Enchanting Ideas and Inspiration for a Creative, Mindful Life
It’s official. There is a bug going around called “creativity” and I’ve caught it. And now that I have it (sharing, caring person that I am), I’m going to spread it all around.
Unlike the flu, creativity is the kind of bug you’re going to want to catch!
On episode 78 of The Mindful Kind podcast, I shared my thoughts and experiences with creativity. From being someone who identified themselves as being “not creative”, I’ve come a long way on my creativity journey. I spent an hour last night decorating one page of a journal- and I’m happy to confess I enjoyed every second of it!
Creative activities are brilliant opportunities to practice mindfulness, while bringing more fun, purpose and joy into our lives. As we create, we are often completely absorbed in the moment and naturally more mindful! We can also consciously let go of any judgements towards our work (or the work of others!) and simply appreciate the process of creating and exploring new ideas.
So, I thought I would create a blog post filled with creative ideas, instructions, experiences and sources of inspiration which I refer to whenever I feel stuck.
Let’s dive in with a few simple crafting activities!
Activity 1: Plaster Hearts
I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was when these cute, little decorations turned out exactly the way I hoped! Plus, making them was easy as pie.
Silicone mould (I used heart shapes, but feel free to try whichever shape you like)
A handful of dry plaster in a container
Water (about 200ml)
Paint (I used acrylic and it worked really well!)
Pour enough water into the plaster to form a paste (it should be thick, but still runny). Spoon the plaster into the silicone moulds and leave to set for a few hours. Check that it’s dry and pop one of the plaster shapes out. If it looks good, continue with the rest. If you would like to paint them, leave them to dry properly for at least a day, then just use a paintbrush to apply the paint.
How I used them: I created these plaster hearts to use as props in my flatly photos (click here to see an example on my Instagram!). However, they can also make great magnets by simply pressing a magnet into the backs of the hearts as they dry.
Activity 2: Journal Decorating
This craft activity is completely open to interpretation! Find a blank journal and decorate it in any ways you like; using colourful pens and pencils, photos (polaroids look especially cool!), pressed flowers, quotes, coloured paper, bulldog clips… The list could go on and on!
Here are a few prompts and themes to use for the written sections (if you choose to have them!):
-Things which make you feel happy
-Memories of a particular day/event
-List five things you love about your home, work, family, self, health, or anything else you can think of!
-Lessons you’ve learned
Activity 3: Pressed Flowers
Who knew that pressing flowers could be so easy? I currently have a gorgeous, white gerbera halfway through the pressing process. I’m not entirely sure if it will work out, but it’s been fun to try (and I’m definitely planning to press a few other types of flowers!).
A fresh flower
Two pieces of thick paper
A flat object (large book, chopping board etc)
Lay one piece of paper somewhere flat and dry. Carefully place the flower on the paper, lay the other piece of paper over it and cover with the flat object. Essentially, it’s a bit like a sandwich with a paper layer, the flower, another paper layer, the flat object and then a weight on top. Leave for approximately seven days, then check to see if the flower is dry. If not, leave it for a bit longer.
Here are my favourite blogs for creative inspiration:
Creatively Squared (photography and photo styling)
Lia Griffith (paper, sewing and felt crafts)
Arthur Street Kitchen (creative meals)
Kikki K (journaling ideas, handwriting tutorials, flatlay inspiration, gift wrapping guides, and more!)
A few of the creative activities I’ve been enjoying lately:
Photography, Photo Styling and Flatlays.
On the way home from work last week, I stopped at an op shop and picked up the coolest old-school dictionary, a wicker basket, a gorgeous teacup, a small, woollen blanket and some wooden pegs (all for $11.50!). As I was walking home (basket in hand!), I stopped several times to collect both dried and colourful Autumn leaves, gum-nuts, fallen petals and dandelions.
Upon arriving home, my brother and boyfriend told me I was “turning into my mum” (who also happens to be an avid collector of old things). Anyway, I’m stoked (my mum is awesome!).
One thing led to another and several hours later on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I’d captured five different flatlay photos for my Instagram using my leaves and op shop pieces. I've had a great time since then posting them on Instagram!
Anyone else turning into a photo-taking addict? I’d love to hear from you in the comments at the end of the article- let me know your favourite tips, interesting props, or just tell me that I’m not alone (please! Haha).
I tried using colouring books on several occasions and I’m not sure why, but it just never really clicked with me. However, about a month ago, I discovered an app called Recolour and I absolutely adore it!
Simply download it (for free), choose a drawing and colour away to your heart’s content. I find it really satisfying and it’s great to use when I’m out and about and need a few mindful moments to myself!
Brilliant books to read about creativity:
Creative ideas on my list to research and try:
Orange, cinnamon and star anise potpourri
Wooden backdrops for my flatlay photos
Re-purposing an old chopping board
And, for when I’m feeling really brave, gold foil lettering!
Don’t forget to check out episode 78 of The Mindful Kind podcast and you might like to register (for free!) for the upcoming online Creativity Summit I was interviewed for! Click here to check it out*