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Stoking the Creative Fires

Wanted to share a little bit on how I keep making stuff fun!
I happened upon a radio program the other day the other day where a Native Canadian was speaking about what winter means to her and her people. The snow blankets the land to put it into a deep sleep to help it rejuvenate for the next year. Her people spend long days in close quarters with one another, telling stories, preparing food, cleaning, and resting. Sounds like a plan.
I plan on using a typically slow time and cold weather to it’s full advantage. This past winter season was the first for me to participate in craft shows and having no idea what to expect I pushed my little production line (me) on full tilt. I didn’t have any time to explore other ideas that would pop up while I was busy sewing 20 little hats, 40 legs, 34 totes… I have always been a painter and since babies, painting has not come easy for me but thankfully, I have always been in the practice of keeping up a sketch book to make sure I jot or draw these ideas to pull from when the timing is right. (So many people tell me they can’t draw so they don’t keep a sketch book but remember, your sketch book is for you, as long as you can tell what it is, great 🙂
Tidy up
Before I can get down to starting new projects I always need to totally pull apart and organize my work space. Depending on how much space you have, this can take awhile but oh how satisfying to see all that fabric neatly folded up and organized into wonderful colourful piles. It’s also nice to know where that vintage polka dot yellow ribbon has been hiding out. My brain appreciates a clean slate and work surface so I can take stock on what I may need for the next project.
Do you have something on your mind that you’ve been dying to work on? Do you keep a sketch book or journal with different ideas? Not to stress if you don’t, there are so many places to look for inspiration. (I’d also highly recommend getting that sketch book/journal if you don’t have one already 🙂

Surf the web with no agenda, follow those links from your favorite blog, get lost on flickr… I usually like to give myself a time limet as it can be overwhelming sometimes. Keeping track and bookmarking my web inspiration is also made easy with There are also lots of leads to follow there as well.
Get out and go shopping but leave the money and any expectations of buying anything at home. Do bring a camera to capture anything that may inspire. It’s fun to see what is out there and I can find inspiration in a variety of stores from ceramic tile shops to high end furniture boutiques.
Maybe your over thinking it, you could try renting a movie from your childhood that holds special meaning. My brothers, sisiters and I watched “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” when we were kids close to a million times and every once in awhile I love to watch it and lose myself in the costumes, the songs, that crazy log dance! There are so many small details in movies or books or poetry that could start an avalanche of ideas.
Hit the library. We have a fantastic resource library in Toronto and I love flipping thru microfilms of old magazines. Not to mention all those art books with the wonderful full colour pictures. (renaissance lives!)
Get to it
Once your revved and ready to go, most importantly, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Just because you spent 4 hours on making a sleeve for an outfit and it looks awful is not a cause to be hard on yourself. Everything is a learning process and that’s what makes it so fun. (it’s fun remember!)
Come spring I know I’ll be needing to devote more time to my business. I feel it’s important to remember to fill your creative cup and not forget about tending to it. I make sure to clear a special time every week for a few hours devoted to just that. Let my busy fingers do as they may. Learn to crochet? Potato printing some dish towels? Sure, why not. Usually I have 3 little helpers creating along with me and its challenging to adapt whatever project I’m working on for the munchkins but well worth it when I see there little faces concentrating on towering cotton balls.
Where do you seek inspiration?
How do you keep creating fun and fresh?

May the creative muses always continue to inspire!

3 thoughts on “Stoking the Creative Fires

  1. Okay, my computer woes are continuing. This article was supposed to be posted yesterday. I don’t know what happened…My computer died again on Tuesday. Please, forgive me for the tardyness!

  2. Good luck with your computer Ulla, I enjoyed reading your article. 🙂

  3. thanks for posting this article for me Ulla- I hope it didn’t cause you too much computer stress! hope the issues will resolve, how frustrated you must feel. Glad you liked the article singing bird, I actually wrote it 🙂

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