Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What Do You Do To Stay Inspired?

When I get in a crafting rut I can go more than a week without making or sewing anything. That may not seem like a long time, but when you are a creative person, and being at the sewing machine is just another part of your day, a week or two with no sewing can seem like forever. The longest I've ever gone is about two years- and that was because my family was going through an upheaval and I didn't want to spend anything on crafting. Of course I forgot that I already had so much stuff in my sewing room that I could complete numerous projects without spending a penny. It took a little girl looking at my stash and saying "You can make so many things with all this," that brought me out of my funk and lead to me to ask, "What can I make with all this?"

Usually I don't have any little girls around to set me straight though and I have to figure my own way through a dip in crafting. One way I do this is by organizing. There is always a drawer or box or pile to sort out and neaten up. As soon as I clear off a shelf, or rearrange a table top it's messy again with this and that I don't know what to do with. But what happens is I find things- unfinished projects, bits and bobs, random stuff that inspires me and gives ideas. For example earlier this week I reorganized my scrap basket, something I do periodically, and found a long strip of striped fabric I realized would be perfect for doll legs. Later I found a coordinate for a dress, and we're off to the races on a new project.

Then there's routine work. I make bookmarks that I sell to a bookstore in the Boston area; I do an order every few months or so, maybe four or five orders a year. Working on bookmarks is very routine and not the most exciting sewing, but it pays and I enjoy it, and doing it puts me in the mood to do more challenging work. I get through a few bookmarks and I'm like, "hey, let's do a purse".

That's when I realize those little tasks aren't so little, but are actually a really important part of being a creative person. Organizing my space gives me ideas as well as a sense of tidiness and responsibility. Doing easy work puts me in the mood for something harder. And since even more difficult projects become easier with practice, there will always be a reason for me to keep learning.