Monday, April 29, 2019

Insight #1 for the Dim-Witted Creative - Comfortable, yet Searching

Before reading further, you might want to see if you qualify as a Dim-Witted Creative.

You'll find my discussion on that here. After making sure that you're a certifiable dimwit, return and continue the journey with Insight #1.

Dim-Witted Creatives live a double-life in a muddled world. Here's an example of our fluctuating mind-sets.
  • I'm an artist - or maybe I'm delusional
  • I'm a creative - or maybe I'm just messy
  • I'm a natural born talent - no, I'm a miserable copycat
  • I design originals - no, that can't be true because my originals are a result of fixing mistakes
  • I've mastered many techniques - but truthfully, I don't understand most of them
  • My creative space is state-of-the-art - no, it's an over-sized closet with overflowing and unorganized chaos
  • My friends and family understand and adore my quirky talent - no, they humor and tolerate my craziness 
The really wonderful thing about all this craziness is what emerges from our topsy-turvy thoughts. Isn't it a fact that sometimes you surprise yourself with an ingenious technique, new method, beautiful design, or a finished project that looks like it came from a true creative? Don't you at times stand back and just say, WOW! I can't believe I created that. Where did the idea come from? How did I know to do this or that? 

Truth is, you didn't know, not consciously anyway. But the creative spirit that permeates every bone of your body does. All it needs you to do is to just dive in, give that creative spirit, energy, muse, or whatever you want to call it, a world of its own. Let it live and breathe. Follow wherever it wants to take you. You provide the comfort and it will do the searching for you.

Friday, April 26, 2019

What's New at Icky Chic Designs? (April 2019 - Set #7) - Handmade Journal and Scrapbook Embellishments

This month at Icky Chic Designs the focus is on bits and pieces. Bringing those elements together in a fun and versatile collection of embellishments.

Layering up fabric scraps on a card stock backing makes for quirky pockets and tucks. Layered snippets make fun page clusters. And don't forget to coordinate a hidden paperclip.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Make the Switch - Unlock Your Creative Ingenuity Key # 13

Stagnation is a roadblock to creativity! What kind of stagnation, you ask?

Do you have one or two creative processes that you love and always do? When is the last time you switched to something new? It doesn't have to be completely different, but different enough to utilize different skills, problem solving, tools, and materials.

When we lose our inspiration, become sluggish in our enthusiasm for a new project, and have no desire to complete projects already started, it 's a really good sign we're in stagnation mode.

I love to design and create fabric art, but sometimes, I switch to other things to give that set of skills a rest, so to speak. Depending on my circumstances, I might spend more time in my flower garden, visiting festivals and art shows, dreaming up new recipes to try on my husband, or continue working on a new book I've started writing.

Lately, due to some health issues, I've needed to find something to do that allows me to sit while
working with my fabrics, etc. So, for a while, I'll switch from my fabric art to designing scrapbook and journaling embellishments, some of which I will sell in my Etsy Shop.

Making the switch, not only accommodates my physical situation, but in a positive aspect, it serves as a refreshing break from my normal creative processes and prevents creative stagnation.

When life throws you a curve, creatively speaking, just Make-the-Switch. Find a positive spark and go with that.

Watch Over My Shoulder Series

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Are You a Dim-Witted Creative?

photo credit
Welcome! I'm so happy you've found your way to my blog. I'm Lynda, the chief dimwit, and I'm very proud to make your acquaintance.

SO, you're probably thinking that this Dim-Witted thing is not for you, after all, doesn't dimwit mean Dumb, Ignorant, or maybe, Moron! It certainly can mean those things. But it also has other meanings or characteristics and those are the ones that, as creatives, we might share. Let's explore some of them. You'll recognize them by their red color.

We'd all like to think that, like the constancy of a natural waterfall, we overflow with energy, ideas, and beauty. But truth is, at times, creatives are just plain dull. You know what I mean. Remember that day last week when all your fresh ideas took an unscheduled vacation, leaving you with nothing but an airhead.

Or maybe it was that new medication your doctor prescribed that left you lame...lame-brained, that is, just when you desperately needed to make that deadline. Tell the truth, didn't you feel like a simpleton?

What about the time your, oh so brilliant, friend asked if you'd gotten the trendy gadget that everyone was raving about and that no 'true creative' would be without? Did you feel like a nincompoop because, of course, not only do you not have one, you don't even know what it is?

And let's not forget the long anticipated workshop you attended. Did everyone else, 'get it', while you lurked in the shadow of confusion? Those are real numskull moments we'd all like to forget.

I've been there, done them all and FEEL YOUR PAIN!

In my mind there are only two things that can help us Dimwits. What are they? Inspiration and Insight. We need them both in copious quantities.

I've been collecting usable ideas for unlocking a stash of inspiration, which you can find here and here.  I'll soon be gathering insights to share with all my fellow Dimwits.  Insights are like precious 'gems' of knowledge, perceptions, judgement, awareness, and the such. Just small jewels that every creative, no matter their chosen medium, needs in their toolbox.

NOW would be a great time to subscribe to my mailing list, just in case you need occasional updates. The signup form is in the right sidebar of my blog. Don't worry, my newsletter is bi-monthly - not too many nor too few.

If you qualify as a Dim-Witted Creative, don't be shy, shout it out in the comment section. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

2019 Scrap Busting Challenge - (March) Participant Showcase

We're 3 months into our 2019 Challenge. How are you doing?

I hope you're having fun finding a zillion ways to tackle those bags of scraps you've got stashed away. One small project each month is doable and stress-free. Don't overthink or plan elaborate items. Just find something you'd like to keep for yourself or an item you'd like to give away.

It's never too late to join the challenge. Jump in and have some fun... Have you fallen behind in submitting your challenge projects? No problem - check the challenge update here.

Current Challenge Standing:
Carrie - 3 of 3 (Jan-Mar) projects submitted - Carrie is eligible for April's prize giveaway
Kitty - 3 of 3 (Jan-Mar) projects submitted - Kitty is eligible for April's prize giveaway.
Marsha - 2 of 3 (Jan-Feb) projects submitted
Wilma - 1 of 3 (Jan) project submitted
Shirlee - 1 of 3 (Jan) project submitted

Here are the new projects completed in March and submitted by a few of our challenge participants.

Carrie - A whimsical collection of wild and frenzied flora and fauna. Using only solid colours, this is a rainbow of abstract flowers, swirls of thread, button bees and a dragonfly. It includes both machine quilting and big stitch embroidery.

Carrie is on track with three projects completed for the  2019 Scrap Busting Challenge.


Kitty - submitted her March Project:
Pull tabs on Velco strips. She uses these to contain power cords and the leaders on her Longarm.

Kitty is on track with three projects completed for the  2019 Scrap Busting Challenge.


My March Project is small personalized pins/brooches utilizing Key #12 of my Unlock Your Creative Ingenuity Series

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Twelve Keys That Will Unlock Your Creativity - Keys 1 - 12

If you're reading this blog article, then it's a fact that you're a 'Creative' looking for inspiration. What is inspiration? The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. No one is born with an unlimited pool of ideas. Every artisan, designer, builder, crafter, etc. (Creatives) need constant food for thought and circumstances that give birth to sudden brilliant ideas.

The absolute best source for this is the ordinary world around us. But if the world around you isn't giving you food for thought or sparking some brilliant concept, you may need help in your world-watching technique. These 12 keys will help you unlock a new perspective. Try them out and let me know which ones work best for you.

Key # 1 - Don't Discriminate
Key # 2 - Stop Doing Something Old
Key # 3 - Understanding Perfection
Key # 4 - Encourage Failure
Key # 5 - Discover What Shouldn't Be
Key # 6 - 'Create with the heart; build with the mind'~Criss Jami
Key # 7 - Random Acts of Kindness
Key # 8 - Storytelling
Key # 9 - Reward System for the Stay-at-home Creative
Key #10 - Stay Curious
Key #11 - Take it Outside
Key #12 - Personalize It

These 12 keys will help you unlock a new perspective. Try them out and let me know which ones work best for you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Personalize It - Unlock Your Creative Ingenuity Key # 12

A fast track to jump starting your creative ingenuity is to find a way to personalize an item for a
particular theme, occasion, person, or idea. It's a simple concept but one we often overlook.

First, identify the need or purpose for this item. Next, identify the recipient or user of this item. Then, brainstorm how you can combine those two things and create an item that has a specific purpose for a specific person.

I am, in fact, in the middle of doing this right now. I'll be attending a three day event this summer with many of my friends and family, the 2019 Love Never Fails Convention. I wanted to make a small gift item for each of them, and some extras to give to new friends I'll make while attending.

 I came up with the idea of making wearable pins/brooches and personalizing them with the convention theme and other related thoughts.  My friends and family love little momentos, especially when they're handmade with them in mind.

So, I've used the concept - Personalize It - to unlock my creative ingenuity (Key #12). I've identified the purpose and the recipients.  In the photos included in this article, I've shared with you some of the different pins/brooches I've designed so far. I've completed 32 of the 50 I'll be gifting at this convention in June. I've still got plenty of time and lots of ideas for different color combinations, wording, and embellishments. In fact, I might need some 'intervention' to limit the addiction I now have for these adorable pins.

I've already gifted some of these and they were received
with enthusiasm. So much so, that I've decided to create some additional ones to include in my
Etsy Shop

Now, it's your turn. What purpose and recipients have you come up with? With your creative ingenuity now sparked, what will you design and create?

Key #9 Reward System For The Stay At Home Creative