creativity 1 – limits

I pay attention to what helps and hinders my creativity. Surprisingly, limits seem to help me. So when my younger daughter asked for bolsters for her futon, I decided to try to use only the fabrics (in her chosen colors) that I already owned. My first problem was that none of the fabric was big enough. So I decided to piece them together to make the pillows.bolster 013

Isn’t this so cute? If I had just run out to the fabric store, I would have bought a print with blue, purple, and tan and that would have been it. But using what I had, I had to get creative. That lead to the stripes AND to the embroidery to make it seem cohesive.

Quilt close

It has happened before . . . My older daughter asked for a gray and white quilt, and instead of hating the limits of no color, I loved the result.

homemade wooden trellis

And this trellis? I didn’t have enough wood to make all the horizontal pieces go all the way across, so I got creative. Limits really bring out the best in me. Does anyone else feel like that?

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27 thoughts on “creativity 1 – limits

  1. Hi Shannon – love your blog, you nature girl, you.

    “Serendipity Approach” – I like that. I think I will say that from now on instead of saying I have no idea what I am doing.

    The trellis is currently keeping my large dog from tromping over a very sweet wood poppy that my brother gave me. I had cardinal climber on it last year & it shot up over and attacked the lilac and wisteria that were nearby. I need a taller one for those things.

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  2. I enjoyed your comment on my blog today and thought I would come by to see what you were up to…..I really like this piece on limits and I am quite the same way: limits are a challenge and an incentive to creative thinking for me. In the arena of poetry writing—which is where I work mostly these days, I have been experimenting for some time with traditional forms…sonnet, rondeau, ghazal, sΓ©dna, etc…..and very often find the limits imposed by the necessities of the form open up all kinds of possibilities for thought and imagery and sound. It’s a great way to work, I think, though I know it often stymies people, too.

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  3. Cynthia – what a great comment – Thank you. I know that different people have different creative needs – and I am a minimalist for sure. I work best without any kind of clutter – no mess, no music/TV, and the fewer interruptions, the better. Are you the same way? And I wonder if the creative people who love noise and chaos and clutter also like MORE possibilities? Maybe they are the ones stymied by the limits. hmmmmm . . . .

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  4. Hi Helen – I love your new Beastie passports! They are professional, yet still have that hand made touch.
    And about your comment above- I realize that I do the same as well, with food. And for the same reasons. (leftovers and laziness) Just tonight – I turned a pound of uneaten spaghetti (college kids – you never know if they will be hungry or not & last night it was NOT) into a mean pasta carbonara with leftover ham I had. So it was essentially all leftovers, but we ate like kings.

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  5. HI Jodie, I love the creative approach you take to limits. I’m not sure I would do so well with craft things I undertake if I didn’t have the correct materials to work with!

    I am constrained by time, like many people, and I have to choose where to spend my energy. Kind people tell me I should submit my work to publications but I’ve tried and the amount of time it takes to research where to send stuff takes away from writing time. So I choose to blog which satisfies my writing itch for now. Maybe when I retire a vast prairie of time will open up and I can try writing for publication.

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    • Suzanne, thanks for the great comment! Time is also my biggest constraint. That’s one reason I am doing those creativity posts – I’m trying to figure out how to best utilize my time. Blogging is a great way to keep your skills fresh, so keep that up.

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  6. Lovely pillow! I enjoyed both posts (Creativity 1 and 2). I really like the idea of just starting and going with it to see where it takes you. It’s how I often approach drawing, painting and collaging. It’s a fun adventure, I think. By the way, what a nice yard you have. Maybe some day I’ll learn to be more of a green thumb. Take care. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks for the great comment. I am always interested to hear what resonates with others, especially regarding creativity. It’s such a magical thing. Loved your post on the Peace Pole – I want to see if there are any around me – I had never heard of such a thing.

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  7. You are so creative…gardens, sewing, food…wow!
    Plants see me and they cringe.
    I use to receive plants from my students and I would give them to my mom to nurse back to health.
    The kitchen and I are strangers.
    One of my goals is to learn how to cook.
    My three sons are great cooks. They learned out of necessity!
    I totally relate to your statement about limits.
    The projects I am most happy with were made within the limits of my fabric stash.
    The blocks for the tribute quilt I made for my mom were all from scraps.
    Then, I made the quilt in tribute to my dad out of a limited number of his shirts.
    I managed to make a quilted market bag for my brother, a quilted tote bag for me, and a quilted photo frame out of these shirts.
    I am so happy I found your blog.
    You are inspirational!

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    • Wow – Thanks for the great comments! You’re funny. – So glad you relate to the “limits” thing, too. It really makes no sense to me – wouldn’t I most love a quilt where I go buy all the perfect fabrics? But, instead I like the ones where I use what I have – just like you. I LOVE the idea of making things for your family with your dad’s shirts. So special!

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