Where do you find your inspiration?

When I buy magazines, I don’t save them or put them on a shelf in the study. Nope. I’m a ripper. I enjoy reading all sorts of magazines, but when I’m done, I immediately start ripping things out. Recipes go into my recipe drawer, but craft projects and home decorating ideas go onto the inspiration boards in my sewing room. My main board is a large, inexpensive cork board that I framed with a half-price open-back wood frame from Hobby Lobby. Total cost: around $25. It’s a great way to display the things that inspire me, and its much more effective than putting them in a drawer or envelope and forgetting about them. When I have extra time or I’m stuck in the house due to bad weather, I go to the boards and pick a project. When my green throw pillows in the family room started fraying around the edges, I made new pillow covers based on this photo from a Pottery Barn catalog. So easy. Sew easy? And I love that tree quilt pattern. When I took down the old denim curtains in the family room, I didn’t throw them away. I washed them and used one as the backing on a quilt for Jonah Bear. When I found these awesome bottle cap photo magnets in a Martha Stewart magazine, I e-mailed everyone I knew and asked them to save their bottle caps. The result? A fabulous craft project for our annual girls only family weekend. Each of us walked away with magnets created from a box of family photos. See those pumpkins in the bottom left corner? Styrofoam balls covered in yarn, then brushed to make them fuzzy. The stems are crocheted. How cute is that? Looking for a fabulous idea for table decorations for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception? How about making these gorgeous photo luminaries? I love this project. You scan and convert photos to a sepia finish, then print them on velum paper, frame them with matte boards, connect 3 of them and place a lighted candle in the middle to illuminate the photos. This idea knocks me out. It would also be fabulous for a 50th anniversary celebration, a graduation party, 50th birthday…the possibilities are endless. And check out that white pillow with the layered felt “buttons” all over it. Some day, I’ll make a pillow like that. Maybe. If I can find pre-cut felt circles so they’re perfectly round. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’ve been making a lot of tote bags lately (again, for our girls only weekend in March), but I’ve had my eye on this little beauty for years. It’s a felted wool tote bag. I love the color and texture of this bag. So much so, that I think I may have ripped this page out of a magazine in a doctor’s office. I never do that, but I couldn’t stop myself in this instance. Sorry, Dr. Greenberg. I hope you’re not reading this from your retirement home in Arizona. For the record, I have no idea how to felt wool, and I have no wool to felt, but some day I WILL make this tote bag, because it calls to me. Speaking of felt, these little felt Christmas ornaments are adorable. I ripped these out of a Crate & Barrel holiday catalog (yes, it was mine) a few years back. I can’t wait to make these. They’re adorable. They would make a great Christmas garland if you tied them onto a pretty ribbon. Or you could attach one to a folded piece of colorful card stock and make your own Christmas cards. Or you could hang them on your Christmas tree, or give them as gifts at a school holiday party, or use them as place holders at your holiday table. These are on my “to do” list for Christmas 2011. I’m leaning towards the garland for my fireplace mantle or the handmade Christmas cards. Maybe both. I love those beaded snowflakes in the same photo. I can picture myself tying them to gift boxes and bags, or stringing them onto a white or silver ribbon and hanging them across the top of my kitchen window for the holidays. They would also look great on my mother’s Christmas tree, with her hand crocheted snowflakes. And while we’re on Christmas trees… I love this little table-top tree. It would be great for someone with very young children who wants to decorate a tree without fear of it being pulled over on top of a toddler. Or on a teacher’s desk. Or even on your own desk if you want to perk up your office for Christmas. It makes me happy. Like these snowmen. Is it wrong to want to cover every surface of your house in fluffy quilt batting (fake snow) and cute snowmen? If loving snowmen is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Some day, I’ll create an army of adorable snowmen and take over the world, one Scrooge at a time. And if my snowman army needs help, I’ll enlist these little paper-mache Halloween cuties. These are just too stinkin’ cute! These will require more work and skill, but I’m up to the challenge. Besides, these will last forever and can be added to my collection of family treasures to pass along to the kids some day. They could be my crafting legacy. Check out that photo of a perfectly organized closet in the top right by the Pottery Barn pillows. I only WISH my closets looked like that! This photo is definitely one that I saved for inspiration. It’s probably the most unrealistic of all the projects I’ve posted on my idea boards. I cannot foresee a day when I’ll ever be that obsessive…er, I mean anal…uh, I mean organized. I dream of it, but I don’t see myself fulfilling that dream. Oh, well. The idea behind the boards is inspiration. Who knows if I will make all of this stuff, but at least I can look at it and sometimes even attempt it. My boards spark creativity. They compel me to try something new and fun, and I find that inspirational. And that’s why I go back to them over and over again. Ideas are everywhere! What inspires your creativity?



Filed under Craft Projects

8 responses to “Where do you find your inspiration?

  1. Cindy

    Once again, great minds think alike. LOL I adore Lori Mitchell figurines. I have a collection for Halloween and Christmas. And those yarn pumpkins…we need to get together and make those this summer!! Loving it all…if one of my girls would just move out I could have an inspiration wall too. I keep all of mine in a cute fabric box from “Hobby to the Lobby”.

    • I used to keep my project ideas in a dresser drawer, but I’d only look through them once or twice a year. Now that I have them posted on my corkboards, I’m trying things much more frequently. It’s been a lot of fun. I’d love to make yarn pumpkins with you this summer, so it’s a date!

  2. Big Sis

    I’m with you! I’m a ripper also, but I have a file drawer full of things I have ripped and clipped. I always have a few posted on the wall of my sewing room, things I want to create or at least try to make!!

    • I had all mine shoved in a drawer, too, which was the problem. I never took the time to go back and organize them in any way. That’s what first inspired the corkboards. I finally sat down one day and looked through everything. I threw out the stuff that didn’t interest me anymore and put the others up on the boards. I love looking at them each day. It really does inspire me to make something. I think I may tackle a quilt next.

  3. I’m liking the cork board idea…now I just have to find a place to put it! It’s a great idea to have it out in the open where you can see the inspiration instead of in a drawer or 3-ring binder like me. I NEVER think to take out the binder and do something!

    • Hey, at least you’re keeping yours organized in a 3-ring binder. Mine where literally shoved in a drawer, and were a total mess. Lucky for me, I now have a sewing room with lots of great wall space to hang stuff like these boards. It’s my chick cave.

  4. I LOVE the idea of the inspiration cork board! I have all sorts of clipping in a folder, and worse–a pile of dog-eared magazines that I rarely look at again. I need a cork board. And a chick cave.

    BTW–I’ve knit more felted bags than I could ever begin to count. (I used to teach knitting…) The one you like looks like an easy one, so when the time comes, I’ll be happy to share the knowledge.

    • You, of all people, DEFINITELY need a chick cave since you’re the lone female in a house with 5 men of various sizes. Thanks for offering to help with the felted bag. When lightening strikes and inspiration overtakes me, I will take you up on your generous offer!

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