your text / word stamps into one container or drawer.  Try and group “like” items together so you know where everything is.  Christmas stamps in one spot, animal stamps in another, etc.  Makes like easier.
  9. If you have some projects you’ve made that you’re really happy with, make sure they are on display.  I have favourite cards hanging on my wall near my work space.  It helps to remind you that you don’t suck all the time, and gives you inspiration to try again.
  10. Make sure your most-utilised supplies are within easy reach of your work space.  It seems like an obvious thing but it really does help.  Storing them upright, when you can, in jars, cups and vases, gives you more room, and can look very appealing. Remember, though, to store marker pens flat – it helps them to last longer.
  11. While we are on the subject of pens – spend a few minutes going through them and chucking out any that no longer work or are on their last legs.  Make a note of any colours you need so that you can stock up.  Nothing worse than needing that skin-tone marker and you find it’s all dried up and useless.  Sharpen pencils and re-fill leads in mechanical pencils.  The more you prepare now, the less you will have to do when the arty mood strikes you – everything will be ready to go.
  12. Make a playlist.  This really helps – honest!  Compile a couple of playlists on your ipod or computer that help you to relax and create.  Alternatively, find some podcasts to download that are motivational, thought-provoking or inspirational.  Listening to other people talk about their creativity can really boost your own.
  13. Move stuff around.  Maybe you just need a change of scenery.  Would your craft table look better over in that corner, have better light by the window or work best right in the centre of the room?  Sometimes changing things around can really help to get you out of a rut.  It also encourages you to tidy up and sort through stuff, which is never a bad thing.
  14. Have a look through all those art books you’ve got and try copying someone else’s work.  This is just for practicing and learning some new techniques or styles – don’t try and pass someone else’s art as your own.  That’s rude (and also slightly illegal).  This is just to get your brain working and to stir your art heart.  Sometimes your creative centre needs a bit of a kick up the bum, especially if you’ve been doing the same thing for a long time.  It’s like doing the same exercise at the gym – every now and then you need to change things up a little and challenge your body.  Your brain is the same.
  15. Have a nap.  If all else fails, tuck yourself up in bed or on the couch, shut the world out, and have a little nap.  Maybe you’ll wake up feeling energised and motivated. Maybe you’ll just get some much needed rest and feel better about everything in general.  Sometimes you just need to sleep – that’s all there is to it.  I’m giving you permission to nap!

So, just a few ideas for helping you to get your art heart pumping.  Sometimes you just need to give in and say “Ok, no crafting for me today!”  and do something else.  It’s supremely frustrating though, when all you want to do is create a masterpiece and you can barely draw a stick figure or stitch in a straight line.  Sometimes your mojo is just off and needs a break.  I’m hoping that is the case with me, anyway.

Hope you’re having a creative, happy day (or at least a really awesome nap!) 🙂

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Quote for the Day : You are not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

“…The world is filled with people who, no matter what you do,
no matter what you try, will simply not like you.
But the world is also filled with those who will love you fiercely.
The ones who love you they are Your People.

Don’t waste your finite time and heart trying to convince the people who aren’t your people that you have value. They will miss it completely.
They won’t buy what you are selling. Don’t try to convince them to walk your path with you because you will only waste your time and your emotional good health.

You are not for them and they are not for you.
You are not their cup of tea and they are not yours.
Politely wave them along and you move away as well. Seek to share your path with those who recognise and appreciate your gifts, who you are.

Be who you are. You are not everyone’s cup of tea and that is OK…”

— Unknown

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That’s That

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just say “Everything is ok and that’s all there is to it…” and then everything would just miraculously be fine and dandy?  If only!

This little birdie is standing defiant and saying “No, I will not let things get to me – everything’s ok and I won’t hear any negativity today!”  She’s even pulled her crown down over her earholes, just in case.  Might as well block out the naysayers and the party-poopers (there are lots of party poopers in the bird world, I’ve heard), and anyone who starts their conversations with “You can’t” or “Yes, but..” will be summarily banished from the nesting box.  It’s that simple.

Hope your world is full of positive people today and that your mind is free from worries.  If not, just pull your crown on tighter and ignore the heck out of anyone or anything that threatens to rain on your parade.

Take care of yourselves x

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Perfectly You

You are so perfectly YOU!  You are!  As Dr Seuss once wrote “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!”  

It’s hard to remember that sometimes – that you are YOU and you’re not supposed to be anyone else, or even try to be.  Because you were put on the Earth to be the best YOU you can be, not to try and be almost as good as someone else.  This is what I try to tell myself.  I fail, regularly, to believe it, but every day is a chance to start again (just like diets – they always begin tomorrow – it’s a known fact!) and just be YOU.

I made this little card with that sentiment in mind.  This little lady doesn’t care tthat she’s a bit rounded in some places, or that she has knobbly knees.  She doesn’t even mind that she doesn’t have arms!  She still thinks she’s a princess and a pretty damn awesome one at that.  She’s got the crown to prove – they don’t give them out to just anyone, you know.

Hope you are feeling good about yourself today – you’re exactly as you’re supposed to be and, if not, you’re heading in the right direction, bit by bit.  I know it.  Trust me, I’m a doctor.  Ok, I’m not really but I’ve watched ER lots of times so I know stuff 🙂

Thank you for dropping by and reading my silliness x

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Quote for the Day : Sometimes

“…Sometimes I just want space to be me
But then I remember I don’t know who “me” is
And any space I have is filled with the unknowing
And the questions about what I should be doing
And if I should replace the “Should” with a “Could”
And if I have always been wrong and always will be
And if everyone knows my secrets
or if my secrets are hidden away and will never be discovered
and will die with me, alone and unknown

Sometimes I want to disappear
But then I remember my footprints on this Earth are forever
The damage is already done and I can’t be forgotten, at least by the Earth
But to the others I am already a memory
And a fading one at that
Because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do and try harder to be the same
As them 
And all the others
who succeeded where I had failed

Sometimes I want to stand out
But then I remember standing out means you are different
And different is not always a happy place
Even if it is an authentic place
And a place to lay your soul
When it is tired of being hungry and having to fight with itself
About things that should be easy or not there at all

Sometimes I want to be still
But then I remember I have to keep moving
In case the truth catches up with me and it’s too much to take in
Like a hurricane in a teacup
But the moving gets harder and I end up running on the spot
While everyone passes by me
Unconcerned by the diminishing space I am taking up
As I burrow into the ground, a whirlpool at my feet…”

–Anonymous

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Quote for the Day : For Want of an Understanding Ear

“…The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish them–words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within, not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear…”

–Stephen King

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Blogging Challenge – Day Nine : What’s in My Bag?

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My bag (or, rather, bags – I have too many of them) generally contains more than it should.  I am a hoarder in all areas of my life, why should the contents of my handbag be any different?  I am terrible at clearing it out regularly and it usually has about six months’ worth of receipts in it.  Also, about eight hundred tissues – used or not, who can tell? – and at least three pens, possibly leaking or not working at all.

So, today’s bag-hoard contains :

  1. A Pair of tongs –  This is because I cannot reach those stupid ticket machine thingies in the car parks (when you have to lean out your window).  Whose arms are that long?  Certainly not mine.  I usually end up putting my neck out.  So, I have tongs.  I will take them out of the bag and just leave them in the car today though.  Promise.
  2. Concert ticket – A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of my house-buying anxiety, I went to a concert with my cousin.  I had been looking forward to it for months but was so not in the mood to go that night.  In fact, an hour before hand, I was having a major meltdown and crying so hard I gave myself a massive nose bleed.  Over-dramatic much?  Anyway, the concert was AWESOME!!!  It was called “Totally 80s” and featured lots of one-hit wonders and some more successful musical acts of the 80s.  Wa Wa Nee, Martika, Berlin, Real Life, Men Without Hats and Paul Lekakis.  It was great.  They were all SO GOOD and sounded amazing.  It was a nice distraction for me and, predictably, I have held on to my ticket.  But it is going in the bin today. Really and truly. Pinky swear.
  3. Purse – Well, obviously my purse is gonna be in there.  It contains no money but does have lots of receipts and a tonne of other crap in it.
  4. House-buying documents and whatnot – I am currently carrying all my documents and forms and everything to do with my new house around with me like a pack horse.  I am paranoid something dramatic will happen and I will need the information immediately.  This is unlikely now, with settlement a week away.  But I am not very smart and apparently like to lug stuff around.
  5. Gloves – I feel the cold.  We all know this.  I have a pair of black knitted gloves that have skeleton bones printed on them.  They are children’s gloves.  I have tiny hands.
  6. Bandaids – my dermatillomania is kicking my butt at the moment so I am trying to keep it under control by keeping my fingers covered.  I keep bandaids on hand at all times.  I buy bazillions of them.
  7. Numerous set of keys – I have house keys, car keys, my Mum’s house keys,  friends’ house keys, lots of keys to work etc.  Basically I jangle when I walk.
  8. Phone – The dreaded mobile phone.  I am not one of those people who is constantly on their phone.  I forget to even look at it half the time and mostly use it as a clock.  I HATE talking on my mobile and I never answer it when I am driving.  Don’t text and drive, people!  I actually bought a new iPhone about 6 months ago.  I haven’t switched over to it yet (because I am a chronic procrastinator) and am still using my extremely ancient iPhone that has multiple issues.  Basically, it is dying, poor lamb.
  9. Teabags – Um, yes, I carry teabags around with me.  Mostly green tea and lemon ones.  Just in case I go somewhere – to someone’s house for instance – and they don’t have any tea.  Who would such a person be and why I would be friends with them, I do not know, but it’s just in case.
  10. Lip balm – I have a lippy in every bag I own.  Cruelty-free ones of course.  If they smell nice and taste a bit like fruit/chocolate/cookies, even better.

That’s pretty much it, except for the usual “lady” products and scraps of paper and general junk.  I should probably clean it out.  Today even.  Or tomorrow.  Or in three week’s time when I move.  That seems like a good idea.  Then I will have a new set of keys to put in it!

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