Creating at CHA


I just returned from Los Angeles where I attended the Craft and Hobby Association's annual conference.  The conference showcases the newest tools, craft materials, and techniques.  There are so many booths that it takes 20+ hours just to walk by each booth.

I look forward to attending the show because it takes me out of the usual environment of my industry (jewelry tools and supplies) and places me in an environment purely based on creativity and materials (not techniques and tools).  I'm also presented with materials not normally used in jewelry creations.  It's like a fun puzzle.  My brain says "okay, let's see how can we use these tools in jewelry creating.  How can these be incorporated into art jewelry!"

One of the booths I always check out is the Design Originals booth (originators of the Zentangle series of books).  I went to place my order for the newest books for Whole Lotta Whimsy, just as tv host and author, Mark Montano, was beginning his make and take.  He is the new author of Pulp Fiction and the Big Ass Book of Crafts.  So I joined in the fun.

I must confess, I never participate in the make and takes (and there are lots).  I'm too busy trying to do the business thing, placing orders and see it all.  This experience of taking 15 minutes out of my "busyness" and spend it activating my brain in a different way, was absolutely refreshing.  It gave me a much needed boost and even a refreshed outlook on the day/task at hand.

I realize that most of you own hammers, flexshafts and kilns, not paper, markers, glue and Sixxix machines.  So am I crazy to encourage you to get some markers, a journal, scissors, and maybe even gasp…rhinestones and glue?

There are studies that show that putting yourself in a new situation, new tasks, new environments opens your brain to insights it may not have had before.  I know this is when I get my biggest ideas and solutions.  Experts say it triggers parts of your brain to be activated, that may not normally be in use.

I highly recommend you take even a smidgen of time out of your day drawing, cutting and glueing.  I know I'm going to schedule in a minimum of 15 minutes a day, just for artistic journaling.

Art is therapy.  Everyone needs some therapy.   Wanna join me?  Let me know if you already incorporate doodling into your day or if you are going to try it out.

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