Spring is a great time to be refreshed. The trees are starting to bloom; flower buds are showing; and the old is thrown away so the new can grow. It is this time of year that I go out into the garden and prune the branches of my shrubs or roses that have no new growth. If you don't cut the dead branches the nutrients try and feed those branches and the part of the plant that needs it the most doesn't get fed like it should.
At 34, I am still reminding myself that I was created unique for a purpose. Last week I was able to spend the weekend at a creative retreat and I met other women - just like me. They all have a creative spirit and have to be artistic.
It was during this time I was reminded that each of us could go with a little pruning in our lives so we can grow creatively. Here are five ways that help me stay focused so I do not burn out artistically.
1. Remove distractions from your life.
This could be different for everyone, but, for me it is over commitment. There are times when I need to say no to doing that extra scrapbook for a family member, free of charge. ;) Big projects take time. So I limit my work load to what I can handle in only an hour or less.
2. Get connected.
There is nothing better than getting together with other women that craft. It could be an online Facebook group, scrap club, or even at a crop once a month. I found that if it is the right group, I come away refreshed and inspired.
3. Stay accountable.
Find a friend that you can talk to or bounce ideas off of. Not only will they encourage your artistic gifts, but they will also understand. I talked with a fellow Design Team member via Skype a couple of weeks ago and I came away feeling loved! She just talked about the projects she was working on and I realized, as she was talking, that she thinks the same way I do. It is nice to have friends who "get you."
4. Challenge yourself.
Challenging yourself might mean you take a class or use product in a new way. For me, I challenged myself to use Samantha Walker's Orchard Harvest digital kit for a spring time "about me" layout.
You could also have a friend play "The Bossy Scrapper" with you. I just learned this game from a friend. She listed 10 items that all had to be on your page. Sometimes she gave a time limit, cause let's admit it, we do better with a deadline. ;)
5. Keep at it!
I am in my craft room at least once a week. When I am in a rut, I get inspired in places like Samantha's blog, Pinterest, designer's blogs, or magazines (my favorites are Flea Market Style Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart magazines, catalogs from Pottery Barn and Anthropologie).
To enter to win this Spellbinders Cukoo Clock die cut set, just leave a comment on my blog between 12:00am April 11th and 11:59 pm April 15th, 2012. Winner will be announced on Samantha's Facebook page on Monday April 16th..
For additional entries to win:
1. Receive an additional entry for commenting on each of the other blogs in the blog hop.
2. Go here and follow Samantha Walker's blog.
3. Follow her on Facebook.
4. Sign up for an e-mail subscription to Samantha's blog and you will automatically receive a link to a free SVG cutting file that you can download and use on your personal electronic cutter. Link will be e-mailed early next week.
To receive the additional entries, and get the link to the free SVG file, mention in your comment on Samantha's blog that you have done so! (If you are already signed up, you need to give us the first part of your e-mail address that is on the subscribe list…so that we can find it and send you the SVG.)
WOW, that is 13 chances to win!