Creativity.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this word. Where does it come from? What inspires us? How can you use it? What defines creativity? What do we learn in the process of creating?
cre·a·tiv·i·ty – krēāˈtivədē/ noun: creativity – the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. (Google)
This past week creativity has been all around me. First, my step daughter is at the age she is exploring things online, living and breathing Minecraft and just very creative in general. She and her dad have decided to do a podcast called Ella’s Entry. The first episode is possibly the cutest thing I have ever heard. I am not biased or anything but I think it is. The podcast came out of her dad listening to podcasts with her in the car and a curiosity of how podcasts are made and why people listen to them.
IMG_1839On Friday night, I was packaging some things I sold on ebay and when I finished I had this overwhelming urge to make something.  This year, I want to take my crafting to another level. I want to start creating rubber stamps and I have played around a little but I’m not a professional by any means. So I pulled out some sheets of rubber and started looking around on Pinterest to see what I could find about carving or something that would inspire me. I decided to carve a branch and a flower on a vine.
As I finished carving, I started looking at what the stamp looks when used with ink.
IMG_1841They were not bad but I could definitely see where I could improve. What struck me was as I looked at the inked images I began to think about what I learned in carving the stamps. I tried numerous blades. I moved the blades in different directions. I noticed imperfections in my stamps. The leaves weren’t completely smooth. I even cut parts out I wasn’t supposed to cut.
This is where my creativity really started to kick in. My imperfections did not deter me from continuing. They actually threw me in to a plan of action and excitement about my next steps to improve. Maybe they are not steps but more like guidelines.
  1. Any design is ok.
  2. The more I design and carve the better.
  3. Always draw the design bigger to allow for carving in smaller spaces on the rubber.
  4. Try carving ANYTHING. No theme needed.
I also set two goals:
  1. I want to be able to carve script
  2. I need to carve weekly

All of this came from being inspired to pick up the carving tools when I was sitting in the craft room.

Today, my family and I were walking downtown on a photo walk. It’s one of our “family things” since my step daughter has taken an interest in photography. I find when I am on the photo walks, I deliberately try to see things in a creative way. When we walk around we talk about different ways we can take a photo to show different things. Before we started doing this, I really didn’t think about how creativity wasn’t just something inside you. Creativity can be deliberate. Creativity can be about perspective and lenses (literal or figurative).

So what do you say to people who claim, they don’t have a creative bone in themselves? I think it is awareness and listening to your inner voice. It’s the learned ability to look at things differently. That takes practice. It’s the willingness to try something different.
What are you doing that is creative?

Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop M.A.S.W. Style

Last week I announcement resliced by Jordan’s Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop. Today is my day! I’m so excited to share with you my favorite handmade tutorial as well as some of my favorite handmade businesses. If you are in the Columbia area, I give you a couple local events you can attend to purchase handmade gifts this holiday season.

hh blog hop image2I have spent a lot of time in the craft room lately, preparing for the holidays. Today, I would like to share with you an easy wreath you can create for your home or a gift for someone this holiday season.

What do you need?

  1. A foam wreath 8″, 10″, or 12″
  2. 12″X12″ Designer Paper about 4 sheets cut in to 1 1/2″ strips
  3. A glue gun
  4. 24″ Ribbon to match the paper
  5. A bow or other accent piece that matches
  6. Scissors

This tutorial is from Chic’n Scratch and it was created at Halloween. I used this tutorial to create holiday wreaths.

I loved making this wreath and made a couple of them. I overlapped my paper a little more than the video showed and I also used a hot glue gun to adhere my paper on the wreath. This allowed the wreath to be stronger than if I just used a craft adhesive.

12" and 8" wreaths

12″ and 8″ wreaths

Handmade Businesses I Love

HazRat

jellykoe – is an independent toy company based out of Columbia, SC.  It is owned and operated by Kelly and J. Spencer Shull.  jellykoe specializes in handmade designer plush and custom vinyl, resin, and hand sculpted action figures.  In addition to their toy lines, jellykoe also offers original artwork and illustration. Online Shop, Facebook

I absolutely LOVE their plush designs!

 

 

necklace+2

Surcee

Surcee Jewelry – This is a new addition of a handmade business that I love. I found out a past student of mine is creating jewelry. She resides in Charleston, SC. All pieces are hand-crafted and made with quality materials. We love to use beautiful gemstones and beads and are always looking for unique charms and pendants. The pieces are beautiful and one of a kind. Online Shop, Facebook

 

 

Summer Days

Summer Days

Grapes and Gallery – This might be a little off the beaten trail for a “handmade business” but Grapes and Gallery is a local shop where you can “explore your inner artist” and create your very own painting. You can paint with an artist guiding you on a specific painting or you can “do your own thing” by painting what you want on Saturday mornings.

Facebook

 

 

Local Events

Are you in Columbia, SC and want to see some great handmade items in person? Here are a couple of events I love!

sodaSoda City – This market is every Saturday from 9:00-1:00. It’s open year round so you never have to be without something to do on Saturday morning. The vendors vary from local farmers to handmade items, baked goods to vintage fashion.

If you can’t make it to Soda City on Saturdays, stop in to Nest Monday through Friday. Nest is Soda City’s artisan store front on Main Street.

 

 

December 14

December 14

Crafty Feast – is a 100% handmade, juried, independent craft fair in Columbia, SC. Their goal is to bring unique and funky crafts from around the region in a 1 day festival format. This is my favorite craft fair of the year. I’m usually a vendor at this event but decided to take this year off to be a customer. This year Crafty Feast is December 14 from 12-6pm at the Columbia Convention Center. Admission is only $2!

 

 

Don’t forget to check out my fellow bloggers who will be sharing more crafty gift ideas with you this week:

Continue to support handmade businesses by following Columbia’s Etsy Market Team on Facebook where you’ll stay in the loop with upcoming events and all things crafty in Columbia.