Copy And Share Everything

If you have been on the Splitcoaststampers site, you have likely seen the term CASE on several posts. In case you were wondering what that means, it stands for Copy And Share/Steal Everything. Basically,¬†Splitcoaststampers is a huge community of people stealing like artists. ūüôā

This is one of the many reasons I love this site. It is a great place for inspiration and everyone wants to inspire everyone else. You can practically feel the love when you look through the posts. (Ok, that might be overstating it, but it is nice looking through the beautiful work people want to share.)

A few months ago, I found a card posted on Splitcoaststampers by sistersandie in the gallery for the Gorgeous Grunge set (one of my favorite sets). I liked how she used the stamps to make a stripe of splats. It seemed like a perfect Father’s Day card, so I decided to CASE it. Continue reading

Bites of Creativity

We recently had a cookout at work and everyone needed to sign up to bring something. I don’t enjoy cooking, so I’m usually the one to bring the paper goods or drinks. But by the time I went to sign up, those were all taken.

Crap. I was going to need to make something.

Figuring I could at least make a simple dessert, I headed over to my Pinterest board where I have been electronically hoarding dessert ideas and recipes that look easy to make. I found one for S’Mores Pops, which looked simple enough.

“But, Rhonda, this is a blog about creativity and not about your attempts to make recipes from Pinterest. What’s up?”IMG_2030

Agreed. The same thought crossed my mind.

There is a tie to creativity here, so please bear with me.

The S’Mores Pops looked nice and had lovely proper pop sticks on them. I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on something to take to a lunch where I knew there would be a ton of other desserts to choose from (and there were tons including a fabulous carrot cake) and I didn’t want to feel obligated to make them look pretty (my available time to make these was short and I didn’t want to stress out over it).

So I went with toothpicks and found a way to make them work. They weren’t perfect and pretty, but they still looked appetizing. Then it didn’t seem right to call them “S’Mores Pops” so I went with “S’Mores Bites” instead.

As I was making these adjustments (toothpicks, less pretty, different name), it occurred to me that these adjustments were actually a little bit of creativity. Continue reading

Better Late than Never

Inspiration can show up at any time – on a walk in a park, talking with a friend, searching for ideas online. Sometimes we act on ideas from the inspiration immediately. Other times the ideas get set aside for one reason or another.

When I was coming up with an idea for a Mother’s Day card a few weeks ago, I remembered an inspiration challenge I had seen on SplitCoastStampers.com and the design idea I had for it. I went to look up the challenge and found it had been posted 9 years ago.Mothers' Day Card

This idea had been rolling around in my head for 9 years and I hadn’t acted on it yet!

I felt like such a slacker.

Then I remembered the saying of “better late than never” and decided to get over it and move forward with finally using the design.

The inspiration challenge image was one of the simple line drawings from Pablo Picasso. He is one of my favorite artists and I love these drawings. I immediately thought of the Heartfelt Thanks set by Stampin’ Up! because it had the line art of a flower. I wanted to use the line stamp in black ink with the partner stamp of the whole flower in clear heat embossed powder over it. But I never thought of a layout I liked for it, never found the time to sit and play with it, excuses, excuses, excuses.

Then a few weeks ago, I was back on SplitCoastStampers.com and saw a card posted by Penny627 that she made for a Try a New Technique challenge. I really liked the layout and it felt perfect for the line art idea. Continue reading

Antioch Writers’ Workshop – Spring 2016 Seminar

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Antioch Writers’ Workshop Spring 2016 Seminar.

The theme was “The Writing Life” and featured a talk called “The Inner Writing Life” with Margaret Wrinkle, author of Wash. Hearing her talk about the process of writing Wash was incredibly interesting. She also had some very good advice and reminders for all writers. A couple of things that I took away from her talk are:

  • Fear is part of the process, but don’t let it stop you. Decide to be scared later.
  • Be present in the experiences you are having. (I tend to be off in my own world sometimes, and need to work on this.)

Ms. Wrinkle¬†said many other things that I found helpful, but I’m not going to type out my page of notes here.¬†If you get a chance to hear her speak, my guess is you will also have a page or two of helpful notes on writing.

The afternoon featured three breakout sessions that were all quite good. Five topics were offered, but we could only choose three of them. I chose the following:

I would like to say thanks to all three speakers because their talks were excellent and provided helpful information. Continue reading

Writing – Bird by Bird

After participating in and winning NaNoWriMo, I wanted to learn more about the writing process and how to become better at it. One of the books that kept popping up as a recommendation was Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

Let me start by saying that I rarely read books that are not fiction. So it was a big deal for me to voluntarily read a book that wasn’t about a dystopian future with vampires or witches dealing with demons in the ever-after or some sort of manga. (I added links to these series¬†are below, because I love them and feel they are good examples of well-written stories.)

Back to reading about writing and Bird by Bird…

When I was in high school and college, I had romantic notions of being a writer sitting on a beach typing away as the words would flow with beautiful fluidity from my brain to the page while I sat in peaceful bliss writing the great American novel that would be published and sell millions of copies allowing me to make a living doing something I love. Then I tried writing some poetry that was really bad, got annoyed, and gave up on it.

Ms. Lamott’s writing¬†felt like a friend talking to you honestly about writing and the life of a writer. It’s not always romantic. It’s not always easy to get the words from your brain to the paper. It’s not always peaceful bliss. It’s not easy to write the great American novel. It doesn’t always allow you to make a living.

But the reward of dealing with the crappy parts of it and working at it is worth it.

Finding your voice is worth it. Being able to say what you feel like you need to say and tell the stories you need to tell are worth it. Helping others by telling your stories is worth it. Stepping back and looking at life differently as a writer is worth it. Continue reading

Creativity = Energy

For me, working on creative projects is very energizing. 

I noticed this week that I’ve been tired and lacking in energy. I realized this morning that I have done almost nothing creative this past week. I didn’t even write on my blog. A couple of migraines certainly contributed to the tired, but I let them keep me from doing much this week. 

The idea for this post hit me this morning. Just the thought of it felt energizing. So here I am typing away and feeling better already. ūüôā

This has been a good reminder for me that exercising creativity is as important for me as physical exercise (still working on that, too). 

I’m already thinking about what projects I’ll be working on this week and feeling pretty excited about it.

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Don’t Be Afraid Of Mistakes

“Nothing will stop you being creative more effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”
– John Cleese

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes when it comes to creativity.

Throughout my life I have had a tendency to be a perfectionist. A little over a decade ago I decided to try stamping. My friend Debbie who introduced me to the art pointed out that it is impossible to be perfect while stamping. She was absolutely correct.

I decided to make a hobby of stamping and that helped quite a bit with my tendency toward perfectionism. I learned to enjoy the little imperfections and realize that¬†sometimes¬†mistakes can¬†change design plans for the better.¬†I’ll always be grateful to Debbie for introducing me to stamping because it is so fun and has been helpful to me.

However, I continue to struggle with the fear of making mistakes in some ways and have let it stop me from trying things like creative writing. Still working on that one, but I have at least signed up for a creative writing workshop next month.

The fear of making a mistake can be a tough one to conquer, especially for those of us who tend to be perfectionists. But it is not impossible to overcome.

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What Stops You?

I am willing to try pretty much any arts and crafts type project that is reasonably priced and doesn’t require me to quit my day job to have time to do it. But there are some things that I find myself avoiding and I’ve been thinking about why I avoid them.

The main thing I’ve been avoiding trying is creative writing. I really, really want to try it. But every time I think about sitting down to write, I freeze then immediately think of 500 other things to do instead. I have recently realized that it is because I’m afraid that what I write will suck. So even though no one else ever has to read anything I write, I’m still letting fear stop me from trying to write even a short story. Silly, right?

Until last month I was afraid of writing a blog. What if nobody reads it? What if people read it and think what I write is stupid? What if what I write *is* stupid? What if… What if… What if…. Then I told myself to put on my big girl panties, stop worrying about the “what ifs”, and start a blog. And I’m so glad I did because it has been fun.

So why am I still afraid to try creative writing? It is still the fear and “what ifs”. In an effort to get over this, I plan to attend a creative writing workshop next month and write at least a short story between now and then. Time to put on my big girl panties and stop worrying again…

Is there something that has stopped you from trying a creative endeavor? What was it? How did you get past it?