A few weeks ago I told you about an amazing opportunity I was given to attend one of Jeanne Oliver’s art retreats in Castle Rock, Colorado. The whole experience was uplifting and inspiring. I think the two things that impressed me most were how comfortable Jeanne made this star-struck girl feel and the quality and character of all the talented women who attended.
We were welcomed with mimosas and croissants while we all mingled and got to know one another.
From the beautiful studio to the art instruction to the lovely people, this getaway exceeded my expectations in every way.
During one of the breaks Jeanne led us on a walk down several of the trails they have created on their property.
I plan on making time and room in the budget some time in the future to attend another event in Jeanne’s Living Studio. I might share a piece or two of art I created while there. In another post. If I get brave enough.
Don’t you love it when you have a surge of creativity and you know that all you want to do is create something beautiful? Do you ever have days (or weeks) where you feel you’ve lost your creative edge? I certainly go through dry spells and wonder where on earth my creativity has gone. On those days I have a few tricks that I find helpful in shaking it off and getting the juices going strong again.
Today I’m going to share 7 tips that have helped me and might help you if you give them a try.
1) Sit outside with a cup of coffee or glass of wine, a notebook and no agenda. Drink in the beauty of nature and allow yourself to be inspired. Write down any creative thoughts you have but don’t feel pressured to think of any.
2) Walk through a fabric store and experience the different textures and colors. This always stirs up my imagination whether I’m planning to work with fabric, another material or even if I have no clue what I’ll do next.
3) Watch an episode of Project Runway, Cake Boss or Flea Market Flip with the volume muted. You’ll be amazed at how freely your own thoughts flow when their conversations aren’t influencing your thoughts.
4) Read. The Bible and devotional books are full of artistic imagery. Jesus Calling is the devotional I am currently using and loving. When I spend time in the presence of the One who created me, I never fail to feel a fresh infusion of creativity.
5) Go to a public place and people watch. Observe the way they dress, the way they interact, their hairstyles, their smiles, the way they laugh. Humans are creative beings and their passion can be contagious.
6) Light a candle and listen to classical music. I love Vivaldi. I somehow feel like more is possible as I thrill to the sounds of the maestros.
7) Take a walk with your camera. Use your artistic eye to find and take shots of things you find interesting. Don’t worry about whether you’ll want to keep or use the photos, just snap freely. This unleashes my creativity every time.
What do you do when you’ve lost your mojo? I’d love to hear your tricks! Share what works for you in the comments and you might help someone else out of their slump!
Have you ever been so parched that all you can think of is downing a huge glass of water as soon as you can get to one? You know that feeling when the ice cold water hits your mouth and you chug, chug, chug it down like you are dying of thirst? That feeling of being satisfied, having your thirst quenched that only water can give. That kind of thirst is a satiable thirst.
Then there are the thirsts in life that cannot be satisfied. I’ll be honest and say that when I have a sugary dessert I am not satisfied. I want more. And more. My sugar cravings are insatiable and somewhat life-controlling if I allow them to be. For some it might be shopping. The “thrill of the hunt” never goes away. I love to shop but I do get my fill after a really long day of it. For others the desire for success might be a relentlessly driving force. No matter how much this person achieves it is never enough.
All of these things are fine, maybe even good, in and of themselves. They just aren’t meant to be that which fulfill our very souls. I will be honest again and admit that most of my thoughts are preoccupied with how to make a successful business out of doing what I love, here on the blog and in some creative form whether it be jewelry design, graphic design, DIY or something else. I don’t necessarily classify this as an insatiable thirst for me because I have yet to achieve it to any degree, monetarily anyway. And yet it tends to consume me.
I certainly have been doing a lot of soul-bearing in this series! #16 on Trust dealt with a similar topic but I’m now taking it further. Recently I decided to embark on a specific personal journey with God. I made the decision to finally surrender my yearning for success in exchange for a closer relationship with Him. I have come to realize that my desire for success has been holding me back from experiencing the thirst-quenching nature of intimacy with my Creator. Until now I have been trying to “serve two masters” and if I’m totally honest I would have to say that the success thing had my heart. I am sure this will not be a once and for all type of surrender. Especially since I will continue to blog and create. I believe that’s the path I’m on for a reason. But it will be a balancing act. Is it possible to pursue those passions and still keep my heart where it belongs, fully trusting God for the outcome? If I can have my thirst satisfied through a closer walk with Him perhaps the outcome won’t really matter.
I don’t often talk about my husband here on the blog. I tend toward privacy regarding the relationships in my life in order to remain professional but occasionally I think it’s a good idea to let my readers in on some of my personal life.
We all speak our love in different ways. My husband is very good about telling me he loves me verbally. But it’s the quiet little things he does that speak the loudest to me. Recently when I was working on my Maple Seed Butterfly project, I was trying to finish up in time for the Double Dip Flip deadline. I had thought I saved up more than enough maple seeds (a.k.a. helicopters) to complete the project. On the day I should have been photographing it I was scrambling to try to find some more seeds. Some of my stash had torn spots and others weren’t dried out enough and were still too green. I didn’t have enough good ones to finish. I went into resourceful mode and scoured the yard to no avail. We even checked the gutters on the house but found none. I decided I would try to make do and resigned myself to using some of the funkier shaped seeds that I had previously rejected. I continued to work, sorting through the seeds to find any that would pass. I began gluing the first few layers, hoping that I would have enough.
A couple of hours into the process my husband came home from mowing grass at our son’s house. With a grin on his face (that handsome devil!) he presented me with this:
Beaming with pride, he told me how he found the pile of maple seeds under the car port at our son’s house. Can you stand it?! He rescued me. In his quiet, sweet way he provided for me. He hunted and made the kill. He used his hat to bring home the spoil.
I was able to use several good seeds from the pile he brought me and honestly the piece would not have turned out as nicely with some of the seeds I was going to settle for. His gesture was a project saver but more than that it was an act of love that I will always treasure.
Have you ever read the book The Five Love Languages?
I read it years ago and still find myself applying the principles contained in it. One of the five languages talked about, and the one that I have determined is my husband’s language, is “acts of service.” While this is not my love language I have come to appreciate (after many years!) his demonstrations of love expressed in this way. I found the book to be very helpful in our relationship and would recommend it to anyone desiring to be more connected to their spouse, children or friends. (This is NOT a paid endorsement, I just wanted to pass on information that might be helpful to my readers). Have you read the book? Do you know what your love language is? Any guesses what mine is?
Welcome to DIY Double Dip Flip! Heather and I are excited to share our fourth project in this series where we start with an inspiration piece from either fashion or decor, then we each show you our unique take on how to use the idea to create something entirely different in decor or fashion. For this month’s inspiration I chose a Butterfly Smoking Slipper by Jon Josef.
I first fell in love with these adorable smoking slippers because of the style and colors. Then the butterflies jumped out at me. I had been planning on making some art work using a bunch of helicopters (a.k.a. maple seeds) I had gathered and I knew a butterfly would be the perfect subject.
And now I give you my flip for this month:
I picked up an old window at the flea market for $10. I decided on a coral color scheme and created an ombre effect by mixing the paint myself.
I love the way the helicopters look in their natural dried state, so I chose to leave them that way for the outer and inner borders of the butterfly.
Now for the how to portion of the post. To create your own maple seed butterfly art you’ll need:
1) Maple Seeds (a.k.a. helicopters) 2) Old Window or Framed Glass 3) Craft Paints 4) Glue (I used E-6000)
Spring and fall are the best times to gather maple seeds. After you collect them you’ll want to allow them to dry out. You can accelerate the drying process by laying them out in a single layer in a window sill. After a few days they will fade to the desired color.
Decide on a color scheme and buy or mix your paint. If an ombre effect is desired you can start with the darkest paint as your base and then mix in white or cream to lighten the formula each time you paint a new layer.
Draw or print out an outline of a butterfly sized to fit the frame you are using.
Place the drawing beneath the glass, centered within your frame. Begin gluing the helicopters around the outer edge, following the general shape of the outline as shown.
Once you have finished the outline you are ready to start on the second layer.
Glue the second layer, overlapping the first layer and covering the seed pod.
Continue gluing each consecutive layer in the same manner until your butterfly is complete.
Thank you so much for stopping in. Heather has her own unique project to share with you using the same sweet slippers as her inspiration.
She always has something creative up her sleeve! Visit her at Woods of Bell Trees to check out her interpretation of this month’s flip!
So way back in January I posted a list of my 2015 DIY Home Goals. I am happy to say that there has been some progress made with some of them but not to the point of showing much on here yet.
I will always be eclectic in my taste and make no apology for it. But my aesthetic includes cohesiveness. There’s eclectic and then there’s hodge podgey. My current decor is a mix of French farmhouse, granny’s house, a bit of traditional and a little shabby chic thrown in. I want my new look to be predominantly rustic farmhouse with a lot more natural elements, a touch of contemporary and OF COURSE some French flair.
With redecorating one thing always leads to another so wouldn’t you know it, my list has grown instead of shrunk! In keeping with the rustic farmhouse design, I have several pieces of furniture that are in line for a makeover. I can count five right off the top of my head. I am excited to show you the first one in its pre-makeover state.
This double seat school desk dated 1899 sits in our breakfast nook. I have never been at all excited about the dark finish on it.
Paired with the other woods from the oak table and mix of chairs, cohesive is not a word that could be used to describe the space. The solution began with a good sanding.
Working together, my husband and I sanded it down to the bare wood. I had planned on giving it a white or gray wash but decided I love it just the way it is. So after it gets a clear matte coat of sealer on the wood to protect it and on the cast iron to give it a cleaner look it will be ready for its new environment. I promise to show you the whole new nook a bit later in another post.
As for introducing more natural elements into my decor, this pile of helicopters will soon become a piece of art for my walls.