Bear Ears and Lazy Bones

I've heard people say "I'd do more creative things but I just don't have time", or "I'd work on crafts but I just don't have a craft room!" 

So this photo is of my legs, wrapped in a furry blanket, watching our son's volleyball game while cutting out bear ears for some polar bears I'm working on. I wasn't feeling great tonight, some tough pain, and I didn't want to sit at the table or stand at the counter . . . so I grabbed a few supplies, got comfy and made a stack of bear ears! It's a slightly boring task, monotonous and not too challenging, but it is also very rewarding to later grab a stack of pre-made parts to add onto the bears for the finishing touch. It saves me time in the end and it served as a good distraction to my own pain challenge this evening!

I've learned that being creative is not a one-size-fits-all kind of life!  Being creative is just that . . . "being" creative. It involves you being who you are, in the stage of life you're in, doing what you can with what you have and offering that to the world. Even if your projects don't go out anywhere beyond your own home, the creative time spent did something in you, changed you and probably relaxed you (if you didn't get too perfectionist about it! :) )

Maybe there is a project that you've been wanting to try or finish but procrastination has gotten in the way. Maybe you have felt like you need a craft room or a large area to leave your supplies out but because of family or roommates or space constraints, you can't. Here are 3 ideas that might solve these challenges and open up some creative freedom for you! 

1. "I need a flat surface to store my craft/project on."

Bike stores have huge cardboard boxes that are strong, mostly flat, and can be easily transformed into a "drawer" for sliding under a bed. You can alter the box into two drawers or simply one large "tray" that your project can stay on and be lifted out onto a table when there is room. A little duct tape and cardboard go a long way! Visit a bike store near you today . . . they're happy to get rid of boxes.

 

 

 

2. "Craft storage systems are expensive."

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Be patient! Second hand stores often end up with storage containers that other people have tried but found not quite right for them. . . but It may be just right for you! Be willing to start with a 'less than perfect' set up. You might use glass pickle jars for awhile and then when you find something that works better, just recycle the jars and switch systems! I think it's fun to keep improving your storage so that it's effective for you but it doesn't have to be expensive. I've heard of people using an old sturdy suitcase and clear zip lock bags to contain their supplies. It keeps supplies together, contained, organized and all in one place. Why not? Find out what can work for you and go for it!

3. "I want to start and finish a project on the same day". 

Visit  SimplyKelly  here!

Visit SimplyKelly here!

That goal can be a challenge! Sounds like you may need to set aside specific time on your calendar to do that. I know some people who save their projects for when they go on holidays. If that works for you, go for it. If those types of days are hard to find on your calendar, here's another idea.

 I have a friend,  SimplyKelly who has started to make and sell watercolor paintings and art cards. She found some good quality colourful file folders that were not being used and thought that they might make good cardstock for behind the paintings. She glues the watercolors to the cardstock, then puts them under a stack of books to dry flat, then adds ink details, then signs them, takes photos and gets ready to package them up for orders and sales. Each step require separate kinds of time and energy but once put together, they make beautiful cards. If you're willing to do your projects in stages, then instead of trying to complete the whole project in one day, you could complete one or two steps one day and still have a great sense of accomplishment. 

If being creative is what you want to do but there are a few obstacles in your way . . . make yourself a cup of coffee, get comfy and do some creative researching . . . check out pinterest and search google for ideas of how other people DIY their creative endeavours or rooms and then, go for it!! 

Portable Workshop

The origin of my sock animal business is that is was established through illness. (See About page for more story). That means that it needs to stay somewhat rooted to that so that on difficult pain days, I can still enjoy this business! That means my workshop needs to be portable. 

This past week, I made some improvements to the box that I take with me from couch to table to bed:

This is a file box that I covered with photos of past creations and use to carry the bigger items like stuffing, and 5-10 sock animal bodies that I'm working on. That's a bear for Jasper "Bear's Paw Bakery" peeking out of the box.

This is a file box that I covered with photos of past creations and use to carry the bigger items like stuffing, and 5-10 sock animal bodies that I'm working on. That's a bear for Jasper "Bear's Paw Bakery" peeking out of the box.

The top box is shallow and fit perfectly across the length of the bigger box but it needed a way to rest on the edge. Thanks to a friend's suggestion, I hot glued a few chopsticks as supports and they worked great.

The top box is shallow and fit perfectly across the length of the bigger box but it needed a way to rest on the edge. Thanks to a friend's suggestion, I hot glued a few chopsticks as supports and they worked great.

This box contains the basic spools of colour most commonly used and a few compartments for various parts that relate to the animals I'm working on. In this particular box are bear tails, ears and eyes. 

This box contains the basic spools of colour most commonly used and a few compartments for various parts that relate to the animals I'm working on. In this particular box are bear tails, ears and eyes. 

Except for commissions of specific creatures, I keep all eyes the same. This has made it simple and easy to find consistency with my animals. 

Except for commissions of specific creatures, I keep all eyes the same. This has made it simple and easy to find consistency with my animals. 

The spools are on a few shish kabob sticks with one side removable and the other glued down. I can grab one thread and that spool is the only one that unravels. It works great! 

The spools are on a few shish kabob sticks with one side removable and the other glued down. I can grab one thread and that spool is the only one that unravels. It works great! 

Past creations - easy to look at and get inspired or remember how I made them!

Past creations - easy to look at and get inspired or remember how I made them!

Star wars, batman, racoons, moose, bears, geese, squirrels, wolves and mice!

Star wars, batman, racoons, moose, bears, geese, squirrels, wolves and mice!

Muppets, robots, Darth Vader in Christmas sweaters, Oscar, Rudolph Snow Monster and minions. Good times!

Muppets, robots, Darth Vader in Christmas sweaters, Oscar, Rudolph Snow Monster and minions. Good times!

I am grateful for pain and illness, in a strange way, because it constantly challenges me to find ways to do what I love and solve the problems that arise because of it. Cardboard, hot glue, duct tape and suggestions from friends wandering by can make an awesome portable workshop! Give it a try!

* If you do deal with physical challenges or illness or pain, you may enjoy reading my other blog that is full of encouragement. Click here.