The Call to Create - Learning to Listen to the Voice of Creativity

Creativity is the souls way of communicating to the world. 

Especially when you find that one thing that you can get lost doing for hours. 

Do you have that one thing? That place you can go to where everything just stands still and you feel more alive, more in sync and more connected then when you are doing anything else? Do you know what I'm talking about? 

For as long as I can remember I've always loved the idea of building and refinishing things. Whether it was building something from scratch or taking an old, dilapidated piece of furniture and breathing life back into it, thoughts of both often swirled around my head. 

Growing up with a Carpenter father and an Interior Designer mother, creativity was all around me. This initially was very intimidating because I lacked the confidence to see that even though I came from wildly creative parents, I had my own version of creativity. It just looked different. 

However, I've always be drawn to working with wood in particular. When I was younger, I use to fake being sick just so I could ride along with my dad to all of his job sites. I'd stroll through the framed craftsman homes he was working on pretending they were mine and that I was the one designing them. I'd close my eyes and image what each room would look like, where the fireplace would go, where someone would spend their time cooking for the ones they loved. 

The sounds of hammering and sawing danced in the air and the sweet piney smell of sawdust would waft around my nose. Maybe that's the reason I love working with wood so much, it takes me back to happy memories. But I also think it's more, I think it's just part of who I am as afr creator. 

It wasn't until I moved into my first home on a fifty acre vineyard and farm in Oregon and really had full creative control that I started tapping into my creative side again. I started with small projects and grew into larger ones, making a tufted ottoman from scratch or building a full reclaimed wood wall in the office. 

When I went through my divorce and moved back to Seattle and in with my brother and sister-in-law it was as if the fire burned out. My creativity was lost. Granted, this was an incredibly difficult time for me and I was focusing on other things, I didn't tap back into that part of me until I eventually moved down to Encinitas, California and back into my own place again. It was as if a light switch was turned on and I could feel the fire slowly getting bigger and brighter inside. 

I didn't start making my wood art until November of 2015. I began with wood burning similar designs and then these Boho Bullheads. Wood burning came literally out of nowhere. I was driving down Encinitas Boulevard and I heard the words "wood burning" in my head and had to go home and look up what it was. After that, I bought the wood burning tool and started playing around. 

And the same thing happened right before I bought my first saw. I heard my intuition loudly say, “buy a saw.” However, for whatever reason, I was incredibly intimidated by using a saw. But one day I just started. I made the first cut and slowly put the pieces together of what felt like a beautiful geometric puzzle. 

When I realized I had gone about six hours without stopping and eating I knew I was on to something. I knew I had tapped into that creative zone and there was no stopping now. 

This creative zone is called your Zone of Genius. That thing you can do for hours without feeling like you need to stop. Time stands still. You get lost, fully engrossed in the very thing you are doing. Its love. For self, for the very thing you are creating, for the gift you are creating for the world. 

Whether it's a tangible product or not, when you are in this zone you ARE creating a gift to the world because you are happy. You are beaming a vibration out that radiates bliss, joy, peace and an overall state of just feeling content, Your soul is literally communicating to the world. What if everyone knew of this place and spent more time there? Think of what the world would feel like!

So you are probably thinking, "That's great Amanda but I don't have a creative side." I'm not kidding you when I say that I used to think I didn't either. Some people learn of this of themselves at a very early age and for some of us it takes a little more time and patients. 

However, I have a few ideas on how spark that inner fire. But remember, for some, it happens right away. For others, it takes a little time and a little more uncovering. Creativity is such a broad idea. A lot of us pigeon-hole it and make it very black and white but peruse a site like Etsy and you can see there are so many forms of creativity.

However, it doesn't stop with just crafting something. Creativity is performing. Creativity is taking care of and arranging houseplants, creativity is cooking a delicious and thoughtful meal. Creativity is working on your car. It's trimming the hedges. It really is whatever you want it to look like. The world is your oyster. 

If you are stuck, here are a few questions to ponder. 

1. Think back to when you were a child. What were the things you loved do? What made you happiest? What lit you up?

2. What do you dream of? Where does your mind drift off to? 

3. What thoughts pop into your head on repeat that might feel random or out of the blue? (i.e.: wood burning)

4. What does your ideal day look and feel like? (Even if it doesn't make sense. How do you see yourself? Where do you see yourself?How do you feel?)

5. Are there any synchronicities that keep happening in your life? PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE! 

I think mulling over these questions is a really great place to start. You don't have to have all or any of the answers right now. I strongly believe that just starting the process of thinking about it lights that spark and over time, you'll learn how to feed the fire. For me, I started to tap back into my creative side when I took ownership of it. When I moved into my house and wanted to create a comfortable, happy, loving space to live in. One I felt proud to call my home. Everything just opened up from there. 

Don't let all the little details overwhelm you and if you do get overwhelmed, definitely don't let that stop you! Whatever you do, keep moving forward. 



How to Find Your Design and Creative Style

Hello and welcome! 

I'm so excited to finally have this space. A place dedicated to all things creative, DIY, home design and urban gardening! I'm no stranger to blogging and have been doing so since 2008 but haven't had a space that focuses solely on creativity for several years. Since I believe creativity is such an incredible life-force, I'm finally pushing publish and sharing with you. Thank you for stopping by. 

I figured what better first post then one that focuses on how to develop and craft your home design and creative style. This is something that took me a very long time to hone so please believe me when I say I understand how frustrating it can feel at times. Seriously, in my twenties I would have my Interior Designer mom come over and decorate my apartments for me. I’m not kidding. It scared me that much. I felt so out of my element. However, one of the things I realized was that I lacked trusting myself and believing in the things I find beautiful. 

Home design and creativity in general is first and foremost, very personal. I believe your home is a representation of your life. It's a place to kick up your feet and get cozy, entertain, relax, celebrate, and overall, live a beautiful life. And for those of us that are serious homebodies, our homes are very sacred spaces. 

I didn't begin to tap into my creative side until I lived in my very first home on a fifty acre vineyard and farm in the Oregon Wine Country way back in another lifetime. It was during this time that I slowly began to figure out what my style was and it's definitely changed over the last six years. And I can pretty much guarantee that it will continue to evolve over time. Trusting and accepting this is step one. 

I've thought long and hard about how I turned my fear and impending dread of home decorating, DIY and creative adventures into my most treasured passion and hobby and I’ve come up with a few things I believe will help ease your anxiety and fears when it comes to getting creative.

I believe that everyone has a creative side and that it's our souls way of communicating to the world. Sometimes it just takes time, patience and building the confidence to slowly hone your own personal style.

Just relax and have fun with it and hopefully these tips will help you do just that. 

 1. PINNING! Pinterest, Your New Best Friend.

Pinterest has an incredible value when it comes to decorating, getting crafty, finding great new recipes and just about anything else you can think of. I believe it is hands down one of the best one-stop places to find ideas for just about anything you fancy.

Pinterst is an amazing resource because you can create various boards for specific needs. You can check out mine and follow me here. I recently deleted almost every board I had and started over. It felt really great to clean it up and only pin what I believe adds value. 

However, be warned! It can also be an incredible time suck and feed insecurities. My rule is to remember that most of these beautiful pictures have been staged to draw you in. Which is awesome because you can pull bits and pieces from these photos and add them to your real life. I usually allow myself about fifteen minutes to peruse and pin and then I shut her down otherwise you'll end up going down the rabbit hole and before you know it, three hours will have gone by and you'll have about twenty-five different web browsers open. 

2. Pay Attention to What Lights You Up

Over the years certain looks and styles would made my heart flutter. When I lived on the vineyard and farm I was drawn to more of a country farmhouse vibe. Now that I live in a little bungalow in a smaller beach town north of San Diego, I find myself drawn to a more eclectic, bohemian, mid-century feel. And house plants. green looks good just about anywhere. 

When you see certain design elements that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside, take note. That's what you are drawn to. I use to have no trust in my decorating abilities and would just put things in certain places because I felt like I had to. It's okay to leave a space blank until you find the perfect thing for it. And always trust your intuition. Every time I second guess myself I end up regretting it, especially when it comes to adding a new piece of furniture. 

3. When in Doubt, Add a Houseplant

Seriously, I think I have over thirty-five houseplants ranging from cacti to leafy greens to small succulents. I'll compose a list of what I think are some of the best for those of you who have yet to discover your green thumb but in my humble opinion, there is always room for another houseplant. 

House plants add texture, depth and demension to any room. Put them on plant stands, in corners, on shelves and tables and you got yourself one lively living and clean air space.

4.Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery

In the beginning, until you get a groove going, find what you like and mimic your little heart out. That is how I learned and that is what my mom taught me. This is also where Pinterest and Instagram come in handy. Create various boards like these on Pinterest and screenshot photos your like on Instagram so when you are out and about you know what to look for. 

Imitation is flattering, straight up coping someone isn't. So use your best judgement and give credit where credit is due. 

Eventually, over time, you'll see things and just know its part of your vibe.  

5. Stop Stressing and Just Have Fun

I believe that creativity is the souls way of communicating to the world. Your home can be a direct reflection of that and filling it with things you love should be about having fun and giving people little snippets of who you are and what you love. Be patient with yourself. You don't have to do everything over night! 

And if you really just have no interest in designing your home, there are professionals you can hire to help you. Cough, Cough, wink, wink. (head to contact tab and say hi!)

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