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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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Tiny Town (Torn Paper Collage)

Some time ago, our art therapist at work let me borrow a couple of her art books for the weekend. ¬†They were great little books – filled with simple ideas for getting your art on. ¬†One of them had some lovely collage ideas and I particularly liked a¬†torn-paper cityscape. ¬†I cannot remember the name of the book, but I’m pretty sure it was published by Usborne and the artwork work was possibly Fiona Watt. ¬†Apologies to both artist and publisher if I have remembered this incorrectly (if anyone can enlighten me, do let me know).

Anyway, I kept this idea buried in the recesses of my brain (a dark and cobweb-covered place if ever there was one!), thinking it would be a good little project to try if I was ever in need of some creative inspiration.  Well, right now, I am in desperate need, so I decided to give this one a go.  I liked the simplicity of the technique, as well as the small amount of materials (and, therefore, mess) it required.

Simply tearing different sized strips of paper, in different shades, adding details with pen and markers, and gluing them down into a simple cityscape Рwhat could be easier?  It was very therapeutic and I enjoyed adding the details, including the teeny little and flags.

So, here it is! ¬†My Tiny Town. ¬†I didn’t get the perspective quite right – there’s a couple of “floating” buildings – and I didn’t have a fine enough white pen to get the nice detail I would have liked but, all in all, I am pretty happy with it. ¬†I added the dark sky as I felt it needed some extra colour and interest. ¬†The original idea in the book didn’t have text but, as I am a bit word-obsessed, I added a few lines from a poem, which I think finished it off quite nicely. ¬†I made this as a card, but I’m thinking I might make a few as little framed pieces. ¬†What do you think?

So, happy to have just tried something new (without it being COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone – I mean, it’s still paper after all!) and gotten¬†closer to leaving the creative slump I currently find myself in. ¬†I’m definitely going to make a few more of these, just because they were fun and easy and I didn’t have to think too much ūüôā ¬† I try not to copy other people’s work, but sometimes I think you need to just borrow a bit of creativity, in order to get your own up and running again.

Thanks for dropping by – have a lovely day ūüôā

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Creative Copying

Sometimes I am very inspired and know EXACTLY what I want to do, craft-wise.  Other times, I am clueless and spend ages just mucking about, not knowing what I want to do, and feeling rotten about it.  Completely uninspired (and pathetic), you could say. Just lately, I have been unable to make ANYTHING and just feel like I have no creative ability whatsoever.  At all.  Nada.  Zippo.  Zilch.

So, this weekend, I utilised a bit of creative copying in order to get my mojo back.  Having had a birthday recently, my shelves were full of lovely greeting cards.  Granted, I should have taken them down some weeks ago but, it will surprise no one to know, I am lazy and slack, and they were still sitting there, a month and a half after the event.  However, there were a couple that I really liked the design of Рthe shapes of some of their images Рso I had a go at using them for templates to make my own cards and other items.

First up, I had this cute birdie card.  I liked the simple shapes and was pretty sure I could use them to create a design of my own.  Plus, you know me, I love birds, so it was a no-brainer in terms of subject matter.

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Cute birdy birthday card!

I started by tracing the basic shapes of each bird Рbodies, feathers, tails etc.  I then traced those shapes on to cardboard, so I could cut them out and have them as patterns.  Using pretty, coordinated papers, I traced and cut out the shapes to build the various body parts of the bird, and then arranged them together until I was happy with the overall look.

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Placing all the pieces together…

In the end, I decided to put it all together on a notebook for my Mum, to say thank you for her support and always looking after us (even though we’re old enough to look after ourselves.¬† Apparently).¬† I painted a plain little notebook and bound the edges with washi tape, before gluing the birdie to the front cover.
I added a crown and some text cut from an old book.

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Finished Birdie Notebook

It’s not the greatest work of art on the planet, and I can’t say I was thrilled with the final product, but I had made SOMETHING and that is better than nothing.¬† I just needed to get back into things and “play” a little, even if the end result wasn’t spectacular.¬†Otherwise I feel as though I am losing all my creativity and desire to create in the first place.¬† And that’s not a good thing.

So, one little birdie at a time, I am going to get my mojo back. Send cookies and hugs ūüôā