Creativity Today

A Different Way to Live Life

Connects

If you have read my blog post about the Rainbow Loom craze then you know I love making jewelry out of seemingly simple objects. With Rainbow Loom, those objects are rubber bands, but with Connects — a new craft from the Fathom Company — those objects are small, multi-colored chain links that can be connected in endless patterns.

When I first encountered this project, I limited my creations to simple chain bracelets and necklaces in different colors. However, as with Rainbow Loom, once you have the hang of connecting the pieces, a whole world of possibilities is unlocked. Soon I was creating keychains, bracelets, and necklaces. Connects are the epitome of creativity — making a beautiful piece of jewelry or other creation out of nothing but small chains, your hands, and your imagination. 

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A Connects flower keychain

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A Connects bracelet

My Connects bib necklace.

A Connects bib necklace

In addition, fine jewelers such as Cartier, Tiffany, and David Yurman often use the chain link pattern in their professional designs, so although Connects are made out of plastic and not gold or silver, the designs that you can create are as beautiful as real jewelry!

Will Connects become as popular as Rainbow Loom? That’s a question that I don’t know the answer to. But nevertheless, I could spend hours exploring this craft, and I am positive that it will be a wonderful activity for the rest of my summer. 

Creative Challenge:

This leads me to my creative challenge: buy Connects and see how many unique patterns you can make! Bring Connects anywhere you go — such as the beach, a restaurant, or camp — and enjoy all of your new handmade jewelry.

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How do Connects compare to Rainbow Loom? Do you think they will be as popular this summer? Comment below to discuss!

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Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix, colorful, wax-covered pieces of string that can be bent into any shape, are among my favorite art projects. I frequently play with Wikki Stix whenever my hands are free, and I love seeing what I can make. Some of my creations involve making people in different outfits and locations. For example, on a trip to Paris a few years ago, I made Parisian girls modeled after the girls I saw walking down the street. In addition to that, I have created surfers, hula girls, band members, and so many more. These bendy toys are fabulous, portable entertainment, perfect for restaurants, airplanes, and anytime when you can spare a few moments. I often carry them in a ziploc bag in my purse and pull them out whenever I have the opportunity.

I look forward to making even more sculptures as I continue playing with Wikki Stix; they are a true catalyst for creation and involve a lot of imagination!

Two of my Parisian girls made of wikki sticks.

Two of my Parisian girls made of Wikki Stix.

A wikki stick girl playing a wikki stick piano

A Wikki Stix girl playing a Wikki Stix piano.

A wikki stick girl.

A very fashionable Wikki Stix girl.

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A display of many of my Wikki Stix creations.

Creative challenge:

My creative challenge for today is to make a sculpture out of Wikki Stix or any other flexible materials, such as pipe-cleaners – you’ll be surprised at how many amazing sculptures you can create!

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Do you have any other crafts that you enjoy doing? If so, what cool creations have you made? Comment below to discuss.

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Is Journal Writing Really Effective?

I have a love-hate relationship with journals and journal writing.

My personal Moleskine journal.

My personal Moleskine journal.

On the one hand, journals are a great way to keep your thoughts and observations in an organized place where you know you will be able to easily access them later. Accessibility is something I have always loved about journals – after all, in our hectic daily lives, it is important to have some aspect of organization!

I’ve read that creative people with imaginative ideas always jot down their thoughts so they won’t forget them. British novelist and journalist Will Self is an example of this – he has said, “[a]lways carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” I agree with this philosophy, as thoughts are easily lost and I wish to remember as much as I can of my own personal musings and inspirations.

But, on the other hand, journals can be counterproductive, in my opinion, for two reasons:

  1. Sometimes my thoughts are simply too complicated to be organized into a journal. I find journals especially appropriate when I am traveling and documenting my vacation because my writings are full of concrete thoughts, so everything is much less chaotic.
  2. It’s often much more convenient to scribble away on a piece of paper or type into a word document or onto a phone (and with all the new technologies today, there are even apps to use as journals!) than to take out a journal, open it up to a blank page, and start writing. I often find that by the time that is complete, whatever thought I had in my head is gone!

Whether or not journals are the best way to document thoughts, it is still important to document them for future reference, as well as to make sure you retain all of your creativity and imagination.

Creative challenge:

And so I present my creative challenge of the day: Write down, or type (in a place where you know you will be able to find it later), any interesting thoughts, sentences, or phrases that come to your mind that you don’t want to forget. If someone tells you something funny, write it down. If you overhear a thought-provoking conversation (or any fascinating conversation, for that matter), write it down.

Use this collection of writing to inspire you in the future so you won’t easily be debilitated by writer’s block. Try to form some of your writings into a story, poem, or any other genre of writing, or perhaps try to create a piece of art based on them. I frequently use this method, and, I can promise you, it is both enjoyable and effective.

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Do you like journals and enjoy keeping them? Why or why not? Comment below to discuss.

And please feel free to share some of the phrases you have written down either in journals or other places. I always love seeing what kinds of ideas interest other people.

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Creativity is Key

I’m on a mission.

What is my mission, you ask?

My mission is to bring creativity into everyday life.

How can I do this?

One way: by changing the way we procrastinate.

As of now, procrastination has a negative connotation. Dictionary.com defines it as “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”

Although it is seen as bad, procrastination is inevitable; we all find ourselves doing it. When we’re writing papers for work or for school, we slowly (or quickly) drift off to Facebook, or another internet site that captivates our attention more than the work we’re supposed to be doing does.

Some of My Doodles

But what if, instead of spending time on things that draw our mind away from our imagination, we spent it on the exact opposite?

Try to count how many minutes you spend procrastinating each day. It’s probably a lot (it’s okay – you can admit it – you’re not alone!). Now imagine what would happen if you spent that time working on a hobby or discovering a new one.

If you like to write, procrastinate by writing. Who knows, you might end up with a novel. If you like art, draw a picture, paint a painting, or sculpt a sculpture. Or, if you want to multitask and do some of your work at the same time, simply doodle (if you observe me throughout the day, you’ll notice that I am an avid doodler). Just be creative in any way possible.

Being creative opens up your mind to the possibilities in the world and allows you to look at the world through a more imaginative lens. Creativity and imagination are two of the most prevalent words in my life. I frequently describe myself using those words and they are the two of the parts of my identity that I have the most pride in. I love that I am able to sit down and write a story or draw a picture (with my favorite medium, oil pastels) and be happy (and amazed) with the result. To be fair, at the beginning, I was not the most amazing writer or artist (no one is – even those who have a knack for it), but, several years ago, I began to find time within my day to practice these hobbies, and I have since greatly improved. As a little girl, I was told “practice makes perfect,” and although no one is perfect (and I most certainly have not, and never will, completely change how I procrastinate), practice certainly makes better.

A Recent Oil Pastel Drawing

Too many people have told me they have no time to be creative. They say they have too much schoolwork or too many responsibilities, and taking time out of their busy schedules to work on a hobby is not conducive to their lives. Their work takes precedence over everything else.

And while I agree that everyone has a lot of work to do, a simple change in the common procrastination habits is all that is necessary to allow work and play to happily exist side by side.

And that is where I come in.

On this blog, I will post new suggestions of creative activities to do in different situations, such as while procrastinating. These activities will get the imaginative side of your mind running and encourage (and hopefully inspire) you to make creativity a priority in your life.

Creative challenge:

Here is your first creative challenge: Start (and maintain!) a blog about anything in the entire universe that interests you. Whenever you have an extra few minutes, use them to write a post.

Have fun!!

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How much do you value creativity in your life? Comment below to discuss.

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