fight. for your right. to happy crafting.

hey everyone! Today I’m featured over at the www.bigpictureclasses.com big idea festival, and my big idea is: Happy Crafting. You can check out my video (and if you’re not already registered – why not?! IT IS FREE!!!) and chat with me on the message boards today too.

Here on my blog, I will be doing two posts. Later today I’m going to post a project. For now though, I want to talk about the importance of fighting for your happy crafting. You see, it doesn’t just happen and it can go away.

I lost mine for about three weeks.

Yes, I said it. Three weeks might not seem like much to you – but for me it was an eternity. And the thing of it was, I knew for about three weeks before it happened that I was caught up in a downward creative spiral before I hit rock bottom. So really, it was more like three weeks of clinging and last ditch efforts, and three weeks of creative hell.

I struggled. fought. I had to force myself to craft and even then it took 10 hours over 5 days for me to make  a single tag that I thought was just ok. No fooling. The more I struggled to make cool stuff, to enjoy and be my free spirited crafty self, the more I couldn’t. The harder I tried, the more impossible it seemed. For a few days I even wondered if I’d used up every good idea I’d ever had. If I was done.

Unable to turn to some of my usual fixes (namely sugar in all kinds of forms – more on why I couldn’t use that crutch another day), what could I do?

Of course I could feel sorry for myself, complain, fuss, claim bad luck, and do all kinds of other negative things. But that wouldn’t help or make my happy crafting come back. Instead, I kept reminding myself that I love to craft, and that this was a phase. I kept showing up to the craft room daily – even if only for 5 minutes. I fought myself in a mental battle… and then I walked away a failure each time.

But each day, I returned. Each day I carved out at least five minutes (no matter how hectic the schedule) to go and be alone in my space. To just check out my supplies and put some kind of ink to paper (or cut a paper, or make some crafty move).

Nothing sparked.

I gave myself an unprecedented five days off – I didn’t enter my studio for that entire time. Hopeful, I entered once again, sure that I’d feel the stirrings of inspiration… and nothing. So, I waged on. Day in, day out. When September 1 rolled around, I tried to amp up another attack. I said “tonight, clean this place up and clear out some junk. Tomorrow, we craft.” I also texted and called a few of my favorite people. I made it known that I was in a funk.

This time, when I entered and tried to get into a craft zone it worked.

I feel inspired, light hearted, all is once again right in my crafty world. HOORAY!!! It felt like a light switching back on, a battery being replaced. Now, would it have come back if I hadn’t worked and fought for it to? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not big on sitting around hoping for things to happen, I’m more of a make your dreams happen girl.

I share my story with you for two reasons. First of all – I am not perfect nor do I live in some fantasy world where all my dreams come true and inspiration flutters in the breeze. I WISH! But secondly, perhaps more usefully, I want to share that I fight for my creativity. I earn that happy crafting time. Whether it means carving out time in a hectic schedule or simply putting on a smile and knowing I’m blessed to be a crafter – I work for my happy crafting. I make it a priority, and I fight for it.

It’s worth fighting for. Creative happiness leads to all kinds of wonderful things – and I’m glad to have won mine back.

Now, hopefully I won’t resort to taking photos of model horses in my studio to pass the time like a kid in time out, and will be too busy with my happy crafting time to even consider cleaning up my mess more than once a week (or two)…

Happy Crafting!

PS: if you happen to have creative process, inspiration, or other questions that you’d like to see me address in future posts I’d love to hear them! feel free to email me or leave a comment on my blog.

24 thoughts on “fight. for your right. to happy crafting.”

  1. Thanks for sharing this May! It’s great to know that even the best get crafter’s block too. I find that I have the hardest time when I get new stuff, which seems kind of strange – it’s as if I looked forward to it too much and now don’t know what to do with it.

  2. Hey May!
    I LOVED your video at Big Pictures and so enjoyed your wonderful thoughts and ideas!! Thanks for sharing! Your video brought me here to your blog so will be looking around here for more of your thoughts and inspiration!! The creating process certainly ebbs and flows for sure and I can very much relate to your words. Creating is a need and a joy and I miss it when it doesn’t show up when I want it too. I too, keep looking for it by playing with a new technique, cleaning/organizing/sorting, absorbing my favorite magazines, or searching out new words and quotes to collect. Eventually, the little sparks ignite and the creative process is filling me with joy and satisfaction again. Fun to connect with people like yourself who understand this want and need to create.
    donna goar

  3. Hi May! I’m visiting your blog for the first time straight over from BPS Big Idea Festival. I have to say I was very much inspired by your Happy Crafting Idea and you’ve brought a whole new perspective to me and my rut of crafting. It makes complete sense and I’m so excited to refocus on what it is that I love to do in my personal crafty world – what makes me smile and click my heels with glee! Thanks so much for your inspiration! Happy Crafting (I love the phrase!). Wishing you many blessings!!!

  4. Hey! Came here to tell you how I really enjoyed your video on Big idea festival! It really spoke to me and gave me something to think about! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Also happy to find your blog via the festivals 🙂

  5. I love your thoughts on happy crafting and your story about losing it. I struggle with finding ways to be creative without expecting perfect results. If I make something, it must be worthy and anything else is a waste of time. Thanks for the encouragement to just be happy crafting. I’m working on it.

  6. You message on the Big Picture Classes Day 5 class today was the most inspiring thing I’ve heard in a long time! Beautiful words, May!!! Thank you so much for the amazing inspiration! And P.S. Your work is beyond stunning; I could stare at it all day!!

  7. May – first off, I really enjoyed your video today on Big Picture Classes Big Idea Festival. Second a comment on your blog for today. I have found that when my mojo is going or gone, cleaning up my crafting space is a big help. For some reason, removing evidence of my latest project, getting rid of old supplies to make room for new and just neatening up the space makes me want to craft some more. Your final statement “Today we clean up and tomorrow we Craft!” spoke reams to me.

  8. Loved your part of Big Picture Classes today! Just needed to hear someone say that is I don’t like it, don’t do it!!!! (like journaling sometimes 🙂 ) Thank you!!!!

  9. May! I just watched your video & your message speaks to my heart & I’m sure so many other crafters. I feel like I might want to watch it over and over 🙂 Or play it when I’m feeling stuck. I love listening to you on the Paperclipping Roundtable too – you’ve said lots of things over there that have stuck with me. P.S. I was a horse nerd when I was a girl, read a “Horse Of Course” magazine and went to horse back riding overnight camp every year and kept all my Breyer model horses and my daughter now plays with them almost everyday – they make for good Barbie props.

  10. p.s. one more thing – just last night I had the Beastie Boy’s Fight for your Right in my head and used their “kick it” as the title of a page about my son’s brown belt test.

  11. Good morning, May. Just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your video today on BPC day 5, and reading your blog post above. It really does help to know that we all struggle from time to time, even pros like you! My trouble is just being overwhelmed with STUFF!!! – whether physical product here in my scrap space {especially stuff that I bought ’cause everyone has it, and then used it once and have forgotten how to use it, or just don’t like it, or…} or the multitudes of blogs/websites/listservs. I have just re-discovered your blog, and will look through your archives to see if you’ve addressed this in the past. If not, perhaps you would consider addressing that in a future post? Have a great weekend 🙂

  12. I feel for you. When I go into craft limbo it’s torture. I get cranky and people stay away from me (which is very smart). However, in your case, you continued to persevere. Kudos.

  13. Completely understand what you went through. i’ve been in a funk from family stress = makes it so difficult to concentrate. So, I too went in to clean and started to feel a bit better…sometimes stuff just happens, just need to ride it out (at least for me0

  14. May,
    I hadn’t gotten around to signing up for the big picture classes idea festival, but reading this post inspired me as I wanted to watch your video. I am so glad I did! I can relate to so much of what you talked about and you are such a bright spot within this industry for your many artistic talents as well as your ability to be so open and honest and REAL! Every crafter and artist should watch your video. What an inspiration! Thank you!!

  15. We’ve all been through this to some of extent. It may be part of the creative process. I don’t know, but I am going through it myself.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It gives me hope.

  16. May – Your video and message has truly inspired me. You are so right! Do what makes YOU happy and what you like. Don’t worry about what others create and think. Thank you so much!

  17. Wonderful video on happy crafting. I have to say what you said really hit home with me as some of what you said happened to me and I’ve had to work though rejection, I thought…What’s wrong with me? I’m not good enogh, and then I realized that there was a trend change and it just wasnt my style. So I pulled myself up and said O.K. The best advise I ever had was from a person in the scrapbook comminuity that I greatly respect, and she said…ALWAYS be true to your style, never try and be something your not and just incooporated a bit of trend into your work 🙂 Thanks for a great video!!

  18. Oh May,
    I love your ideas!!!
    I read this blog post then I watched TBP class and I totally agree, there really are no rights and wrongs with crafting and we all have to remember this simple fact.
    Happy Crafting <3
    Linda

  19. Glad you got your creative mojo back!! I bet a LOT of us can relate to this, so thanks for sharing. You kept going back and persevered until it worked which is awesome.

  20. Great post, May. Sometimes I feel like my mojo has moved to West L.A. or New York or Santa Fe or where ever to get away from me. Nice to know it happens to the best!

  21. Thanks for this post and also your post on BPC. I loved it because you gave me permission to not worry about making cards and I can stop saving every digital scrapbook supply I find! I love to touch the supplies when I scrapbook and I like seeing the texture and layers so I’m going to stop stressing out on the digital stuff (except to have some journaling items I can print).

  22. Thanks for being so real May and for giving us permission to say no. I look forward to your blog posts everyday and you have inspired me this summer to do more and post more on my blog.

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