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, sรฉdna, 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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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