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?

stationery creation

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.

Planning my Planner

I love lists. And pens. And washi tape. I also love paper planners as opposed to using the iCal app. So I thought I had found the perfect planner, but it disappointed me. I then turned to Pinterest to search for the free PDF downloads that would surely be the solution to my organising needs. I quickly became disheartened at the thought of trawling for hours through printables that would be fun and colourful, but not necessarily suited to my style of list making.

Then I remembered a graph book I got from Office Works and decided to draft my own planner pages for this week. My plan for my planner is this: I will hand draw each week, using what I liked from the previous week, and tweaking or removing what isn’t so useful.

There is truly something therapeutic about using colourful pens. You should try it if you haven’t in a while.

This week I have included: Finances for the week at a glance, School stuff, Menu Plan, Dream cloud for ideas and inspo, and my take on the ‘To Do’ list – the ‘Ta Da!’ List, which is much more exciting. Because when I get to tick something off, I will be all like, “Ta da! Look at what I did today! How clever am I?!”

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I best stop planning my planner page, and get planning my week. Well, what is left of it.

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.

Box Fun

Today we went along to the first Big Play Box session in South Hobart. It’s a creative space for kids and caregivers to use donated, recycled materials to create. Imaginations were running wild with vehicles of all descriptions, flower beds in sand filled suitcases, submarines, spy stations, hammering nails, painting and chalk art… Endless fun!

Our boys were captivated and are now at home doing more of the same.

My heart was glad to see a crowd of kids and parents all having as much fun as one another, truly on a level playing field. Mum and Dad on hands and knees eagerly involved in their child’s project, following their child’s lead. A place where children are the masterminds, the inventors, engineers and foreman! Community concepts like this create a space that brings families together whilst reminding us that some of the greatest gifts we can ever give our children are our attention and enthusiasm for their imaginary worlds.

Play on!!

The icing on the cake, the gold coin donation each person is asked to give at registration is given to building a future for War Brides of Northern Uganda!

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A-Z of Gratitude: D is for distractions

I’ve been MIA for a while because I’ve been distracted. My distractions have been quite surprising to be honest. My husband has been wondering if I hit my head or if I have had a Nicholas Cage/John Travolta “Face Off” experience with Martha Stewart.

Deep breath… I have a confession to make…

In my first post I declared I would never, ever undertake certain projects. I said I was not one of  “those” mothers who could do anything – that bit is still true, but I am sure trying my hand at more things than I ever have before!

In my new-found creative space, I have been seduced by the sewing machine.  After a few sessions of playing around with my sister-in-law’s machine I was all stitched up and just had to have one of my very own. My friends are in shock, my husband is afraid, and I am in hysterics. This really is a twist in the plot of my life – a twist that has stunned all who know me!!

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Some of my creations are interesting to say the least. The “Vintage teletubbie look alike” doll (as named by a friend amidst her laughter ) has been a favorite among friend’s daughters.

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I am also using vintage fabrics to create some jewellery. Guess what my friends and family will receive for gifts for the next decade?!

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My furniture projects are still distracting me from housework, and I’ll post pics later this week of the drinks cabinet I am working on.  This project was inspired by my Nan who left me her gorgeous tea set.

I have completed the first round of doily tea light holders I mentioned a few posts ago – very happy with how they turned out.

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I have whipped up four of these reversible winter hats. Asher particularly loves his, and didn’t want it off his cute head for a few days.  I was quite chuffed, even if it meant his temperature was rising.

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Ah, distractions are so fun!

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A-Z of Gratitdue: B is for Bargains

I posted C is for Chairs and realised that B is for Bargains was still in my drafts. Oops!

Day two of my A-Z of Gratitude.

B is for BARGAINS. I am grateful for bargains.

I went to the op shops again today looking for the final vintage dress to cover our last dining chair.  I didn’t find the perfect dress but I did find a gorgeous vintage top for myself for just $5. I am always rapt when I find a good bargain.

It’s about 16 months since I started my “No Buy It Diet”.  I decided to have one year off buying new clothes.  I made the rules, and decided I was allowed to buy things from the thrift shop, but after a few months I realised that made it too easy.   I changed the rules meaning no clothes were to be purchased, new or second-hand. It was such great exercise, and one that fascinated many of my friends. Women have this reputation of being chronic shoppers. I am amazed at how many clothes I have that I never wear, and have come to realise how utterly ridiculous it is that we have so many clothes.  Imagine trying to explain our fashion obsession to a family living in abject poverty who have one set of clothes for everything.    I have been officially allowed to buy new clothes since December, but have only purchased one new top from an eco store and a few things from the op shops.  I have no desire to window shop anymore. I don’t go into clothing stores to try things on. Clothes shopping is something  that just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.  I still like to wear nice clothes, and I have no trouble finding fantastic quality items at the op shops. It is much more of an adventure to go to a charity store and rummage through racks of random clothes than going to a shop filled with what the masses are wearing!

Anyway, back to today’s bargains…

I bought two lace doilies…

To attempt something like this…

 

 

Fence memo boards

I made the boys a memo board each for art work and photos for their bedrooms yesterday.  We have a stack of old fence palings so I gave them a quick sand and painted some wooden pegs to glue on them.  A super quick and easy project which means that the lads can display their creativity in their own space.

 

Knit? Not.

Is it just me or do the blockbuster blogs seem to be primarily written by mothers who can do everything??  They knit, sew, cook, paint, homeschool and manage to have a beautifully decorated home and manicured acreage, all whilst raising 17 kids.

Ok, what’s the deal with that?

I have tried to get my crafty on several times and mostly it’s ended with me resolving to never craft again. My finished projects look like someone gave a blindfolded five-year a pair of scissors and a glue stick to play with. Surely I am not a stand alone crafting catastrophe?

I take my hat off to those mothers out there who can juggle sharp knitting needles whilst pinning down a squirming toddler with a nappy that looks like a work of art from one of those creepy museums.  I’m just not one of them.