Discover Feature on Creative Habits I came across this post called “Writers and Artists on Creative Habits, Accepting Self-Doubt and the Rewards of Perserverance” the other day and found a little inspiration there.
I felt that I had something to add to this but I didn’t want to just comment upon it. You see like most, I have struggled with my own levels of creativity over the years, and especially within the last couple of years, due to an accident and it hitting me kind of hard, it disappeared completely. I missed my creativity so much, I wanted it back, hell I even craved it’s return so that I would feel some kind of normal again, so this is about creativity in general, in whatever form it takes for you.
I have always been one to collect things, I get that from several members of my family, along with making do and mending things, recycling etc etc.
A couple of years ago, I decided to make soap, I was trying to get away from the traditional presents for friends and family, since no-one knew what they wanted for Christmas and it might be fun to make it a home made one. Oh Kirstie Allsop, you have alot to answer for….
I looked at soap recipes, I used to buy wonderfully scented soap on trips to france, it was Marseilles Soap in gorgeous colours and the smell would carry all over the house. You had to store it in the back of the linen cupboard though, since you’d be able to taste it otherwise. But I thought, that must be an interesting thing to do. I purchased some silicone cake moulds, to give my soaps interesting shapes, since I was going to give them away as Christmas presents and gathered all the items required to make it. Nothing and I mean, nothing prepared me for the colossal mess that I was going to make or the time that it would take to clear up afterwards and I must admit to getting carried away with the scents. I made about 6 different scented batches, despite following the recipe there seemed to be so much more of the mixture than I anticipated, so I spent a merry afternoon, trying to find other ingredients in the kitchen, which I could include, in case someone didn’t like the scent of one, there was another. Of course I had to include manly scents. All in all, I enjoyed making it…. But would advise against silicone moulds in future. I ended up with trays of the stuff too and about 36 cup cake sized soaps, which once they had cured were quite presentable.
Back to the recycling for a moment. I went on a wonderful Christmas holiday to Scotland and beach combing, since it was winter time and stormy there was so much washed up along the beach and I came back excited with my hoard of shells, stones, seaweed etc, in the sure knowledge that I would make something wonderful with it, when I got the chance. They are all washed and cleaned in readiness and have been stored away since our return… here is my stash ready and waiting to be turned into artwork.
I have yet to achieve that particular goal, meanwhile it is in bags and a box in my kitchen cupboard and every time I do the hoovering, I get it out put it to one side and the dog starts eyeing up the sticks with a smile. He knows that if I do not get around to making something, then he will end up with the slightly salted sticks from the beach and is ever hopeful it will be soon.
In winter months, I buy wool and ribbons and think about making wonderful things, or re purposing tired objects to give them a new lease of life. This last year, whilst I stocked up on those essential ribbons to wrap Christmas presents with I did not get around to doing the crafting, I still have more than enough ribbons to last me for a while. I did not get the motivation to actually do anything with them. I have good intentions, but will I actually get on with it?
I used to make things. for instance I have a box of beads from when I was a teenager and I used to make jewellery, also some of the items I made are in there. Once in a while I think about doing that again, however it is one of my Mother’s hobbies to make jewellery now and she does it rather well. I am lucky to have a very creative Mother who has presented me with some wonderful creations of hers with crystals and stones which I love to wear. I made clothes too, knitted things and drew pictures (mainly houses). I was quite artistic, I also made cards and planned interiors.
Last Christmas I had a creative streak once again and made decorations. This came about since we were given a tree whilst we were on holiday and there was absolutely no-where locally where we could buy any. It pushed me and I had to think up novel ways in which to decorate the holiday home and tree with whatever I had brought on holiday, or could find around us. I ended up with some lovely natural decorations, it got the creative juices going and I was quite pleased with the results.
Since then I have begun writing again, my creativity has taken a new route, but it is firmly back in my life, providing inspiration in whatever small way as and when it can. So in whatever small way you can, be creative, don’t give up on it, persevere whenever you can and you too will reap its rewards. You might also have some rather exclusive gifts to give away to your friends as well.