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In A Creative Slump

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For some reason, when I am going through stressful situations my creativity takes a fast nose dive towards the bottom of the creative ocean. This time it was the move and that all of my craft supplies are in boxes and bags and out of sorts. When they are out of sorts so is my creative brain.

It is frustrating because no matter what I do to get those creative juices flowing, nothing seems to work. Or should I say, the ideas that I get just don’t appeal to me. At this moment, the ideas should be overflowing because St. Patty’s Day is next weekend and a couple weeks later is Easter. Add that to Spring and Summer coming and the ideas should be coming easily….

This is not the first time I have hit a creative slump and it takes one great idea to get me out of this funk. Sometimes the idea has come from a solution I am looking to solve, a pattern that I want to try or an order a customer puts in. It has been so long since I was in this funk that I can’t remember what got me out of it the last time.

Until my creative slump is over, I will be posting some simple crafts on Teach Me Tuesday for kids and tweens. Cross your fingers and toes that my slump doesn’t last too long!

slump

 

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Craft and Art Store Coupons #savingsunday

Using Craft Store Coupons for Supplies#SavingSunday

As a Fine Arts Major, Artisan, Crafter, Mom to budding artists and craft supply hoarder, I have learned the art of using coupons to get what I need for as little money as possible. Recently, my Painting Professor emailed us the list of what we needed to purchase for her class with the links to Amazon to purchase all of items. When I put them all in my cart, they were over $300… not in my budget at all!

That is when I turned to my local craft/art supply stores! In my local area, I have Michaels and Hobby Lobby which we frequent both because each something different to offer plus their coupon structures are very different. If I need to look elsewhere, I can travel about 45 minutes or so to Joanns or AC Moore but I prefer to stick to the 2 stores that are only 10 minutes away from me.

At one point in my life, I worked for Michaels because the discount was great and I loved being surrounded by arts and crafts all day long but sadly I needed money for then fun so I went back to waiteressing. Still, when I walk into Michaels, I know at least one person so I can get the scoop of what is new in the store which is awesome! Michaels offers more of a broad range of art and craft supply items so that you have a little bit of everything to choose from but I can’t always find that exact thing I need or idea that is stuck in my head.

Now back to the subject Michaels coupons…. They offer a rewards app that includes all their coupons for the week. Most weeks, you will find a 40% off one non sale item. On certain days or weeks they will offer special coupons like 20% off your entire purchase or 30% off yarn. Some of these coupons can be great, especially if it includes sale items! Another plus for Michaels is that they will accept competitor coupons, so if Joanns is offering a 60% off coupon, they will allow you to use it at Michaels (score so savings there!). My one gripe is that there is a HUGE exclusions list which includes books! They have cool coloring books for adults, craft sets for kids that have books plus pattern books. If it has a book then it is excluded which just frankly makes a crafter very angry! Before I go into Michaels or while I am walking around, I will look at the other craft stores to see if they have a better coupon offer to max out my savings.

On to Hobby Lobby…. they offer fabric which Michaels does not which is a plus in my book! They have added to their soap making supplies (though they still make that damn melt and pour soap a big thing like you are really making soap but that is a post for another time) which I like being able to go there to buy some of my butters and oils when I need to make a small batch of something. Everything else is pretty comparable to Michaels with having a little bit of every type of supplies.

As for Hobby Lobby coupons, they only ever offer one coupon… 40% off one regular priced item. They do not accept competitor’s coupons so you can only ever use that one coupon. On the plus side they have very little exclusions and they allow coupons on their books! This has been huge for me because sometimes I get a request from someone to make a specific item and if I find it in a pattern book at Hobby Lobby then I get a bunch of patterns for a much lower cost!

Back to my painting class supply search, I learned that Micheals and Hobby Lobby had a majority of what I needed on this list so I was going to use my coupons as much as I possibly could to save as much money as possible. Hobby Lobby had the wood panels so I have been going there nearly everyday (except Sunday because they are closed) to purchase the panels. The rest has come from Michaels and they have had a 50% off coupon this past week which has been a huge help! So the list that would have been $300 or more has cost me about $150 with just a few things left to get.

If you are a parent, these coupons come in handy for kids projects for school and home. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to utilize these places and coupons for book reports and science projects that needed to done for school. In my opinion art and craft supplies are so overpriced to enjoy the stimulation of the artistic side of our brains so use these coupons and save some money to enjoy more art projects in the future!

art

 

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Let’s Make Things and Be Happy

0145f73236d1a38bf76352387fb519aeWhen you are a creative person, your heart and soul craves the feeling of creating something with your hands (or other body parts if it suits your artistic craving). Having run my handmade business the past 9 years, I have created many beautiful things including clothing, accessories and so much more. Most of the things that I created were at the request of a customer looking for a custom item. I love some of the creativity that my customers challenge me with but something has been missing in my soul.

I am not sure what exactly is missing yet but I am feeling creatively unsatisfied. The feeling of needing to find my artistic passion grows with everyday so I need to start to explore my artistic options. There is a huge world to explore my creative senses and find my passion but where do I begin?

Let’s start with my artistic skills….. I can crochet, knit, sew, draw, paint and create beautiful art out of unwanted items. So with all of these artistic skills, why can’t I find something that lights my passion? That is what I want to set out to answer by creating something new every week.

I have gotten into the habit of finding something popular among my customer base and making a bunch of them until I get mentally exhausted and begin to hate the creation. So, I want to change things up and try new things in my creative endeavors. Since I am Pinterest obsessed, I plan on getting most of my ideas from Pinterest and will be blogging about my new item each week. I am excited to see where this leads me and artistic cravings!

This is my current project (thanks to my mom’s friend who is Photo Mar 21, 7 34 07 PMa grandma of twin gi
rls). I am making bunny hats in purple and pink for the twins to have pictures done for Easter. The yarn used in the pictures was difficult to find in purple, locally at least and to pay the shipping costs was outrageous! I am using a similar fluffy yarn but it is a bit thick since it is supposed to be a blanket yarn. So far I have the hats done and just need to make the ears. These are super simple to make and I can’t wait to see the girls wearing them.

 

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Looking for my Creativity 

Normally I am so overly creative that I have multiple projects going at once but the past few days I feel creatively numb. I was making Messy Bun hats for customers and now that I’m done making them nothing is calling out to me.

I love finding new projects to start and get my creative juices going so this stand still in my creative process is unknown territory for me. I could make scarves or hats or blankets or a million other things. I mean I have my own patterns to make things, hundreds of patterns in my pattern folder not to mention the thousands and thousands of patterns on Pinterest but not one is peeking a little bit of interest.

What do you do when you lose your creatively? Do you push yourself to make something hoping it will come back? Do you make yourself take a creativity break?

Right now I’m pushing myself to keep creating because it’s an income for my family but I will keep you updated on how this artist block goes. If anyone has tips please feel free to share.