Tagged: inspiration

an internet fast for lent

I’ve started a lot of projects lately, only to work my way to halfway done and hate what I’m making.

It’s not like that never happens. I’ve had plenty of projects that weren’t meant to be finished for one reason or another, and while those are frustrating, they’re part of the creative process. But this is different. Multiple projects in a row, all starting out as “brilliant”, whirlwind ideas that quickly crash and burn as soon as I’ve begun to make progress.

After becoming increasingly more frustrated with each project failure, I came to a realization. Lately, none of my ideas are my own.

Sometimes knowingly, but often not, I’ve been starting a project with direct inspiration from another blog or, of course, Pinterest. It’s not like I try to directly make what I’ve seen elsewhere, but the blended “Pinterest-aesthetic” is suddenly tied into my brain and it’s all I can see.

the standard pinterest kitchen

the standard pinterest kitchen (sorry, no source)

At this point, I’ve spent so much time looking at the Pinterest-popular all-white kitchens with open shelving (i hate open shelving!), well-organized laundry rooms, and crisp, white-walled rooms with Danish teak furniture, that I’m convinced that’s my aesthetic. Is it? I can’t even remember.

Pinterest is a poison for many reasons. Its possibilities for infinite wishlists for every sphere of your life terrify me – boards of perfect hair, perfect weddings, perfect bodies, perfect houses, perfect quotes. Not to mention the fact that so many pins contain total lies, false information, and basically amateurs teaching other amateurs how to do things the wrong way. But all those are irrelevant at this stage, because this is my last straw: Pinterest can’t take my imagination away from me.

fruit at the pike place market, seattle

real-life inspiration: pike place market, seattle

It’s tough, but I know the definite cure to this problem. It’s time for me to turn off the ever-flowing stream of other people’s ideas: Pinterest, Facebook, and your beautiful blogs. I’m using Lent as an opportunity for an information fast, an internet fast. Six weeks of going back to my own brain for new ideas, and I’m hoping there’s still some good stuff lurking inside.

Lent is all about fasting, about sacrifice, and about re-alignment. It’s the perfect season to step away from all that noise and focus on the real world.

Can you relate to my internet overload? Would you care to join me?

triangle quilt fever

If you’ve looked at my Pinterest lately, you may have noticed a bit of a trend. Quilts. Specifically, triangle quilts. I haven’t even been trying, but for some reason, they’re all I pin (well, that and my elaborate carpentry dreams). Triangles are just sticking their pointy little noses into my life.

The semester (the last semester!) is drawing to a close, and, naturally, I’m as busy as ever. In this busy-ness, I have no time for actual making – only bits of time for looking and soaking up what others have made, pretending that will fulfill my “maker” needs. I have such hungry eyes, and they’re pulling me toward big projects… quilt-big.

perfect colors triangle quilt - from blue is bleu

This one, from Blue is Bleu, is sheer perfection. I love the solids. I never would have guessed that I’d love a solid quilt so much, but I can’t get over it. Gray. Yellow. Aqua. And so much white… how can white fabric carry so much beauty?

solid triangles quilt top by crazy mom quilts

Here’s another set of solids, blogged here at crazy mom quilts. Another spectacular color combination, but I definitely prefer the on-point triangles to this half-square triangle pattern.

gray triangle quilt from film-in-the-fridge

Film in the Fridge has the opposite approach to a “solid” quilt – these grays are just incredible. I’ve realized that all my favorite clothes are gray, so I’m sure I would love a gray quilt. I do feel that it would be tricky to find a suitable blend of gray fabrics; I would fuss over their tones.

quilted triangle potholder by crazy mom quilts

I think this one started it all: a clever potholder with triangles that remind me of snow-capped mountains. Although with these colors, it’s rather the opposite: joy-capped mountains. It’s also a potholder, which would be a far more feasible project for me right now. (this one’s crazy mom quilts again.)

baby quilt by elise blaha cripe

And the most patterned of the mix is Elise’s baby quilt. Love the gray and peach.

Looking at these quilts, I’m amazed at how much I love the quilts made entirely of solid-colored fabric. I never would have predicted that. But they’re incredible. And, coincidentally, a batch of solids is what my “school fabric stash” is most prepared to handle… let’s just get through that to-do list. One month and two days until graduation! Surely the triangles can wait until then. Surely.

pinteresting inspiration

yellow chairs & turquoise walls

For awhile, Google Reader Explore was my go-to internet browsing station. I’d read all sorts of blog entries, gathering inspiration for sewing, photographing, crafting, baking, and more. My mind would spin restlessly and yet, in the chair I’d sit, soaking up as much knowledge as I could hold.

yellow - vintage by color by hilda grahnat

I’ve been trying to stray from that endless pit of blog entries, despite its enticing promises of new inspirations and ideas. Now, my go-to source is pinterest.

trim - a sewn print by tastesorangey on etsy

I browse through image after image, pinning some to my own boards and collecting new pins from all over the internet. In the end, I’ve got these pages of pictures that get me going, back into a colorful mood.

thread spool heart by papersparrow on flickr

(i knew i bought that bag full of tiny vintage thread spools for something.)

It’s a wonderful idea and a great place to store all those pictures along with their reference pages.

An excellent resource I found recently is Tineye, a reverse image search engine. If you have an image on your computer, or find a poorly credited image somewhere on the web, you can either upload it or insert the URL, and Tineye will find every instance of that image that it can. It’s awesome for making sure you’re giving credit where credit’s due.

tulip fields in holland

Now I’ve got plans to paint my desk, stain & upholster the chair I salvaged from the dumpster, and make a heart out of old thread spools. Now if only the temperatures would rise enough for me to work in the garage…