Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finding Inspiration to Craft in Books, Magazines, And the World Around You

Finding Inspiration to Craft in Books, Magazines, And the World Around You
by Loretta Oliver

Crafters are always considered among the creative and imaginative, but the truth is even the best crafters need a little inspiration now and then. Some days you can turn toilet paper tubes and tissue paper into a beautiful work of art, and other days you just don't know what to do with your hands. Inspiration is hiding in lots of corners of the world these days, it's just the matter of finding it and using it to your advantage.

I think one of the most common things that crafters turn to for inspiration is music. Turn on the radio, grab your iPod, or put in your favorite CD, turn up the volume and the inspiration just tends to flow right in. Unfortunately, it's not always that easy to find the creative forces inside yourself. Sometimes you need an extra push. Where do you go then?

Another great source of inspiration for crafters would be magazines. It's great when you can find a magazine that focuses on your craft of preference, whether it's knitting, quilting, cross stitch or something else. Pick up an issue or two and start flipping through the pages. Personally, I like to visually go through the magazine first to see what catches my eye before I read the titles and headlines. Do what works for you, devour the creativity from the pages and find that creative driving force and run with it.

If you're still feeling the craft block, it's time to call in the big dogs. Hop over to your favorite bookstore virtually or online and start looking for books on your favorite craft topics. Maybe you're looking to try your hand at a new craft instead, picking up a few books and magazines on the topic is a great place to get started with a new hobby too.

Keep a handful of great books on the bookshelf that you can refer to when you need project inspiration or just aren't feeling your craftiest. They'll become an invaluable resource in the weeks, months, and even years to come. If you're part of a crafting group you can do book and magazine swaps to keep the inspiration flowing within the group.

These kind of group swaps are also a great way to look at new hobby ideas and projects you might not have considered before without investing a lot of money. Perhaps you have a nice selection of quilting related books and someone else in the group has a nice selection of crochet books, you can trade off to see what inspires you and find new projects that you might like to try out.

When you feel like there's a shortage of inspiration, remember that sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective. Talk a walk, enjoy the day, and it will all start to fall into place eventually. Whatever you do, don't give up on your creative efforts.

Whether you're looking for inspiration or just want to chat with other crafters, Stitching the Night Away's Craft Blog has something for you. From new project ideas to fun Etsy features, you'll find all things crafty and creative at the Craft Blog.

One of my personal favorite books to keep on the shelf to go to for inspiration is Mark Montano's Big Ass Book of Crafts. It's full of off the wall ideas that are somehow creative and practical, but different and full of life.

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