Monday, July 27, 2009

Fabric Covered Organizer

Last week, I blogged about how to get your creative juices flowing. Then, I went and took my own advice. So, this week I wanted to let you know what I had worked on.

I decided to pretty up my environment by covering a plain, plastic organizer with fabric. It was pretty easy to do and the final project looks so cute! Here's the Before and After Pictures:

Here's what I used:
  • Plastic Organizer;
  • Fabric;
  • Embellishments;
  • Spray adhesive;
  • Measuring tape; and
  • Scissors.
First, I measured my organizer. Then I decided what material to use - cotton for the top and felt for the sides, with some paper embellishments for character.

For the sides, I cut four strips of felt. I cut the strips for the sides slightly shorter than the length and the strips for the front and back a bit longer than the width of the organizer. That's because I wanted to wrap the front and back strips around the side. Once the strips were cut, I sprayed the back of them with the spray adhesive. Then I put the side strips of first, followed by the front and back strips.

Next, I focused on the top of the organizer. I cut one piece of cotton fabric so that it was a few inches wider and longer than the top. Then I sprayed the fabric with the spray adhesive, positioned it on the center of the lid, pressed down and tucked the edges underneath the lid. This gives the lid a nice finished look and since the material is thin, the lid can still close easily.

Finally, I glued some paper flowers on the front of the organizer. The flowers match colours found in the cotton fabric, so that everything is coordinated. Best of all, the black felt really makes the colours in the fabric pop out! Now, instead of having plain organizers, I have bright, colourful ones that add extra cheer to the shelf in my office.

For more ideas to help brighten up your working environment, check out these great Project Ideas on my website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Webster's online dictionary defines creativity as "The ability to create something new. We can define creativity as innovation, particularly in artistic endeavours and writing". For some people, creating something new seems so effortless. But if you're like most people, you have to work at it.

And then there are those times where you feel stuck or blocked and nothing happens. You want to create something, but you don't know what. If you feel like your creative juices just aren't flowing (and we have all been there at one point or another), then here are some things that can help them to get moving:
  1. Be open to new ideas. Try something new. If you never try it, how do you know if you will like it or not. By trying it once, you just might find a hidden passion you never knew was missing!
  2. Keep at it. The reason is simple - the more you create, the more creative you'll become. It's easy to put things off – you always mean to do something, but you just never quite get around to it. So, make time for it. Even if it's just 30 minutes once a week, by yourself or with others, put a creative activity in your schedule. Make a plan and stick to it.
  3. Experiment. Try using a different colour than the pattern calls for and just see what happens. You'll learn from the experience and gain confidence to try something new or different next time!
  4. Don't worry about perfection. Kids are always creating something new – drawing, painting or anything else they can get their hands on. They don't worry about how it turns out. If they like, they keep it. If they don't, they just laugh and move on. It's a great attitude to have because the less you worry, the more you'll enjoy the creative process.
  5. Make your environment more creative. It doesn't matter where you spend your time, if you are surrounded by creativity, you'll feel more creative. Even a boring cubicle can be dressed up. For example, add some colourful fabric on the cubicle wall or put a small doll by your monitor.
  6. Look for sources of inspiration and creativity. Go to museums or even look through magazines. Take note of the things that capture your attention and why. Do you like the colours of the object or does it bring back pleasant memories? By thinking about it, you'll get back in touch with your own creative abilities.
Okay, now I'm off to try some of this myself! How about you?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Creativity Is A Mindset

This week I wanted to continue on the theme of creativity. A big part of being creative is thinking you're creative. That is, it's all in your mindset, your way of thinking. If you think you are creative, you will be. If you don't think you're creative, then you won't be.

So, I figure if I'm on a quest to help re-build my imagination and creative juices, then I had better get in the right frame of mind from the start. There's probably lots of ways to get there, but I choose to come up with a creativity bio.

A creativity bio is a short summary of who you are, it's witty and includes a statement about being creative.

Do you want to write up your very own creativity bio? First, start by thinking about what you want to put in your bio. Include things like:
  • Humorous stories from your childhood;
  • Where you grew up;
  • How you ended up in the city you currently live in;
  • Likes and dislikes;
  • Any accomplishments;
  • What's the most important goal you want to achieve;
  • Different places you have lived or different jobs you have held; or
  • Anything else that describes you!
Then once you have done that, pick out the ones that stand out and put them all together in a paragraph. Edit it for flow and add a sprinkling of humour and wit.

Here's how my creativity bio turned out:

Joanne Jones is a small country girl who moved to the big city, even though she vowed she never would and now never wants to leave. However, she's still trying to search for the best of both worlds – nature and convenience – which to her means a paved path in the middle of a forest. She's always on the lookout for the next crafty project. She blames her mother for that because when she was a small child, her mom handed her a book filled with craft projects, some supplies and the rest as they say, was history. She's been hooked on crafts ever since! On a final note, you can usually recognize Joanne by the camera in her hand. She's always taking pictures, but only a small, select group of people will ever get to see them!

What would your creativity bio say about you?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Finding Creativity

Do you ever think back to your childhood and remember some of your favourite things to do? Have you ever thought, wow, I was really creative as a kid?

As a kid, I could make anything out of play dough or building blocks. Or at least, that's how it seemed to me. But give me some now and I'm not quite sure what to make. I have to think about it before I can start creating something.

So, what happened? Did we just stop using our imagination? Or are we just using them in a different way? I think that as adults, we need to help give our imagination a boost from time to time. I'm on a quest to help re-build my imagination and creative juices. I'll be letting you know what I try and the results in future posts on my blog, so stay tuned.

For now, I'm trying to keep an open mind. I'm going to let my mind wander and see where it wants to go. I want to see what attracts my attention, follow it and see what happens.

Want to give a kick start to your creative juices? Then visit Beautiful Creations Craft Projects where you'll find lots of crafty ideas that will get your imagination going.