Thursday, September 6, 2012

Breaking Creative Paralysis

There are days when I get so many ideas, I feel paralyzed and can't do anything.  It's the opposite problem from most people, I know, but the results are the same.

Days like this, I just do something.  Anything.  For me, the best way to break out of my crafting block is to make a bunch of little things.  I get that sense of accomplishment over and over and over again...  A million finished micro-projects to make me feel motivated to tackle something bigger.  Today it was paper flowers.

I like paper flowers, gift tags, gift toppers, sentiment blocks, rosettes, etc... Anything that's kind of small, yet infinitely useful for future projects.

These things, whatever the finished paper embellishment, end up going into the Flower Jar... it's kind of a misnomer, since there aren't just flowers in there, but that's what I call it.  I like the look of it sitting up on my craft shelf, usually full to bursting of a bunch of little things I can yank out to put on project later.  This kind of stuff saves time when it counts.  I like to pour it out on my desk and look through what I've made.  Adding this stuff to projects gives them that I-took-forever-making-this look that I really love, but, of course, since I made them on a different day, it didn't take forever at all.

I've learned to really enjoy these days of creative paralysis.  I channel that feeling into incredible productivity--something that can make my future creative process that much easier.

It's amazing just how much fun it is and how much there is to explore, even in something as simple as paper flowers.

Sensei Says
-I learned new scallop circle flowers, shown in the second photo above.  Punch out six scallop circles, scrunch them individually, then flatten them again and pierce their center.  (Don't be lazy and skip that step--scrunching first makes scrunching later easier.)  Stick a brad through the whole bunch, then scrunch each layer towards the center again.  Tons of bang for your buck!

-I experimented with vellum in the flowers and really loved how they turned out!  Just glue the layers together without worrying about adhesive showing through the layers.  Once you put your center on the flower, you don't see it.  Or you can layer paper, vellum, paper, vellum, paper...  That way the paper on top covers the adhesive underneath and you still get a cool vellum look.

-I didn't ink ANY edges... Inking edges is kind of a time sucker, especially in tiny embellishments like this.  Mostly they look perfectly fine without that step.  I'll still ink edges in my finished projects, but I'm not doing it anymore for these little bits.  Some streamlining of my process is required.

-Don't forget that tiny flowers are just as important as larger flowers.  They can create a lovely spray on your projects later.

-I usually make these piles of embellishments in mostly neutral colors.  This gives them maximum versatility for later projects.

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