April 2, 2009

What inspires you...sharing my Inspiration Notebook

Let's chat about what inspires you. What gets your creative juices flowing? What makes you want to dive into your art supplies and create something wonderful? Are you not inspired? Do you start our creating by sitting and staring at a white sheet of cardstock?

It's time for you to take a journey with me...a little walk right into my creative soul. It's gonna get deep people so prepare yourselves. Oh it won't be that bad, I just wanted to sound all artsy fartsy today.

Let me share with you a little bit about my creative process and my job as a paper crafter. I never just sit down and start creating without some sort of inspiration. I need something to work from, something to look at, something to make that light bulb brighten up in my head. I feed off of inspiration. Where do I get it?

Ever since I was a child, I have been very curious about my surroundings. I prefer the country life, nature, flowers, old stuff, etc. I think having this simple life has allowed me to just look at things around me....break it down into little pieces....pay attention to details. I can remember laying in the grass and watching ant hills...the tiniest of things intrigued me. So when I look at flowers for example, I don't just see a pretty bouquet. I see colors, textures, shadows....I smell scents that evoke memories of Grandma or other places.......I think about how I can re-create that look in my own house, what I change.....and a lot of times I think about how I can interpret what I see and put it onto paper.....onto a card, etc.

If you want to live an inspired life, you have to really look at things in different ways. Be aware of your surroundings...think outside the box....take photos....take notes......think deeper about things. And the biggest thing to do is to stop having an *I could never do that* attitude. You can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it. So whether you want to make better cards, become a better painter, decorate your house in a really cool style, sew up some funky quilts, arrange flowers, write poetry.......whatever it is, you can do it. You just need to be inspired.

So here's my big secret to being inspired. I have been taking photos, ripping out pages from magazines and scrapbook magazines, looking at blogs, etc......lots and lots......and I have finally organized all my ideas into what I'm calling my Inspiration Notebook. It is priceless to me...I look at it and add to it all the time. Actually I have several Inspiration Notebooks filled to the max with inspiring ideas.
So what's in my Inspiration Notebook? I have my notebooks divided into sections which includes titles like.....gardening/flowers, vintage finds, quilting, organization, gift wrap, table settings/parties, colors, holidays....and the list goes on.

Every time I get a new magazine or find some good ones at the library give away section, I flip through and find photos I like. I rip them out and into my Inspiration Notebook they go. I then keep my notebook handy and flip through it often. The tiniest thing might catch eye...maybe a color or a pattern or a certain flower. It just depends on what I'm in the mood to find.

How do you start your own Inspiration Notebook? Just start collecting items that you like and shove them into a notebook. I use simple 8.5 x 11 page protectors and whatever 3 ring notebooks or scrapbook albums I have laying around. You don't need to spend a bunch of money to get inspired.

And guess what? Have you always wondered what your *style* is but could never figure it out? Once you start compiling your notebook pages, your style will jump right off the pages. It will just all fall into place and it will come to you. What's my style? If you were to look at my notebook, you would see that I like things that have to do with nature...the country life...simple things....flowers....vintage finds....repurposed items.....quilts and items that remind me of home....cooking......colors that derive from nature....family. I don't know what you'd call that style and it doesn't really matter to me. It's not about putting a label on yourself, it's about what inspires you....what you like at the moment...what something means to you.....how you interpret it.

I hope you've stuck with me. Have I scared you away? I hope not. I hope to have inspired you to dig a little deeper...live the inspired life....create something wonderful. Let me know your thoughts. I'm working on my next post which was inspired by my Inspiration Notebook. My hopes are to share my inspiration photos with you and my finished projects. I hope you enjoy my little journey.

44 comments:

Bekka said...

Definitely not scared away!

I have been an obsessive collector of pictures that I like for as long as I can remember - I am so glad I am not the only one! I dont have them all catalogued and do look at them when I need to feel uplifted.

I really look forward to seeing how you translate yours into projects - I need to get better at that bit!

Thank you for sharing

Happy Crafting

Marie said...

I've been doing this for years! Of course, I'm a little behind on getting my torn-out magazine and catalog pages filed away in my binders, so right now I have more of an inspiration "basket." But I love flipping through and getting ideas when I'm not inspired.

Sanditerese said...

I have the same notebook and I don't know what I would do without it. It is so helpful whether I'm scrapbooking, house decorating, gardening, etc., and it's really fun to go back and remember things that were added way back when.

Pamm said...

Wow, I have done this for years, but never thought about why I did it...just picked things that "grabbed" me for one reason or another. I just HAD to keep them. Now I know why!!! Thanks for the "inspiration"! I also use the Inspiration Station, what a great idea. TFS!

Mary said...

Thanks I needed that. :) I have some sort of notebook of my own that I have been adding things I find that inspire me. I just need to organize it into catagories. Great idea. I love the cards in your banner.

sarahmartina said...

AWESOME.

I am always asking myself that question: What is my style???

But you know, I'm so fascinated w/so many other people's style... I LOVE some things... but I've never created in that way. But sometimes I wish I did.... I don't know if I'm making sense- which is fine, lol!- anyhow... thanks for sharing!

I have an inspiration book for my house as we are rennovating/redecorating it. :) Never thought to do one for my crafts... duh! *giggle*

resmith said...

This was a wonderful read!! Thanks for sharing how you get inspired and it has really helped to see what I need to do more of to get those inspirations. Sometimes when I am making something for a certain person I try to think more of what they would like and go from there.

Anonymous said...

Hands down Mish, you have THE best blog. You are not about telling the world how wonderful you are,as some blogs are!! You are all about helping others and inspiring people with your talent and ideas. I blog hop to loads of spots but you seem to always be about the reader learning something - a gift of yourself. Thank you for being so generous and uplifting - I enjoy having coffee with you each morning!!

Nina said...

Thank you for sharing!
it's a very important issue..

Lisa G said...

Mish, that was one of your best posts yet. You truly care about the whole process. It's no wonder your creations are so fab! You can be artsy fartsy any time you want! :)

Dana said...

Can't wait to see your comparison! THanks for sharing...

Heather McNally said...

Mish - I love your style - and how you find interest and inspiration in such wonderful things. I especially love how you said "don't say you can't do something." :)

Carolee said...

Finally! Someone who understands me! I've got a basement full of magazines and tear-out sheets that I've been collecting over the years-I mean big, rubbermaid bins full of them! My husband thinks I'm crazy. I'm going to make him read this post tonight so he can see I'm not the only one. My problem is, is that I've collected so much of this stuff that I don't have time to get it all put together and organized. I have years and years of magazines to go through and I don't just want to throw them out without going through them. I can't live with the thought that there may be something good in each of them that I would be missing!! What to do, what to do?!! Thanks so much, Mish, for posting this and making me feel not so bad after all. I, too, like the others, read your blog faithfully and learn something every day--your projects are wonderful. I Can't thank you enough! Looking forward to your next post!

Ruth Shanahan Allmart said...

This is awesome Mish, thanks for sharing with us. I have piles of torn out pages from magazines lying around my stamp room waiting to be organized and put into binders. I think you've inspired me to get started on that very task. Thanks *smile*.

Jean Franks Beck said...

Wonderful idea, Mish!! I have stacks of magazine pages that I always think I'll refer to, but because they're not filed and categorized, they drive me crazy! You have *inspired* me to get those page protectors and actually LOOK at my inspiration LOL!! Thanks, Mish!

Cindy said...

Thank you for sharing this post with us today. This is a great idea and I am going to start my own inspiration book! I cant wait to see your process of creating something from the inspiration book. I love your blog it is my favorite!

Chelle said...

lovely...a sweet, inspiring read today that i really enjoyed...and, i wonder if you are my twin lost at birth or somethin'...cause i have done this very thing for years...and it is really, really funny to look back at books created years ago...the style of things and what inspired me then...i do a lot on the computer now, saving various pictures and such...thank you for sharing!!!
chelle

Carol said...

Mish, you totally inspire me! I love your work, and I definitely want to start my own inspiration notebook. What a clever idea! I have soooo many magazines laying around, but only a few things in them I love, so I plan to "rip" a page out of your blog post and start keeping the things that catch my eye and finally purging all the things that don't! Thanks Mish, you're the BEST!

Jackie (Sweetest Girls) said...

Thank you so much for this post...it has really inspired me. I feel I should have the confidence to make all kinds of creations. Thanks!

MaGoooo said...

You are such an inspiration to me Sweetie! I took this bit of info from you a bit ago when you had mentioned it some where. I have a collection going, but it's so nice to have it all in one place! Thank YOU again for the advice. You my friend are full of GREAT advice!

akagreenhouse said...

What a great idea! I have pulled out pictures of rooms that I have liked for years and I would use them for decorating ideas. Why I didn't think to transfer that concept over to my stamping I'll never know! Thanks for sharing with us. Cathy

Ret said...

Nope you didn't scare me & I'm still with you. I do something simmilar, but you really made me stop & think. this is so interesting...you've got me hooked!

Anonymous said...

No, you didn't scare me away. In fact you validated all those clippings and pages I've been ripping from magazines for year, which are stored in a box. I vow to put them in a binder now. Thanks for inspiring me to do this by categories........ It's so nice to know I'm not the only one who does this. LOL.

Stephanie said...

I have my inspiration notebooks, but I think I could add more to them in terms of broadening their content. I hadn't thought of stepping back and taking in the larger content of what I had collected to define my style. I think of it as more a progression but I like your idea. Thank you for such an insightful piece. I do enjoy your blog so much!!

Michelle said...

I don't need a book.. all I have to do is visit your blog for inspiration!

Shaz said...

Mish I do collect inspirational pieces as I go along, but I have never thought of putting these bits in a book, I have them in a box. This has given me the idea to put it in a book carry it every where with me, and will help me to define things more. I would love to see a better picture of your book. Shaz

Linda P said...

Thanks for sharing Michelle. I love your style. It's so me too.

mochamama said...

What an awesome post Michelle, I loved reading it. I agree that the Inspiration Notebook is a great idea. I don't have one and that is probably why I am always all over the place with my thoughts, ideas and inspirations. I need to start this as a project.........right now...........well, it's only 6:30 am so maybe I will wait a few hours, hehehe

Cheryl (aka CherylQuilts) said...

I stuck to the end...and so appreciate your sharing what inspires you. Great thoughts, Michelle! I like the idea about what pictures, articles, etc., you collect gives you an idea of what my style is...that's so true. I guess I need to look around my home too, because that really reflects my style too. It's interesting that the colors I often use in my cards are similar to those in my own home. How cool! Thanks always for sharing your beautiful work, talks like this one, and everything. I wouldn't miss your posts for anything. Have a great day!

Cynthia said...

Incredible Idea. I have always been lost when it comes to my style. I think I'm a closet country girl stuck in a contempory world. I want to see more of your pages in your book. Could we have a sample or is it too private?
Thanks for the inspiration
Cynthia

Dru said...

It's nice to hear there are others out there like me. I have many binders filled with all sorts of wonderful things - wonderful to me and how right you are - your style cannot help but jump right out at you, but sometimes I forget that and go off in other directions and then ask myself - what is my style - nuts, I know. Anyway, I always enjoy your posts, but this is one of the best, can't wait to see where this goes. Happy Day!

Jennifer Scull said...

just beautiful post - thank you for the reminder! I have bits and pieces scattered eveywhere, but now I have the motivation to get it all organized (hopefully!!) into one spot!

Happy Hodge Podge said...

One more thing we have in common! My notebook(s) are titled: Me and My Big Ideas. Some of the books are so heavy, I have a hard time picking them up! Lots of snapshots, articles, etc. to give inspiration.
thanks for sharing.

Ketha said...

Years ago, I read a wonderful book called "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. In it, she suggested keeping a Discovery Journal and adding images from magazines and what not that inspire us or that we find truly beautiful. I, of course, did just that and years later, upon looking through it again, have found that nothing has changed... I still love old vintage things, wildflowers, Fall colors, etc etc etc.

I'm glad that you posted this addition to your blog today... It just further validates my keeping of my journal and learning about what inspires me. I, like others, am a little behind in adding to it, but you've sparked my motivation again to do just that. Besides, it helps to get rid of those old magazines that you want to keep "some articles", but the rest you don't really care about.

Thanks

Andrea said...

Thanks so much - I love all of your wonderful ideas. I would need to put a copy of your blog in MY Inpiration Notebook ;)

patriciad said...

Great post. What terrific ideas. Honestly woman, I don't know how you do it. Thanks for this food for thought. I have articles/picture cut out and shoved in a shopping bag - now I just need to get organized! Small, minor detail..

JulieK said...

What an inspiring post, thank you so much for sharing with us. Now I am inspried. I like you idea of the notebook you keep. Can't wait for your next post
Julie K

MarieL said...

As long as I can remember I collected magazine and catalog pages, pretty store bought cards, flyers, unusual design of a paper napkin. As a teenager I saved every drawing of a clothes design. Later I kept pages because of the colors that "spoke" to me, or the setting of a room, a pretty color combination of a floral bouquet on and on and on. I have large folders that once in a while I just go through and dream but never use them for a project. For my card making I have a booklet that I write down ideas, measurements, quick drawings etc.

I love your creations and enjoy dropping by every day to see what you have created. Thanks for sharing your wonderful creations

Anonymous said...

Your blog is, hands down, my favorite! You always inspire, and I'm NEVER disappointed when I visit!! Thank you for sharing your creative process with us....think I'll have to start an Inspiration Notebook of my own! :)

Again, Thanks so much!:)

Lisa Beeman

Desiree de Monye said...

Mish, YOU are an inspiration! I love your blog and everything you create! And i have been learning a few things from you that I've started to put into practice. Thank you!

Chris said...

I also keep a clipping accordian file that I enjoy getting inspiration from especially when I can't come up with an idea(especially for cards). Just a peak of a photo or an article with get my inspiration flowing (most of the time).
Thanks for your sharing with all of us!

Alicia said...

I am getting ready to start my own inspiration notebook. Thanks for the great idea! I have been talking about you a lot on y blog! I LOVE your blog. You are awesome!!

Carolyn said...

I have extended this mostly to
card making inspirations the last year. Being retired, more of the past inspirations have been cut down on. NOW, I check galleries for stampin up, mainly, card inspirations as the planning of the card is the most time consuming. I find I use less supplies experimenting, thus
less clean up. Great for color combo ideas also

Mrs. Kate said...

I do the same thing-I save pictures that I love and paste them into various notebooks that are categorized by flowers, centerpieces, invitations, etc. It's the only way to stay sane!

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