Finding Creativity in the Ordinary
Every morning at 6:00 am, a daily exercise will be posted. To get the creative energy flowing, description of the challenge, some inspiring links and ideas will be included with each post. You can share your thoughts and photos on each challenge by emailing thelivinghome(at)gmail(dot)com. A reflection on the challenge, including your photos and responses will be posted in the evening.
1. Write (don’t type) about a Joyful Day in your Life (Monday, February 7th)
This could be a memory of your childhood, or something fun you did last week. Have fun with this, write it with a pink pen, or how about a purple one. Underline, outline or capitalize words that you want to stand out. Share it with someone, or keep it for yourself.
2. Make a Card and Give it to Someone (Tuesday, February 8th)
You can draw one, collage one, leave the outside blank and just write a sweet note, sign it from you or leave it anonymous, put it in your child’s lunchbox, leave it for a neighbor, give it to your significant other, mail it, it’s up to you.
3. Color with Crayons (Wednesday, February 9th)Do this by yourself or with someone else (maybe your kids?). You can color in a coloring book, draw or doodle in a journal, decorate a lunch bag, draw on your walls, think outside the box!
4. Take a Walk, Notice One Thing that is Beautiful (Thursday, February 10th)
You could take the same path that you walk every day, but today look around and notice the beauty in the ordinary. How does this inspire you? Take a picture if you choose. Tell at least one person about your experience.
5. Turn on Your Favorite Song and Sing Along, Yes, OUT LOUD (Friday, February 11th)
No one else has to be around, you can even sing while driving.
6. Make a New Recipe for Dinner (Saturday, February 12th)
A few of my favorite cookbooks are The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution, Simply in Season Expanded Edition (World Community Cookbook), 5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices. A few great websites are Our Best Bites, Epicurious, Recipe Goldmine, Cooks.com, My Recipes, 101 Cookbooks.
7. Sew Something (Sunday, February 13th)
This can be large or small, from sewing that darn button back on the blouse where it fell off last year, to embroidering a hand towel, or sewing a new dress for yourself.
8. Write about Your Love(s) (Monday, February 14th)
Your love(s) may be a person or people in your life, a favorite hobby or pastime, a favorite place near or far, or a favorite time in your life. Again, make it fun, doodle around your writing, use different color markers, use a crayon, write it on a poster board and hang it on your door, type it out and email it to your friends or post it in your home to remind you each day how fortunate you are.
9. Draw Outside with Chalk (Tuesday, February 15th)
You can do this by yourself or with someone else (get your kids or the neighborhood kids out). Write an inspiring quote , draw a picture, or doodle. You can do this on your sidewalk, on your driveway, on your neighbor’s driveway, in the middle of the road, at the park, be creative.
10. Learn About a Famous (or maybe not so famous) Artist (Wednesday, February 16th)
Research an artist that you don’t know much about, it could be someone from long ago, or someone who is up and coming. It could be someone local or someone half a world away. If you usually gravitate towards classic art, check out something more contemporary? How does this person inspire you?
11. Organize One Thing in Your House (Thursday, February 17th)
I know you’re wondering how will this bring out my creativity? When things are in order, your mind has less to worry about. Therefore, you have more mental capacity to create. So get busy. You could organize a drawer, a closet, a whole room, or how about organizing your email in box (now that’d be a challenge for me).
12. Make a Bouquet (Friday, February 18th)
Go outside and pick flowers, sticks, leaves, and/or branches and make a bouquet for your house. Think outside the box. You don’t have to use flowers. Some lovely bouquets are made out of succulents which are everywhere in San Diego. How about a bouquet of herbs to make your kitchen smell good? Place your bouquet in a pretty vase or jar and enjoy.
13. Bake Something and Give it Away (Saturday, February 19th)
Try out a new bread, cookie, cupcake or cake recipe, and then give at least part of it away. There is nothing better than eating something homemade. I love it when baked goods are package up lovely or wrapped in a pretty towel. Here’s a few website for inspiration: Crazy About Cupcakes, Martha Stewart Cookies, Ming Makes Cupcakes, Bakerella.
14. Take a Picture and Send it to Print (Sunday, February 20th)
So often we take pictures - sometimes hundreds - and they sit on a memory card or stuck in a computer. Take a picture of your kids or grandkids, a lovely flower or plant, a beautiful house, a pet, a serene landscape, the ocean, the sunset, whatever. Then, get one (or 20) of your photos printed and frame them, hang them on the fridge or pin them to a wall to inspire you daily. Picnik.com makes your photos look awesome, and it’s free. Sign up with Snapfish.com, and print your first 20 photos for free, then pick them up at a local Walgreens or Walmart .
15. Doodle (Monday, February 21st)Yep doodle. Are you sitting at a coffee shop? Take out a napkin or your receipt and doodle something on it . . . words, pictures, or lines. Open up your journal and doodle around an entry, or fill up an entire page.
16. Read and Reflect (Tuesday, February 22nd)
Read a poem, proverb, verse or prose 3 times through. Reflect on this passage in a creative way. You can write about your thoughts, draw, paint or collage about the imagery it brings about.
17. Dance (Wednesday, February 23rd)
Turn up the music and have fun! Dance around the house, dance around the yard, dance down the street, have a dance party, invite others to join you. Get dressed up and go out to dance. Whatever you do, get those feet moving.
18. Re-Arrange One Thing in Your House (Thursday, February 24th)
Moving things around can make your space feel fresh and new. Take your night stand and switch it out with your side table. Or move the piece of art above your fireplace to that blank wall that you keep meaning to fill. Re-arrange your bookshelf, how about by color? Move your sofa to the other side of the room. Move the bowl of fruit from the kitchen to the dining room. Once you start moving things around you may not be able to stop!
19. Finish a Project (Friday, February 25th)
This could be a project that you started years ago and stashed away, maybe that knitted scarf that’s half done, or one that you purchased the materials to make and just never got around to. If you really don’t have any projects to finish (highly doubtful), make something new that you’ve always wanted to try.
20. Make Art with Friends (Saturday, February 26th)
Join me on this day to craft the night away (details coming soon). There will be a couple of projects to choose from along with some goodies to eat. This is a great time to be inspired by others and a perfect way to connect with those that are like-minded. If you can’t get out to join us, host a craft night or afternoon at your house, or meet a friend at a coffee shop for a knitting hour.
21. Turn Something Old Into Something New (Sunday, February 27th)
Upcycle, transform or renew something old. Tear apart an old book and use the pages to make a collage. Paint an old dresser a new color. Turn an old piece of jewelry into something new. If you don’t have anything old lying around, visit a thrift store and find a treasure that strikes your fancy.
22. Go for a Nature Walk and Collect (Monday, February 28th)
Do you remember going on nature walk as a child, and picking up treasures along the way to stash in your brown paper bag? Kids love to do this. They find all kinds of interesting things that catch their eye. Intricate leaves, shiny rocks, gnarled sticks, flower petals, butterfly wings, shells, you name it, they’ve probably found it. Today, it’s your turn to find treasures. What catches your eye? What colors are you drawn to? What textures do you find interesting? How can you use these items in an art piece?
23. Create an Inspiration Board (Tuesday, March 1st)
Browse through magazines, books or online, and cut or print out things that you enjoy looking at. You may also add swatches of fabric, elements from nature (maybe from yesterday’s nature walk) or anything else you like. Pictures can be of clothing, handmade wonders, places, colors, artwork, etc. Glue or tape your images to one sheet of paper or poster board and use this board to continue to be inspired.
24. Listen and Reflect (Wednesday, March 2nd)
Listen to music, with words or without, and journal or draw what comes to mind. What type of emotions does the music stir in you? What images do you imagine through the music? What types of music inspire you to create? Do you create better in silence or with some background noise?
25. Make Something out of your Junk Mail (Thursday, March 3rd)
Do you ever get discouraged by all of the mail you throw in the trash? Get creative and make something out of it! How about a bouquet of newsprint flowers, a bracelet out of paper beads, or a paper garland out of envelopes?
26. Prepare for your Party (Friday, March 4th)
Create at least one thing for your party. You could write out personalized place cards, put together a lovely centerpiece, bake a fabulous dessert, decorate your dining room, or set-out candles. Do something out of the ordinary and make it special.
27. Throw a Party (Saturday, March 5th)
This could be a small get together with a friend, or an all out let’s get funky party! Incorporate creative element for your guest(s) to enjoy. You could choose a theme for the night and plan around that. Set a beautiful table, cook an extravagant dish or, plan a fun game. Get your family involved in cooking and set-up.
28. Relax and Reflect (Sunday, March 6th)What parts of your party did you enjoy the most? If you did not host your party last night, reflect on the last party you hosted. Do you enjoy the planning, the setting up, the cooking, the hosting, the entertaining? What does this say about your strengths and weaknesses? How does this relate to your creative side?
29. Make Something from Scratch that You’ve Only Purchased Before (Monday, March 7th)
Here’s some ideas for items we usually don’t even think to make from scratch, laundry detergent, body scrub, bath salts, deodorant, marshmallows, cheese, yogurt, bread, whipped cream, jam, peanut butter, beans, bagels, play dough, lip balm, soap, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, crackers, pizza dough or lemonade. There’s thousands of recipes out there for these things and more. Reflect, was this difficult to make, would I make it again, did it taste/work better than the store bought brand, was it more cost effective, is it better for me and my family?
30. Journal a Reflection on this Project (Tuesday, March 8th)
What did you learn about yourself in doing these exercises? Which day(s) did you enjoy the most? How would you like to continue making creativity apart of your daily life?
Continue on in your journey by starting a blog (it’s free) to document your creative ventures. Schedule a monthly get together with friends to work on projects. Sign up for a local art class to hone your skills. And keep following me here for more 30 day challenges and creative inspiration.
Copyright © 2011 Fire and Flowers by Brooke Evans