One of the most asked questions I get is where do I get my inspiration for my projects. I wish it was an easy answer. Like some sort of mathematical equation or reading a how to book. But the simplest answer I can give is, look around you. The world is an endless fountain of inspiration. So here is where I got the "light bulb" effect for a few of my favorite wreaths.
The Three Wise Men
Many of you know Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love it all! The message of the season, family gatherings, baking with my children, and quiet nights by the fire place with my grand kids. So of course there is a plethora of inspiration! But I wanted my wreaths to be set apart. Don't get me wrong, I love traditional wreaths with the red and gold, or a snowy look, yet I wanted something more. We had just gotten a large order from Chalk Couture which at that point I was still just doing it as a hobby. Alex and I were giddy like it was Christmas morning as we opened the large white envelope. And it hit me. BAM! Right in the face. The Three Wise Men transfer. It was perfect. 3 men riding decorated camels with the words "Wise men still seek him." It was perfect! Traditional yet fresh, ornate yet simple. It was all down hill from there. I saw it with burlap, warm browns and golds, and a custard color that popped without being glaring. It to this day is probably my all time favorite. But some wreaths take a little longer to get that inspiration just right.
Sometimes Inspiration Needs Time
Now, a few of my wreaths took months to really come together. They start out as a small bin I put things in that I think will come together. No really! I have a few right now that are slowly being filled with trinkets and ideas. Some won't be used, but I often find one thing will inspire another and so on. This is what we call the oh squirrel effect! If you watch our lives on Facebook, you probably have heard us say it. We will be talking about one thing then go "Oh squirrel what about...!" And because of this the house is littered with note pads so we can write down our squirrely ideas. On one of these occasions I was looking out of the large windows by my crafting table. Thinking how could I bring what I see outside inside, or at least onto my front door. (Let's face it, there are so many beautiful wreaths out there it's starting to become wall decor!) One thing we always see out here, aside from the deer, are all the birds. We have an Owl that hangs out next to the house. Humming birds that are always coming to the window checking out all the shiny things I have. And robins that are some of the biggest I've seen. So I thought why not a bird house? First thing in the bin. But now what? Well when ever I am shopping I am always looking and thinking. I found a few birds but either they were to big or to crazy of a color or just too something. It took me WEEKS to find the Goldilock of birds. I came across them on one of the wholesale sites I use for some of my ribbons and other crafty things. I HAD to have them. They where the perfect size for the birdhouse and the perfect pop of color. I also came across a window pane type of ribbon that reminded me of dry grass that birds use for nesting. My bin quickly filled with all the things I needed. When done, the wreath was worth the wait. It came out airy, elegant, and was a perfect representation of what I saw outside my window.
A "Failed" Project Can Create a Masterpiece
I am a firm believer that if you don't like the way a project has come out, then leave it for a few days. Don't touch it. Don't fuss for hours and end in frustration. Just put it somewhere you will walk by it often. Peek at it as you pass by and let it speak to you. And trust me it will! I have done this often when creating Chalk Couture projects along with a few of my wreaths. About 2 months ago I made a super fun deco mesh base for a wreath. It had brights magentas, lime green, and an iridescent white that has proven to be useful for every season. I hand painted a harlequin pattern on a sign board and used my favorite vintage truck transfer to create a beautiful welcome sign. But there was a problem. They didn't fit together! When the pieces where separate they were perfect! Masterpieces! But together? A total flop. DO NOT BE AFRAID WHEN THIS HAPPENS! I am sure the greatest of artists have the same problem every now and then. So I hung up the wreath base. Right where I could see it everyday. I would peek at it, try a few things, and decide nope that wasn't it. So the days when on. Until, strangely, we started selling napkins. I had purchased some a while ago do decoupage on some of my furniture and we pulled them out to take a peek on what our followers would like. In my lap was a pretty napkin with bright pink flowers, lime green stems, and a few purple butterflies. That was it! It was perfect! I quickly decoupage the napkin on a board, added my welcome to it and placed it on the wreath base. Everyone in the house was in agreement, it was perfect. From there it was easy to make a bow and add a couple if ribbon loops for some texture. It was fail to fantastic!
These are just a few examples of inspiration. The trick to being inspired is to look at the world around you at every angle. When you are out and about pick things up and turn it around. Put it on top of things or find something to put on/inside it. Play with it. If there is a piece of nature that you are fond of, think of way to bring that inside so you can always see it. Or even watch some of your favorite crafters. Sometimes learning something gets those wheels turning to make it your own. And don't be afraid to fail every now and again. Some of the best inventions came from a failed ideas. Happy crafting!