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Learn to Fly

Hello everyone!¬† Hope you’re having a lovely day ūüôā¬† I had a very productive and pro-active weekend, tidying up and getting things sorted out.¬† I finally finished cleaning up my outdoor area (I have a sort of closed-in patio) so it is actually fit for human habitation and I moved my outdoor setting over so I could now sit and have a cup of tea and look at my plants and not battle spiders, cobwebs and general disorder.

I took a load of stuff to the op-shop (clothes I never wear and shoes I fall down in) and made plans for further de-cluttering and sorting.¬† It feels good to get some stuff done and not waste my weekend.¬† I have fallen in to a bit of a rut, not just creatively, but in all aspects of life, and things have gotten on top of me.¬† So I need to have a plan of action for each day.¬† That way, I can whittle away at all the big jobs, and they won’t seem so overwhelming.¬† I also need to stop being lazy ūüôā

After tidying up and doing some housework (just a bit – let’s not crazy here!), I got stuck into some craft.¬† I have been so down in the dumps about my lack of creative ability that I really needed something to spur me on and get me fired up again.¬† I recently subscribed to Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted¬†video series and it’s been just the kick in the pants I needed.¬† She is such an inspiration – not just because her work is beautiful, but because she just goes with the flow and creates from the heart and doesn’t let mistakes and bad days get in her way.¬† If she makes a boo-boo, she either paints over it or makes it part of the design.¬† She creates for no one else but herself, and that’s what I need to do – stop thinking about what everyone else thinks.¬† I’m¬†so glad I subscribed – I really had to think about spending the money, but I can cancel at any time and, if it makes me start creating and making art again, it is totally worth it.

I don’t want to copy Kelly Rae, but at the moment I am just drawing from her art and ideas to get me started again.¬† Sometimes you need to imitate before you instigate I guess!

So, with all of that in mind, I created this piece.¬† I am kinda happy with it.¬† I love the colours and the text and it all came together pretty easily (albeit with a lot of false starts and paint-overs!).¬† I tried not to overthink it, and just CREATE.¬† Afterwards, I sat up late, sketching out rough plans and ideas for more collages and pictures.¬† I feel like I am ready to start making stuff again.¬† My mojo might be returning at last!¬† This piece isn’t perfect by any means, but I’m so glad I got it done (and that it didn’t end up in the bin, which happens sometimes!).¬† I’m learning to fly again ūüôā

Thanks for stopping by x

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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 Рit 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 Рhonest!  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!) ūüôā

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Now I am Forty-Three

So, today is my 43rd birthday. ¬†Forty-three. ¬†Four decades-and-a-bit. ¬†Where the hell did those years go?! ¬†I’m sure time speeds up as you get older. ¬†I know I am very aware of time passing and, more depressingly, time¬†running out.

Last year, I wrote a post about being forty two, and what I knew to be true at that point. ¬†Not much has changed since then. ¬†I still don’t know what the heck I am doing half the time, but I guess that’s ok. ¬†I hope so anyway.¬† Though there is still a tonne of stuff I don’t know, there are some things which I know to be true FOR SURE.

  1. After forty, the body basically gives up and tells you where you can stick your diets and exercise. ¬†Things sag and bulge and lose the ability to look like they did when¬†you ¬†were twenty. ¬†This is ok. ¬†Horrible and annoying, but ok. ¬†No one else will notice except for you, because they are all too busy worrying about their own saggy bits, so don’t focus on it too much. ¬†If you do, you will become dull, depressing AND saggy. ¬†And that’s just sad.
  2. Don’t worry too much about trying to figure out your face shape. ¬†Whether it is a heart or an oval or a dodecahedron doesn’t really matter. ¬†Just wear what you like and grow your hair¬†in a way that causes you the least amount of stress. ¬†No one is going to come up to you in the street and berate you for having a fringe with a round face.
  3. Now that you have given up on trying to understand boys,do not turn your attention to understanding men (who are, after all, just little boys with bigger and more expensive toys). ¬†It’s even harder and will give you a migraine.
  4. Try new hair colours. ¬†Blonde is inevitable, but these days so is pink, lilac and blue. Avoid doing that black-underneath-and-white-on-the-top style. ¬†You WILL look like a back-to-front skunk. ¬†Do not trust your friends who tell you you look “fabulous” with such a style. ¬†“Fabulous” is code word for “We understand you are going through a phase and hope you grow out of it soon”. ¬†Cover grey hair if you feel you must – don’t feel guilty or vain for doing so. ¬†Similarly, don’t let people tell you you shouldn’t let yourself go grey. ¬† Schnauzers are grey and they are awesome. ¬†Do what you want and what you can afford . Unless it’s the skunk thing.
  5. Hang out with small children when you can. ¬†It’s best if you ask their parents first. Don’t just pick up random children on the street – that is frowned upon. ¬†And frowning causes wrinkles.
  6. Be kind. ¬†Always. ¬†To yourself and to others. ¬†It is painless and gives you brownie points in heaven. ¬†Maybe. ¬†I’m not sure about that one. ¬†At the very least, it makes you happier and will stop wars from happening. ¬†Maybe, I’m not sure about that one either.
  7. Read all the books you can. ¬†Do not waste time on books you “can’t get in to”. ¬†Life is too short to be wasting it on books you don’t connect with. ¬†They’re like people – some of them are just not your type and can be annoying and obnoxious, dull or long-winded. ¬†Give them away and start a new book. ¬†If one thing in life is guaranteed, it’s that you will NEVER run out of books.
  8. Don’t worry about getting married, or finding a boyfriend (or girlfriend) or being in a relationship at all. ¬†You’re perfectly ok without that stuff. ¬†Don’t settle for something just because everyone else is doing it. ¬†You’re not everyone. ¬†You’re you. ¬†And you’re amazing. ¬†If someone comes along who deserves a piece of that amazingness, by all means hold on to them for dear life. ¬†But don’t wait for them. ¬†They might be a little bit tardy, and you can waste a lot of time hanging around, hoping they show up.
  9. Don’t buy shoes you have trouble walking in. ¬†You will look like a twit.
  10. At some point you will find yourself saying “Music today is RUBBISH!” and bemoaning the fact no one can write a decent song any more. ¬†Face it, you have become your parents. ¬†Don’t fight it.
  11. Try a nice bright lipstick.  And then immediately wipe it off because it looks ridiculous.  But yay you for trying new things!
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    Bright pink lipstick – not convinced.

     

  12. Accept and embrace other people’s lifestyles. ¬†There are billions of people on the Earth and every one of them is a bit weird. ¬†We’re all weird so, technically, nothing is weird. ¬†As long as you’re not hurting children, kicking puppies or mugging old ladies, you’re fine. ¬†You don’t have to join in with someone else’s lifestyle, but you should allow them to get on with it, as they see fit. ¬†Mind your own business.
  13. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. ¬†It’s too hard and makes people think you’re a wanker. ¬†Just be you. ¬†Crazy, perfectly imperfect YOU. ¬†People will like you or they won’t. ¬†Better they decide based on the real you.
  14. Be silly.¬† As much as you can.¬† If no one wants to join you, do it by yourself.¬† Don’t grow up – it is tiresome and makes you forget all the wonderful things that still make up life on Earth.¬† Believe in fairies, delight in rainbows, and remember how big the world used to seem, and how many possibilities it contained.
  15. Do own and wear comfortable, sensible¬†underwear.¬† If it itches, rides up, cuts in or just makes you angry, don’t wear it.¬† Do not buy into the tabloid horror that is “CELEBRITY CAUGHT WEARING GRANNY KNICKERS!!!”¬† You are not a celebrity and, even if you are, your undergarments are your own business.¬† I’m sure most road rage incidents are caused by people wearing too-tight knickers.¬† It just makes you cranky and unable to make rational decisions.
  16. Let it go.¬† Forgive.¬† Love.¬† Don’t hold grudges.¬† Build a bridge and get over it.¬† Life is too short to hold on to bitterness.¬† It will eat you up and make you unpleasant to be around.¬† You will probably not get invited to parties and people will do a lot of eye-rolling around you.¬†¬† Don’t be that person.¬† Let it go, let it go, let it go.¬† If that doesn’t work, makes yourself a voodoo doll and have at it.
  17. Grow a garden.¬† Whether that means a tiny succulent in a teacup on your window sill, or an acre of vegetables, grow something.¬† Nurturing another living thing is good for your soul.¬† It tunes you in to the Earth and life and the nature of things.¬† But if the tiny succulent in a teacup on your window sill dies, for Goodness’ sake get rid of it.¬† A dead thing is unsettling and depressing and will make you feel like a failure.
  18. Cultivate friendships.¬† Make time for them.¬† Let your friends know you love and care for them.¬† Be soppy about it.¬† People might pretend to be embarrassed¬† but they secretly like it.¬† Just knowing someone is thinking about them can brighten a person’s day and make the world a little less lonely.¬† Add smiley faces to your emails, be cheeky to your boss, and bring cupcakes to work to share.¬† Life is hard, smiles are free – to combat one, give lots of the other.¬† Hug.¬† Listen to people’s stories and remember small details to talk about later (so they know you paid attention).¬† Notice when someone is sad or anxious or just struggling with the weight of the world.¬† Just being noticed can make a big difference.
  19. Being sensitive is a good thing.¬† Empathy is not weakness, it is very much a strength.¬† Don’t let others “toughen you up” or tell you how to feel.¬† The world has plenty of¬† tough, un-empathetic, un-feeling people in it, and look where that has gotten us.
  20. You can’t fix everybody.¬† This is something I have taken a long time to learn, and I am not done learning it.¬† Be a good listener, offer practical help where you can, and support the people you love.¬† But do not try and fix them.¬† That’s not your job and you are setting yourself (and them) up for failure.¬† Everyone is on their own journey and it is not your job to run ahead every few miles, filling in pot-holes and watching out for pedestrians, stray dogs and traffic jams.¬† You can give them directions and point out a few landmarks, but you can’t drive the car for them.

So, another year older and probably not much wiser.¬† But that’s ok – life is a learning process, right?¬† I’m glad to have reached the ripe old age of forty-three.¬† I wouldn’t like to be twenty-three again, although I wouldn’t mind having the extra twenty years up my sleeve to do some things over.

Hope you are happy today, whatever your age ūüôā

Thank you for stopping by x

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