five-affirmations

Five Affirmations: Take Your Creativity to the Next Level

Recently I posted five creative affirmations for you.  Little did you know, they were just to get you started.  Here are five more written to help you affirm your creative soul and take your work to a new level. In creating, we have to remember three important facts:

  • Creativity is YOUR birthright. No one has the right to take it from you. If you feel someone has, at some point in your life, taken your creativity away from you, then now is the time to TAKE IT BACK!
  • It is about the Process not the product. We have a habit of judging the final product without acknowledging the process that it took to get as far as we did. This is a mistake. The process is the only way to improve product. Accept the product as it is, then evaluate the process.
  • Unused creativity is dangerous. One of my fave quotes from Brene’ Brown is “Unused creativity is not benign.” She then goes on to list some of the side affects of unused creativity such as depression, anxiety, overwork, loss of spirituality, etc. Treating it in a negative manner with negative comments is also just as deadly to creativity. We end up talking ourselves out of being creative.

The affirmations below are meant to help you focus your creativity energy into more productive and in depth use of your creativity. Affirmations work only if you believe in them and if they are practiced on a regular basis. Without practice and belief, repeating affirmations may do nothing for us at all or even backfire. Be ready to take your creativity up a level, and dig into it. Just remember to practice what you are saying. There is no change without the work required to make it happen. Let’s go! 

 

 

It is YOURS! Own It. Don't let anyone take it from you.
It is YOURS! Own It. Use it! Don’t let anyone take it from you.

 

However you use it, no manner the form you choose, you get to enjoy it. Love it. Play with it. It deserves your expression of it even if no one else in the whole world sees what you create, it needs to be expressed.
However you use it, no manner the form you choose, you get to enjoy it. Love it. Play with it. It deserves your expression of it even if no one else in the whole world sees what you create, it needs to be expressed.

 

Acceptance. It simply means we can look and accept our work as it is without passing "good" or "bad" judgement on it. You owe it yourself and your creative soul.
Acceptance. It simply means we can look and accept our work as it is without passing “good” or “bad” judgement on it. You owe it yourself and your creative soul.

 

 

Your process and how you express your creativity is more important than the final product. It is only in evaluating the process that you can improve the product.
Your process and how you express your creativity is more important than the final product. It is only in evaluating the process that you can improve the product.

 

It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to say what we did was horrible, bad, not worthy. We have developed these habits from years of schooling telling us that we should evaluate our work this way. Instead, change come when we think in constructive and objective ways. Look at what went right and what didn't work. Don't label good or bad. Be kind to yourself. You just put your creative soul out there, give it a break. If you need to, take it to someone you can trust with it and ask them to help you look at it in an objective manner.
It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to say what we did was horrible, bad, not worthy. We have developed these habits from years of schooling telling us that we should evaluate our work this way. Instead, change come when we think in constructive and objective ways. Look at what went right and what didn’t work. Don’t label good or bad. Be kind to yourself. You just put your creative soul out there, give it a break. If you need to, take it to someone you can trust with it and ask them to help you look at it in an objective manner.

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Creative Soul Revealed

I speak a lot about creativity and using it as often as you can. But do I practice it? I try to. Every day, I work on my creative soul. I work on projects that I find inspiring and being me joy. It’s not just about the DIY projects that I post or the Ten Minute Tuesday activities I create. And I will admit, some days it is very hard. I have arthritis in both hands and carpal tunnel. I am about to have my second carpal tunnel surgery for each hand (not at the same time.) So there are days I can’t edit photos as much as I want or cut cards or stationary. Handwriting is difficult and sometimes, typing is equally as painful. I also take certain medications that often make me groggy in the afternoon and make it difficult for me to think. So writing is out of the question, so is trying to read, which I love to do.

Some days, all I can do is plan for what pain and grogginess is to come. So I may write, print, and design in the morning, so in the afternoon, I will laminate and cut. And some days, I get nothing done at all. My hands may hurt after working in the morning so that leaves cutting out of the picture for the day. I still try. I get frustrated at my hands not wanting to work right or my brain going fuzzy as though I have control over medication and pain. I am learning and adjusting. And as I recover from surgery, I am sure I will find new ways of doing things so that I can continue to write and work.

Let me share a bit of what I do. Let’s start with my cards. All pictures are my original photos. They are printed on card stock then hand cut.

My affirmation cards were something that I made originally for a friend and I to carry around as we both struggle with depression. I found that I had so much more to say and then I laminated them so they would last longer. I LOVE making them. I am inspired constantly with new ideas.

All the stationary that I use when I write notes or letters is also designed by yours truly. I love making new designs and am working on a line of stationary to sell.

stationary

I love creating notes to the world and making them into note cards or post cards. I often slip them into my blank cards.

 

Finally, I have my pendants. All the pendants are original photographs, and I can make custom ones from photos given to me. The photo is cut and glazed to the glass and set into a pendant base. I love making these though the trimming work often is a killer on the hands.

Finally, the newest project I am working on is a set of Living Creative Spirit Cards. This is a collection of 40 cards. One the front is a word with and affirmation and on the back is a verse for meditation or contemplation. These cards are designed to inspire Creative Living.

living-creative-spirit-cards

Just like all creatives, I have good days and bad. I am productive days and Netflix is my best friend days. There are days I want to give up because I feel my work isn’t good enough but then I remember I have cards in two stores. It’s not a lot but it’s a start. I remember that I do my work because I love it. So as I leave I will provide you some more inspiration.

show-up-and-be-seen-markedyour-story-markedbeing-a-person-2ablanket-fort-story-signedi-believe-in-magicwhen-you-forgot-smallarcata-beach-story-markedbreath-of-earthhope-lost-tracks-print-markedi-am-phoenix-print-marked

My last word to you:
amazing being pic 2A

build

Build Your Ultimate Creative Toolbox

Many creative people have their creative toolbox that they keep on hand. They pull stuff, and tips and tricks right out of it. It’s like having a magicians magic hat. The key to a Great Toolbox is to include in it the things that will keep your creative soul going even in those times where you feel stuck or are feeling blah and uncreative.

Let’s start with what I keep in mine.

For inspiration, I have many Artful Blogger, Artful Journalling, and Where Women Create magazines, all produced by the Stampington Company. I love flipping the pages and seeing the beautiful pictures and sharing in others creative adventures. It is my hope one day to be in one of those magazines myself. It inspires and motivates me when I feel stuck or lost on what to do.ultimate toolbox 1

My favorite creative tool is my laptop. It is a MacBook Pro that is nearly four years old. Since I am first and foremost a writer, I find it essential for working on fiction, moving my poems from the written page to being saved and edited, and where I create my affirmation cards. I also use it for collecting my photos. I will give you a secret, I have about 22,000 pictures. NOT KIDDING. I always find reasons to use ones I thought I would never use especially in designing mini stories and affirmation cards. It is also where I create my stationary, my cards, and anything else that strikes me.
Pick your favorite tool! What is it? Keep it in good condition. If it’s something that gets used often, like a sketch book or journal, do you keep a back up so you always have one. My daughter keeps two or three around the house so she can just grab one.

Now onto some more practical, hands on stuff. Even writers need a little something out of scope of traditional writing to feed the creative soul. Here is what I highly recommend and what I keep for creative tools.

  1. Watercolor Paints: you can go to the dollar store and get the watercolor kits or you can go to Joanns and for ten bucks get the watercolor tubes. I use them for creating backgrounds, just playing when my mind has been so full of words, I need something that doesn’t require too much language processing.
  2. Pens, markers, pencils: I will admit to being an office supply junkie. I am fully addicted to new pens and pencils. I love makers, gel pens, colored pencils, Papermate Flair pens, and my fave are Pentel RSVP pens in purple. They just make writing, drawing, doodling so much more fun and interesting. Sometimes, it helps me to brainstorm in different colors to see patterns.
  3. Paper or Card Stock: A writer needs paper, whether hand writing or printing from a computer. If you want to make little notes or cards with writing or doodles, it helps to have sturdier card stock around and a good pair of scissors.ultimate toolbox 3
  4. Another thing that the paper is good for is making Word tiles. Inspired by Susan Wooldridge’s poem crazy. She creates word tiles and has her students draw out so many words and they have to create a poem. But I have also used them to inspire photos, or doodling or messages to friends. I think of word tiles as a great way to get out of stuckness because you have to work within the confines of the words you picked, it brings out the creative self.
  5. Tactile: A great toolbox as something wth texture that you can play with, touch in between or during projects. There is something about the switching of the cerebral writing, organizing to something that is just about touch. It changes our posture, calls on different parts of the brain, creates flow through other avenues. especially when stressed or up against a deadline, having some tactile object like play-dough or clay or even different types of fabric can re-direct us.
  6. TIME! Make sure that you give yourself time to use the tools in your toolbox. Our creative expression is of great importance. Even if you have a job and work forty hours a week, it is essential to our health that we take time for creative expression. I have said before, Brene’ Brown, a well know mental health writer, says that “UNUSED creative expression is NOT benign.” It will manifest itself in agitation, frustration, anger, guilt. A host of negative feelings that eat away at our self-esteem. So being creative helps you be a better you.
  7. Miscellaneous: 1) Music: I know for me when I am working on certain projects I have specific music that I listen to that creates the mood and environment that I want, especially if I am writing and I want to tune out the noise. 2) Add some acrylic paint as well. The colors are brighter and you get different results by blending. It is just a different than watercolors but fun. 3) Ribbons and stickers. These are just bits of whimsy to add to your toolbox. Maybe you only use them once in a while. I love using my own stickers to decorate packages when I send out orders. 4) Glue. All kinds but at least a good glue stick and a reliable craft glue, like Aleene’s tacky Glue. 5) A Journal. Whether you are a writer or an artist, a photographer or florist, keep a journal. They are great in offering us a chance to reflect. Maybe you just have a project journal. That’s ok. Its just another handy dandy tool for your box.

ultimate toolbox 2

Friday Craft Day: Seashell crafting

As we go into the weekend, I wanted to do something for you. Something creative and fun! If you don’t already know, I am a Pinterest addict. LOVE PINTEREST! I am always looking for cool ideas, recipes, places to go, and things to try.

Today, I bring my version of a couple of pinterest projects I discovered while playing among the thousands of pins. Here are a couple of the projects that inspired me.

http://designdininganddiapers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/IMG_6331.jpg

http://designdininganddiapers.com/2011/07/crafts-for-your-next-beach-vacation/

http://www.gigarte.com/quadridipietra/opere/72358/fiori.html
(Click the link to see the picture.)

Here is how I did mine.

flower 1

I was lucky enough to have picked up some painted boards at this awesome scrap place in Arcata, CA, Humboldt Scrap! It is awesome and they have all kinds of stuff.
I had shells from a previous project, stone that I collected, driftwood that I collected, some acrylic paint, and some moss for another project.

Next I painted the stone yellow for the center of my flower.

flower 2

Then I painted the clouds onto the blue board. I don’t know why clouds but I decided to add a bit of a silver edging to them. flower 3

Then I just used E6000 glue (what I use for my pendants), to glue the items on. First the center and the driftwood. flower 4

Then I added the moss to the bottom.

flower 5

Finally I added on my flower petal shells.

flower finished

Yay! Not perfect but it sure was fun to play with the paint and glue, and interact with the other materials. I wished I had more shells that would have worked to make more flowers. The only thing I might add is a saying about silver lining…we’ll see because sometimes, I can just go one step too far. What will you create this weekend? I encourage you to find a project that you can play with. This only took about 45 minutes and I had fun.

I would love to see what you do.

which-would-you-choose

Which Would You Choose? Passion or Steadfastness?

“Which is more important, passion or steadfastness?”
Recently, I was asked this question. Like the debate team trained person I am I began listing pros and cons of each, trying to determine which was the better of the two traits. I looked up their definitions to get an “accurate” representation of the words.

Passion is defined as “a strong feeling or excitement for something.”
Steadfastness is defined as “loyal; devoted to a person or cause or belief. Not changing or firmly fixed.”

Then, like the creative, intuitive person I am, I threw the lists away.

My question is why choose? We ponder the idea of IF YOU HAVE TO PICK ONE, but, you know what…. WE DON’T. We don’t need to pick because the creative process allows, if not demands both from us.
Passion is the driving force. It is what gets us started on a project that may drive us nuts, test our limits and the patience of our loved ones.
Steadfastness keeps us going. It is with us when we have hit the 112th mistake along the way and we feel we might quit. Steadfastness reminds that if we remain steady we will get to where we are going. Steadfastness keeps us loyal to our creative self when the rest of the world is trying to tell us ‘You’ll never make it.”

I wouldn’t choose. I refuse because I know at my source that I need both to be creatively successful. It is the magical ingredients of both of these traits that allows for creative success. If you were to think of the creative process as running a race then passion is what gets you off the start line; steadfastness is the endurance to make it to the finish line.
Lets look at the breakdown of the creative process specifically.
In the first stage, Preparation, passion is part of the process. We have a passion for field or genre’ that we are creating in. It for the LOVE of our art, in whatever form it takes, that allows to be in this stage so that we can begin.
The second stage, Incubation, is still about passion. It is the gathering of our creative spirit and resources. This is the stage of stillness and allowing the ideas to move freely about before we put brush to canvas or pen to paper or flow the equation together. Sometimes in this stage, we get a little restless. We want to begin but aren’t quite ready and we may be moved to not even start. This is where the power of steadfastness arrives. Steadfastness holds our hand and says wait, hang in there. It pulls us through to the third stage.
Illumination. The third stage of creativity. Passion bursts like spring that has been held back to the perfect moment, and our creative soul is off, flying, buzzing, happily creating. But in this process comes so many bumps and bruises along the way. We may want to quit when we have to edit the same page for the fifth time or ruined the second canvas. Whatever the reason, it is a combination of love for what we do and our dedication and loyalty to it that purpose that allows us to finish the last page; put the final brushstroke on the canvas; solve the final equation. Passion and steadfastness work in tandem with one another.
The final stage of the creative process is Verification. Verification reminds us to step back from our work. We set aside both passion and steadfastness to determine if the final project meets the desired outcome. When we determine that we have successfully completed our project, Verification reinforces both our LOVE and our Devotion to our creative soul. 
So Don’t choose. If someone tells you that you must. Tell them your creativity doesn’t play games like that because you know in your creative spirit you must have both.

passion

IMG_6423

How To: Finding Your Lost Creativity

“What don’t you understand? I found the cure for the fucking plague of the twentieth century and now I’ve lost it. Haven’t you ever lost anything doctor Bronx? Your purse? Your car keys? Well, it’s rather like that: Now you have it and now you don’t.”

                                                                          Dr. Campbell from the movie Medicine Man

Have you ever lost anything?

Have you ever felt like you lost your creative spark? Misplaced that internal fire that makes creating so wonderful?

At one time or another, we lose it. It just vanishes one day and it is hard to figure out where it went. I know that I have had days where I have woken up intent on creative work and found that inspiration had disappeared; it took itself out for a walk and left me behind. Usually this happens for one of two reasons.

  1. I wasn’t using it. I kept thinking, “Oh, I’ll get to that” or “I’ll paint that image when I have time,” but the time never comes. My creativity needs to be used, practiced, exposed to the world often and with regularity. Even if it is in the smallest way, I NEED to use it or it will become lost. I have woken up to finally do something creative only to be stumped, confused about what to do because it walked away from me. I lost it.
  2. I over used it. I pushed to hard and though the creative self was yelling, screaming and crying for a break, I kept pushing. Then I wake up, sit down to work, and found creativity fast asleep. Creativity is flow, in and out. It isn’t one way. If I am always expressing my creativity outward and not allowing in any creative in flow, like a good book, a play or something to fill up my soul, then my creative soul weakens; she gets tired and cranky and refuses to come play.

The wonderful news is there are ways to find the lost creativity. There are ways to bring it back to us. It will never have abandoned us forever unless we refuse to see our part of the problem. But, if we can look, with honesty, at what drove our creative spark into the corner of lost things, then we can sweet talk it back into our lives.

When creativity has been lost because of disuse then one has to stumble around a little, playing. PLAYING. Play with your creativity. Color in a coloring book. Read a book on your favorite creative expression like writing or sketching. Look at Pinterest for crafty DIY ideas, or doodling tips. Here are some free coloring pages. Do you need a reason to play? Here are FIVE Reasons you need to play. You only need Ten Minutes for Creative Play.

If creativity is overused, exhausted, and wanting to hide out, then it’s time for a break. Do something away from the creative project. Take a walk. Cook a meal. Read. Veg out on Netflix. Give creativity the rest it needs. It will come back to you. You might have to work with it, bribe it to get out of bed but it will come back to you.

If you have lost it, there is hope to get it back. It could be that sometimes we go through times in our lives where it seems like it will never return, and we will live without our creative soul forever. It is there. Take small steps towards re-discovering it. Try something new. It could be the old way of expressing yourself does not work for you anymore and the soul needs something new. Be patient. Be kind.

ten minute creative boosts poster

Ten Minutes to Creativity

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” ~Goethe

I often hear people say that they could not do start a creative project or write or paint because they don’t have the time.  Being creative requires too much commitment. Other times, they confess to not starting because they are afraid they won’t finish.

Here is a fabulous secret.
The secret to all creative pursuits.
Show up!
Give yourself TEN minutes.
Just 10!
The secret is to BEGIN!

Taking ten minutes isn’t about the final product; it is about jumping in, taking that deep breath, and creating. In the writing classes and workshops I have taken, many of the free writes or quick writes were only ten minutes. It gives the writer permission to jump in blindly without overthinking it. Once you start, something amazing will happen. You will want to create more. You will open a door you thought was shut. What’s amazing is what next…beyond that door is even more creative magic.

It could be playing with creativity isn’t new to you. You already make time for it.
Instead, you are looking for something fresh.
New inspiration.
Something that sparks the inner fire and brightens the flames.
Your ten minutes allows your creative self to play in other sand boxes for a little bit. When you do this,  your creative spirit is awakened to new ideas, new processes, and new forms of expression.

Then there is the big “S” word. STUCK!

Stuck sucks!

I have been there.

Maybe I am stuck on a story or poem. It could be you are stuck on a painting or photography assignment. Doubting about what direction you want to go to finish it. Or, maybe, it’s not knowing where to start. Or feeling slightly lost about “What next?”
When this happens, I remind myself to take 10 minutes.  Poetry quick writes, journal writing with a friend, taking photos,  or playing with paints are creative interventions  I use to bring me back to my creative center. The tasks are not large or daunting,  and they don’t need to be. It’s not about completion; it’s about creative soul play.

BEGIN IT!

Find ten minutes to write a poem or paint a background.

Ten minutes to take as many photo’s as you can or write 200 words.

200 words in ten minutes each day for five days is about 4 pages.

4 pages a week over 12 months is 200 pages!! Could half a novel!
Your small bits of time make a difference.
Be BOLD. Use your power. Create Magic!
Look below for Cool Ten Minute Ideas!! 
ten minute creative boosts poster