Saturday, August 5, 2017

Creative Inspirations

There is just something about that blank page staring up at me, begging to be inked on... no wait... a blank canvas thirsty for paint.... no wait... a stretch of material hankering for stitches..... no... wood for color or glass for spraying....

I can't decide.

I'm a sort of 'Jack(ie) of all trades, master of none' when it comes to arts and crafts.... and gardening and baking and ANYTHING to do with creating.  I like to dabble.  I guess that's why I owned a business for a small stretch of time, "Crafted Creations by AJ".  Ahhhh, those were the days.  I dabbled and then I stuck a price tag on it.  But everyone dabbled so few people bought... then the recession hit and no one bought!  CC by AJ folded but I still dabbled.

As kids have grown and life has gotten busy, I tended to do less dabbling than I use to.  Although, I still do invest energy in little things here and there, like amateur photography when we are on hikes or knitting and crocheting as we watch movies or pass quiet time.  However, life is transitioning again and I find more in-depth creative outlets to be relaxing and fulfilling....  life just seems off-kilt when I am not creating.

I know not everyone will share my sentiments here, however, when we consider we are created in the image of a creator God who slathered out the rolling oceans and dabbed on beautiful sunsets... He formed such magnificent vistas like mountains and valleys and master gardened bright sunflowers and fields of swaying grass.

Is it any wonder a body often years to create?  We are created to be mini-creators. 

Only, we don't form something from nothing like our amazing Father did.  We get to use all of the awesome somethings He set into motion to create more somethings which reflect His glory and Creative Power.

So, recently, my latest dabbling turned to more seriously consider photography -though I think I could use some serious hands-on tips with my new camera-  Still absolute amateur over here.  I decided to try a photo challenge.  Type that in Pinterest's search perimeters if you are curious.  I LOVED the inspiration but, as busy homeschooling mom, I was quickly overwhelmed by the daily-ness of the challenges.  My 14 year old, without a care in the world, was trucking through each daily theme while I was woefully behind.  Already, failing at photography!

Then there was the outlet... what do I do even IF I met the challenge?  Sure it is awesome and fun, but who do I get to share it with, where is there a community who shares my heart for clean, wholesome creativity?

Through these summer months I have pondered and tossed the idea around while my new camera sits snug in it's little case.  I started thumbing around Pinterest and doodles began to strike my fancy.  I've (copy-cat) doodled some pictures for my 14 year old to color... pre-adult coloring book style.  Then I break out my sketchbook and begin to challenge myself to variations.

The spark ignites a fire and suddenly I'm burning with an idea:

What if I started a creativity 'challenge' where there is only ONE topic per week plus ONE open-ended option to get creatively expressive with God's Word (that is a total of 8 challenges for the month for you math enthusiasts).  Oh, and the challenges can be done in any order on any day.

What if I doodled out my ideas in neat little boxes and scanned them in and shared them in my newsletter and then here on the site and asked others to join me?

What if I opened this challenge to all ages and stages and just made it this fun community of creative people, who use all sorts of mediums, who want to encourage each other and share what they are creating?

What if I created a weekly link-up meme for fellow bloggers with the option for ANYONE to hash tag share on Pinterest and code-names on Facebook for those of us (yes, I'm talking about myself here) who are too busy lazy to actually upload our pictures from our phone to our computer!!!

What if, each week when I opened the meme I shared what I have been doing and, from time to time, tips, tricks, websites, and tools I pick up as I go to encourage the creativity of others.

What if, I featured some of my favorites from other creators who tried to follow some of the themes each month and put the spot-light on others (if they don't mind it) so we can all be mutually encouraged?

What if I also periodically shared ideas for turning that creative nature into a way to reach others for Christ or simply fellowship with other believers?

Well, No more what-ifing... this thing is for-reals!

In July's newsletter I intro-ed and launched "Creative Inspirations".  The print out below highlights each week's (done whatever week you want to) theme.  There is also a page 2 with more in-depth instructions, hashtag keywords and Facebook reference-ology.

If your creative outlet of choice is fabric or gardening, I challenge you to think outside the box on some of these topics.

New monthly themes, drawn up like the one above, will go live on the website the first Saturday of each month.  If you want to be able to see it sooner, see the post-script below.

One thing NOT detailed in the PDF above is this:  You do NOT have to complete every single topic and if your project is taking a while to complete, partial completion is more than welcomed in sharing.  As a matter of fact, share anything creative, as long as it is wholesome and reflects the expressed values of this website.... just do whatever you have time for and share it!

I hope you will join me in these creative adventures.  The link-up meme will go live next Saturday for anyone interested in a link-up party!  I hope to see you there... I mean, here!

I pray you experience the presence of God and share his Glory through your creative pursuits this coming week!  Grab the family if you like... and a few friends or church group.... and BE CREATIVE because He is Creative♥


Do you NOT want to have to wait until the first Saturday of the month to see the new challenges?  You can get the latest monthly challenge before the new month starts by signing up for my monthly newsletter.  The newsletter issues on the last Thursday of each month and, among other great content, the latest installment for the coming month's Creative Challenge will be available for early download through the newsletter.  Hop over to the right side bar to sign up!  (it looks like image below)

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