Moodboards

These past couple of weeks I have been creating a visual moodboard each week to participate in Decor8’s moodboard instagram challenge.

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It’s actually been a very relaxing and fun process to go through my collection of magazines. Not only am I finally using my magazines and destashing in a sense (still cleaning out my studio space), it’s also a bit of creative funtime to quickly collage and put pretty things together.

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The more I learn about visual inspiration and how it transforms and affects a piece of work, the more I understand and agree that it is essential for the design process. I watched the fabric design course on creativebug and it really clicked for me when listening and seeing how Denyse Schmidt puts a name to her collection and the story she creates to support it. Very cool! BTW, the amazing thing is that you can try creativebug premium free for 14 days… like an ecourse binge watching session even if you don’t plan to continue. But honestly at less than $5 a month, it’s a steal for creatives!

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I suppose it is a pinterest board the old fashioned way. Do you create moodboards to start a project off?

 

How To Get Back On Track When You Are Losing Steam

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Losing Steam

Some days you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and feel like blah. Perhaps you are physically tired, anxious, uncertain, generally out of sorts… all of the above?

It can be a struggle to get out of bed and start your day. You feel like you have so much to do, but you can’t get yourself to be productive.

Are you losing steam? Losing motivation? Is this failure? Are you giving up on your dreams?

Doubts immediately swirl in – what you are doing with your life and if it’s worth it or going anywhere at all. The inner critic starts to take over…

I know the feeling and I know how unhelpful it can be to wallow in all of those depressing thoughts. This kind of dip is inevitable, because we all have these kind of downer days. The question is, how do we snap ourselves out of it?

Get Back On Track

The trick is to have an arsenal of tools that will snap you back into positivity and action. We will all have different options that will work for us, so it’s important to explore and identify your unique triggers. Here are some ideas:

  • Re-energize: What activities actually build up your energy level? Usually surfing the internet is draining and not at all restful even if it seems like a zombie mode of intaking inspiration. Perhaps it’s better to get outside? Get some exercise? Go to a bustling cafe and grab your favorite drink? Take a hot shower? What does it for you? What helps you to snap out of lethargy?
  • Self-care and love: You might just need some pampering and self-love. Does that mean a spa day or scenic drive? A red velvet cupcake or a steamy cappuccino while reading your a book quietly? We all need downtime and some TLC. Have you been neglecting yourself?
  • Revisit your mission: Whether it’s the mission statement for your business or your life mission statement, it’s a good idea to regularly revisit the core “why” – the guiding light that defines all we do. Many people have a favorite quote or a poster stuck on their wall as a reminder of what drives us to do what we do, day-to-day.
  • Friends and loved ones: I think we often forget that as humans we are social animals and sometimes it could be that isolation is contributing to our downward spiral. It’s important to interact and be social. Oftentimes, friends and loved ones will help trigger your usual self and get you back on track. They will provide you with unconditional love and support… so use it! Maybe you just need a hug?

Remember that we all have bad days, when everything just seems off. Help yourself by taking note of what helps you get out of that darkness and always know that tomorrow is another day!

What methods do you use to help you get back on track when losing steam?

My Top Video Inspiration Round-Up

Want a blast of creative inspiration and motivation? When I need a kick in the butt, I turn to my top video playlist to jolt myself back into action. These are must-see videos for all creatives!

An Inspiration Round-Up

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Are you feeling a bit creatively drained or empty?

Remember that we all need to fill the well with inspiration. Input can help spark up the fire inside of you, so here’s a round-up of my favorite inspiration posts on the blog.

I hope they motivate you to create, create, create!

Pockets of Happiness

I’ve seen little pockets of confetti, glitter and bits of embellishments used on scrapbooking pages and totally love the look. I had to try it for myself when the opportunity came along. A friend of mine sent me some polymer clay logs that you are supposed to slice and use on your nails. They come in lots of different designs, super tiny cute bits. I decided to use them as scrapbooking embellishments along with some other bits of glittery goodness I had lying around.

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In project life style, I put all the little bits into a pocket and sewed it up. How cute is that? It just  made me think of a pocket of happiness! I suppose I’m easily pleased these days… it really does just make me smile.

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I journaled a bit about the little bits and love having this see-thru pocket in my scrapbook album. Have you tried this little trend of embellishments either in vellum or clear plastic pockets? Just so cute!

Work-Life Integration

The talk of work-like balance comes up a lot in the corporate world and I was constantly trying to figure out what exactly that meant when I was working for the Mouse in cubicle land. When does work trump life or life trump work? Maybe I had to tally up the tradeoffs and make sure there was some kind of even playing field between these two arch enemies, work and life. But why does it have to be a battle?

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After striking out as a creative entrepreneur, I realized that work-life balance is total bull. Yeah, you heard me. I really think it’s just the wrong way to approach the whole issue. Work and life are invariably intertwined – I mean, there is only one you. I think when you work for your yourself, you truly realize that. You can’t let yourself down on either side because you are the ultimate boss in work and life.

That’s why I believe in work-life integration, an idea I picked up from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. It’s not about one winning over the other. It’s about integrating work and life so they dance beautifully! We must be working towards our life goals as we do our work and finding overall satisfaction depends on work and life fitting snugly together.

You must change the way you think… it’s work and life… not work or life. Dedicate some time in thinking about your life preferences and how they shape your work decisions. There is no “right” way of working and living only your way, because we are all unique. Ready to end the battle between work and life and integrate instead?

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Interested in more creative business wisdom? Preview The Creative Entrepreneur Toolkit by yours truly – packed with practical business information, printable artwork, worksheets/exercises and cute planner printables. Are you ready to commit fully to your creative business and take it to the next level?

Inspiration From Flickr

A quick search on Flickr.com will give you loads of inspiration on cardmaking, stationery and various greeting ideas.  The wonderful aspect is that everything is from real people out there, just sharing to the public and it is always going to be updated with new ideas as Flickr is added to 24/7 by users.  I always like to see what others are doing to send their sentiments to friends and family.  I also like to check out vintage greeting cards that many have archived in their flickr accounts for illustration ideas in my own work!

Flickr is actually a photo sharing site that has a free and pro account.  Either option lets you share all your photos with friends and family, public or private.  There are groups to learn more about photography or specific subjects and many ways to incorporate your photos in your webpage as well.  You should definitely check it out if you are interested in sharing photos or photography in general.