Over the past two weeks, Wynne and I have been preparing for up-coming Sip & Sketch Events. With limited budget, workspace and time, creativity did not falter, but sparked even more! It made us think of creative ways beyond those boundaries. Throughout the process, I’ve rediscovered the joy of crafting and I wanted to share some thoughts to inspire all of you to take part in the act of making, an activity that is both therapeutic and fun.
Be Resourceful & See Potential in the Unexpected
This point can simply be summarized into one word: Pinterest. However, I want elaborate more on that because while Pinterest is great for all kinds of DIY ideas, it can get overwhelming sometimes. For city dwellers especially, there are workspace limitations that makes it difficult to achieve big DIY projects. But that shouldn’t stop you! Scale down to materials that’s more accessible and flexible for your workspace. Check your pantry and junk pile, what do you have there? Use up what you already have, make do, be resourceful. This is where the mind works in wonderful ways to observe, strategize and come up with crazy ideas. In our case, we knew we wanted some floral decor for our events. We also knew we can’t splurge to purchase a bouquet each time considering there’s other supplies to buy. So we decided on making fabric flowers so that we can re-use them without worrying being scrunched up on commutes. Using a thrifted pink dress, a silky PJ bottom and some dollar store sewing materials, you can achieve the likeness of a real flower. Tip: Goodwill always has 50% off on selective pieces if you’re lucky to find them, which is what I did and it will save you a few bucks. We found that the best DIY guides are the ones that provide a video and detailed blog post reference like such: Fabric Roses & Peony Flowers
Time Over Money
“I’d love to do that but I really don’t have time for it” is what you might be thinking. It’s an honest point, time is a limited resource not many of us have these days. But we’d love to encourage you and let you know that art shouldn’t be a sacrifice, it’s a compromise. It is a part of your day, it’s the extra step you’d take to make bacon and eggs instead of a cereal bowl because you know it’s good for your body as art is good for your mind and soul. It can be something you do while binge watching the last season of Game of Thrones. It can be something you do while you wait for the cupcakes to finish. Taking 5 minutes here and there is a great start to add art into your life. For this week, I challenged both of us to make papier-mâchés. Even though it’s a very time consuming process, it cost us almost nothing to make! We used everything in the recycling bin: tissue paper boxes, old newsprints drawings, cardboard from Amazon orders and last year’s magazines. We put on our favourite podcast or playlist and took the time to explore. Here’s the benefit, when you move your hands, you’re also exercising your mind to release and de-stress. When you take the time, you are exercising your creative power to connect with how you feel at the moment. Each move you make frames your vision for the art piece, and that’s pretty impressive. The creativity developed here cannot be achieve through a purchase transaction of an already polished object on the shelves. Tip: Did you know a simple cornstarch mixture works just as well as store bought glue? Plus it is cheap to make and kidproof. Here’s a great recipe to try out!
Appreciation for Creation and Maker
Once you start making, your views of the world will start to change. The same idea as knowing your farmer, knowing where your food comes from and how it’s made. The more we made things, the more we appreciated life itself. While exploring in the land of fabrics, Wynne found meditation and ways to repurpose old fabrics into a new creations. Of course, there’s a lot of trial and error, the entire process of cutting, sewing, fixing, re-doing made her appreciate the final piece 10 times more. Meanwhile, crafting has given me new appreciation for nature’s designs. I’m learning new details like a cabbage peony versus a lotus peony. Knowing these subtle differences makes me a better observer, a better maker, a better painter.
So we see how creativity can spark brightly even with limited budget, time and space. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great conversation starter. It gets people to discuss and share the act of making, it’s a great way to connect with others, something we emphasize greatly here at Sip & Sketch.