Monday, 31 October 2011

Now THIS is scary....

I think I'm experiencing card-maker's block.  For some time now, I've felt as though every card I make has required terrific effort for not much result, and that the time each card takes is well, ridiculous.  Yesterday, I had  announced a set-aside. As near a whole day at my  desk as possible - to finish a handful of cards for the Card Marathon event, to make a fourth card sample for this week's workshop and to get back to my Christmas present crafting.  Miss Dunnit was away at the nerdy Anime convention and Mr Dunnit had a new toy to install at his workshop.  Fait accompli, mes amis, non?  Big fat NON. 


It took me all morning to wrench out one finished, half decent card; the waste in cut up paper and discarded everything was frightening.  So, learning from my own experience, I changed tack and did something else.  Stayed creative - made up a loaf of bread to prove and asked Mr Dunnit to come home and distract me.  OOOH!  We watched some of the Grand Prix.  I know distraction when I need it.  Poor Mark...if it was up to me, you'd be first.  Always. I got the germ of an idea, so went back to my desk.  Cranked out one more card all afternoon.  I love rubber stamps and I love playing with the papers.  There's no part of any of it that I don't like.  Perhaps I need to stop doing all of this 'for' something - a workshop, an event, a challenge...and just do it to please myself now and then.  I thought it was the same thing, but perhaps it isn't.  That's a scary revelation, believe me.  
So into distraction mode I get as the evening darkens and Strictly Come Dancing shows up on the TV again. Then I hit on an idea and have to do it.  I can't decide between Gold or Diamond Glamour dust, so I do one card with each product.  Relatively satisfied, I leave the cards strewn with glitter whilst the glue dries.  And later, after Miss Dunnit has returned and my nest is full and the clock tells me to go to bed...I knock the excess glitter off the first card and into the tidy try for funnelling back into the appropriate jar.  It's a thing I've done a million times. Which probably explains why I then did exactly the same with the second card.  And now I have diamond Glamour Dust and gold Glamour dust in a mixed heap.  Not whole bottles of it, which I guess is some consolation.  I think it's time for a rest.  Familiarity breeds contempt, blah blah blah; and I'm scared that if it goes on like this, I won't want to make cards any more.  And then what?  I'd probably have to tidy up in here and get a real job.
Told you it was a scary story.

38 comments:

Bella said...

I can relate to this story more than I would like to...

I think you are right, it is that HAVE to feeling that puts the pressure on the creative juices and then they rush in the opposite direction! It is a very different thing when you want to create, for the sake of creating then everything you touch turns out perfectly!

For me, when my mojo has up and left me, I go to my pile of print outs of stuff that I liked on line and I do a variation of that with the stash I have on hand.

It is sometimes hard when you have to work with stuff that is to be used in a kit/class cos it creates boundaries to which we must conform...I don't like to conform...

For me a little bit of pressure is a good thing or I will do nothing, but too much is a bad thing as again, I will do nothing, it is getting that pressure to the right level that works for you...

In the end we pull something out the bag and get it done...with far more stress than is necessary...and then wonder what all the fuss was about!?!

Oh I can so relate to this predicament of yours...

Good luck
Bella

Linby said...

oh I have been to this place and back again so many times - and I am sure I will visit again LOL! You are not alone.
Linbyx

SallyB said...

Hi Julia...
Yep...that's crafting for ya!
I sometimes fiddle and faddle for many hours and never get a completed card..just lots of made up flowers or tags that don't go with anything. This usually happens when I have a particular card to make...another day I can knock them out like a machine and have done no prep and had no ideas...the creative brain is a complicated thing!
Hope you find something to kick start your crafting again....xxxxx

Di said...

Oh Julia - this too will pass, it always does! But, like others I'm not too sure about working under pressure when you're supposed to be enjoying yourself? Mind you, I wonder if the mix of Glamour Dust could actually be a good mistake? :) Di xx

MaggieC said...

Been there, done that, very scary. I learned from my experience this year that I have to balance what I have to do, what I really need to do, and what I want to do. While we were away in the caravan this year, I did a huge amount of colouring in images I had printed or stamped to take away. I thoroughly enjoyed it for the week we were away each time, but I had had enough by the time we got home. However I was in the right mood to mooch through all my lovely card to find the right way to mount each one. As a result, I had loads of pretty cards to use for the rest of the year. That gave me the chance to play with something different for a while, mainly brayering and stamping for Christmas. Them I decided to try to empty my two boxes of gathered Christmas stuff and use up all the toppers I had collected from shop bought cards sent to us. I actually put together 10 cards in one afternoon, from the recycled elements. Now, I am bored with that, so I need a change of technique, and something to play with again. After all my rambling, you will have gathered that I have a butterfly mind and have to balance necessities with a wide range of ideas and techniques to keep my mojo on the go. Forget what you have to do, and have a play, just for fun, with a new technique. Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!

GLENDA BROOKS said...

This can be a difficult time! For me, when MoJo slips out the door, I make flowers! As I am shaping the petals I start to think of where to put the flower and it goes from there. Sometimes I make flowers for days at a time. Don't get disheartened....your creativity will come back. She can just be sneaky sometimes!

Toodles and Binks (Galaxy Girl from UK STampers) said...

Strictly Come Dancing does need all our concentration/attention/devotion ... Russell Grant is a guilty pleasure for me, but I love them all.

Lydia was mightly impressed that Miss D had been to an Anime convention, but wishes to take you to task about "nerdy" and also wishes she was nearer to the lovely Miss D as she's too young to go on her own .... and I have better non-nerdy things to do!!!!

Warp factor 3'ing it today ....

Hugs

Kay

Chrissie said...

Here's another member for your gang Julia! (Hi, remember me?)
I have had the 'block' for ages now. In fact, since about March when we decided we would definitely move. Thankfully, I've just started to get back into things again now we're settled (sort of!) into our new home.
Things will definitely improve, but I'm in agreement about the deadlines blocking creativity, they definitely do.
Hope you and the Dunnit family are keeping well sweetie, obviously now I've moved from Andover up to Norfolk I doubt that we'll ever get to have that meeting over coffee (that wasn't the reason for me moving honestly!) we'll have to have a 'virtual' coffee together instead.
lol Chrissie xx

voodoo vixen said...

I found out quite quickly that I don't like the pressure of 'have to' which is why I don't do DT's any more... it was restrictive because sometimes I just wanted to mess about and not with the product that was provided!! Now I have the ideal... if I feel like it, I make something and offer it up... if they want it, they take it, if they don't.. I don't mind because I made it for me anyway!! ;)

Debs Willis said...

Oooh - I can definitely relate! Having to make samples for a deadline, from specific materials, or to meet a certain tehem. Sometimes (recently) seems like I;ve done no crafting 'just for fun'. I actually discovered a bag of goodies from the last craft show I went to, stuffed under my table and forgotten, and when I bought them I was so excited!

Is a balancing act, and Hubby (henceforth known as 'The Wise one' - at least til tea time lol) said at the weekend "well, if you had to work at doing something, I guess you'd rather work at crafting, even if it's a challenge some days" Problem is, it doesn't pay the bills and I have to juggle it with 'real' work! Still, he did have a point!!

Try doing something just for fun - some technique or material you've been wanting to play with but never quite found the time - it may help to entice Mr Mojo back! Failing that, choccy Hob Nobs and a cuppa :-)

Hugs

Debs

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

MM so agree Julia with above comments - I truly believe the having to do something - and also having to work with certain objects is the problem when creating - struggle 'majorly' with it myself like all others and agree with Bella's idea, too, as take out my ideas sheets have stacks of them in various themes there you are!
Relax ... mmm, I know! easier said than done - commiserations and prayers heading your way, love Shaz in oz.x

Quirky Boots said...

crafters block is just so unfair isnt it, i can normally go from one type of craft to another, but once in a while I get crafters block with everything i do and that is sooooo not good lol xxx

sit down, chill, have a cuppa (wine) and it will soon return x

Helen said...

Oh yes, recognise that.... got a tag to do for Wednesday which means it must be done tonight.. do I have an idea? No....

At least you have custom made sparkle... even if you didn't want it...

The Crafty Elf said...

When you're under the gun sometimes it doesn't seem as much fun as if you're doing it because you love it! Sounds like you're a bit over tired too! It'll get better Julia...give it some time! Breathe in, Breathe out......

ScrappnBee said...

Ooohhh that naughty Mojo. Always running out the door when you need it at home the most! Hope that you find yours, or that it at least brings you a nice forgive me present when it comes home! Have a happy Halloween! -Amanda

Kirsty.a said...

Go and do something different. Mr Mojo will be back soon, I'm sure

Carola Bartz said...

Oh Julia, were you describing me??? I know how you feel, I've been there so often, it's frightening. I also know that it ALWAYS ALWAYS ends and creativity hits us like a lightning bolt and we can't crank out enough cards etc. - whatever we're making. However, I totally agree on the "have to" stuff, because I feel that often when I prepare my classes and don't come up with ANY idea at all. It is terrible, and I feel like the biggest failure and the biggest fake on planet earth. It's a relief to see that others experience exactly the same.
Now I go and read all the other comments.

leslie (crookedstamper) said...

You are not alone! I have several bottles of "oops" glitter. :) You never know what you're gonna get when you use them! :)

Oh, and totally true about creating FOR something versus just creating for the fun of it. I have a squillion ideas in my head at all times, and love just playing. I took a break from doing regular classes and now I just play for ME. If I trash 346 pieces of card stock along the way (like I did on Sunday), oh, well, I still got to try it and I've checked it off my list "let's try this" list. PROGRESS!

Maybe you could clean out a drawer in your craft room. I find that doing that I find all sorts of stuff I forgot I had and I get ideas along the way.

Hang in there! This, too, shall pass!

Siobhan Brignull said...

ooops !

Sarah said...

Hear you loud & clear. Cards push all my buttons, the good, the bad and the ugly. I can spend days engrossed in a complex mixed media DT project and although it's tough it moves along... But it's the cards that will get me frustrated, irritated and producing wasted paper mountains galore. I think cards are easily pooh-poohed as two-a-penny crafting but in my opinion they often have stricter boundaries and less space for artistic license. For me they either work or they don't - I hit the nail on the head or I don't. It's a card and it has to work and be a card. With an individual project there is space to deviate and just let it be. Deadlines and assignments make the clock tick but can also push you to a new discovery - it's a hard place to find balance, because without any deadlines the creative faffing becomes eternal dabbling. You can only play for so long... If I'm in a squeeze and the Mojo is defunct then I resort to an oldie but a goodie and tweak one element such as cardstock, colours or die-cut...gets me by and sometimes leads to a new design. Hope you can work through this and find the right gear or cruise control...

Sam said...

Nothing like some gold diamond glitter - it is YOURS so enjoy it!
Take a look through some old mags, blogs or just take your Broom out for a spin!!!

Fuchsia said...

Crafter's Block is a right Bu**er
but eventually something pops into my grey matter and off I go again LOL
bet you haven't spilled a whole bottle of Glamour dust over you !I sparkles for weeks :0)
so did My other half LOL

Angie said...

I so relate to this as you know ...I am usually more block than create lol ...why is it when going through this, it gets worse when you set time aside. However I do feel that this 'creating without a purpose' works well ...and playing with paint or inks with nothing in mind seems to unlock quite a few of the creative brain cells.

I have never seen glamour dust ...bet the mix is beautiful. xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've been in an artistic slump since February of this year. So, I can totally relate to your taking forever to create a single card. I have done that in the past and since I'm not a card maker, I struggle every time I try making one. For me, altered art is easier because I can create something that may or may not be what I started to make. It doesn't have to be what it was supposed to start out as, as long as I get there in the future. But of course, card making must be formulaic and easily replicated for a workshop, not "throw on a bit of paint and gesso" type instructions.

When I am lost, I clean and sort. But that is ME. As I clean, I find things that inspire me and I can be creative, at least for awhile. I haven't even done that since forever, so that could be why I'm so out of it. Hope you find your way soon, too.

sandra de said...

Ohhhhh, I know that feeling and by the looks of all these comments I think you are not alone. Sometimes I just have to play, no obligation, no end result just play and mess around and the mojo comes back. Other times it doesn't return for awhile and that's life a good book, movie or wine should do the trick.

Love the renamed "ooops glitter" a new product! Maybe you could sell it on ebay!

Ann B said...

Been there, done that, bought the book, saw the film etc etc. Used to belong to a few card/ATC swaps and made tons of birthday and Christmas cards and it was getting to be a chore. Much rather play and get messy and just see what results. Starting my blog in summer and taking part in a few challenges does help especially if the challenges are not something you would normally do.
As for Strictly, I'm a complete and utter fan and have been from the start, going to the tours as well. This year I hope Chelsee wins - may even cast a few votes her way if she get to the final

Carmen said...

I'm just coming out of a patch like this. The old mojo goes for a burton and doesn't even leave a note or anything.

Come over to the dark side Julia - get a Pinterest account. That and the lovely Amy (of Flutterbye)(sharing free classes and tips) are slowly but surely dragging me and my mojo (mojo is kicking and screaming) back to life.

Pam said...

Sounds so familiar, I am the same I dont seem to be able to give myself a kick up the butt - you would think that as I have so much free time on my hands I would be crafting my heart out but all I've managed is the much overdue wedding invitations for my nephew.

Hope you get our mojo back soon and when you find it if mine is there can you send it back with a flee in its ear!

HUgs Pam x

fairy thoughts said...

Mmm I think we have all been there, its the nature of the job. you could always open a craft shop..... then you'd never get anything done ...... at home
janet

JoZart said...

We can all relate to everything in your post! Been there, done that... probably do it again....we never learn. I'd love to have the time I've wasted to use sensibly, creatively, unwastefully etc., etc. Also would love to have a switch to turn on my mood to craft as and when I want to.
WE don't always get what we want!
Love Jo x

RobanStudio said...

I have had a creative block for the last six months and haven't been able to create any substantial art. I know what you are going through! Hopefully it won't last long. Sorry about the glitter. :-(

Susan Flynn said...

OMG Julia don't even think it!! What would we do without you??? Look on the bright side - you have probably invented a new colour of Glamour Dust, maybe you could market it and become a millionaire and then have plenty of me time to make what you want!! Yey!!!!!!!!!!!xxxx

Sunshine Girl said...

Dont worry - this happens to me (a bit too much for my liking really!) and rather than stress about it now I go and do something else instead (like you did with the bread) and then inspiration usually strikes - if it doesnt go and do something else until it does! Have a great and creative day!

Sandra (Stamping For Pleasure) said...

Oh dear Julia . . . I totally sympathise and hope your mojo and mood improve.

xxx

Jennie -The Artistic Stamper said...

Julia,
The block happens to me all the time, and err I spend most the day before a deadline panicking only to find it is "alright on the night!" so to speak
Hope it arrives home soon
Hugs xx

Gita said...

Oh no....but ya know, the two mixed together might look fab as well. Hopefully you didn't throw it out and saved it for later use?!

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