How I Stifled my own Creativity


One of my few artistic creations this month - a seahorse drawn in chalk pastels

If I have learned anything this month, it’s this:

You can’t rush creativity.

This month, my personal challenge was to put aside some time each day to get creative. I wanted to encourage myself to get back into art and to try out some new DIY projects. However, despite sounding like a fun way to spend time, I made art into a frustrating activity that had to be completed at the end of long work days and on weekends. Creativity became the challenge.

Essentially I had stifled my own creativity. But at least I’ll take away some realizations. For one, creativity isn’t something you can plan. At the beginning of the month I complied a delightfully long list of potential projects – lists being my personal favorite inspirational tool. Unfortunately, this list stood as a sort of insurmountable mountain of tasks. With the sunlight dwindling,  snow storms, and -30 degree weather, I didn’t feel like working on projects when I could curl up with a good book (the Hunger Games), enjoy a hot bath, or spend time with friends. How could I possibly be inspired to start the longest list of tasks ever?

The second thing that I cam to realize was the variety of different projects that could count (even loosely) as art. I could dance to music, bake cupcakes, doodle on my computer, and even day dream – I mean those count as art, right? In fact, the work I do as a salesgirl, arranging sweaters on a table, or as a research assistant, creating graphs with just the right level of contrasting colors, these are artistic tasks too. At least in the sense that not everyone’s final product will be visually appealing.

There is art and creativity in everything we do.

The third thing I learned… Well I would like to say that it was to relax and let art happen. But it obviously isn’t that (yet?). I was so upset about my lack of follow-through on my art projects this month that I couldn’t think of anything to write last week. I felt so much pressure to live up to my challenge that I stifled my own creativity. And a positive feedback cycle ensued – the more I worried, the more stressed out I became about my challenge, the less I could accomplish. Perfect. I can see now that I just need to step back from life and stop stressing the little things.

So what about the rest of the month?

I’ve decided to just relax. To stop thinking so much about every little thing that I could/should/would be doing if… well you get the picture. I’ll leave myself free to enjoy art if and when I want to. And blog about other stuff in the meantime.

Have you every over-thought a personal challenge? Have you ever stood in the way of your own success? I’m pretty sure it happens to all of us from time to time.


5 Favourite Ways to Spend Time With Loved Ones


I made this lovely pop-up card after seeing a similar one on pinterest <3

Hello readers! Happy Valentines day to all of you!

I’m usually pretty indifferent when it comes to Valentines day. I don’t go all out crazy for it, but at the same time I don’t voice an unprompted opinion of it being too materialistic or commercialized. It’s just another fun pseudo-holiday to me, like Halloween or St. Patrick’s day, and it provides the perfect excuse to spend more time with loved ones and eat chocolate. What’s not to love?

In previous years I have found myself spending Valentines being single-in-a-group. However, this year I have a special someone to spend it with… and that’s made me more than a little giddy. Heck, I made a pop-up card! So to celebrate my giddiness, I’ve decided to list my 5 favourite ways to spend time with the people I love.

Here goes… <3

  • Playing legos/video games. Seriously, I am such a kid at heart.
  • Late night gossip over dessert. Usually with the girls, but who doesn’t love sharing a dessert (or two)?
  • Ice skating. Or any outdoor activity really – swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, snow shoeing, snowboarding… it’s all good!
  • Baking. Or cooking. And the inevitable eating (of course).
  • Dancing. In all its forms. Just without the weirdos trying to cut in ;)

Wishing everyone a super Happy Valentine’s day – whether you’re in a relationship, single, or ‘it’s complicated’.


Making Inspiration

Having survived through the dark, frigid days of January, I had expected that my life would quickly become more wonderful. I guess I set myself up for disappointment.

Instead of getting down about it, I’ve decided that a new project is in order. I’m creating an inspiration board.


My inspiration board so far... I've got plenty of room to dream <3

Oh yes, I am most definitely talking about one of those boards where you post pictures of things that inspire you or represent your aspirations. It’s an idea that seems to have originated from the movie/book/franchise, the Secret, and I’ve been told on countless occasions that it’s definitely a worthwhile creation. So please don’t hate ;)

So… what to put on this board? Well, to start, I purchased a glass-enclosed pin-board that opens like a cabinet. It’s absolutely my style – I adore things that are neat and clutter-free. Now for the hard part: filling it up with my aspirations!


Readers by @ellefeeney

I’ve tried to represent my goals using abstract representations of them. For example, I really want to gain more readers for my blog and my scientific work, so I’ve made a tiny model of a book entitled “Readers” by @ellefeeney. Now I just need to pick out some other goals and pop them in!


A while back I made this cue card of possible blog topic tags to inspire me to tag my posts. The next day my blog post was freshly-pressed on I believe in physical representations of inspiration.

Anyway, it’s still a work in progress, but I hope that it helps me to focus my thoughts a little more. And who knows, maybe all that “Secret” stuff is so popular for a reason? I hope so…

Do you have an inspiration board? What are some things that you’ve decided to include to inspire/motivate yourself?


My February Projects

Hi there.

This February for me is a chance to start (and hopefully finish) a number of artsy projects that I have intended to do for a while now. It’s my Fascination February!


Trace objects found in my purse - actually kind of pretty... :)

So I officially started my project yesterday, and quickly found myself overwhelmed with all the possibilities of where to start. I ended up doing a little of this and that, while getting things in order for the month to come.


I'm going to make an inspiration board in this fabric-lined, glass-enclosed case.

So for project ideas, I have:

  • The many projects specified on my pinterest Craft Board
  • Wreck This Journal
    (still have a surprisingly long way to go on it)
  • My inspiration board
  • Smashbook
  • Crochet – I’m thinking about starting a blanket… we’ll see
  • Turning some maps into something beautiful
  • Drawing with markers and pastels
Can’t wait to get going on these!

I've got all my supplied organized into photo/repurposed shoe boxes. I love organization.


Starting off my February Challenge With a SMASH

Remember how gloomy I was in January?

WELL MY JANUARY CHALLENGE IS OVER FOLKS! And my February challenge promises to be crazy awesome fun. (yes, I know it’s January 31, but I decided to lend an extra day to February).

It’s time to get creative…

I’m calling it Fascination February – so named because I’ll be exploring the world of art. It will be a month of creating, experimenting, and being inspired by the world around me.

Speaking of inspired… I’ve recently discovered my new favourite thing. Readers, I would like to introduce you to my new Smashbook.


I know, it kind of looks like a bird has been smashed inside...

What’s a smash book?  It’s a kind of journal/scrapbook hybrid that provides space to store anything from mementos (my intended use), recipes, photos, or any kind of clipping. I’ve already started adding mementos from memory boxes that span as far back as I can remember. It’s a great art project to start off my month creatively.


A super Cute Christmas card from my bff? SMASHED :)

So far, I’ve only worked on one page, which had the statement “I am.” in the background. Naturally, I filled it with some of my most cherished photos that were just sitting in a memory box getting torn and crumpled. It’s great to see that even as a kid I had the same love of nature, enthusiasm for dressing up, and ability to laugh at myself. I am unique :)


So February is already treating me well! Can’t wait to get my hands on more fun DIY projects!