Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Craft Marketer

Craft Marketer is an introduction to James Dillehay's books which focus on the business of crafting. As it's really a teaser for his books, you don't get lots of information, but there is still enough here to make it worth a visit. There are articles on selling on ebay, pricing craft items, selling on consignment, attending trade fairs, etc. There are also links to business services and web site development tools.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I'm not sure what "solipsistic" is, but it's quite beautiful. It's all light colours, grainy photos and interesting prose. I usually leave the site scratching my head, but my eyes always enjoy it!

Counting Sheep

I know this isn't exactly creative, or inspiring - but it's cute and informative, and well I just wanted to share it. Try this test on the BBC web site. It tests your reaction time - today I'm an ambling armadillo in need of a caffeine hit!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

International Children's Digital Library

I think this is so cool - The International Children's Digital Library - where you can read children's books online, complete with all the illustrations. There are 745 books currently available. I love kid's books - the beautiful illustrations, the simple stories with a meaning, I love reading them to my little nieces and nephew. I still have a collection of my books - lots of Golden Books!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Practical Painting

Practical Painting is a new, online art magazine. It has information on art styles, interviews with artists and some articles on techniques. It provides straight to the point, useful information and inspiration. It looks quite new, so I hope it continues and grows.

House of Books

The sculptor Livio De Marchi has carved a house and most of it's furnishings out of wood to look like it was made from books. It is absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Feeling Trapped

I want to apologise for how quiet it's been around here lately. Everytime I think "I must post to Inspire Create" - well I just don't feel inspired to!! Terrible state of affairs when this site is all about inspiring people, and I can't even inspire myself.

So I got to thinking about why I feel so uninspired at the moment...and it's because I feel trapped and burnt-out. I know exactly what I want to be doing and how I want to do it. I have saved up enough money to quit my day job and know that I'd be OK for at least 6 months until (hopefully) I started making a living from my creative pursuits, I know exactly what I'm going to do, I've planned my marketing strategies, I've done courses to improve my skills and have made prototypes of my products. I feel pretty well prepared.

So what's stopping me I hear you cry (or is that just the voices in my head?!?). I've thought long and hard about my reasons for not making the leap and I don't think I'm using excuses (you may beg to differ). Yes I am a little scared about leaving my safe, well-paying job, but at the same time I know it's sucking the life out of me.

No, I feel trapped because I have people who rely on me and I take that responsibility very seriously. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but suffice to say, I have family and friends who are currently going through tough times and I know that having me as a safety net (financially and/or emotionally) is helping them deal with the tough times. How can I then say to them "oh, I know a couple of hundred bucks would get you out of trouble right now, but seeing as I just quit my job I can't help you out", or "yes, I know that if I spent my whole weekend helping you do such-and-such it would really ease your stress levels, but I've got a new business to run - I don't have a spare second". So, I feel selfish for even considering putting my dreams before helping them - if you can't help your family when they are in need it's a really sad day. I hope I don't need it, but maybe one day I'll need them the way they need me now.

Sorry to be on such a downer!! But while thinking about all this stuff, I realised that surely I'm not alone. There are other people feeling trapped or burnt out by their responsibilities. How do they cope? So I started looking around the net and found a few articles, which I thought I'd share with you. I still know that I can't follow my dream full time just yet, but at least I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I've also promised myself one night a week to do exactly what I want (see a movie, sleep for hours, read a book, soak in the bath, whatever) as a battery recharge so that I have the strength to deal with all this. Because the fact of the matter is, the sooner everyone is back on their feet - the sooner I can do what I want!!

Finding Hope in Trying Times

The Creativity Beast

The Top Ten Benefits of Play

Chronic Creativity

Talent Development Resources

UPDATE 14/7/05 - ouch - I just reread this post and it's very negative isn't it? This is very out of character for me, my glass is usually always half full! I must say, just getting that off my chest yesterday has made me feel better. When you write these things down I think it helps to put them in perspective.

Friday, July 08, 2005


To-Done is a handy little site with tips and tricks on productivity and achieving a work/life balance.

Many creative people have to combine their creative pursuits with "real jobs" (gee I hate that term, there must be something better to describe the jobs we do that support our lifestyle!) so any tips on being more productive and creating more time to do our favourite things must be good!


It really goes without saying, but my thoughts and prayers are with the residents of London. Everyone seems to have a family member or friend in London or has visited the city, so the pain being felt is international.

Is it hoping for too much that I may see an end to this madness in my lifetime??

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Eden's Atelier

Eden's Atelier is a beautiful site. Eden Maxwell is an artist and author and his site contains some beautiful, thought-provoking articles on subjects such as creativity, imagination, rejection, what is art?, his odyssey to becoming an artist. You can browse his gallery of paintings, or browse his mind through his writing.

I haven't read the entire site yet, but I plan to. Every page I have read so far presents you with a gift of a beautiful phrase, an inspirational quote, a gorgeous painting. Just one example:
"To know much, you have to experience much. If you want depth, you must dig deep. What are you capable of? Do you have deep feelings that beckon you to worlds beyond imagination? Yes? What have you done about it? Are you willing to persevere against the torrential typhoon of conformity to reach the inner calm inside heaven’s gate?"

Eden's Atelier is a special place on the Internet....