I am always honoured and inspired to hear "you're so creative! I wish I was more like that!!" from people I know and new people I meet. The humble and introverted part of me always shies away from these comments. Little ol' me? I'm nothin' special, not really...
I guess I don't SEE myself as creative, because I have always been this way - there is no other way for me to experience my world than how I already do. I don't see the world from a black/white linear point of view...everything is on a spectrum. Nathan tends to view the world in a "this is right and that is wrong" type of way, whereas I'm all about cirumstance, perspective, considerations...I start a lot of thoughts with "but what if...?" I pepper my conversations with colourful words because it makes what I'm saying sound more interesting in my head - not because I'm trying to show off my vocabulary or sound like a smarty-pants. (ahem). I suppose those things are influenced by my creative side as well. However, if I take a real look at myself, at my life and at my tendencies, I guess I see what other people see - I simply see it as my normal baseline for existence.
In honour of this, I have decided to start a sporadic series...
My hope is to document my inspiration, my creation, and my thoughts on it all. And to have you share what inspires, motivates, drives and encourages YOUR creativity as well. Please, please share. I would LOVE to hear what you have to say!
I don't really have a lot of extra money floating around, so if I need something new, my first thought is generally "Can I do that myself?" followed quickly by "Will it be any less expensive if I do?" So sometimes my creative pursuits are a matter of circumstance, rather than real creative instinct.
For example, I desperately wanted to start Project Life last September [couldn't wait for a new year!!] I made a choice to purchase divided page protectors and simple grid-lined cards, but I just couldn't justify a Becky Higgins Project Life kit or album. So I scoured the internet for (free) printables, and then spent a few hours creating some custom ones for myself and cropping old scrapbooking papers into usable cards. After months of patiently waiting, her products are now available in Canada (yay!) at Michael's (double yay!) and I am able to use their coupons when I have the opportunity (40% off and no shipping - triple yay!) I saved a bunch of money, and had fun pushing myself to make something pretty with the resources I had available.
I see the world that way I do because my mother gave me creative pursuits instead of telelvision. I collaged, created paper dolls, built forts, collected bits of nature, and drew my little heart out. We read books together and used our imaginations. She is a fairly well-known blogger, a published embroidery designer, has a gorgeous gallery wall of embroidered art leading up her staircase and is an all around talened lady....She boasts these achievements because she allows herself the time she needs to indulge her interests, and to try new things. I tell you this because I believe creativity is something that MUST be cultivated, though it may not always come naturally. And that's okay. We must nourish our creative souls with time, energy and practice in much the same way that we must nourish our bodiies with natural foods and movement to feel our best, or maintain our vehicles to keep them running smoothly.
I spent a while yesterday flowing through a stream of blog after blog, and stumbled across a few posts about creativity - challenges, projects, thoughts etc - along my travels. All those posts got me thinking about how I cultivate creativity in my own life...By no means do I consider myself an expert in any of these areas, but they are all aspects of my life that bring me joy, and leave me feeling fulfilled
- I write a blog [duh]
- I dabble in blog-design and am still trying to find my perfect fit...We've got a ways to go, baby.
- I design and sell custom malas and bracelets
- My planner is a colourful mess that makes sense to my eyes and mind - if it's colourful enough it keeps my attention and I'm more inclined to USE it!
- I will try my hand at most projects once:
- I sewed a quilt for the #fruitbaby
- I designed all the paper goods for our wedding, and even tried my hand at custom invitations!
- I bought a maxi dress and shrank it, so I turned it into a maxi skirt to salvage it.
- I'm trying a veggie garden for the third year in a row, and this year I have found success!!
- I make mixed media collages because they are fun!
- I write poetry when the mood strikes
- I love to head outside and take pictures - even if only 2 of 100 are stellar, the entire process is fun
- I utilize multiple photo apps to edit my less-than-stellar photographs for my instagram feed...and people like them!
- I am a devoted Project Lifer
- I read many blogs and fiction books because they make me feel happy [And I don't watch TV].
- I keep a gratitiude journal
- I tend to carry sharpies, pens, labels and stickers around in my purse, "just in case"
- I like to experiment with food in the kitchen
- I wanted a gallery wall in baby's room but couldn't afford expensive art....so I knocked off Pinterest finds and got creative with canvases and frames I already had and created a wall for $0.89.
- I believe in big, HUGE crazy dreams and I'm not afraid to write them down, put them on a vision board, try my hand, talk about them [to anyone that will listen] fail, get bored, re-write, forget about them, start over...and sometimes...to push myself harder because I have realized THAT dream is EXACTLY what I'm looking for.
I'm not writing this list to be all "ooooh, aren't I special and amazing".
But. I think there is value in recognizing our achievements.
In acknowledging ourselves for our efforts - our successes AND our failures.
In giving ourselves recognition for things that we are proud of.
In my life....I am not good with money. My mind flits from one thought to the next constantly and staying focused on any one task is a very real challenge for me [even creative and fun ones, but ESPECIALLY important and housework tasks]. I have two left feet and am about as uncoordinated and clumsy as they come [ask Nathan]. I will never be an all-star athlete, I cannot play a musical instrument to save my life, and I certainly can't carry a tune in a bucket. Maths and sciences are basically beyond me, I am horribly nervous in new social situations, I can't dance and I consistently worry too much about what others think of me.
And none of those things are really all that important to my identity.
I am starting to feel pride at the things I AM good at. I like to talk about the things that bring me joy, and I like to share the things I think about, do, make, experiment with just as much as I like to have the same things shared with me.
So...I'd love to hear what you do to NOURISH your interests - leave a comment below :)