Sinking into a hot bath, as hot as I can stand, slipping beneath the biting lavender scented foam (I love the sharp lavender, not the doughy sweet kind), I feel something pop loose at the base of my neck. Tension I hadn’t even realized was there, eased by the heat and soothing scent, escaped without so much as a “Nice knowing you.”
I needed this. Total immersion. I needed this more than I realized.
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This past weekend, I went to BlogHer Handmade & The Creative Connection in St. Paul, Minnesota. Invited to moderate a panel about building content around community, I admit I tweeted the day before I left that “the only thing I can hand make is a mess.” Har har, I know.
Secretly, though, I was hoping to come away armed with everything it would take for me to be one of those hipster Etsy girls, without the actual Etsy-handmade-talent bit.
Think Sara Sophia from The Lovely Guide. Very “I grew up in a meadow and make all of my clothes out of fairy wings and organic yarn. I’d show you how but I have a wholesale shipment due to Paris.” Effortless whimsy with a solid measure of sophistication.
I even signed up for a Professional Image class taught by Becki Crosby of Whippy Cake. I’m not sure what I expected but I am pretty sure it included a dash of pixie dust and a magical understanding of liquid eyeliner and layering skirts with tights. Probably something about fabric flower headbands, too. I don’t know what to tell you, it was just all going to come together, wrapped in a screen printed ribbon!
Inspiration by way of total immersion. Instead of hot water and bubbles? Hot glue and glitter!
To be fair, I did not see any hot glue. It wasn’t that type of craft conference. There wasn’t even that much glitter. An outrage, really. I was counting on outrageous loads of glitter.
I was right on target, though, with the creativity immersion. It worked.
The handmade community is studded with talent that I openly admire. One of their best is one of my own Story Bleed editors, Amy Turn Sharp. I had to travel to the uppermost point of our country in order to spend time with her and it was thoroughly worth it. I watched her work her table for her own handmade shop, Little Alouette, far enough beyond her peripheral vision that I could freely observe her without making her self-conscious. I could have watcher her for hours. Her heart opened, nearly visibly through her face, drawing strangers in with grace and kindness. They were taken with her. I know.
Balancing art and commerce is what the handmade community does well, yet they are actively working on improving as they learn more about integrating social media into their business. Technically, that lesson is why I was there. But now you know I was really there for my tarnished old soul.
I went to Minnesota with a crick in my creativity. I soaked in the inspiration, willing their art to loosen my joints by osmosis. If glitter could be absorbed into your psyche, immersion in brilliance would be the first step.
Read more. Write more. Take everything in until you feel sparks fly from your fingertips. If your heart doesn’t feel close to bursting, find something brilliant to soak in until it throbs!
Dive deep to the heart of what you crave. Seek inspiration and immerse yourself in your findings until you can shake glitter from your hair.
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Hallmark is a sponsor of VelveteenMind.com through the end of 2011.
Sign up for their newsletter for discounts and tips on how you can celebrate everyday moments as a special occasion.
One of their latest newsletters shared their new mini-commercials and I was excited to see my own brother’s ex-girlfriend in the “Sorry” mini!
Watch it! I’ll cave and admit it did inspire me to write more cards. So worth it.
Opinions are always my own, usually long-founded and stubborn. ;)
Do visit Life Is A Special Occasion and scroll down to the bottom of the page to "Featured Bloggers" to read more stories from the campaign's writers.
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Tell me, what inspires you? What are you currently craving?
What do you plan to do about it?