As you can probably tell from my lack of postings, that I have not been in a very creative mood lately. (Plus, I’ve been busy getting my eBay store ready for the holiday selling season). I was running myself ragged and not getting a whole lot of sleep – a sure way to burn out! I’ve learned over time that when I feel I’m close to burn-out, I need to give myself some time and space and take it (relatively) easy, so that I can ease back into what I love and need to do. There is no point in rushing the muse.
Well, I am happy to say that I am slowly but surely coming out of my creative lull. I was out and about last Friday – something I hadn’t done in awhile. While I usually go run errands at least once or twice a week, my errands lately, for the most part, involved things I had to do and not necessarily things I loved to do. I had just visited a girlfriend earlier in the week and remembered my promise to her late last year to make her a replica of a holiday wreath that she had seen at Anthropologie. At the time, because it was right after the holidays, one of the major components of the wreath was no longer available in stores, so I had to wait until the fall of this year before I could get it. More about this project later :0)
Anyway, I went to Jo-Ann’s to see if I could get what I needed. They didn’t have the item, but I did stop by the magazine rack and started perusing all the latest fall crafting magazines. As all crafters know, this is the time of year when magazines go all out with their creative ideas to celebrate the different holidays. Just spending fifteen minutes flipping through the magazines got my creative juices flowing again, and I couldn’t wait to get back into the crafting mood. I had almost forgotten how much perusing through craft and DIY magazines was so creatively inspiring. It was good to be reminded :0)
Then just the other day, I got an email from some company – I think it might have been Martha Stewart – asking readers to share what inspires us to create. That got me thinking about inspiration and the creative muse. I spend a lot of time soaking in ideas, not just from craft magazines, books and TV shows and other crafters, but also from creative people in other fields, like interior design and the culinary arts. I am fascinated by all different forms of creativity because regardless of the medium, creativity is creativity, and I find that when you start listening and watching other types of creators, it expands your own creativity and helps you think outside the box you normally operate in when tackling a project. One of my favorite things to do is to watch interior designers – amateur and professional – work with a limited budget, whether on TV, in a magazine, or on a blog, (like this one here). Why? Because I find that having a limited budget forces them to be more creative than if they had a large budget, and I find that very inspiring. It’s helped made me look at the things around me with a more critical eye, seeing the potential in everyday objects that in the past, I might have just discarded, which is why the whole green craft movement really speaks to me.
Another way I find inspiration is by turning to the past and looking at old craft magazines and books. A lot of vintage and forgotten crafts that were popular way back when were done before the advent of the big box craft store, and people used what they had on hand and had to come up with ingenious ways to make something. I’ll hand it to the modern day crafting industry for using technology to make our crafting lives easier, but I tip my hat to those who came before me who had the ingenuity, time, and inclination to spend long hours creating what must have been labors of love.
So, what inspires you to create? What do you do when you’re not feeling your creative self? Please share in the comments.