Archives for posts with tag: creativity

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One of my dreams when I purchase a condo of my own, is to tear out all or many of the top cupboards and replace them with a few well-chosen eclectic pieces.  In fact, it will have to be the first things I do without looking back because it will surely be an unusual thing to do.  Sure, I might end up having to be very creative with where and how I store things, but I’m certainly willing and able to do this to have what is my ‘unique kitchen space’!  In my condo search so far, it is the kitchen that makes me click onto the next one for sale, until I spent some time browsing images of kitchens for ideas, and when I found a few I liked, they were all titled with ‘boho’,   so the browsing continued.  Granted, many of them are a little eccentric for me, and a little overwhelming,  but the inspiration is jumping off the shelves!   The idea is to have various pieces for interest, have a certain amount of items on open shelves, don’t be matchy matchy, listen to your heart, and don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside of the box.  Well, it’s certainly not for everyone, but  you can indeed have a kitchen that will be a delight to walk into and spend time in, will be easy peasy to change up from to time, and will be like no one else’s!  

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Or perhaps they are not mutually exclusive!  Probably everyone reading this knows what this beautiful gold glass container is (liquer?) but although I may not always know specifically ‘what’ it is I’m buying, I do know whether I like it or not 🙂   I suppose some may have looked at this in the thrift store, and viewed it as an ‘elegant’ item and through their minds they worked out whether or not it would fit in their decor, within that framework.  When I looked at it, I immediately thought magical!  Although it is transparent, it reminded me of a genie bottle.  I also remembered seeing miniscule versions of designs like this at boutiques that sell items from India – for fragrances perhaps? essential oils?  (here I go again not knowing what those were for, just knowing they were adorable!) only this is a giant version of those adorable little works of art.  

In this particular vignette, it seemed more ‘right’ to have it a little unbalanced with a small but striking object to the left of two taller, larger ones.  The jug with greenery is acting more as a prop for the glass decanter, and the butterfly ‘book box’ is somehow a flirty image that draws the eye around the vignette.

What is magical for you?

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Ooh, I was delighted first of all, to find this lovely little shelf unit at the local thrift store!  I’ve been keeping my eyes open for any type of shelves – wicker, metal but they just weren’t showing up!  (One of those things that always seem to be there when you are not looking for them!)  It was $3.99.  Now, long ago I used to have a few tiny perfume bottles but somewhere between all my moves, they seem to have disappeared.  I’ve been keeping my eyes open, but perhaps the thrift stores don’t put these out, thinking noone will buy partially used bottles.  Then much to my delight, I was in an antique store that has SHELVES of these – must be over 100!  These little cuties were $2.00, $3.00 and $5.00.  As it turns out, this metal shelving unit is just delicate enough to be able to showcase the perfume bottles, and the antique while color is a beautiful backdrop for them.  Did you notice the chandelier crystal hung from the top right shelf?  I picked up a handful of these at a local flea market for $2.00 each thinking I would someday make a mobile with them, but it is the perfect embellishment here!  Initially for the bottom shelf, I only had the seashell and light blue riverstones, but nothing else I had seemed to work well.  Looking for other ways to decorate the shelf itself in my little box of scrapbooking decorations, I came across a long scrap of ivory crocheted trim, which gave me the ‘aha’ moment we all like to come across now and then.  It was just the right complement for the bottom shelf, including the little paper flower leaning against it.  The tiny bit of greenery is a nice touch, but I must say, the vignette looks just as lovely, but different, without it!

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Always one to find a use for something other than what it was intended for, it didn’t matter that I did not have a window at the foot of my bed (bad feng shui anyway, right?), this lovely drapery panel adds a full yet airy ambience and is just…well….darn nice to me! So, if you see a nice curtain panel, but there is only one, or it’s not the right size, or you simply don’t need it but love the panel itself, I say, grab it! I discovered quite by accident that bamboo/rattan, in both the chair and a small round wall shelf that you don’t see here, works wonderfully with the semi-sheer lacy drapes to give me the ‘leather and lace’ look I am sometimes seeking to achieve. A vase sitting atop the chair is filled with palm fronds for a little exotic touch, which is echoed in the pampas grass peeking out at the bottom left of the photo. By the way, at first I had only the drapery panel by the wall. The fact that its width was not as wide as my bed, made me feel a little uncomfortable like it ‘cut off’ at a bad place, or like something just wasn’t right, even though it looked fine. As I thought about it, I realized that must be the effect of feng shui, because once I placed the chair and fronds where they are, it took care of that, and I immediately felt more grounded. Perhaps the softness of the fronds and the openness of the chair, allow the ‘energy’ to flow in and around my sleeping area just right. At the foot of the bed, across the width, is a pretty, semi-sheer, embroidered fabic panel (from India?) in a soft pink. Often enough I see these in the thrift store, but always in the fabric section. I’m not sure why they don’t place them with scarves and such, because they are finished, and have many decorative uses. The fabric panel was $5.99. The chair itself is part of a desk/vanity and chair set I found on kijiji for $75 when I first moved to my new city.

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Normally I love to layer, lean, stack, hang, embellish, and anything else I can think of to add interest to a vignette, but every once in a while, simplicity just seems like the right way to go! The earth and metal colors of the woven box, with its domed and hinged lid is the star of the show for me. The other two decorative elements, although similar in size and very nice on their own, play the supporting roles perfectly. A little greenery always adds some life and movement, and the neutral vintage jug has a beauty all its own. The shade of blue is a lovely addition of color, and the pattern of the base is in keeping with the exotic flavor of the box. The box was found at a local second hand store for $3.00. I was tickled pink to find it – although many types of decorative objects can be found, boxes that suit me do not come along all that often.

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Right now I wish I had better photography skills, to correct the lighting, but this is how my paper chandelier for the bathroom turned out!  I wanted something uplifting and colorful, but also different and personalized, adding texture and dimension to the bathroom, and bringing the eyes away from the walls.  I’m already collecting paper and embellishments for another one, it was so fun, easy, and quick to make!  This was the first decorative element added to bring life to the bathroom.  Although the first step for many to add loveliness to a bathroom is to put up new shower curtains, I am hoping to add personality everywhere else first and finalize with different curtains if needed.  Next step, the walls and counters!  More to come…

 

Embellished paper strips for mobile craft

Embellished paper strips for colorful mobile


My last blog talked about how I am trying to give my apartment bathroom a lot of personality so I feel richly enveloped and happy when I go in there!  Plug-ins, countertops, mirrors, and towel bar often interfere with my plans 😦   Inspired by Louise Traill’s paper chandelier, I am taking on the task of making a colorful paper mobile – hanging something from the ceiling should provide a great amount of depth, color and personality.  Here, I have used a paper cutter to trim paper into 2″ x 6″ strips.  Playing around with smaller strips, ribbon, crocheted trim, and some scrapbooking embellishments,  I used white glue to adhere everything.  Shops that sell products for costume making (ie. dance, figure skating, belly dancing) would have some wonderful trims that can be glued to the paper.    With all the patterned paper and embellishments available, the possibilities of ambience that you can create are limitless.  Can’t wait to put it all together!

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A butter crock – or French butter dish – is so lovely in its simplicity and color, against a backdrop of soft deep folds of embroidered lace drapery with eyelets. A small piece of torn scrapbook paper, with a map in complementary colors, is tucked under the crock to add a touch of layering and visual interest. Strawflowers are sprinkled about for a lively presence. The fine crystal glass plays with the natural stones placed within. Shown again is one of my favorite thrift store lamps, with antiqued gold, and smokey quartz colored faceted glass. All in one vignette we have unfinished wood, tarnished brass, stones, crystal, lace, glass, and paper. The butter crock from the thrift store was $3.99. While I haven’t seen others (truth be told – I didn’t know there was such a thing!), there are often lovely similar treats where stoneware is displayed. The full pleated draperies from floor to ceiling, were a steal at $24.00 for two panels. I am a little passionate about always taking a glance through the draperies, because it’s nice to have some stored for a change – plus – if you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you ‘need’ some, it’s not always as easy as one would think to find the right window coverings. Again, the dollar store box which is so often handy to control height in vignettes. By the way, did you know that the Egyptians decorated statues of their gods with strawflowers?

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All of us possess a creative potential unique to ourselves.  Creative expression is not limited to noble pursuits such as becoming a very talented artist, or musician.  One way our creative expressions are unleashed is through our daily activities.  Think of cooking, setting a table, arranging home decor, getting dressed.  Another avenue is considering hobbies we may take up, for some, you may need that extra sparkle of patience to find your path.   I had experienced what I think of as a dark night of the creative spirit.  Oh, the urge, desire, and passion was there, but over a few years I became so very frustrated at any lack of progress in my chosen activities.  Piano, guitar, embroidery, watercolor, acrylics, glass painting, sketching….Piano and guitar were great for a few years, but somehow the passion faded.  I was great at graphite drawings but longed for color.  Glass painting, watercolor, and acrylics were started with delight but try as I might, the fact that I couldn’t get results even close to what I envisioned was demotivating after a while.  There were times I felt despair that for all my creative adventures, I was not getting the joy that should result from such a pursuit.  I did finally find my way, so if you are ever in this boat, keep paddling!   

There is much written about igniting that creative spark.  A few things worth mentioning are to practice and be patient.  Have activities in your life that you really enjoy doing.  Give yourself quiet peaceful interludes, and always carry a notebook!  Give yourself permission to just putter about aimlessly from time to time, and know how to set up the ambience that is just right for you! Do you like music on or off?  What kind of music? Do you like white noise? The sound of a fan in the background?  And finally, disconnect from negative self-talk about your ability and keep going forward.  You ARE creative!  

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All too often when out shopping for pictures to adorn my naked walls, I either couldn’t find something I really liked, or if I did, it was not always that easy to find another to put in the same room that truly complemented the other.  And there were times I wanted a small grouping of pictures, rather than a large one. While browsing the book shelves in a thrift store, I came across two that inspired me.  The first was artwork of birds, all by the same author.  Well, birds are always inspiring and lovely and free,  A must have for me!  I also uncovered one with historical woven rugs from all over India.  The craftsmanship, detail, and time that went into these colorful works of art is certainly something to marvel at, and motifs from India have always been a favorite!  I remembered that I had found frames at a craft store on sale for $7 each (what a deal!) – so I grabbed six on the spot (oops!).  Now, for simply pennies, I have a lovely set of 4 – 6 pictures, with enough pictures left over that I can either switch them out from time to time, or…….you guessed it – find more frames!  Keeping my eyes open for a book of botanical prints!