Thursday, June 28, 2012

5 Ways to Beat the Crap Out of Creative Frustration

Hi everyone!

Call it lack of mojo, absent inspiration or just plain sucking at doing something, it's all a part of creative frustration. I'm going to venture to say that every artist, crafter or whatever-er has experienced this at some point in their creative career (or journey if you want to get all "Bachelor" about it).

This is what creative frustration does to me:

Part of it is the pressure we crafty bloggers put on ourselves to have something to actually blog about on a regular basis. "I made this! Bow before my creative prowess! Please? I've already blogged three times this week, right? What do you mean this is the first?! Arghhhhhhhhhh!" Another part is finding the time, skills, space and inspiration to get to work. But whatever your hang up is, here's 5 ways to overcome it...

1. Warm Up Your Creative Muscles

Creative Jumpstart -- Dina Wakley from Dina Wakley on Vimeo.

This video from Dina Wakley makes a great point. Most people can't create going from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds. We could all use some sort of "warm up" before getting down with our artsy selves so watch this video and then go play with no end result in mind. Just slap down some paint or paper and don't bother making anything.

2. Start With One Thing

It all started with the pins...

Sometimes my interest in making something will spark when I'm digging through my stash (and I seriously mean "digging") and come across an object or a piece of paper, a vintage ad, a piece of lace, whatever. I've been lucky enough that the project almost makes itself when I'm using one focal point and simply build around it instead of just grabbing random crap and trying to glue it together. In the case of the above canvas, someone sent me these painted pins and it went from there. I think I got this finished in about an hour all told.

3. Get a Life

Seriously...get a life. Get out into the world and see what there is outside of your laptop and the house. Take a walk, even the smallest of towns have some sort of museum, park, monument or something you can visit. Take a camera with you and just start snapping. You'd be amazed how much clarity you can achieve just by seeing something different while taking a deep breath of air that's not been circulated through the A/C.

4. Do It Anyway

I remember an episode of "Friends" where Chandler was having a..uh.."manly" problem and went to Joey for advice. Asking Joey if it ever happened to him and what he did about it, Joey's response was, "I did it anyway." So just go make something anyway. Even if it's crap, you've still created something that can be used as a stepping stone to something else. You know...that's not crap.

5. Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Fold 'Em

There's a reason I don't make cards
Just accept the fact that sometimes you suck. I don't mean that in a, "Woe is me, I'm so not talented, boo hoo hoo!" kind of way, I mean sometimes we're just not getting it and you know what? That's okay. In fact, give yourself permission to fail...or at least give yourself permission to be okay with failing. Also, give yourself a break, chances are you DIDN'T fail (unless you set your microwave on fire or crocheted a Q-tip hat like I did) but even if it's not your best project, who cares? The fact that you made something means you're still ahead of those of us sitting around watching The Real Housewives of Orange County while waiting for inspiration to strike.

I hope you find these 5 tricks a little bit helpful. For a creative person there's nothing worse than feeling stagnant. Sometimes you need to push through it and sometimes you need to sit on it. Whatever gets you through the dry spells, just remember to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars! Oh wait, that's Casey Kasem.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Night Fab Five

Hi everyone and welcome to another Friday Night Fab Five where I list 5 things I'm digging for the week. Let's get started!

1. Burning Love

Burning Love, a spoof of The Bachelor, is AWESOME. It is spot on and terribly funny. 8 episodes are up so far, go check it out!

2. Jif Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Spread

Image Credit

Holy C.R.A.P. This stuff is AMAZING. Go buy it. Go buy it. Send me a jar. Go buy it NOW!

3. Love in the Wild

Image Credit

Love in the Wild, a reality dating show that's part Survivor, part Bachelor and hosted by Jenny McCarthy is my newest guilty pleasure. Jenny McCarthy is hilarious!

4. Vacation


We recently went on a vacation to Tennessee and it was so great to be out of the house! Although all the "vacation" activities like wrangling the children and keeping the hotel room clean wore me out....

5. Dylusions Ink Sprays

Image Credit
Dylusions Ink Sprays by Ranger are just about the best ink mists I've ever used. I've never used mists too much in the past but I do now! lol Very vibrant colors, I'm addicted!

And there you have it, another Friday Night Fab Five for the ages! What were some of your favorites this week?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Making a List, Forgetting it Twice

Hi everyone!

I've been in sort of a creative funk lately. And it's not a lack of "what" to make but which to focus on first. Then I get into a pattern of starting 10 different things and then nothing gets finished. Grrrr...

So to combat that, I made a list of everything that needs to get done and I have to say that so far it's helped a lot. Seeing a list of projects on the table does make it seem more bearable. When you're bogged down in multiple creative directions (or even mediums) it can really drive you bonkers.

When my brother passed away, I found it hard to find joy in any of my usual activities: blogging, creating things, etc. I guess that's natural when it comes to grief but it's time to get back in gear...with a lot of things.

Luckily today I feel better than I have in weeks so I'm pouncing on that spark of energy before it burns itself out. I'm pretty sure my hands are stained for life but it's totally worth it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hot For Teacher Rewind

Hi everyone!

We're doing kit rewinds during the month of June at Gauche Alchemy, new projects featuring kits already available in the Gauche Alchemy store!

I snagged a canvas wall hanging that I didn't want to use on the wall anymore but wasn't going to toss it. I mean, come on...I'm all about recycling and stuff. So I grabbed my Hot for Teacher Kit and made this:

There was this really cool school-ish black and white scrapbook paper so I started with that and decided to stick with that black and white color scheme. I felt the paper was too dark so I added a wash of diluted white paint. Then I thought it was too light so I broke out my black Dylusions mist. Much better!

After adding some torn pictures from a yearbook page included with the kit, I added some washi tape and pieces from the Wedding Night and Black Out Mixed Media Color Kits.

Done and done! Now I just need to figure out what else is currently hanging on my walls that I can take down and "recharge". :P

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mixed Media Blythe Dress

Hi everyone!

Over at Gauche Alchemy, a challenge was issued to create a doll dress (or a complete doll) without using fabric or the traditional dress making materials. Today we unveiled our own little mixed media fashion show and here's what I created:

I thought this was a really exciting challenge because I've been looking for a way to combine my love for mixed media with my doll obsession. :D My first thought was to create a tutu with punchinella so I went from there using a dress pattern from Puchi Collective.

I painted some Ouchless Cardboard peach, misted it a little and added a monster because what goes better with tutus than monsters?

I also added a band using washi tape and the eyes of the monster are actually stock Blythe eyechips I had handy.

So there you have it! Larue can't sit down but she looks cute. And since when does fashion need to be functional anyway? :P You can see all of the latest in art doll fashion over at the Gauche Alchemy blog!