Creative Questions

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Club Creative Studio has pressing questions for you today: What is your recipe for making your concoction of creative juice?  Do you have a secret combination of ingredients that jump-start your creative process? Is it just the right amount of mood, skill, talent and forces that come together for successful thinking?  What is your secret weapon for creating the perfect storm of productivity? What makes a whirl-wind of constructive ideas flow for you?

Maybe one thing or a combination of several aspects make you more creative one day compared to the next.  For me, creative times come naturally.  It’s what I am interested in and have a passion about so it is second nature to want to be involved in the creative process in some form during my day.  It is also a conscious personal and business mantra: Be Creative Every Day.

With that being said, I would like to share the characteristics that I have noticed that answer the questions of creativity for me.  What can you add that also answers the general query: What makes your creativity flow?

C:    Catching random thoughts and using them in an artful constructive way

R:    Reaching beyond what is normal and reaching deeper than the surface to try something new

E:     Experimenting with different combinations of materials

A:     Acquiring new skills and allowing them to become second nature

T:    Taking my time to create and express what I want and need to

I:    Initial reactions gathered can be used for inspiration to jump-start creative thoughts

V:    Variety is the spice of life, so taking breaks help me stretch my focus longer

I:    Involve others and gain suggestions as insights for new prospectives

T:    Tossing aside what I think will not work too quickly might save me time, but does not provide creative growth

Y:    Yes, I did it!  Take pride in originality and success of another creative mission accomplished!

Ask yourself creative questions.

Thank you for adding your comments, I’d love to hear about what is making your creative time bomb tick!

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Z is for Zen Zone

Z is for Zen. Achieving the state of calmness in self and environment that everything is “right” and aligned with self and the universe means total zen to me. Don’t we all want to enjoy that feeling?  I find my Zen Zone in beading. Now that my first A to Z blog challenge is complete, I have realized “my creative zen”.  OMM!  What will you do to reach the state of creative bliss?

Club Creative Studio hand-made beaded zen necklace.

It has been a delight to share information  and art with you from Club Creative Studio.  It has been a wonderful challenge to use the alphabet as a creative prompt for that venue. Thank you to those involved with brainstorming, maintaining, supporting and promoting this blog challenge.

When one creative project ends that is not the end...

Thank you for following  Club Creative Studio’s posts and the journey through the alphabet with a focus on CREATIVITY!  I will surely take part in this challenge again.

This does not mean that the blog comes to a halt.  Please stay tuned for more information that deals with the theme of creativeness.  If you are new here, and as a reminder, I try to blog a few times a week.

Follow the creativity!

On Tuesdays, the theme is called: Two-Cent Tuesday. I focus on sharing a low-cost idea, or activity.

On Thursdays, the post is refered to as:  a TNT post.  This means it has a wider topic range and fits nicely into being called “This-N-That”. 

Feature Friday is the day where I normally highlight something new or interesting from the design table at Club Creative Studio.

I welcome you to also follow the creativity on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ClubCreativeStudio  and on Twitter @ClubCreativeArt

And, certainly, I’d love for you to visit the online storefront with more unique items available in the ever-changing inventory at: http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

Take the steps to create your place of creative zen today!
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Y is for You (Your Creativity)

Take the steps to be creative!

Sometimes it is a struggle to think creatively, find the time to be creative or have materials on hand to produce an item from your creativity.  I get that. And it might sound familiar to you too. This is why today’s post from Club Creative Studio has a focus on You.  The letter “Y” stands for you today, you and your creative process.  When I say I am “Creative Everyday”, I really am. That is my daily process.  It may not be in the same manner or with the same materials but, I do recognize that it takes effort sometimes to be productive from creative juices, and I strive to make sure that everyday I do something that I consider to be creative in my workspace: Club Creative Studio.

For those times that you think it is not possible to be creative or hard to get motivated, take to heart some of the considerations from the ideas of Gary Gonzales, in the Leadership Journal, as he writes about Real Ministry in a Complex World. Now I know his subject matter is not an art focus. But, when talking about creativity we can gain some insight to his words and thoughts about the creative process as a whole.  He writes about your “creativity quotient” and how to raise the bar in creativity. He  believes that  a few good habits can improve the quality of your ideas.

“Someone once asked William Barclay how he had become such a prolific writer. The key, he said, is learning to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair.

Creativity is far less subjective and ethereal than some make it sound. As much a function of our habits as our “genius” or inspiration, creativity takes discipline. Here are four ways to enhance your creativity.

Know your moods

Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying about diet: “Mornings are gold, lunch is bronze, and dinner is lead.” Well, the same applies to personal energy levels. A few months ago, a lay leader handed me a newspaper article outlining the body’s daily rhythms. It underscored how, for most people, mornings provide peak energy and concentration. Quick recall and analytical reasoning are strongest in the a.m.

Conversely, the infamous “afternoon grog,” the inability to focus, hits from 1 to 3 p.m., with a short reprieve from 3 to 4 p.m., especially in recall.

By evening most people are downshifting, except for the late-night geniuses who hit their creative stride from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Knowing this, I safeguard morning hours for the challenges of praying, studying, writing, and creative thinking. I no longer feel guilty when my engines are revving low. I pace myself, husbanding my energy for creative times.

Do you know what time of day you are the most creative? I fit into that "night owl" category for sure!

Learned how to improve energy and lessen the negative rhythms

Soon after moving to the Twin Cities from Southern California, I thought about joining a fitness club. But I wondered, With my mornings scheduled full with message preparation and my evenings already overflowing with meetings and programs, how can I realistically expect to add an exercise regimen?

But I had heard others describe how a workout increased their energy level, so I decided to experiment. I discovered that a sixty-minute workout during my lunch hour or after 3 p.m. worked wonders. Regular exercise dramatically increased my endurance, making my low periods less low-and I feel better about myself. As an added bonus, I find thinking and praying easier while on the Nordic Track or between weight-lifting sets.

While getting into shape, I learned another valuable lesson: If I work out on Friday, resting or going easy on Saturday, by Sunday morning I’m primed to preach. A one-day layoff between workouts enables my body to bounce back with renewed vigor. I can’t recall a time in my previous fifteen years of ministry when I’ve been so clear-headed-able to think creatively and spontaneously in the pulpit.

Write it down

Someone has said, “Opportunity is like a horse that gallops up and then pauses for a moment. If you don’t get on, before long you hear the clatter of hoofbeats dying away in the distance.”

You have got to start someplace start your creativity at the beginning!

Great ideas are just such opportunities.

Whenever you hear, see, or think a worthwhile thought, write it down before another moment passes. Experience has taught me to keep a pen and paper handy on my night stand.  That’s also true of the ideas we learn from others. For several years I’ve kept a journal handy at my office. Whenever I come across a good quote, I immediately jot it down and document the source. Often, when I’m stymied while preparing sermons, I thumb through this journal to stimulate ideas.

Others’ ideas provoke my ideas. While paging through my journal recently, I ran across the statement, “Leaders are to be imitated, not gold-plated.” It triggered a thought: I’ve wanted to do a series on leadership for some time. Why not develop a series of seven messages on leadership principles using one-liners as memory hooks?

I’m now reading and gathering ideas, illustrations, and resources on that theme.

Let it simmer

Most creative ideas mature over time. So, whether I’m planning a sermon series, a special holiday service, or a seminar, I arrange my time to give it as much advance thought as possible. My mind works best when I’m not clawing for ideas at the last-minute.

I don’t get over structured too early. A good idea has a ripple effect, soon suggesting other ideas or applications. At first, all I want to do is grasp the big picture-even if only a piece of it.

Apology for the language displayed here but, ADMIT IT: we have all felt this way!

Useful ideas sometimes come to me after months of simmering.

Several years ago, I heard the story of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a bb gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.

Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky-smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country.

Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:

“Were you scared?”

“Yes.”

“Would you do it again?”

“No.”

“Why did you do it?”

“Because,” he said, “you can’t just sit there.”

His answer caught my interest. I pondered that story and its implications for several months. Then, as I was preparing a sermon, “The Crisis Called Christmas,” my thoughts came together. I used the Walters story in the introduction to set the stage for the idea that each of the birth narratives called for a response-or a reaction-from its participants. When it comes to God’s intervention in our lives, we can’t just sit there.

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Talk about it

Creativity is often synergistic, so I cultivate people in formal and informal settings who cultivate my ideas  I never  know when a brainstorm will strike-and quickly vanish!

Happily, I can relate to this writing and it gives me insight and information to use to step up and recognize my creative strengths and areas of weakness that can be improved upon.  Did you find anything in his writings that might help you relate to being creative in your own life?  I hope so.  Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope your creativity grows.

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X is for “Xmas”

Club Creative Studio’s blog post today has a focus on the letter “X”.  You already know that there are not many words that fit into that category that may apply to creativity.  I will have to go with a more obvious choice.  X is for “Xmas”.  To highlight art that I created specially but not limited to the Christmas (Xmas) season, I’d like to share photos and descriptions of Club Creative Studio’s Artisan Beaded Hanging Ornaments. Our one-of-a-kind items are created from hand-made, hand-rolled polymer clay beads, charms, crystals, ribbon and wire.

It seems that hand-made items are popular for gift-giving occasions when the holiday seasons roll around. Why is that?  Maybe because they call for a special touch, a meaningful item with a lasting memory, or items like this are easily found at holiday themed craft fairs, bazaars and gift shops.

Whatever your reason for giving a hand-made piece, you have selected items that have a special attraction to them.  The artist and the art do have personal connections associated with hand-made items, and they happily pass that aspect on to you.

Hand-Made Beaded Artisan Ornament from Club Creative Studio.
Artisan hand-made beaded ornaments are one-of-a-kind creations.

As I think up ways that I can incorporate my hand-made beads, sometimes the ideas come readily, and sometimes I have to tweak the thoughts and experiment on the best way to highlight my beads.  The Christmas ornament idea came quite easy because there is a popular need to decorate Christmas trees and purchase special keepsake ornaments for them.

Close-up. Hand-made polymer clay beads incorporated into hanging art.

Looking at an item that seemingly has a specific function, and imagine other uses for it is what CREATIVITY is all about.  I’d like to offer suggestions on how you may enjoy what I first created as an Christmas Ornament.

What else is this useful for?

This item can displayed in other interesting fashions.

Use this decorative item in unique ways.

  1. Christmas tree hanging ornament
  2. Wreath focal point
  3.  Attach to a suction cup and admire from a window
  4. Hang from a table lamp at the switch location
  5. Adorn a vase by placing around the rim/brim
  6. Wrap safely around the top of a candle stick base
  7. Add a bit of bling as you dangle from a view mirror in your automobile
  8. Use as a decorative bow on a gift that is wrapped
  9. Display as fashionable curtain tie-backs
  10. Dangle slightly under a framed photo frame from the wall
  11. Add to a cabinet knob or door handles
  12. Embellish a wine bottle neck
  13. Add to a table scape by attaching to a pot lid or serving dish handle
  14. Highlight art from an individual hanging display made from wire
  15. Hang from a garden stake in your flower bed or bottom of a wire frame hanging basket
Do you have out-of-the-box suggestions that you can share on how you might use this Club Creative Studio art item?

Feel free to share your creative ideas in a comment post below!

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W is for Wow!

Club Creative Studio Ink Treated Tiles.

WOW! Club Creative Studio’s work space is a busy place when working with something new in the market or with a material that is new in technique to me.  Experimenting is exciting and cool to experience when the outcome is unknown or can be manipulated in some pleasing way to the artist.  Alcohol inks have given me another method of adding dye to art.

Alcohol Inks and used dabbing pad.

I have found that thrill recently as I have been working with how I may incorporate inks into my jewelry art.  Inks and dyes are not new to the craft world but, for me alcohol-based inks have been an interesting element to add to my metals and other work surfaces.

Here is a before and after look at how I used inks on my metal based earrings. I found that it gave a whole different look and added color and depth to the finished piece.

Club Creative Studio Earrings Before Ink Treatment.
Club Creative Studio Earring After Ink Treatment.

I used Tim Holz Adirondack Alcohol Inks. They can be vivid and earth-tone as you can see from the example I created on bamboo tiles. I have used this product in full-strength and by blending and lightening with the blending solution.  I also tried out the Metallic Mixatives and found that working with many different combinations the effects can be wide and satisfying.  Now…what to do with the future pendants the wheels are turning!

Hand applied earth-tone inks.

If you have tried these inks before what have you used them on?  Paper, or another type item? Do tell! Was it a “Wow” for you?

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V is for Vision

If you are an artist or just wish you were more like one, it might be helpful to realize or know what you actually “do” when you make your art. Some artists are prompted by their visions inspired by idea generators like music, poetry, vignettes of nature, or a theme. Club Creative Studio’s blog today has a focus on the letter “V” and that stands for vision. 

What does an artist do to gain that vision that inspiration to create?

To understand the vision of an artist, you can appreciate knowing what an artist actually does.  What do artists do?

Artists remember.  They envision a meaning. They symbolize the connections of objects and meanings.

Artists create. They take art material and transform it into something.

Artists imagine. They use their brain to imagine a person, animal. place, or thing.

Artists use their imagination to invent. They think up something that is original or an improvement on something else.

An artist has feelings about what they observe.

Artists distort.  They take and use a fragment of their visions or thoughts.

Artist often metamorphosize. They take an idea, person, or an object and make them alive or not alive, or a different space or time.

Artists experiment.  They play.  They hybridise art, taking two different things or two different ideas and place them together.

An artist often repeats actions. They take freedoms to take an object or a design and repeat it over and over.

An artist is comfortable to fantasize. They use their imagination but, add something really unrealistic or unusual without fears.

An artist will plan.  They will investigate their process and technique.

Finally, and artist may analyze. They will redo something you have done before but, make it better by rethinking it.

 Artists ideas and visions have always dealt with birth, love, death,beliefs, rituals, history, heredity and what it means to them to be human.  It is hard to change those themes but, not hard to change society, technology, controversies.  Artists have visions and they strive to not stifle their ideas.

What do you have in your visions? 

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U is for Unique

No question about it, Club Creative Studio Art is unique.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEEuxn7DXb0?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

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T is for Trend

Hand-made beads that offer a burst of color. Are these part of your trend color choices?

Club Creative Studio takes heed to passing and long-standing trends in color and jewelry fashions. Why? Because it is important to keep a pulse on what is popular and well liked for future customers. It also give a hint to me to know what challenge I have ahead in tweaking a trend to place my own original twist on a certain style.

How od I know what is hot and what is not? I do as you do most of the time…I look around.  Magazines, people on the streets, television and stores all give freely the information needed to know what people are finding eye-catching and pleasing.

As far as color trends go, besides looking to home furnishings, cultural traditions, markets and what is in my closet, there is a place that I research that has official hints from the runway.  It is called: Pantone fashion and color report.

Do you agree with their predictions?

Color Trends 2012

Inspirations From Designers:

Modern art such as Guyton Walker paintings, as well as world travel and primitive cultures have inspired designers.  Classic American sportswear with clean, sophisticated and modern looks will be popular. Dreams in black and white are inspirations for fashion because of the contrasts. Roses in their myriad of colors bring a romantic feel to spring. Unapologetically Warhol inspired abstract floral will be hot.  Also, a free and playful vibe is going to find its place in fashion. Mixing the love of hot neon colors with soft pastels, will be reminiscent of nature at its extremes. Can you picture a powerful sunset, the ocean sparkling at dusk with flashes of lightning in the distance?  The bold work of the abstract Expressionist painters that revolutionized the modern art world will have an influence on the designs and colors you will see. Mixing tribal ethnic references from different parts of the globe, from the desert to the tropics with a ’90s inspired utility/safari and sport feel will definitely bring in warmth, softness.  Faded colors will  get energized by cool, bright, vibrant hues when two shades are mixed together.

Prominent Colors:

Hot colors combined with hot colors and cool with cool: hibiscus with sunburn and cobalt with menthol will be seen. Formula one red, cyber yellow, Mariner’s navy and white are good combinations for 2012 fashions.  White will be important because it is pure, fresh and sophisticated and jet black for contrast.  A combination of feminine rose-hued colors such as sorbet orange, rose violet and hot red anchored by a color palette of optic white, vanilla ivory, true black and khaki stone will bring interest to the year. Bright hues of sunburst yellow, apricot and shocking pink, as well as sun-baked clay neutrals and soft shimmering golds will find its way into life.  Prints with buttery yellows, warm oranges, powdery blues and sea foam green will be noticed. Neon flamingo, shocking pink, acid lemon, electric blue, sea breeze, lilac,  a hint of purple and sand will be interesting to find in fashion and accessories. Look for that cool hint of purple, and acid yellow to be tempered with the softness of sea breeze and lilac. Pale navy, moon rock, canvas and stone blue adds to a soft palette that comes across as sleek and modern. Many rich with warm undertones like blossom pinks, pale orchids, tart yellows, aqua teal and peacock blues will hit the scene for Spring. Looking toward the garden notice colors of the flower called the Bachelor Button, vivid blue, lagoon, dandelion, lemonade, geranium and energetic cool colors like spearmint, strawberry, ocean and deep indigo.  Mix those colors with dusky, earthy, warm neutrals like terracotta, desert rose, vermillion, white sand, clay, pistachio, bark, hemp and sage.

Signature Colors:

Menthol, an old industrial color has reinvented itself as new and modern. Bright cyber yellow that is fun and commands your attention will be popular.  Bright white and lavender frost are fun for this season as well.  Combine colors like jet black to bright white and bright white to lavender frost. Rose violet and soft shimmering gold as well as strong bursts of color like apricot, sunburst yellow and spring green will be seen. White and sea foam as well as neon flamingo for its vibrancy paired with the  new neutral of purple will make life interesting.  A neon coral pops up in just the right spot throughout a fashionable collection and it’s one of my favorites for spring because of its youthful vibe. A warm shade of vermillion, as it is a color that mixes well with all the neutrals in the spring collections hints that they also look good on every skin tone, and creates a healthy sun-kissed glow.

Check out the jewelry art on the website to see if anything fits into your new spring color scheme. Club Creative Studio art is in tune with the color trends and fit your needs with a custom request if you e-mail me with details and specific wants and color schemes.

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

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S is for Stoned

Club Creative Studio continues to embrace Earth Day with the love of rocks.  Beautiful stones are all around, and when you pick one up to examine, look closely and appreciate nature. You have color, shape, and texture to explore.

Today’s post will hopefully be inspiration to you. Admire the stones photographed and the creative enhancements with wire that I have added to them. I love adding wire to stones to highlight them and create great focal point pendants and other items.

Club Creative Studio hand-made tie tack with stone and wrapped wire.

Club Creative Studio hand-wrapped wire stone pendant.
Club Creative Studio dyed stone teardrop earrings with hand-wrapped wire.

 

 

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R is for Recycled, Reuse, Repurpose and Reinvent

Club Creative Studio’s post today with the focus on the letter “R” will hopefully inspire you to create.  There is much satisfaction in creating but, when you add a twist to your creative challenge by figuring out how to reinvent an item from its original form…that is really a thrill! Earth day yesterday probably gave you a jump start to realizing that you can do more with your trash. Make it a treasure.

Ask the questions today when you sit down to create how can I recycle this item? How might I reuse this item in a different way? Can this item have a new function, can it be repurposed? How did I reinvent this item from its original intended form or function?

Club Creative Studio's recycled magazine strip bead.

I challenge you today to create from a different perspective. Look around to consider creating from a recycled item.  How might you reuse something that you may have normally discarded? To redefine and repurpose an item is meaningful because of the thought that went into the process of its new creation.

How can you reinvent an object to take on a new fun or functional aspect?  Answer those questions for yourself as you create with the goal in mind today to restructure an element creatively.  Need inspiration?  Take a look at the photos provided that have been created with a new twist from broken charms and unlikely resources.

Club Creative Studio necklace. Pendant made with recycled broken charms.

Feel free to share you thoughts and ideas for how you have reinvented an item creatively.  Save the environment one element at a time, and share your creativity as well.  Good luck on your ventures today.  Enjoy these creations as well and please view more original and one-of-a-kind art from my hands and heart at Club Creative Studio.

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

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