Creative and CraftyAs this is the first real post in the ‘Creative and Crafty’ category, I thought I would start right at the beginning and give you a few ideas and suggestions to hopefully, start you on your creative journey.

As I mentioned in a previous post, people often tell me that they haven’t got a creative bone in their body but I actually don’t believe this to be true true. I think creativity is something that is inherently human. I can’t imagine that the human race would have ever been as successful as it is without creativity. I think it’s yet another trait that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom and I believe that anyone who says that they aren’t creative probably hasn’t had the right encouragement in the past. Maybe it’s simply that they find the thought of coming up with ideas quite daunting. Children who are encouraged to be creative from a young age tend to develop into creative adults and adults who struggle with creativity have to learn to ‘play’ again, but that’s a whole other post. What I can guarantee is that once you get going, creative ideas will start to flow and you will start to come up with more and more things that you might like to have a go at.

The activities on this list are basic and straight-forward. You really don’t want to try anything that’s too complex as that only serves to put you off. They also won’t cost you much in terms of money. I do feel it’s wrong to go out and spend a fortune buying supplies for something that you may not enjoy doing and so most of these ideas can be done at no or very little expense.

So, here we go with the first five ideas:

Bake

Baking is one of my favourite pastimes and it’s one of the most satisfying ways to spend a couple of hours. Even better, you actually get to eat whatever you create! You can bake whatever you like. A cake, some scones,cupcakes, cookies, bread…anything at all. Keep it simple or get as creative as you like. It’s your masterpiece and, once you realise that it’s something you can do, you can share it with friends, family and neighbours. They will really appreciate it and I’ve never yet met anyone who doesn’t love homebaking

Write a short story

This may or may not be something that you’ve done before but I can guarantee that this is a great way to get your imagination and creative streak working. If the thought of writing a screed puts you off, set yourself a word limit. I would suggest maybe 500 to start with?  If you want to write more than that of course don’t let a word limit hamper your writing. You can base your story on fact – maybe something that actually happened to you – or you can let your imagination run wild. It’s your story. You will be amazed at how, once you get started, the words will just flow onto the paper. Once you’re happy with it, save it in a special ‘writing’ file, leave it for a couple of days then go back and read it again. If you feel you want to change any part of it – go ahead.

Sew

Whenever I mention sewing, so many people tell me that they couldn’t sew if their life depended on it. The thing is, sewing doesn’t have to be difficult. I’m not talking about making a blouse or a pair of trousers or a wedding dress – I’m talking about making something nice and simple for around the house. Maybe you could try bunting, decorative hearts on a string, pin cushions, mug mats (I love them) or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, a cushion cover. You can use any old leftover material for your project or try recycling old clothes, unused curtains etc. You don’t need to spend anything to do this other than needles and threads if you don’t already have them lying around.  If you’re not sure where to start, just Googke whatever it is you want to try and you will find plenty of sites and YouTube videos to get you started.

Take photographs

Nowadays you don’t need an expensive camera to take decent photos. A smartphone, which most of us have, does the job perfectly. Decide what it is that you want to photograph and go for it. Maybe you want to have a theme, maybe you don’t. If you’re inside, try using lighting at different angles.  Look at different ways of placing whatever it is your photographing so that the layout looks really artistic. Use props to add interest. You could try bits of potpourri, pebbles, twigs, lace, ribbons – whatever you like. Try taking the pictures at different/unusual angles. If you’re photographing people, try to catch them looking completely natural rather than having them pose.  See what you come up with. The great thing about experimenting in this way is that if the photographs are rubbish, just delete them and start again. No waste.

Doodle

I love doodling and I find it very therapeutic. To doodle, you can either just take a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and start doodling but the thing that I love doing is Zentangle. It’s still doodling but what you end up with is stunning with different textural effects and 3D illusions. It would take too long to explain it all here but for inspiration check out the ZENTANGLE Flick’r page or search for it on YouTube. You’ll be amazed at what you can create with very little effort.

So, there you have it. Five ideas for you to try and hopefully those creative juices will start flowing. If none of the above do it for you, numbers 6 – 10 will be here next week so don’t forget to check back.

The more you experiment with being creative, the better you get at it but you have to start somewhere. You might even find that after trying something from the above list, something else will come into your head that you would like to try. There are no set rules whatsoever – just go with the flow. Take some time out this week to give it a go and make the time that you spend on this, time for you and you alone.

If you create something that you are really proud of you can always share it with me using any of the methods on the CONTACT page and I’ll feature your creation(s) here on Cupcakes and Cadenzas.

Good luck!

Image credit: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo

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