I began my creative journey writing and illustrating my own storybooks as a little girl, and continued on to overly dramatic poetry as a teenager. I loved making my own dollhouse furniture and accessories, and as I got older my bedroom was my biggest canvas, collaged from wall to wall with my favorite images torn from teenage magazines.
I also dabbled in handcrafting as a child, an embroidery kit here or there, and knew the basics of using a sewing machine. But it wasn't until I became a stay-at-home mom that I really upped my crafting game (and started this blog!). I taught myself how to crochet, knit, and even got reacquainted with the sewing machine, and I hoarded scraps and recyclables like nobody's business. Since then I've become a bit of a Jill-of-all-trades when it comes to crafting, but I especially love creative reuse.
My crafting skills have evolved over the years, but my sources of inspiration have remained pretty constant. Here are 7 ways I find creative inspiration--hopefully they can help you too!
1. The public library I could be specific and say books, but there's something invigorating about being allowed to take home a stack of books to peruse through for free that just fills me up. I do frequent used and new book stores, but the library is an amazing resource that's available to anyone. My latest checkouts include The Artist's Library: A Field Guide, Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design, and Braids, Buns, and Twists (because fancy hair is a foreign art to me).
2. The radio I listen to my local NPR station everyday. I love expanding my viewpoint and hearing stories from around the world that I wouldn't hear otherwise. And I don't mean just news stories, I mean the human, heartfelt stories; they're totally inspiring without being sappy. My favorite weekly shows include Radio Lab, To the Best of Our Knowledge, A Way with Words, TED Radio Hour, This American Life, and The Splendid Table (I love listening to their live Thanksgiving episode every year!). And although you can listen to all of these as podcasts in iTunes, I have to give a big thank you to Texas Public Radio for bringing these amazing shows straight to my ears every week.
3. Podcasts As much as I love listening to radio, there are a number of shows I listen to that are only available as podcasts. I love turning them on as I'm cooking dinner or crafting away. CraftSanity and CraftyPod were the first two podcasts I ever started listening to, and I adored hearing about the lives of other creatives--it made my own creative aspirations seem more attainable. These days I'm also loving After the Jump (from Design Sponge's Grace Bonney), 99% Invisible, Smart Passive Income (for the business side of things), The Art of Simple, and I just recently discovered Creating Your Own Path (I've only listened to part of one episode but it sounds promising). And of course I binge-listened to Serial, although that one was more intriguing than inspiring.
4. Silence Okay, after all that listening--and a loud family of 6--silence is pretty golden. Finding time for quiet not only helps me wind down and recoup, but it also helps me hear my own thoughts and explore my own ideas. It may sound pretty simple, but how often to you sit without noise? I went on my first silent retreat (four days long!) this time last year, and I was completely uncomfortable at first. I don't think I'd ever been alone in silence for that amount of time ever. It was such a soul-nourishing experience that I went back again over the summer--and need to return again soon!
5. Thrift stores My oldest son asked me what my favorite store was the other day and I immediately said the thrift store. I started garage-saling and thrifting in middle school and haven't stopped since. Of course I buy new things when I need them, but I love the serendipity of finding hidden gems.
6. #Creativemamas There are lots of creatives that I admire, but I particularly enjoy my fellow online crafty mamas. We started off as a closed group of like-minded crafty women, but our community has expanded the creativity to Instagram (follow the hashtag #creativemamas). It is so uplifting to see mamas around the world getting their craft on. We share resources, encouragement, and general crafty awesomeness. You can also check out our work on the Creative Mamas Flipboard.
7. The Internet As the last one alluded, the Internet is a pretty big source of inspiration to me, too. I definitely love my share of Pinterest and Instagram. But I also love staying to my bloggy roots and finding inspiration directly from my favorite bloggers. I miss the days of Google Reader, but continue to read all of my faves through Bloglovin'. Nothing beats a pretty picture--especially an endless supply of them! But just like anything, moderation is key. It's easy to get overwhelmed and feel inadequate next to all of those pretty pictures--or forget to make time for your own creating!
Since you’re here looking for inspiration, you clearly love the feeling of creating something of your own – and you know that the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment is pretty hard to match.
The great thing about crafting and DIY is that there’s so much to get involved in! You may have started with decorating, or creating gifts, or photography, but there’s a huge world of crafting opportunities out there, and you’ve probably only scratched the surface!
The only problem is… how do you decide which project to try out next? Not to mention, it can get expensive so quickly, buying more resources, more books, more patterns. What if you had a wide variety of inspiring resources right at your fingertips, but for a fraction of what you would usually spend?
Another excellent resource for inspiration is The Ultimate DIY Bundle. It’s an instant go-to library for a whole range of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses. There are projects that the whole family can get involved in – from photography and home decor to chalk pastels and sewing.
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Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.
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Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118.
That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…
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This amazing deal ends in just…
Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.
Are you itching to make yet?
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You can read the fine print about the bundle here and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle here.
Thank you again for your support, and happy making!