I mean, really – poem

It seems I should start the day

With thankfulness,

checking off the boxes on my gratitude list.

House. Central heat. Water. Flannel sheets.

Etcetera. But all I really want

is to grumble about how my brain kept me up

last night with

all those songs and craft ideas and book projects

and wondering if I would even have the strength to

get up on time because

did I even get enough sleep at all?

It is a greedy and immature bastard,

my brain, being the cause of

my own worry

so often.

I mean, really

if it had only had these ideas

just two hours earlier

I could’ve done something about them

 instead of wasting my time

reading a magazine

or Facebook.

But instead, like a needy child

 it chooses

to keep me awake

with its litany of requests

that can’t wait until morning.

Should I write that idea down?

What if I forget that chore, that connection?

Will it all fall apart

if I don’t

do it all

myself?

These ideas are like rare butterflies

that if not caught and pinned down

will fly away

never to be seen again

by me

and will probably alight upon

someone else’s head.

Or so they try to tell me.

Maybe they are just a bit of

sausage and scallop pizza eaten

just a little too late at night

as usual.

Art-spiration

Feeling the art blues? Haven’t made anything in a while? What do you do when you need to get your creative juices flowing?

Inspiration comes from many places. Try something different.

Go to a museum.

Go for a walk. Look at the colors. Look at your neighbor’s houses. Look at your neighbor’s dog. Take pictures to remind yourself later when you get home.

Read a book and make something the main character would wear.

Look at a magazine that has nothing to do with art. I find a lot of inspiration from architecture magazines.

Watch a movie and try to replicate something you see there with the supplies you have. Don’t replicate it literally, replicate how it makes you feel.

Try limiting yourself. Some of the most amazing pieces were ones I made from using just two (of the 14) bead bins I have. I decided I could not get any other beads – I had to use just those.

Make up a rule – only two colors, or only two textures.

Only use beads that were purchased from the same store, or the same state.

Use only one kind of art supply.

Use all the beads you can’t stand and put them together and see what happens.

Set a deadline – five things must be made by a week from now.

Sign up to do a show. That will force you to make stuff.

Have an art-date with a crafty friend. You both get together to make something, and you’ll be inspired seeing what the other person makes.

Buy more art supplies. Nothing inspires me more than getting new beads or a new tool.

Buy art supplies in places that don’t sell art supplies – like the grocery or the hardware store.

Only use materials that you found, or were given.

Have an art-swap, where your fellow crafty friends bring all the art supplies they don’t want or use. Trade. Make something.

Organize the supplies you have – you’ll find stuff you’ve forgotten and see combinations you’ve never noticed.

And just make. Make something, even if you don’t feel it. Sometimes the stuff that people are most impressed by is the stuff that I made in 10 minutes without thinking about it. Put something together, then put something else together.