Saturday, May 31, 2014

Creative Block

It's become a thing for me, this creative block.

I drift uncomfortably in an initial limbo that precedes it at the end of every school year.  At first I didn't notice it, becoming aware of the numbing void only after four or five years.  Though I work hard to schedule time for myself in the crafty nook each weekend and over holiday breaks, once the last day of school arrives, I draw a blank.

Some teachers keep themselves just as busy over the summer as they were between August and May.  Others go cold turkey, taking a week or two to downshift from their usual professional routine by sleeping in and enjoying a social hermitage, especially if they don't have children.

The Nine Year Old is happy for the break, and easily transitions into his jammie-wearing-video-game-playing role.  Being  his mother's son, he's awake between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. every day, no matter what.  Every day becomes Sunday morning for me: quiet coffee, surfing the web, enjoying magazines, with the promise of time in the crafty nook nudging me off of the couch.  This past week I've found myself downstairs, surrounded by all of my bits and bobs, sheet music, fabric, buttons, glitter, magazines galore and tools at the ready.

After a single afternoon of productivity, cleaning out, sorting and organizing the closet, I've been at a standstill for days, causing my impatience to build, which adds more bricks to the wall I've hit.  I'm impatient because I have to work so hard during the school year to make the time for crocheting, soldering, reading, exploring and crafting.  When summer vacation finally arrives and I have hours upon hours at my disposal daily and then ~draw a blank~, I can almost hear Murphy's Law cackling at me.


This year I've decided to be proactive.  If my creative muse won't come when called, then I'll just go looking for inspiration.  Over the past year I've pinned DIY and crafty tutorial links to my "Crafty Nook To- Do's" board on Pinterest, and have many if not most of the materials needed for them at my disposal.  If I can't dream up something out of the blue, I'll teach myself something new with the help of other creative authors.

Take ~that~, creative block.


How do you handle creative pauses?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Summer Goal # 1: Organize the Closet

On my first official day away from school, I made a list:

~ Do laundry
~ Empty dishwasher
~ Reload dishwasher
~ Water plants and flowers
~ Vacuum
~ Plan dinner
~ Peel wrappers from crayons (more on that here)

... and finally:

~ Organize THE CLOSET

Which closet?

This closet:

I know.  You're thinking "What's the big deal?"

And.  Then.  We.  Open.  The.  Doors.

Allllllllllrighty then.

Wrapping paper.  Ballgowns.  Coats.  Bubble wrap.  Drawers filled with scrapbook paper.  A crayon maker.  The makings of a Sneetch shirt.  Gift bags.  Photos.

Unbeknownst to me, three members of Aragog's family were also hiding away in there.

Yes, relatives of A-r-a-g-o-g.

Go ahead and do the heebie-jeebie dance.  I certainly did.

Two hours, a mug of coffee, multiple passes with the vacuum, and seventeen Mentos later, here's where we're at:

What an improvement.  Since this is the only closet in my crafty nook, it was important to get everything sorted and organized in it so I may retrieve needed items unimpeded as I get my creative groove on for the next few weeks.

I WILL be creative this summer.

Oh yes.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Gift of Art

After traveling to be with my family, I returned home and found two lovely packages from two creative and talented ladies that I met this year via Our World, Our Art.

Helen from Natures Walk Studios sent me a set of beautiful cards printed from her mixed media paintings:

I can imagine the smiles that my recipients will wear when they open the envelopes and find the vibrantly beautiful flowers inside! The Alaskan in me loves the blue forget-me-nots the most.

You can find more of Helen's lovely art in her Etsy shop.


Can you tell what this treasure is? Tee created it, recycling a fairly common household item.  I'll give you a hint: underneath the lace, flowers, leaves, buttons, beads and rosettes, is a box.

A matchbox.

And look at the two lovely rose clips!  Talk about all things ~*feminine*~!

Tee creates incredibly detailed matchbox art- take a peek here!


Thank you, Helen and Tee!  I look forward to visiting you time and time again as we all continue on our creative journeys!