finding inspiration in weird places

ecojot journals and workbooks
"Always do what you are afraid to do". Ralph Waldo Emerson

lately i've been thinking a lot about creativity and making it a priority in my everyday life.  i've been trying to find a way to make it a part of my daily routine and have it fit in without even thinking about it.  i want it to flow.  in doing so i've been noticing that i've been finding inspiration a lot more lately.  i think my eyes have always seen things in a fun way but i feel like they are opening even wider lately.  i'm not always sure what/where the things that have inspired me lately will fit in with projects i work on but they definitely play a huge role in whatever i'm whipping up.

one of the ways that i keep all these new thoughts, ideas and inspirations in order...ok...who am i somewhat of an order is to always, always, always have a notebook or a journal handy to write or sketch in.  i carry them with me always.  ask the purse is giant and i carry it and 2 knitting bags with me too!  i'm always sherping things around with me on the off chance a great idea will come to me.  i don't like saying "oh, if only i had a pen right now".  it makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

i carry around with me notebooks in a lot of different sizes and styles but my favorite ones are my "ecojot" journals and workbooks.  love them.  they are canadian made and are crafted from 100% post consumer waste and with vegetable dyes.  bonus is when you buy one of their jumbo journals they donate one to a child in need. how cool is that?  i also love their little workbooks.  they are soft covered and just perfect for slipping in a purse or tote. So sweet!  i strongly believe in buying notebooks that have a bit of whimsy and inspiration on the cover - if they are pretty & inspiring in themselves you are more likely to write in them :) one can never have enough notebooks and journals to write in :)
some of you know i've been reading "the creative habit" and that i've been loving it and slowly absorbing each page.  it's really made me aware of some of the items that have caught my interest lately. i though it would be fun to admit to you some of my latest inspiration crushes.  you see a few weeks ago i was laying in bed watching tv when i had a really bad cold.  the hubs turned off my laptop and sent me to bed to sleep.  do you think i could? nah...i was on creative overload!  i had found a live concert show of lionel richie of his new duets album "tuskegee".  seriously...i went nuts.  i love country music and i grew up listening to lionel richie so to pair his greatest hits up with my fave country singers was like a dream come true.  i was immediately exported to my "happy place".  i got so inspired.  i was singing my brains out and the hubs thought i had lost my mind.  all i wanted to do was draw and sketch.  and ever since then i've been listening to either the album in my car, or re-watching the concert on my computer.  either way i'm constantly knitting or sewing to this cd.  i even made the gals at my modern sewing group listen to"helloo...? is it me you're looking for?"...LMAO...sorry...i digress.

i know you're prolly thinking lionel richie? wth  but honestly...i haven't quite figured it all out yet myself. it's been such an interesting puzzle but pieces are slowly coming together and they have been super fun to try to analyze.  the music brings back happy memories of my childhood but also evokes a feeling of summer, patios and cold bevvies to me.  overall it just makes me happy. when it's on i do things i don't normally do.  like wake up in the morning like a happy person who bakes big fresh breakfasts and sings (now if you know me you know i am not a morning person, nor do i like to cook).  but lionel does that to me lately. it's been great at combating stress :)

i've really been struggling with conquering my creative fears too.  you know that bit of anxiety you get when you are about to design or create something new..."will it be good enough", "will people like it", "has it already been done better before", "maybe i just shouldn't bother" - as a creative person these are things i struggle with on a regular basis. i'm not scared to sew or design but there is always that little part of me that tries to talk me out of sharing these innermost thoughts.  the fear of rejection or of failing.  i've learned to embrace it and slowly to harness that energy into a positive one but it's not easy.  it's something i have to work on.  but just knowing that about myself now has helped me to push through that moment and to just go for it.  fabric can always be re bought and seams can always be ripped out.

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you want to become." Steve Jobs

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life." Steve Jobs

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things." Steve Jobs

i recently read theses quotes from steve jobs and they have really resonated with me during this time that i've been trying to figure out where to go with my creativity.  to find out if i have it in me to go further and what path to take and if i have the strength to just let myself follow it.  so when i read these boy did they strike a chord. i read them daily.  i try to say the first quote to myself whenever i get confused or frustrated.  it helps me to focus and feel calm.  but then i go and get excited over something like this little color strip i found on a package of toilet paper in our bathroom.  i was peeing (sorry for the TMI) and looked over and saw this:

and went "ohhhhhh...purdy!".  i love the color palette!  the chartreuse to light grey/ was just so pretty in a weird way.  it's hard to see all the tones but they are all lovely on their own and together. i cut it out and ran into the living room to show my hubby.  i was literally jumping around with excitement and he just looked at me with utter confusion on his face.  it was hilarious.  it hit me then how fun it is to find inspiration in weird places.  i mean i never would have thought that a piece of plastic toilet paper wrapper could conjure up a new quilt design in my head but it did.  so thank you toilet paper :)

img src for 1, 2 & 4 and img src for 3.
i've also been obsessing over annie.  i grew up watching this movie all the time and even dressed up as annie for halloween once.  my grandma is a wonderful sewer and she made me the best annie costume ever. to this day it was my favorite halloween costume. it's been so fun to watch this movie with my daughter now and see her singing and dancing along to it.  at first read you may think it's annie herself that i've been enjoying and her clothing but it's's grace (daddy warbucks assistant) and miss hannigan who i cannot get out of my mind.  it's the contrast of prim and proper and wild and seductive. both women wear a lot of the same fabrics but evoke totally different personalities.  miss hannigan (carol burnett whom i adore) in her sultry slips and sassy dresses and then grace (ann reinking) in her feminine slips with well...graceful dresses.

both 2 very different women but both make me want to jump into the film and don their attire.  wouldn't it be a riot?  just let your hair go wild and embrace your brazenness with miss hannigan style or tighten up a bun, put on a pretty underslip and twirl around in the ultimate feminine dress of that time period ala grace?  i think it's the gemini in me that adores each character equally.  and yes miss hannigan is not a nice woman but she is likable. a very interesting combo if you ask me. i see it as miss hannigan wishes she was more like grace and grace wishes she was more wild like miss hannigan and isn't that true for a lot of us in life?  the other side of the coin always looks better but it's learning to embrace the side we are on that is the toughest journey but also the most inspiring one.  it's learning to balance it and to find the real "you".

i know i've gone off on a huge tangent on i'm prolly totally making a giant ass of myself but whatevs.  what's the point of blogging if i can't be honest and talk about what i feel like right? in all honesty though i really thought it would be fun to hear some of your thoughts on this subject and to continue our conversations from these other posts:

- the creative habit - do you have one?
- finding balance in my daily routine
- struggling to find time to be creative

i know i'm not alone tell...what strange places have you been finding inspiration from lately?  do you always carry a notebook with you?  what fears do you have when it comes to your creativity?  i'd love to hear about them.  i've got cappuccinos with your name on it...come pull up a chair and let's chat <3