Creative space creates space

One of the most indulgent things for me is time with a new magazine and a pot of tea. A few moments to sit, peruse and be inspired. I discovered ‘Flow’ magazine this week, and what a find! This magazine oozes inspiration, motivation and creativity. The articles in this particular issue focused around happiness, mindfulness and the wealth of time.

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I am in a stage in my life where I feel there is simply not enough time in the day for me to express and engage in the hurricane of creative ideas whirling through my mind. I go to bed every night feeling as though I missed an opportunity to learn something or try something new. I never imagined that this freedom of creative space I enjoy would cause me angst. But it does.

After reading some of the articles in Flow, I have been inspired to ponder on why I feel this way.  Does my creativity needs to be harnessed in order for me to regain the sense of playfulness that began this journey of simplicity, sustainability and creativity for me a number of years ago? I believe it does. So what does one do to regroup, and restore some balance with creative passions and the ordinary-ness of  everyday life (which is totally able to be EXTRA-ordinary too, when we live creatively!) ? Here is what I plan to do:

1.  Slow the thinking down for a bit

So many of my creative endeavours – those that have begun and those still in concept stages – are a labour of love, an active process of trial and error, planning and lots of mess making (which then needs to be cleaned up – agh!).  I strongly believe passive creativity has its place, and I aim to indulge in more of this to regain a sense of calm and fun in my creative pursuits. Passive creativity is still inherently creative, and still engages those creative parts of our brains, but with zero stress! Colouring in is my passive creative outlet of choice, and Johanna Basford is my artist of choice. What exquisite colouring books she has created, so that you and I can enjoy creativity any time, anywhere. Narrowing the creative decision making to colours as opposed to broader ideas, is a simple, yet effective way, to come back to the pure enjoyment and simplicity of creative endeavours. Just watch a child when they colour, and the calm and focus they have as they create a masterpiece. Now, you have a turn!

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2. Celebrate creativity with others

I have started hosting Crafternoon Tea and colouring parties at my house as a way to get together with friends, and to inspire and enable them to pursue creative pleasures in a way that is manageable for the stage of life we are at (children, school, sports etc).  Through setting aside pockets of time, the creator within gets a chance to be at the forefront.  Other things are set aside, and creativity reigns for an hour or two!  Hosting these get togethers has made me realise how much others crave creative outlets, and are sometimes just waiting for an opportunity to allow themselves to set aside responsibility, and nurture themselves.

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3.  Create for fun

When I have a period of time when I am not under the pump with orders for my Flair Enough business, I love to create things that are just for fun. Stationery is often my creation of choice when I get the urge to make.  I have been posting snail mail using my handmade stationery, as a therapeutic way for me to engage with people in a  simple and whimsical way. There is something magical about a handmade note in the letterbox, written for no particular reason other than to say “hi”. Snail mail is a lost art in many ways, and I want my children to see the value of handwriting, expressing oneself through the written word, and the joy of posting and receiving mail. What is your creative outlet of choice, just for fun?

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4.  Pots of tea

Tea is known to have relaxing properties, but a tea bag just doesn’t cut it, in my opinion. The ritual of pouring a pot of tea, drinking from a tea cup and saucer is good for the soul. When we drink a teabag infused cup of tea, there is often a sense of rush from the outset. But a teapot needs time – time to infuse, time to rest.  We need to do the same every now and then, so brewing a pot of tea serves as a reminder and a prompting to take some time to just BE.

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5.  Kids are creative beings – take a leaf out of their book

My children are incredibly creative, and sometimes their idea of fun is not mine. But usually, when I go along with their ideas, I get caught up in the flow and have a blast! Floor time with children is a wonderful way to foster theirs and our creativity.

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Making room for creativity, creates space in our minds. When we nurture creative thinking, we find our creative problem solving capabilities increase, we think outside of the box. Creative space creates space. But we need to create space for creative space to enjoy the benefits – and we also need to ensure that our creativity is harnessed well, rather than utterly chaotic to maximise the benefits of our creative pursuits.

Flair Enough

I have done it AGAIN. I will never win Blogger of the Year, of this I am certain. I just get too easily distracted.

FLAIRENOUGHSIX_clipped_rev_1As you would know, if you  have read at least a few of my blog entries, I am passionate about simple living, upcycling and being mindful of what really matters in life. An outworking of these together this year has been the creation of said distraction – Flair Enough. After receiving a lot of feedback from friends and hearing for the 100th time that I should consider selling some of my pieces, I decided to take the plunge. If you head on over to my Facebook page, I would love to hear your thoughts.

‘Reimagining Home and Play’ is our catch cry. Rethinking what we think we need, what we think our kids need. Reimagining a piece of discarded furniture, that can be transformed, or some old timber off cuts that hold the potential for a world of storytelling and adventure. Flair Enough is a play on words speaking of what we are passionate about.

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Reclaimed chair, reupholstered and painted.

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Preloved storybook and reclaimed timber transformed into storyblocks ❤

Fair prices & Enoughism – we have enough crap in the world, and we certainly have enough overpriced crap in this world. We offer a superior starting point in gift buying or home decorating than mass produced, plastic or poorly made items. Flair Enough is about using what we have, because we have ENOUGH to go around, and adding flair, so that these pieces can be given a new life and be enjoyed once more.  If it is not upcycled, reclaimed or handmade, you will not see it on our page 🙂 Come on over and say hi xoxoxspots tent

Creative urge splurge…soon

I want to plan our 2014 holiday (because we are taking the lads overseas).

I want to redecorate our bedroom (thanks to Kirstie’s Vintage Home).

I want to recover a chair (because I have cute boys with messy hands).

I want to paint my office chair (because white is nice, but green might be fun).

I want to dust my camera off and take some photographs (because it makes my heart happy).

 

But I must study (because I have a Child and Adolescent Development exam in 10 days and I have a LOT of content to cover).

 

Multi-tasking has always been my way, yet I have managed to get things done in life despite my tendency to become easily distracted. But the past four months have shown me things about myself that I am quietly pleased to recongnise.  I have been more focused than I have ever been in my life. I have prioritised more efficiently, and I have delayed gratification like I never have before.

My creative urges are screaming out for attention, but they are being told to wait. Not to go away, but to take a seat and wait for me to finish what needs to be done.  At 11.10am on the 12th June, I will leave the exam room and these urges can have my full attention for five whole weeks.  Delaying gratification makes the gratification so much more…gratifying!!! Creative urge splurge coming up! (Be still my beating heart, get back to the books).

On that note, I best get back to what needs to be done 🙂

Shadows

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Shadows

We have had a few sheets of black cardboard Matt bought home from school last year that are a bit damaged from being used as backdrops for displays. Tonight as we were looking through a Science experiment book from the Library, we stumbled across this and I remembered the cardboard.
It was the first ever shadow sketch experience for the lads, and we got to turn the lights out and use their Lego man torch, which of course made the whole process so much more fun! They were amazed when we cut their silhouette out. We now have beautiful, frugal, simple art in the play room.

These are a few of our favourite things…

It’s been raining a lot, so it’s been a slower than usual day. I’m not one to scoff at a hibernation day, so we enjoyed some of our favourite simple activities.

Bilibos are a wonderful toy, limited only by our imaginations. We take ours to the snow, the beach and the pool. We play with cars in them, play catch with them or balance on them. We wear them as hats, roll things under them or play marbles in them. But our favourite thing to do is sit inside and SPIN!!

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Rory’s Story Cubes provide endless fun. Roll and spin your story! I also utilise these in my toolkit for working with young people. They are a great conversation starter, and could be a great counselling tool.
I’m going to use them as art prompts for the lads sometime soon. I think that’d be grand,

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Imaginets could quite possibly be the funkiest magnetic set around. Complete with pattern cards and whiteboard surfaces, the possibilities are endless.

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Under the carport we enjoyed a game of hopscotch. I loved this as a young girl.

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I was reminded today of an older post you can find here as we enjoyed our simple, slow and creative play. It’s a good skill for our children to know how to rest, slow down and play games that are tactile, not electronic! Creativity really can thrive when the busy noise subsides.

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I will leave you with this Leunig cartoon. Let us ever be drawn to the real things.
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A-Z of Gratitude: P is for Photographs

When I was a child, back in the dark ages, cameras were dusted off for special occasions. Small children were not to touch, mainly due to dreaded button that would pop the camera back open and expose the film to light – gasp!! Then it was all over, the pictures would be forever destroyed.
Photography from my childhood was not something that was an everyday occurrence. We didn’t have our parents in our faces while we ate, painted, slept or played monopoly. These everyday moments did not make the cut. Films and processing films was far too costly to take so many happy snaps.

Fast forward to today. Cameras are everywhere and photography has become a part of our everyday lives. I confess, I have been asked by my sons on many occasions to put the camera down. I want to capture their creativity, their attitudes and expressions, their accomplishments and their ever changing faces so I have countless memories. But I’m no stranger to the weird feeling that sometimes reminds me that whilst I focus the lens, I lose the really important focus, the act of BEING in the moment. The photo can become the goal, and that’s a bit sad.

The challenge for me is to do something with the thousands of photos I have, rather than having them on a hard drive.

We found a new app today for the iPad and the boys made a cartoon using Trashies and Lego. This is a great use of a camera- giving children an outlet to create a story all of their own!

My word of advice on the subject of taking photos: Happy snaps give some people the craps. Read between the lines and know when it’s time to live life on the other side of the lens.

Here are a few happy snaps from our day today…

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A-Z Gratitude: C is for Chairs

I am thankful for chairs.  Think of the times you have had to stand somewhere longing for a chair, with none to be found.  These are the times we realise how wonderful chairs are!  I bet you have been to a wedding or a funeral or a school event that meant you were standing for long enough to start to shift your weight from one leg to another.  You look at the old people and start to wish you were 80 years old and someone would offer you a seat.  Chairs are a wonderful invention.  They enable us to relax. We have many meaningful conversations while sitting on a chair.  We drink coffee in our favourite café, on a chair.They are everywhere, yet we take them for granted.  Not I!  I applaud the humble chair, and as I sit here on my favourite chair in our house, I am grateful.  Grateful for the four legs and the bright yellow cushion that supports my weight (that is none of your business).

I am so excited about chairs today because last night I completed my dining chair makeover.  Using the vintage fabrics I found at op shops – a curtain, a few skirts and dresses and a shirt (this chair has pockets!).

Here they are:

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Now go and make yourself a pot of tea, find a comfy chair and appreciate it. 🙂

Redressed dresser

I know I started this blog a few weeks ago by saying I am not one of those amazing crafty mummas.  It is true.  But for some reason over the past week or so I have had loads of ideas for ways to give things around our home a facelift by reusing things other people have thrown away.

On our way back from our camping trip at the start of this week we called into a tip shop.  We purchased this dresser for Asher’s room for $10.

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I sanded it back yesterday and decided I would use some chalk paint we have for the drawers so Ash and Isaac can be creative.

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Matt went and purchased a $9 sample pot of paint which brought the total cost for the dresser to $19.Image

I painted one side with chalkboard paint also – extra room for drawings or lots of messages like “Boys only” or “Poo”.  Can’t imagine there will be pretty flowers and sunshine drawn on the chalk surfaces…Image

I stenciled a few stars on using a cookie cutter.  The project took me around 5 hours total.  I must admit, I keep looking at it marveling that I did something that looks so funky!! Give me an electric sander and a paint roller over a sewing machine anyday!!Image