Finding Creativity in the Mundane

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We have a 100 year old project house in Nova Scotia. Now, I hate painting. I love the look of a freshly painted wall or trim but I don’t necessarily enjoy the execution. One painting project I was looking forward to, was the back door. Mostly because of the size of the project (small!). It’s a vintage dream: the side that is towards the outside has this gorgeous natural crackle from years of exposure to the elements and layers of paint. The brass door knob from years gone by would take a skeleton key if I had it; now it is secured with the modern day deadbolt. It was dingy white, and it screamed to be blue, to match our new roof. I could not wait to see the final product.

Although a roller would have been a lot faster, I opted for a brush. I’m not sure why, but soon I was enjoying the rhythmic back and forth motion watching the door slowly transform. I realized in that moment something that I had never done before: became present in this mundane task. Normally when I paint I’d let my mind wander & think about everything but, just trying to get through the chore. This time, I was aware of every stroke, every glop and drip, and the awareness that this door will never look “perfect” (brand new) ever again, no matter how much paint I applied. And yet, with every imperfection, the door is a true gem. Probably one of my favorite features of the house. Brand new, and perfect would look totally out of place in a house that has seen so much life in the past 100 years.

Painting the door that morning, gave my creativity a huge boost. Once done I immediately sat down at the sketch pad and to-do list. Problems were solved. Decisions made. New potential products were given its first one dimensional life on paper. I also realized something else. This door is delicious despite its imperfections. It is in many ways like handmade. The skill to create by hand will never be with machine precision but the slight imperfections are what truly make the piece vibrant, alive and soulful.

I hope you find much creative inspiration as you go about your day, and if the whim hits you to do something totally out of the ordinary, take the leap, regardless of your level of knowledge or skill. As the old saying goes, you never know unless you try! 😉


Jewelry Inspired: Fire Agate in Sterling Silver ~ Finding Creativity Again…


I sold my “Day of the Dead” earrings,  so I wanted to make something in replacement. I was drawn toward these faceted fire agate beads that I picked up at a Gem & Mineral Show this summer. Not exactly falling into the category of, “leftovers” but  I have been jonesing for some true creativity & inspiration lately, so I’ll take it wherever it appears!! 🙂

This always happens when I go away. While on vacation, my mind is turned on. I get lots of ideas for marketing, photography backgrounds…what I would like to make and designs…however when I sit back down at the bench my head and hands just don’t seem to be communicating. What we got here is (a) failure…to communicate… 😉

So earlier this week I sat down with the beads and some sterling silver wire. I knew that I wanted them wire wrapped, that I wanted them to be somewhat free formed and more rugged/edgy than elegant, certainly not  “perfect” – but would have a universal appeal and style. I tried a heavy gauge square wire. Then a  heavy gauge round wire. Both attempts ended up in the scrap pile. I found myself digging out the bead caps and making a simple yet beautiful pair of fire agate earrings…

The only problem is, it nagged me all night and into the morning. It’s not what I wanted to do – at all! Although they looked great it wasn’t what I was going for. So out came the nippers and cut cut cut…I dismantled them. I could have gotten two more beads out of the stash but – these were the ones I wanted to work with. So with determination I sat down again. This time with a 20 gauge round sterling wire. I was amazed at how fast and easy these worked up:



These earrings were such a joy to make. They were truly meant to be. They also reminded me to never give up – and to never settle. The creativity will come back…it always does… 🙂