organization & musings

When inspiration (doesn’t) hit

burned out light

As all creative people know, the waxing and waning of inspiration is a part of the deal. You can force it, but why should you (unless a deadline looms)? Instead of trying to coerce yourself into creativity, or beating yourself up for a lack of ideas, take the opportunity to be lazy. Watch an episode of “Mad Men.” Eat, take a disco nap, or tidy the house.

{ Under no circumstance should you look at your twitter feed
to see all the amazing work everyone else is doing. 

And if you really feel you must get to work, try these 13 ways to kickstart creativity.

But when inspiration hits, take advantage of the swell of ideas. Build on your concepts — those little golden nuggets of potential — and develop as much of the ideas possible. Then, when you are feeling less than motivated, the work is already started and just a little tweaking is required to finish the project… or story… or whatever it is you are working on.

For instance, I recently launched a redesigned website for my graphic design business. The old site was totally… old – both in the static layout and undersized images as well as the outdated body of work I was showing in my online portfolio. I felt sad when I looked at it. A classic “cobbler’s children have no shoes” situation. I dreaded thinking about the site, let alone working on it. After more than a year of procrastination, I felt the urge to dig in. I took advantage of that crumb of motivation. Once I started, I became really excited about my portfolio and the body of work taking shape on my site. And it looked good! While the process of getting mentally ready to redesign the site took many months, the actual redesigning the site took less than two weeks. Go figure.

I know people who write in a journal or draw every day. I am jealous of their discipline and focus. Forcing myself to create when I’m not in the mood feels like another chore to add to a long list of daily to-dos. It’s just not how I work. I’ve accepted the ebb and flow of creativity in myself. And acceptance is part of being a happy creative.

I want hear from you! What’s your secret to unlocking creativity?


Flipping through Hemispheres magazine, I came across an article entitled, “Wish You Weren’t Here” about how healthy couples vacation separately. The luck! My decision to go on an expensive, solo trip validated by a few paragraphs in a travel mag. It was officially O.K. for me to leave my family and work for a week-long vacation and {READ MORE}

deer antler jewelry organizer

I’ve come across some beautiful and inspiring painted deer antlers at flea markets and on etsy. Most of the antlers I see are sold as tabletop art. Being a utilitarian girl, and also generally averse to clutter, I look for innovative uses for everyday (and not-so-everyday) objects. It occurred to me a mounted deer antler, {READ MORE}

babying the big girls

While one of my children has never been seriously injured, the other one has been to the emergency room many times. We could talk about the iniquity of it all, but life is just like that: unfair. Our latest visit to the ER was for a nasty radius fracture—the result of a poorly-executed backbend walkover. {READ MORE}

Shoe Organization How-To

It’s been about a year since I wrote about organizing my shoes. With the recent closet cleanout, and my teeny weeny footwear obsession, the shoes in my closet have changed. Time to reshoot my shoes and organize the boxes for easy identification. At the risk of repeating previous topics, I’m including a how-to for shooting {READ MORE}


Until recently, having my picture taken is not something that happens often. I am usually the one behind the camera. I have albums of photos of my family and friends, and I am in almost none of the images. But the iPhone has opened up a new world: the self portrait. The first time it {READ MORE}

biking, biking everywhere

I’ve been seeing these new installations all over queens: CityRacks! When I first arrived in New York, I lamented the lack of bike racks. Why are there no bike racks? I asked myself when I dropped my daughter via bike-plus-trail-a-bike at the Queens Museum of Art camp in the middle of Flushing Meadow Park. (You would {READ MORE}

hoarding and purging

I hate it when I buy clothes that I don’t wear, or even let food go bad before eating it. I dislike wasting. And yet, I love surrounding myself with objects that make my my eyes smile. I enjoy acquiring treasures. In many ways the blogging culture that has erupted encourages consumerism. It’s like everyone {READ MORE}

Caps, people

hen I started writing this blog, I took it on faith that I would continue to have something to write about. At least once a week (okay, almost once a week). There is some debate in the blogosphere (and on Alt) about the difference between curating and creating content. And the value of each. A lot {READ MORE}

montana state of mind

new york city and montana are both extreme lifestyles—in polar opposite. to me, montana is: big sky sunsets, river rocks, easy friends, killing wasps, long, long days, floating the river, meandering the antique mall, huckleberries, skipping stones, bathing suits, mountain bike climbs (and descents!), and dirty kids.      back in nyc, after a month in {READ MORE}