gleeful grandiva

creative living for big and little kids

HOW TO CRAFT YOUR WAY TO A BETTER LIFE

craft your way picture

 

When you come across a cardboard box, what do you see?

For many, the answer will be a box. Others will see a container in which to store things.

For crafters, the answer is possibilities.

That wonderful cardboard container can be transformed into hundreds of fun and fabulous things.

A shoebox is a perfect size for a desk caddie or mini dolls house.

craft your way picture

A shoe box makes a perfect mini doll house.

The lid can be transformed into a fun marble maze.

craft your way picture

The lid can be turned into a marble maze.

Larger boxes offer even more opportunities.

A few weeks ago I was cleaning the art storeroom at work and came across a huge box that had contained a large pedestal fan.

I immediately became excited at the possibilities and instead of throwing it out, brought it home. I transformed it into a play shop for the Goddesses, complete with an opening counter top. That little bit of creativity earned me lots of extra hugs and kisses.

craft your way picture

A large box becomes a toy store.

 

craft your way picture

And everyone loves playing in it.

CRAFT YOUR WAY TO SEEING POSSIBILITIES

During a recent walk with Hubby,  I saw some pine tree leaves on the ground.

I didn’t actually see pine tree leaves, I saw hula skirts, so I started collecting the leaves to bring home for a fun craft project.

Last week, four-year-old Goddess asked: “Please Grandy, can I have a mini telescope without the paper?”

As someone who has been crafting since before she could walk, this Goddess, like the others, doesn’t see a toilet paper roll – she sees a possibility.

PEGS, TONGS, AND MORE LEAVES

A few days later she was playing with some clothes pegs when she said we should make some craft with them.

I asked what she thought would be a good craft and she held one peg in each hand, opening and closing them, and said “a crab”.

craft your way picture

Watch out for those snapping claws.

Last year, the five-year-old Goddess was helping me put dishes away when she came across some small tongs and suggested we use them for a craft.

As the silicon tips were deteriorating and I was planning on getting rid of them anyway, I agreed.

Once again, I left the project idea up to her and she came up with an ingenious idea to make snapping crocodiles.

Yesterday, the three-year-old Goddess picked up a leaf from a large Jade plant and asked if we could use it for a craft.

I asked her what we should make.

She said it would make a good eye. I said we’d need two if we were going to make a person and she replied that we should make an alien because they have one eye.

I realise I’m slightly biased :), but I think these ideas are brilliant from such young minds.

In my Wacky Workshops school of arts and crafts for kids, I could easily spot the children who regularly made crafts.

Their imaginations were better, as well as their fine motor skills, and their confidence.

Those kids were not intimidated about trying new things and coming up with wacky ideas for projects.

They could see the possibilities in everything which is a skill that will serve them all their lives.

CRAFT YOUR WAY TO SEEING OPPORTUNITIES

The ability to think creatively means you can find solutions and opportunities more easily.

It makes the world feel extra exciting because a toilet paper roll is not just a roll. It is a telescope, binoculars, or a sweet little fairy house.

craft your way picture

The boring box becomes a game, a fun toy, a clever storage solution.

A boring job becomes a learning opportunity and a chance to gather stories.

Household chores become a game with rewards (freshly cut flowers?) for reaching the finish line.

Every person has the ability to think creatively but it takes training and practice to open your eyes to the possibilities in everything.

TRAIN TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX – AND TRANSFORM IT

That is where crafting comes in. The more you make, the more you start the see the possibilities. This thinking flows on to other parts of your life like your business and your relationships. You can craft your way to a better life.

I’m not talking about painting, though that also has benefits.

It’s not about following a set pattern or specific instructions to sew, or knit, or build.

It is about seeing the possibilities to turn everyday items into something different.

I’m talking about training your mind to think outside the box, so you can transform it.

Many refuse to acknowledge the creative side to them.

Sometimes it is a desire for perfection that holds them back or the belief they can’t do it right. (One of my favourite things about arts and crafts is there is no ‘right’).

Some claim they haven’t the time and yet if they realised the benefits, they would see it as an essential part of their training to be more effective in business, and in life.

HOW TO CRAFT YOUR WAY TO A BETTER LIFE

If you don’t automatically see the telescope in the toilet paper roll or the hula dancer in the leaf, you could challenge yourself to one small project each week. It will dramatically change the way you see things around you.

Sometimes it’s helpful to look at pictures to gain ideas if you haven’t spent much time crafting. However, in time, you will start to see the possibilities in everything.

I’m putting out a challenge this week. Find a stick or sticks, and see how you can transform them. Read my posts Making These Fairy Furniture Projects is a Walk in the Park and How to Turn Sticks into Wonderful and Useful Objects to get some ideas.

I’d love to see your creations and if you want to share them, add them to the comments below or share to my Facebook page.

If you’d like more ideas on how to craft your way to a better life, sign up the newsletter, Gleeful Greetings.  Once a week you will be given the link to a free Wacky Wednesday craft project, as well as links to some wonderful web finds and my Monday Meanderings.

 

Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.

 

 

 

 

 

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38 Comments

  1. How awesome, Tami. I wish you were in my neighborhood to lead some crafting projects with my kids. I love the TP roll fairy houses!!!!!!
    Reba Linker recently posted…Lessons from Queen EstherMy Profile

  2. She is very creative and that’s wonderful that you are fostering this creativity. I’m a big crafter and always enjoy making something from nothing. Thanks for sharing.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…Meatless Buffalo Mac and Cheese RecipeMy Profile

  3. It takes someone with a wonderful imagination to think outside of box and find alternate uses for things. Great job!
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…How to Easily and Purposefully Generate Great IdeasMy Profile

  4. Love this post, Tamuria! And this, just this: “Please Grandy, can I have a mini telescope without the paper?”
    That says it all. Out of the mouths of babes, no? I’ll keep that as a touchstone to let creativity soar!
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted…A Character I Wish I Would have CreatedMy Profile

    • I thought that was pretty cute too, Susan.I also felt quite proud that they have such great imaginations and creativity.

  5. Love this idea of encouraging kids from a young age to ‘see the possibilities’, as that doesn’t only serve in crafting, but also in life, Tami. Love all the creative ideas your Goddesses are ‘seeing’ and doing. Learning to think outside the box really serves not only children, but it continues on into adulthood too. Fun ideas and what a great way to take something that might be destined for the garbage or hopefully recycling and then making something brand new from it!
    Beverley Golden recently posted…Why Do We Need Antioxidants Anyway?My Profile

    • Encouraging creativity really does tick several boxes. As you said, Beverley, the benefits continue on into adulthood and of course, the recycling aspect is wonderful.

  6. Natasha Botkin

    Suchba fun post! Thanks for sharing. Xoxo

  7. Love this! Such creativity! Thank you!
    Denise recently posted…Guest Post: Love Literary Style by Karin GillespieMy Profile

  8. Memories come flooding in, Tamuria, as I remember all the wonderful things I used to do as a child in Kabul way back in the mid-70s – no television and the need to keep little children busy at home during the long winter school breaks.

    I still make little book marks and votive holders as gifts for close friends and loved ones. I think I’ll do something this weekend with the 2 shoe boxes I was planning to throw away – recycling in a creative way. 🙂

    • Television can sure get in the way of leading a creative life, Vatsala. Good to hear you are still crafting and I’m extra happy to think I may have inspired you to reuse those shoe boxes.

  9. I remember using boxes for crafts quite a bit as a kid. The biggest find was a refrigerator box! Oh, my, the fun we had.
    Carol Rundle recently posted…Transform Your Holidays Into Healthy HolidaysMy Profile

    • Oh yes, Carol, big boxes are the BEST. I remember making a Bat Cave out of a fridge box for the boys when they were little. A few weeks later I got my hands on another large box I was able to convert into the Batmobile. They loved it.

  10. Loved this.. and fun seeing that, I don’t do that any more… as mine are older teens but some day I will be a grandma and that might be the fun again. I see a box and quickly tear it down so I don’t save it for that project I’ll never do… lol

    • Hahaha – the things I save for projects I never do – don’t even get me started. Hope the crafting bug bites you again soon Kristen. 🙂

  11. This looks so delightfully fun! Ready to get my craft items out of my closet and play with my granddaughter this weekend. Sewing, creating, crafting is one of the reasons I love 4 Seasons in Spokane. Time to pull in and play!

    • I’m sure you and your granddaughter will have so much fun this weekend, Candess. The Goddesses are so used to us making crafts, they are quite disappointed when we can’t for some reason.

  12. Such terrific ideas! Me, I love boxes. I try to interest my cats in them, but they are unlike the 7 gazillion other cats in the world and just walk away. How unfeline can you get? 😉
    Jackie Harder recently posted…Are you focused on the right thing?My Profile

    • Haha, your cats certainly are unusual in that respect Jackie. I used to have a cat who claimed every box lying around and would swipe at you if you tried to move her.

  13. Loved all of these fantastic and very creative ideas for crafting 🙂
    Thanks for sharing Tami! Looks like your little grandkids enjoyed being “creative” 🙂
    Joan M Harrington recently posted…Here’s A Proven Blueprint For Creating Content That’s Ten Times Better Than The CompetitionMy Profile

  14. Tami, i;m saving this quote to my quote file – The ability to think creatively means you can find solutions and opportunities more easily. I’ve always known about the relationship between creativity and solutions, but I never gave thought to include opportunities and that both occur more easily. Much food for thought here along with considering joining a craft program.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…How to keep up business productivity when the time clock shiftsMy Profile

    • Joining a craft program is a wonderful idea, Joyce. Try to find one that encourages putting your own spin on projects and not just follow instructions for projects. This is how we can train our minds to find the opportunities and solutions.

  15. Hello,
    A great motivating Piece that has me thinking of getting ready for the holidays. I love to make little kind of popsicle sticks with my son. He loves to use the glue and I teach him the different ways to stack. I also like to use the glue gun and crafting relaxed me.

    Lori English

  16. I adore this post. As a designer I experience many of the same thoughts as you do. Every time I empty a vessel, I consider how it could be used to store my gems or metals. I use raw vegetable containers (the kind you buy for parties with the precut veggies and dip) to house my current projects. And our empty boxes and bags always become play toys for our kittie. Your analogy of crafting and looking for possibilities in our life is perfect
    Alene Geed recently posted…In Praise of EarringsMy Profile

    • You would need many containers for all the wonderful little treasures used in your beautiful jewellery, Alene. People who use their mind to create projects often don’t even realise how often they use creative thinking in other aspects of their lives because it becomes a a habit.

  17. I was never much of one for crafts, but my kids were great at it. I can see how this would help to train your brain how to think outside the box. Great post, thanks!!

    • It’s fantastic your kids enjoy making crafts Lisa. Using our imagination and creativity can make a big difference in all aspects of life.

  18. We don’t have any littles, so I have to admit to being a little envious of the awesome craft projects. I know I could make them for myself. Maybe I should give that a try sometime.

    • I think you really should give them a try Jennifer. It’s fun to share the projects with little ones but there is something truly soothing about creating stuff on your own, just for the sake of it.

  19. Julia

    I love all the ideas and crafts and am astounded at the creative imagination of your grandchildren, whilst also knowing for my work as an English teacher the wonderful and creative imaginations children have. Throughly enjoyed this post and agree with you about the importance of developing our creative imaginations, thank you.

    • Thank you, Julia. The little Goddesses really do have great imaginations and I’m sure it’s due, in part, to having done arts and crafts projects from such an early age. It is so important to develop our creative imaginations as that can help us in many other parts of our lives.

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