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Monday, July 29, 2013

Encouraging Creativity: Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!

Hello Friends!   I took a hiatus from blogging for several months to regroup and ask myself, "what is it that I want this blog to do?"    And my self said back, "to encourage creativity in others!"   So with my new found purpose and my old philosophies about the intersection of art and faith, I blog on!

I am philosophical by nature--I muse about lots of things.  The other day I was musing about recyclables.  This is nothing new for an artist or crafter--we dream about the discarded and the new life we can bring them.  The only thing new about my musings was the scale.  I was imagining toilet paper roll pyramids and Clorox Wipes container columns.  Right now I have amassed a nice pile of Kleenex hand towel containers cause they just look like they should BE something.   And one day the perfect use for them will hit me and I'll say, "I've got it!"  A giant light bulb will appear above my head and I'll make millions on Etsy selling my new fangled creation.   But the probable event is that I'll just whip out the glue, fabric and sewing machine and try something.

Creativity is a process.   I'm not saying there aren't people out there who had an idea and on the first try simultaneously invented something fabulous AND got the cover of Martha Stewart, but that's the minority.   Creativity is a God-given impulse, but it's not ONLY that-- its something we must nurture.  We've gotta try things.   How do we know that hot gluing on a sewing project is likely a poor combination?  Cause we've broken the sewing machine needles running over the glue.  So yes, you can hang your head at the bin of unfinished, half-realized projects and call yourself a failure or you can think about all the things you learned getting to this point.   Maybe its in the pile because its not done challenging you yet.   And maybe you've boxed your ideas in to the point that you can't hear what the project is trying to tell you.   Don't consider what it might be in the realm of what you've already seen, make up a NEW something.  

Challenge:  Find a project in your bin of half-finished things that you were initially really excited about.  Something derailed the project or it wouldn't be there.   Now that time has passed, is there now a product or tool that would help you to realize your intentions?  Or is it time to look at it with all new eyes?    From my own bin I see a reversible table runner with textured Christmas fabric on one side and a neutral on the other side.  It didn't lay flat when sewing it.  Its pretty, but it has bunches and puckers on the side seams and the textured fabric makes ripping out all the seams a headache.  There's a nice layer of felt between two layers of pretty fabric.  Its about 50 inches long, 14 inches wide.  Here are my new project ideas for this not so perfect table runner:

1) Coasters.  With the felt in the middle seems like a perfect idea.  I estimate I could get 60 out of this so maybe a good item for my Etsy shop.
2)  Placemats.  Maybe when cutting it apart I could cut out the sections that didn't lay correctly.
3)  Christmas stockings.  Maybe too bulky with the felt, but worth a try.
4)  Dog bowl mat.
5)  Cut it into strips and make flowers out of it.

And these are just the first five that came to mind.  If I gave it a few more minutes I'd probably have 10 more ideas.  The point?  You judge a project at the end when its complete, not while its still an idea.  Dig into your unfinished project bin and sit with something for a minute and ponder the possibilities. Don't dwell on what didn't work, ponder what might be!   And don't limit yourself to just a variation on things that are already out there--make something entirely new that the world doesn't even know it needs yet!

Have a creative, inspired day!

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