October 30, 2012

The Creative Journey - A Blog Hop! Journey Across the Northern Hemisphere! Welcome to the Journey blog hop around the UK, Canada and the United States. We are a group of ladies who met through an online business course and other creative courses. We have chosen Journey as the theme for this blog hop. It’s a word that can be interpreted spiritually, physically, literally and creatively and we hope you will enjoy your journey as you hop around our blogs. The Creative Journey Welcome to my portion of the "Journey" blog hop! I want to share with you some tips for living a creative life. Now before you start thinking you're not an artist or that maybe you're not even creative, I beg to differ! I firmly believe that even as our heavenly Father created everything from nothing, and He created us in His image, so we were created with a desire, maybe even a need, to be creative ourselves! That doesn't mean you need to be a fine artist...maybe you have a love for baking or cooking. Maybe you love to make soup to share with the sick and shut-ins. Maybe you love sewing. Whatever it is, or whatever you'd love to learn to do, there is a way! Even if you're short on time and short on funds! I've done it with small children, and though it wasn't easy, I made it work. You can too! I'm blessed to be able to do what I love. And, I try very hard not to take it for granted. I've been creative for most of my life. Years ago I owned a creative business and did very well at it, but became extremely burned out from wholesaling. I quit doing anything creative for about 15 years, and it was only in 2006 that I dived back in...I developed a chronic headache almost eight years ago, and needed a diversion from the constant pain. I started rubber stamping, and that led to altered art and collage, and that led to designing dolls again, and that led to an interest in learning all kinds of new skills including teaching online workshops...I also began taking online workshops and two years ago I enrolled in art school and majored in graphic design. My love for creating digitally led me to begin designing printable art journal pages, and two months ago I opened my Etsy shop... One blog post is hardly enough space to tell you everything I know, but I can give you some pointers. even if you don't know how to do something, there is a way to learn...and there is a way to acquire the supplies and the skills necessary without spending a lot of money... ...thrift stores are a great place to look for supplies whether it be baking pans or craft supplies. Garage sales are another good source. Etsy and eBay can both yield some good buys plus you have the added bonus of developing some good friendships and supporting small business on Etsy. There are also some great online stores, many of them small family-owned businesses as well. Sign up for newsletters...that's a great way to find out about sales. Big box stores like Hobby Lobby and Joann's also have online stores, so sign up for those newsletters as well...they quite often have 40% off coupons that can be used online, as well as having specials like free shipping from time to time. Use them for larger purchases. I buy muslin by the bolt with 50% off coupons from Joann's. It's an investment for sure, but I get it at a good price, and it's so versatile! Learning a new skill or learning more about a skill doesn't have to cost a lot of money! There are a lot of great magazines out there, and it's possible that your local library might carry them. The same with books...or take advantage of places like Amazon...quite often you're able to view the inside of a book before purchasing...at the very least this gives you the table of contents so you can see what you're getting in advance. Also, look in the less obvious sources...art and history books, books about costumes...they're all good sources. If you can't afford to take an online class don't despair! Do a search and/or check out You Tube. I was able to teach myself how to knit two years ago by watching You Tube videos...there are also a lot of artists and craftspeople who post videos and tutorials on their blogs...there are a lot of communities for like-minded people...Ning groups, Facebook...groups for mixed media art, doll-making, baking, cooking, knitting, embroidery, quilting...it's a treasure trove out there! Take advantage of it! Pinterest and Etsy are great sources of inspiration, and I don't mean the obvious...I love the treasuries that are created on Etsy...the same with Pinterest...if you're interested in collage, don't search "just" for collage...search by style or color...whimsical, vintage, retro...and there is a lot to learn about color theory if you're unsure with what colors go well together, you can learn about color theory just by searching too! Movies are a great source of inspiration for me...from a particular style, the visual beauty, the soundtrack...costumes...learn to see beyond the obvious! A creative journey doesn't just happen, especially if you want to make an income from it...have a plan (what do I need, what do I need to learn?)...make some goals...short-term and long-term...keep moving ahead and try not to get discouraged...what you lack in skill now is more than made up by being persistent and consistent! Some skills take practice...a lot of practice! Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Don't give up! You may or may not have noticed my tag line...I've used the same one since I began blogging several years ago...dream...create...inspire...dream BIG...maybe your plans will change...sometimes life happens...but it doesn't cost anything to dream big! Create from the heart...do what you love...that doesn't mean copying someone else...make note of what you love and make it your own! Maybe you don't think you have any good ideas now, but the more you work with your chosen discipline, the more creative and skilled you will become...the more ideas you will have! And, most of all, don't forget who helped you reach your dreams...desire to inspire someone else...I make it a practice to mentor...to help someone else reach their dreams...their potential...I can honestly say that a good portion of what I've earned as a creative has helped someone else out...I'm not selfish with what I know or what I have...I love helping someone else out...I believe that what goes around comes around...and the more I give, the more I get back in so many other ways...as I am blessed, so I desire to be a blessing to someone else... As my special gift to you, I'm giving away a PDF of the pages I created for my presentation...without the writing of course...also please leave a comment for a special giveaway (the winner will be selected randomly from those that leave a comment; to be announced Monday at 12:00 noon CDT) and feel free to download and use these printable journal pages! Download Creative_journey_papers The rest of the journey continues here... Here’s your itinerary: Susan Nana Campana Bernice Hopper Carolyn Marjolaine Paula Who knows what you may find as you travel across the northern hemisphere today! As always, thank you SO much for stopping by! I appreciate it more than you'll ever know! Hugs and toodles!
More JustBYourself Loveliness by Bernice Hopper I have the most amazing design team ever...and I have some visual loveliness to show you today! Bernice Hopper is hosting an "Attitude of Gratitude" challenge this month, and she created a handmade journal using one of my printable art journals...it's way too amazing to do it justice on my blog, but follow this link to her blog, Newly Creative, and read all about it...she provides step-by-step photos. I'm not kidding...you need to check this out. Page after page of sheer loveliness... These pages are part of an abstract printable art journal available in my Etsy shop here: This is the set that Bernice used: Also, this week is the grand opening of my Etsy shop...I've been wanting to do this since I reopened my shop the first of June but I told myself I will not do it until I have built my inventory...I've added a lot of printable art journals, ATCs, and Stash Builders. Stash Builders are sets of 20 or 24 sheets from my signature color schemes...brights, shades, and tints, that can be used as backgrounds for your visual journaling, ATCs, greeting cards, scrapbooking, etc. All the pages are 8.5 x 11 inches, so you can print them out using your own home printer. And, most of my product is commercial use as long as you make something with the pages...no digital product or collage sheets. The Grand Opening promotion is 40% off with the coupon code go40s. The code must be entered before submitting the order. There is a minimum $10 purchase (with coupon the final total will be $6). My Etsy shop is here: As always, thank you SO much for stopping by! Hugs and toodles!

Anita Van Hal

I'm primarily a self-taught mixed media and folk doll artist who lives in the west-central part of North Dakota. I love living the creative life!

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