So, are you feeling uninspired? Maybe burned out? Don't know what you want to create? Feeling a little paralysis by analysis (too many ideas = overwhelm?) You're not alone!
I find myself sometimes wanting to make many different things at once, wanting to bring a multitude of ideas to reality right now, and therefore I feel too overwhelmed to make anything! Or there are other times when I am just not inspired, lacking the drive, wanting to just *be* and chill. Hands up if you can relate!!
Well, I want to be one to tell you that IT'S OK. You're perfectly fine, take a breath, actually make that a few deep breaths, with eyes closed, and take a moment to relax your shoulders. It's all good.
It's common to feel like we need to constantly be making, producing, posting content, share more content and just keep that groove going! In our social media lovin' world, it's easy to feel like we need to be as "productive" as everyone out there seems to be. But here's the thing:
When we scroll on social media, we're bombarded with so many different things - if we added up all the time it took for everyone you look at, to make all those things we double-tap or heart, it would astound us. So try not to compare. (Not a new sentiment, but always a good reminder.)
Don't hold yourself to unrealistic expectations. Perception hardly ever matches the reality my friend. 🙂 So...
1. Let yourself off the hook. Less if more. Give yourself time to recharge your batteries so that you can create something more meaningful to you, not a bagillion things that your heart/mind/soul aren't into because you feel you have to make it happen. Do what most inspires you.
2. Relax. Take a walk. A bath. Meditate. Basically, find some calm, quiet space for your mind to internalize that everything is truly ok, and to tap into what most inspires you, in this moment.
3. Trust your gut. In some place within you, that radiant space of your true self, you know what's most important to your heart. Focus on that. Trust yourself. You got this.
One thing that helped me to regain some internal creative space recently was literally creating some physical external space! In my last post (that DIY cropped sweater project), I mentioned watching some Marie Kondo on Netflix. Kondo is the master of creating more *joy* in the home and that is exactly what inspired me to pull out my easel and put some paint to canvas!
After going through my clothes with what brings me joy in mind, I had made enough space to dedicate my paints and pallets to a dresser surface! This felt AWESOME. It's amazing what cleaning out stuff can do for our inspiration and drive.
Here's a peek at my "first painting back at it". I wanted to create a painting that would give me that deep feeling of peace, warmth (it was still wintery when I started it), and embody that feeling that I experience when looking at a flock of birds flying at sunset... and a bit of that sense of adventure. Basically, a lovely summer evening.
Having the space and supplies always at the ready makes a world of difference not only in getting to work and cleaning up simply and quickly, but in creating a habit too! It's amazing how doing a thing every day, even just for 1/2 an hour, makes it a significant part of your life. So, that brings me to number...
4. Make some space! Clear out some stuff, and renew the vibe of your home or studio so that you can fill it with new ideas and work... and if you can...
5. Make it easy for yourself. Dedicate a physical space to your creative endeavors if possible! It doesn't have to be huge. My easel is in the corner next to my bed, and the top of my small dresser hold my paints and brushes.
6. And, make it a habit! Create a daily, non-negotiable routine that will ground your work and get it done realistically. (Preferably in the morning first thing).
*(Full disclosure, nobody is perfect. I do my best to hold myself accountable to my morning routine, but sometimes I slip up, have to get up early, or it's the weekend. Just get back on that habit horse and keep going.)
***Bonus Self-Hack Tip***
And finally, surround yourself with creative people! Going to a class, being around other artists or just chatting about something new you learned with a friend is a great way to feel inspired. Sharing with others is a huge part of our humanness and it's great to remember this and give it to ourselves and one another. I love to teach art and empower others with new creative skills and confidence, be it kids or adults! It's just something that makes me feel so so happy! (That's that radiance I'm always talking about!) So number...
7. Try going to a creative class or workshop! Maybe one that gets you talking to other people. You can always see what your local library has on their calendar. Or check your local yarn store, craft store, creative studio's or co-working spaces for more workshops!
8. Go visit a museum. A great way to get inspired is to learn about other artists and see their work. Don't compare, just feel and notice what you like, don't like, and what your eye is drawn to. Use it as inspiration! ("Good artists borrow, great artists steal." - Picasso) ... and then make it their own. 😉
9. Hang out with some kiddo's and pull out the art supplies. The lack of boundaries or limits in their creative thinking is always an inspiration! I find it so freeing to see what they come up with and create!
And finally, the all time favorite creative recharge go to:
10. Get out out into nature! Go for a hike, find a friend or just go solo. Find some trees, a wildflower meadow, an intriguing desert, bold beautiful mountains, or sunny beachy area, or park or garden nearby, and just breath it in and let it all go.
You will find your groove, remember to ride the wave, and keep the habit going even when you're not feeling 100% inspired and on top of your game. No one can be 100% 100% of the time, and always having balance is a myth. Just keep rolling and try not to get sucked down because you need to recharge a bit. It's a good thing!
And you're human. And that's totally radiant.
Are you the type of person who sees potential in things? As a creative type, I see potential in almost all things - which can feel like a blessing and a curse at times. It can be difficult to get rid of things, but when it ends in a great project like this, it's ideal!
In the case of this project, I nearly got rid of the sweater after watching some episodes of Marie Kondo*. However, before I dropped my bags off at the local thrift store, I also watched an episode of BestDressed with some awesome thrift flips. (Here's her video on Youtube). I had been reluctant to get rid of the sweater but I'm so glad I didn't! This blue knitted half-zip LLBean men’s sweater was PERFECT to try out the project she shared. After I made this first one, I wore it to a coffee date with my good friend and here's what happened:
Some popular online shops have cropped sweaters like these for around $60 — and we made ours for under $10 for both!!
After wearing mine for a coffee date, my lovely friend Alexis (Here's her Instagram), snapped some pics and gave me and the sweater a bazillion compliments, so we went to the thrift store and found her a similar men’s half zip AND I promised her to show her how to do it! She's always wanted to learn how to sew, and since it's so much more fun to make projects with friends, here we are! I made us a pot of tea, we caught up a bit, and got to stitching. Here's the before for her 90's vibe sweater (L), and my finished example sweater (R).
So, here is a highly photographic journey through making this 90’s vibe cropped sweater project! Here’s the basic run down step by step. The trick is to keep the bottom edge or cuffs and on her sweater we moved the "Reactor" patch.
4. Then, slip your sweater on. To measure where you want your final bottom hem to fall, fold the bottom of the sweater up until you like the length! Add some straight pins or safety pins along that line, to mark off the length. You can take off the sweater and lay it back flat on your work surface.
5. Now to actually crop the sweater! You will take into account about 1/2 inch seam allowance AND the length of the cuff/bottom band that you want to reattach. From the line where you have your pins, subtract the length of the bottom band, but add about 1/2 inch for seam allowance. Where this falls, cut along THIS line the width of the sweater. Lay flat and be sure your hems front and back are perfectly aligned!
6. Once you have the sweater cut, flip the bottom hem band inside out. Then - this is potentially a tricky bit - place the band around the outside of the bottom cut edge of the sweater, with the cut edges lined up.
7. Pin your two pieces together — if one band or sweater has more fabric, you can add a few darts as we have here by simply folding the cut edge over itself, and pinning in place. Since we added two, we made sure they were aligned with the edges of the collar.
8. Once, pinned, you can start sewing!
9. Sew along the edge of your band and the seam allowance, all the way around your sweater. I used a simple straight stitch, and set it to a very low tension.
Since this was Alexi’s first time sewing, I had her get a feel for the machine and presser foot on a simple piece of cotton fabric first. She nailed it! I handled the seam-over-seam spots along the edge where the sewing machine got mad for a moment at the amount of fabric, but other than those few spots, she sewed the whole bottom hem! Woot!
10. Once you’ve sewn your band and bottom edge of your sweater together, if it’s a wide cuff as mine was, trim the excess seam allowance, and shake off the little fluffy bits and you’re done!! If your bottom hem was a bit more narrow such as Alexis’ solid 90’s find, You may need to trim the excess, top seam sew -- this is sewing on the front side of the garment right along the same line that you just sewed -- and potentially add some hand sewing along the spots where it wants to pop up as we did here. Another mini sewing lesson in the greater lesson. ;)
11. Final step, rock your new cropped spring sporty eco-friendly DIY up-cycled cool as heck sweater master piece!
Well! There we have it, a few solid sweaters inspired by a love of mens wear, comfy yet cute style, and doing it ourselves.
I love to empower others by sharing creative skills and ideas! We all have a creative muscle, we just need to exercise it. : ) There’s so much value in learning new things for our brains, confidence, and it’s just truly fun. It’s great to make mistakes, try again, and just play and follow your ideas. The more we use our imaginations and follow our creative vision, we can see so many more possibilities in our lives, and feel a sense of freedom! Getting into the creative flow allows us to process some feels, relieve some stress as our worries to fall away, and have fun just being in the moment.
Plus, invite your friends make some tea, and you’ve got a lovely Sunday afternoon bonding sesh. Alexis and I have done several crafty projects together — we’ve painted mugs, collaged some vision boards, and now we’ve busted out the sewing machine and up-cycled these awesome sweaters. I see many more crafty fun times to come!
Did you try this project out? Or have a project you would like to see? Let me know in a comment below!
Special thank you to my hubby for snapping these incredible pictures of our project! You can find his work here!
When the future is as bright as clean white snow. Look out and feel excited - not scared - calm with the prospect of infinite possibility rather than frantic overwhelm. Joyful and inspired. Cozy calm like a sunny Sunday morning, wrapped in warm wooly weaving, cup of hot tea in hand, ready for the changes spring brings and the chance at building something beautiful.
Following a hunch on a scroll through Instagram I found myself sending a message to @Mor.Wares, curious where the message would lead.
In my life, there have been a few times when taking that first action to reach out and ask about something I was curious about has made a lasting impact on my life. This time, when I got a response, I had no idea it would lead me towards creating this amazing series for you all...