Have You Ever Done a Make-Along?


Depending on what you choose to do as your creative outlet, a make-along could be a crochet-along (CAL), knit-along (KAL) or something else.
This year, I participated in my first ever crochet-alongs. One was in March for the Crochet Guild of American (CGOA) in honor of March being National Crochet Month. The second was with Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts and Furls Crochet on her desig, the Bronwyn Shawl.

I made a cowl and a short scarf for the CGOA CAL. I’m almost finished with the Bronwyn shawl. Both designs turned out absolutely beautiful. I have to admit, though, the Bronwyn shawl kind of tested my patience, especially at the beginning when I kept getting a trapezoidal shape to what is supposed to be a triangular shawl. But after starting over five or six times, I LOVE it!

The question that serves as the title for the post is a real one. Have you ever participated in any kind of make-along? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments.

5 Themes for the Days of the Week


I know themes are everywhere. Taco Tuesday. Throw-back Thursday. Woman-Crush Wednesday. And so on.
I’ve thought about themes and how they can be beneficial to a creative practice. Here are some themes I’ve been thinking about.

1. Motivational Monday.

There are so many motivational quotes and creativit quotes that could go on this day.

2. Tip Tuesday.

Afer so many years of studying creativity and developing my own theories and ideas, I have a lot of tips I can share.

3. What-if Wednesday

This sounds like it could be a brainstorming day.to come up with more ideas for future projects.

4. Thankful Thursday

In November, a lot of people do a month of Thanksgiving. But why limit it to November? For that matter, why limit it to one day of the week? Of course, it’s not. But it is a day of public gratitude.

5. Focus Friday

I have a friend who does Fnish Friday, where she wraps up ny outstanding projects for the week. I decided to kind of flip that and do a Focus Friday. This day is meant to make a list of what you need to do for the next week to be successful. You don’t have to p lan it out yet unless you do your weekly planning on Fridays, but at least you’ll have an idea of what needs to be done when you sit down TO plan it.

I know I said this was a list of five themes, but we’ve covered everything but the weekend, so….

BONUS:

6. Siesta Saturday

Yes. Siesta. Take a nap. It’s the weekend. There isn’t a law that says you have to run-run-run, go-go-go every single minute. You need to take some time to rest and recharge.

7. Serene Sunday

In our family, Sundays have historically been a quiet day. Church/reflection/quiet time. Whatever you want to do with it. Think about it like the calm before the storm that is the work (or school) week.

Are these themes that work for you? What would you change? Let me know in the comments.

Podcast: Living Your Creative Life – 6 Keys to Creativity Part 2

Today’s episode is about the next two keys of my 6 Keys to Creativity. If you missed the first part, you can listen to it here.

 

Do You Plan Everything?


I don’t know how it’s happened, but I’ve become a planner. I used to be a pantster in just about everything. Not anymore.

In writing circles, a pantster is someone who basically flies by the seat of their pants and doesn’t outline or really even plan anything about their current work in progress. Yes. That was me.

Like I said, not anymore.

If I sit down to write or do any other kind of work, I want to know what it is I’m going to do. More than that, I NEED to know what I’m going to do. I spend too much time playing games or scrolling through Facebook or Instagram if I don’t.

Maybe it’s an age thing? I don’t know. It does seem to go along with age, though. As in, the older I get, the more I need to plan.

That brings me to the point of this post.

What about you? Do you plan everything? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

If you are a pantster, do you ever see a time you will become a planner?

Better yet, do you think planning would restrict your creativity too much? That’s probably a question for another blog post, but I’m genuinely interested. Leave me a comment and let me know.

Do You Wish You Were More Creative?

Sometimes you get stuck in a rut. You think you’re not creative. Or you feel “blocked.” You get frustrated and don’t know what to do next.

Well….

I can help you with that. In more ways than one.

First, I have a few books out that address various aspects of creativity. They’re all linked below with short descriptions of each. Second, you can work with me directly in a coaching situation tailored to exactly what you need. Third, you can join my email list where you will get periodic creativity tips and other updates. I am working on a freebie to offer you when you sign up.

Devoted to Creating: Igniting the Creative Spark in Everyone Everyone who is mae in the image of God is creative. These devotions illustrate how creativity surrounds us and how we cn use it in his service even–and especially–in unexpected ways, such as teaching, parenting, gardening, and cooking, as well as themore expoected outlets of writing, painting, and drawing. Hopefully,. they will help ignite the spark of creativity in you.

80 Creativity Tips 80 Creativity Tips provid a jump-start to sagging creativity and a boost when motivation is low.

Journal Your Way to Creativity Journal Your Way to Creativity is a 90-day self-guided journal designed to help readers tap into their creativity. Some of the promps may sound silly, but some of the silliest prompts tend to be the ones that make you dig the deepest.

Question of the day: What is a service or product that is not listed here that you would be interested in?

5 Reasons to Be Kind to Yourself

I get it. You don’t come to this blog to hear about self-care tips or anything like that. But did you consider that engaging in self-care is important to your creativity?

It is.

Here are five reasons why I believe you shouldn’t ignore self-care. (And I’m talking to myself as much as to you as well.)

1. Stress.

Think about it for a minute. When you;re stressed out, overwhelmed, or sick, your creativity stops. If you view your creativity as just a hobby, you might think this isn’t that big a deal. It’s more important than you realize. Why is the next reason.

2. Creativity itself.

Yes. Creativity itself can be an important part of self-care. If you ignore the creative aspect of our life, you’re cuttig yourself off from a great source of inspiration and relaxation. Even if you’re a professional creative, creativity is an important part of your self-care. Maybe more than if you have a more mundane/traditional 9-5 job.

3. Mental well-being.

I’m not a counselor/psychiatrist and I don’t pretend to be. I haven’t done the research into endorphins or seratonin or anything like that. I’m going based on how it works for me and second-hand reports from friends. Doing something creative can help your mental well-being. Recently, I had to have physicl therapy for tenodonitis in my left wrist. I had talked to the therapist about things I do, including writing and crochet. He said that I might need to slow down for a while, but he wouldn’t ever say I needed to stop completely, especially for something so important to my well-being.

4. Socializing/sense of belonging.

There are some groups that exist around getting together to do or talk about a creative outlet that you enjoy. I am a member of writers’ groups and knitting/crochet groups that get together for this exact reasons/. There are many more, I’m sure, around other creative pursuits. I mention this because although alone-time is good for self-care, so is interaction with other people. Especially if you work alone most of the time.

5. Self-Indulgence.

I hestitated to mention this one. i don’t want you to think that self-care is a bad thing because it encourages selfishness or anything like that. But sometimes the best reason to do self-care is because it’s something you want to do. You want to treat yourself to a mani/pedi or a massage, but such things seem indulgent. So do it. It’s refreshing and you’ll feel better afterward. Feeling better will lead to you doing your work better and being more creative.

I know there are more reasons to do self-care than these, but for the sake of berevity, I thought I would stick with five.

Question of the day: What is your primary reason for prioritizing self-care?