This fantastic post came from lifehack.org, a site you must visit.
30 tips to improve your creativity
Recently, we asked the readers what their tips for staying creative were. Sometimes creativity flows from the heavens, but other times, as we all know, it’s like drawing water from a stone. The following are the best tips you gave us.
1. Surround yourself with creative people. Hang out with writers, musicians, poets and artists. Often, just being in a creative environment will inspire you and refresh your creative mind.
2. Start somewhere. If you create a load of crap for a few pages, whether it’s creative writing in Word or sheet music, the brain loosens up and it’s easier to break through the barrier and come up with ideas.
3. Expose yourself. Not after too much vodka. Expose yourself to new art – books, music, paintings – all the time. If you’re a rocker, listen to funk. If you’re a crime writer, read fantasy. If you’re a productivity writer, read something about slacking off.
Delegate as much as possible around the house. My husband is a great grocery shopper...he finds bargains, uses coupons, and does a far better job than I do. (He recently purchased 40 boxes of Kleenex at our local supermarket for 20 cents a box versus the regular price of about $1.25---we won't run out for a while and we saved a lot of money). Guess who is responsible for keeping the fridge and pantry filled? Not me. I have more time to make jewelry.
Have projects lined up so when you finish one you'll have another one ready to go. I use small altoid-sized tins to set up projects in advance. I usually have about a dozen going at once. Spending the time to set up projects in advance will save time when you can sit down to work. It's also great for traveling as you can just pick up a tin and go.
Make sure you always have a good supply of the basics that use you on a regular basis. Nothing is more frustrating than running out of something simple, like crimps, when you are ready to work on a project. As you start running low on a regular item, order more.
Put away tools, equipment and supplies when you are finished with them. Have a regular place for everything. You'll save time if you know your pliers are always in the top drawer of your workbench rather than hunting all over the house for them.
Try listening to audible books while working so you kill two birds with one stone..reading and beading! Audible.com is a great source for audible books. I love to read but can't bead and read at the same time (though I can knit and read at the same time) so I use audible books to get my reading fix. I play them on my iPod while I work.
The last but most important tip is to learn to say NO! Don't commit to anything unless you truly want to do it. Don't bake cookies for school unless you really want to. Don't volunteer for that committee unless it is really important to you. Eveything you say yes to means less time for jewelry making. A friend taught me years ago to say to myself "what part of no don't you understand: N or O"?
On an iPod. If your iPod, MP3 player, or cellphone can hold and display photos, why not load it up with a few dozen images of your jewelry? Then no matter where you are you can show people a selection of your best work. This can be especially handy if (like me) the one day you aren't wearing any jewelry is the day someone asks about your work!
In a notebook. If you're a student, you can make a jewelry display book from a three-ring notebook, like the portable display portfolio by Carolina Gonzalez (you may want to use a zip-close binder). Fill it with jewelry and keep it in your bookbag so you can whip it out for a quick show-and-sell.
In a baseball-card collection book. This is similar to the display portfolio above, except that it's filled with plastic pages that have clear pockets the size of baseball cards. The plastic pages are available with all sizes of pockets, and anywhere from four to twelve pockets per page.
In a candy box. Of course, you'll have to make the sacrifice of eating the candy first, so you can use the empty box. But an empty compartmented candy box (or one filled with ruffled paper candy cups) can be a charming option for displaying small pieces. Tiny pendants, post earrings, pinkie rings, toe rings, silver charms, body jewelry, etc. can be shown to advantage this way.
On "lucky bamboo". Twisted green sticks of lucky bamboo in a vase can be a lovely and unusual place to hang jewelry, especially if you display pieces that contrast beautifully against the bamboo. Purples, reds, and plain metals would be a nice counterpart to the tranquil green.
On a rattan roll-up shade. Earrings in particular can hang nicely against this neutral, rustic backdrop. And the shade takes up no table space since it can be hung on your art show tent frame, or on the back wall of an indoor booth space.
On a Christmas tree. I have some dichroic glass jewelry - earrings and a charm bracelet - that go on our Christmas tree every year. The glass is beautifully enhanced by the tree lights, and the charm bracelet looks like an old-fashioned holiday chain dripping with dichroic icicles.
On a mirror frame. A standup mirror with a metal scrollwork frame can do double duty in your booth. You can hang jewelry on the metal scrollwork, and customers can also use the main part of the mirror when they try on jewelry. Mirrors like these can be found in overstock stores, secondhand stores, garage sales, and antique stores.
On a DVD. Burn a slideshow of your jewelry onto a DVD so it can be viewed on a TV or computer. One great use for this is to send it to the galleries and shops out of town that already carry your work, as an easy way to show them your new stuff.
Rena Klingenberg has put together a great site for anyone interested in making money with their hand-crafted jewelry. I'm happy to report that she has published an article of mine 10 Reasons I Love Beading, on the site.
Be sure to check it out, and take a few minutes to explore the treasure trove of information she has put together. I admit I check it out at least once a week because I always learn something when I visit. Home Jewelry Business Success Tips is one of those rare sites that is not just fun but educational as well.
As summer draws to an end much to soon for my taste (I've had to turn the heat on in the house this morning as it was 32F outside) I'd thought I'd share some of the simple pleasures that make a difference in my life.
Too often we are in such a rush to get things done that we forget to enjoy the journey. In the end, the journey is what makes life, and if you don't enjoy it now when are you going to start?
Take time out from your busy day to enjoy some of these little things.
A brand new book and a whole lazy Sunday to read it.
Freshly laundered sheets and pillowcases.
An uncluttered desk.
An afternoon nap.
The latest issue of your favorite magazine.
Clean, sparkly windows.
Crossing an item off your to do list that has been there for weeks or months.
An empty dishwasher.
Having lots of my favorite shows queued up on the Tivo and time to watch them.
For those of you who want to get to know me a little better, here are 10 random facts about me.
Yes, that's me on the left. Even though I am married to a professional photographer, I hate getting my picture taken. Ron (DH) took this picture for an article the New York Times did about me.
So here we go with the random factoids. If you don't care, just skip this post. But I bet you'll see yourself in at least one of these weird foibles.
I love doing anything creative, and tend to bounce around from media to media, depending on my mood. My current favorites are jewelry making and knitting. Next month it might be spinning. It's great because I am never bored and always have lots of projects on the go.
When I get on a food kick, I can eat it every day for months. I did exactly that with carpaccio on an around the wold cruise on the Crystal Symphony. Carpaccio as my starter for 114 days straight.
Hawaiian could be considered my second language. I know more Hawaiian than any other language besides English (though I really want to learn Italian...nothing sounds better than Italian.)
I can be obsessive in my organization of stuff. Give me Rubbermaid containers, a P-Touch labeler, a trash can and some shelves and I'm happy. I love to organize other people's stuff too.
I love buying books, tools (aka toys) and gadgets. I don't like to shop for clothes but like to shop for shoes.
My socks have to perfectly coordinate with whatever I am wearing. Hence the sock drawer with 100 pairs of socks, all of them with mates and none of them with holes.
I have travelled to over 100 different countries but still don't "pack light." I don't want to run out of something; I want to take knitting and books and lots of socks with me when I travel.
I keep hand lotion and tissues on my nightstand, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the living room, on my desk in my office, on my worktable in my studio, and in my car. Blame my Mom, she does the same thing.
I am a total geek. If it plugs in, lights up, has keys or does something cool, I have it or want it. With the exception of anything labeled Microsoft or that runs on Windows. Yep, I'm a Mac girl, have been one since day one in 1984.
I have a weird ability to remember colors and match them. I can't remember people's names or faces, but show me a color once and I'll remember it and be able to buy towels to match three weeks later.
I can have earrings to match every item in my closet without breaking the bank.
If I get tired to a piece of jewelry I can take it apart and remake it.
I love getting compliments on the jewelry I make and wear.
I get to buy lots of beads because they don't take up much space.
Handmade jewelry items make great gifts, and simple ones can be made in a hurry if you need a gift right away.
I love to travel and buy beads whtn I'm traveling. They are different everywhere you venture and relatively easy to pack to bring back home. My favorite places to buy beads? Ghana in West Africa, India, and Venice.
I love books and there are a tremendous number of jewelry books and magazines out there for inspiration and general drooling.
I can work on my jewelry projects on a tray in my lap. Things are easy to set aside when I'm done and easy to pick back up when I'm ready to get back to my work.
Jewelry making and beading is one of the most versatile art forms around. From chain maille to lampwork glass to loom weaving, there is something for everyone.
Shiny, matte, glass, wood, metal, bone, gemstone...it doesn't matter. I love beads!