Sunday, January 20, 2013

5 tried and true tips on where to find inspiration for your craft projects

My main focus in this blog is to share.  Share life, share creativity..share, share, share!  So I'm going to make a special effort this year to really give lots of goodies to you my readers.  I do believe that if you give of yourself, the rewards are great.  As always, you'll see lots of craft projects, tutorials, videos, but I also want to include pages like this one with simple easy to follow tips, and of course, I'll be sharing my Soul Garden journey as well.

If you have a crafty question, ask! If you need help on a project - ask! If you want feedback - ask.  I'm willing to help.

Recently, I posted 5 tried and true tips on how to get out of a creative slump.  Or in other words, how do you get your crafty mojo back?  I use all those tips and they are a good reminder even for me.

I'm so with you on creative messes...just look at this mess! This is what happened when I was in the middle of writing my Making Beads with Polymer Clay book.

But now that you've cleaned up your work space and you're feeling the need to be creative, what to do?

Friends ask me all the time, where do you come up with all of your craft ideas? And so for this post, I thought I would share my real insider look at how I come up with ideas, or actually, how I use common everyday things around me to be inspired.

Before the days of Pinterest (you can take a look at what inspires me) - which I love and you should too, I did things the old fashioned way.  I cut stuff out of magazines and catalogs, pasted them on paper and stuck them in a binder.  I still do this!


I keep my lists to 5 - because five to me is do-able and not overwhelming.  So here they are - my 5 ways to get inspired:

  1. Private Quiet Time - In order to be inspired, you need to think.  Personally, I can't think or focus when there is too much commotion going on around me.  I carve out a few minutes a day for quiet time.  Generally, I do this in the morning when I take a bath.  I grab a magazine and read.  Even if you take a shower, just carve out some time to just think about your happy place, visualize it and describe it in your mind.  What would it look like, where would it be, what would I hear, what would I smell?  just let your mind relax - clear your head.
  2. Pinterest:  If you don't have a pinterest account email me and I will send you a personal invite to get one.  You need one!  This is a great clutter free way to organize all the things that you love.  And really aren't we inspired by things we love?  You can organize recipes, household tips, craft tips, things you want to make, colors you love - I think you get the idea.  It's on your computer and it's clutter free.
  3. Keep an inspiration binder or board.  This in itself is a mini way of art journaling. (I'm on a soul journal project mission that you can see here) You can make notes in your binder, doodles, sketches etc.  I love crafty magazines, home decor magazines and fashion magazines, but they pile up.  I have found myself in the past keeping a magazine because I wanted the ONE ARTICLE.  Well...that did nothing for my clutter problem, so now, I have no problem going thru a magazine, tearing out the pages I like or cutting out the photographs that speak to me and putting them in my binder in categories - like jewelry, home decor etc.  When I need some specific inspiration, I go to my binder and have a look - This gets my creative side of the brain flowing, keeps down the clutter  It also helps me keep up with trends - which is a whole other post.
  4. Take a walk - Mother nature is a natural artist.  If you need ideas for color combinations, go outside.  Look at the texture of the leaves, look at the colors that Mother Nature combines together.  Notice the different shades and tones.  Pic up some rocks you like for their texture, look at the flowers, hear the birds, get some fresh air.  It's also stress relieving and it's a great way to clear your mind. 
  5. Go Shopping - but don't buy anything!  WHAT! don't buy anything?  Yes, I mean go with the intent and purpose on looking at things for the purpose of creativity.  One of my favorite stores to shop when I need inspiration is Pier One or Kirklands.  They are on trend, you'll get loads of ideas that you can translate into your own diy projects and lots of color inspiration too.  Keep a small notebook in your handbag to jot down or sketch any ideas that come to mind. If you are looking for jewelry ideas, I love Charming Charlie - they group everything by color!
Here's a bonus hint:

When I'm making something, I like to put my own personal flair into the project.  Lots of times I'll gather things - objects, photos, pictures from magazines that relate to a subject and a color scheme.  I arrange these around my workspace and literally stare at them for a few minutes and let my mind wander.  I think about what I like about each photo or object.  Then I combine what I like together into the finished piece.  I'm not a sketcher, I don't normally sketch things or think things through totally at first.  I do them and I tend to let the piece evolve.  Most of the time it looks nothing like any of the photographs.

There is amazing inspiration everywhere we look, anywhere we are - you just have to train your eye to see it.  Dana sometimes gets frustrated with me because I'm always looking at things and turning them into craft projects.  My mind never stops working on crafty things.  

Where do you find inspiration? leave your comments below :)

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