Saturday 16 May 2015

Resources to Inspire Creativity

In case you haven't been around these parts long, I'm a very big fan of all things creative. Let me reassure you that my #yearofmaking project is still going strong, although I'm not succeeding with every single day as I was at the start of the year I am still making things waaay more regularly than I used to and now instead of buying things my first response is 'can I make this?'. Often, the answer is yes. There are days, however, when inspiration runs dry and so I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite creativity inspiring resources! 

To be honest this is probably most people's go-to resource for inspiration and I've never heard anybody who uses it say anything bad about it besides how easy it is to lose hours (days, weeks) on it. Starting to look at pinterest is like falling down a rabbit hole of things you'd like to do, buy, make, cook, places you'd like to visit, books you'd like to read,activities you'd never thought of doing before but which are suddenly the most fascinating thing you've ever heard of. Also it's full of pretty pictures and quotes and all the stuff I love.

If you're a knitter or crocheter and you're not already familiar with Ravelry you really need to be. It's free to sign up and they have patterns for literally everything. Some you have to pay for but there are a vast amount of free ones as well and you can stick everything that takes your fancy in your queue or library so you'll remember it.

I find that when I'm in a creativity slump and can't motivate myself to do anything sometimes that act of sitting, watching a video lecture and learning about something - anything really, doesn't have to be in my comfort zone and sometimes it's especially good if it isn't - can really help my brain to start whirring again. All the courses on Coursera are free and it's free to sign up (although if you want verified certficates of completion you have to pay). Courses are run by major universities worldwide and cover a massive range of subjects. Expand your word. learn something new! They also have 'On Demand' courses now so you can learn at your own speed. Perfect for me


I'm a huuuuuuge fan of magazines. Not the stuff I used to read as a teenager though - now I'm way more into craft magazines and home/lifestyle and writing ones. Favourites at the moment are Mollie Makes, Pretty Patches, The Simple Things, and Mslexia. Often they bring up completely new ideas and spur me into action. 


Ah books. Of course books had to be on here! There are a plethora of creativity related books available. Currently I'm reading The Art of Doing by Alison Arden which is full of activities to help increase your creativity. I'm also a fan of The Right to Write by Julia Cameron (I have her book The Artists Way on order at the library) and Crafting Creativity by Colin Salter among others. Other books which have inspired me to do things include Little Women (after reading which I always want to start growing all my own food, sewing, and generally being productive), The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton (just finished it and oh my god do I want to write again!), Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas (sock knitting. All the sock knitting), and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (start this blog!). Also Wild by Cheryl Strayed (hike. a lot.), The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell (visit every single independent bookshop ever),Teach with your Heart by Erin Gruwell (be an English teacher) and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (become self-sufficient). And now I'll stop although I could probably go on and on. That will do for now I think. 


For the sake of brevity I'm not going to mention all the book bloggers I love who inspire me to do book -related things or blogs I love that have inspired me to do one thing once, but there are a few blogs I really love which are just generally inspiring to my life. These include:

Orangette, an incredible foody blog which always makes me want to cook stuff, eat stuff, visit places and take better photos, 

Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity. Trish's blog is always inspirational to me whether she's talking about books, craft stuff, motherhood or something else altogether. She always makes me want to get up off my bum and do things. 

Sophisticated Dorkiness is the blog which inspired me to read more nonfiction and continues to inspire me to read outside my comfort zone and about subjects I thought I had no interest in. An extra shout out to Kim for being the one who inspired me to jump on the One Little Word bandwagon this year. Love it. 

The Daily Create 

TED Talks (specifically on the subject of creativity

Where do you get your inspiration? How do you rejuvenate your creativity when you're in a slump? I'd love to know!


  1. Love all these sources of inspiration!! Pinterest and bloggers are HUGE for me (thank you for your sweet words...and trust me, I do a lot of sitting on my own bum, too). There's a site called Craftsy that I've been meaning to do something with...though I think the courses there are paid. I haven't considered Coursera...what kinds of things do you do there?

    What I love about creativity is how you can go down one avenue and it can open up a whole new pathway! Though this can also be frustrating because I'm all NEED MORE TIME TO DO THESE THINGS. :)

    Also--totally love how those books have inspired you! Like some really specific things. Very neat.

    1. Ooh yes I have a few free patterns from Craftsy that I haven't tried yet but I've been resisting looking at the courses because I know once I do I'll want to sign up for EVERYTHING!

      I have that problem with Coursera as well - at the moment I'm taking a course on the stories, music and art of the American South, since they teach us nothing about other countries during history class at school over here, but in the past I've also taken courses on poetry, the ancient greeks, and graphic novels and signed up for but failed to participate in one on Andy Warhol and Igniting Creativity. They have a stupid amount of stuff on there!

      I totally know what you mean. As soon as I start finding things I want to learn or do then there's a whole load more I could be learning and doing and just not enough hours in the day! Maybe when the kids have left home :-p

  2. Great sources! I too love pinterest and pin non stop! It's so addicting. I haven't looked at others, so I will. But of course... blogs!!

  3. Great sources, and some are new to me! Thanks!

  4. I'm definitely going to dig into Coursera - what a great idea!