It’s way past time for a new Creativity Challenge. Truth be told, there’s not been a lot of creativity going on around here lately. It’s been nose-to-the-grindstone meet-the-deadlines long work days around here, leaving no time for anything extra like sitting down with watercolors or getting out the sketch pad (or playing with my goats and kittens)!
It’s not necessarily a good thing to be that busy all the time. It’s overwhelming and stressful, and in reality, it stifles creativity — at least it does for me.
I was forced into some downtime when My Cowboy was stricken ill, and all I could muster for that time of waiting was some very simple knitting. But it was a break from the longarm, so it worked out OK. At least I was creating something!
Months ago, I signed up for a workshop with Leni Wiener that took place last weekend. When the time for the workshop rolled around, I was wishing I hadn’t signed up, because I didn’t feel like I should take the time to go, what with so many things still on my to-do list here at home.
But I went, and I am so glad I did. The reason I signed up was because I wanted to learn something new — a new tool for my toolbox — a new technique I can use. Leni teaches how to turn your own photograph (or any photograph that you have permission to use) into an art quilt.
Can you believe I chose a picture of cows? Here’s my original photograph:
Now, heading in to this workshop, I was highly skeptical that I would be able to make my quilt actually look like my photograph. I told myself, surely it’s not that simple, and I’m not good at making “realistic-looking” things on a quilt.
Let me just tell you, Leni makes it so easy. I could not believe I got my cows to come out so well! Here’s my baby calf:
And here’s momma cow:
Their feet look funny because I still need to plant them into my background, but now that I’m back home, I can’t spare the time to work on it any more just yet. But I hope to get back to it while the workshop is still fresh in my mind, so I can get it finished up.
And that leads me to this week’s Creativity Challenge!
My challenge for you this week is to:
A new tool for your toolbox.
What have you been wanting to learn, but you thought it was too hard?
Is it something you can teach yourself?
Or do you think you need to take a class?
Taking a class does not have to mean dropping lots of ca$h or leaving home for days. There are lots of great online classes at Craftsy, Creativebug, CreativeLive, iQuilt, SkillShare, and others. Some of them are free. Others cost money, but are well worth the price, and you can learn in your jammies while sipping hot chocolate, if you want!
In fact, you can take Leni’s class on iQuilt, and learn the technique I showed above for yourself right at home!
There are also videos too numerous to mention on YouTube that you can watch for free, to learn just about anything you want to learn.
If you want to leave home to learn, check with your local quilt shop, craft store, art store, or even the local Adult Education program at school. There you can meet up with other people who are wanting to learn the same things you are, and you can get in-person attention from the instructor and ask questions as you go. To be honest, leaving home was the only way I was ever going to learn this new technique. I would have kept telling myself I would not have time to teach myself at home.
But that’s just me . . .
Whatever your learning style, try to learn something new. And don’t fret over it — I’m not mandating that it has to be this week — take your time, shop around, decide which class/method is right for you, and maybe just get it on your schedule so you can do it sometime soon in the future. You’ll be glad you did.
It’s my plan to watch at least one video each week from now on covering a topic I want to know more about. I’ve so far watched a video about painting with ink, and one about sketching with a mechanical pencil. I also watched one about how to make a cake that looks like a bloody brain, but that won’t be happening around here! I’m steeling myself to take some software classes to learn Illustrator and PhotoShop better, too.
I’m storing up all the inspiration so that when I get some time to devote to extra creativity, I’ll be ready!
What is it that you want to learn?
I’d love to hear what you’ve been wanting to try or what new tool or technique you want to add to your repertoire, quilting or otherwise (bloody brains, anyone?). Please share in the comments!