Feeding Creativity {And a Giveaway!}

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A little creative quilt holding going on here!.


Happy February to my Farmgirl Friends!

I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity.  What fuels it, what keeps it burning, what helps me to keep creating.  I decided to share a few things with you that I find really helpful!  I realize that we are all different and are inspired and motivated by different things but I’m excited to share what helps me!




My Own Creative Space

I think a separate creative space is really important.  Even if all it is, is a corner in the dining room!  I have a friend that has her creative space in her guest bedroom.  She calls the room her “Pretend Guest Bedroom”!  But what I love about having a separate space is that it is impossible for me to be creative if it requires dragging everything out whenever I want to make something.  I realize that I am very lucky in the home that we built a few years ago because that was one of the requirements was that I have a complete separate space for all my sewing/crafting/writing/creating things.  I’ve waited many years for a space like this… and I’m thankful I made it a priority!


Creativity BLog Post


Surround Myself with Inspirationpiration

I love having all my sewing tools, books, and magazines handy and visible.  They inspire me just by glancing at them sitting neatly in their metal locker baskets and jars!  Because I am such a visual person, I need to see my creative tools!  If they are put out of sight, they quickly become out of mind!


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Keep Organized

I simply cannot create in a mess.  There is something in my personality that has to have everything organized in order for my creativity to flow.  Quite frequently when I have a lot of deadlines and numerous projects going on at once, things will get a bit out of control and I have to set aside time just to get everything in its place!  A few months ago I knew the day had come to do something different with my fabric.  I wanted to sort it by color and I sat down and sketched out a design plan for a shelving system and my husband built it for me.  Total game changer.  I now have my fabric folded and neatly sorted by color and I feel more creative than I have in a long time!

(On a side note:  my grand-girls sewing creativity has grown by leaps and bounds since I organized my fabric by color!  They come visit and immediately start pulling fabrics to sew with.  It makes my creative heart so happy to see!)




Keep a Sketch Pad Close

I’m a visual person.  So notes, lists, sketches are really important in my creativity.  Now don’t get me wrong… I am NOT artistic in that I simply do not have any ability to draw.  But I sure scribble ideas, make notes, draw quilt patterns and keep lists!  I like to have my purchased sewing patterns printed up where I can read over them when I’m laying in bed at night… viewing them on my phone or my computer somehow just doesn’t feed my creative brain!  (Which is strange since I’m a blogger! Smile!!)

And when I feel really overwhelmed with deadlines, I sit down and write them out and immediately the pressure is lifted and I can create again!



Some inspiring pin cushion ideas I’ve pinned on my Pinterest page 


Stay (mostly) away from Pinterest 

Don’t laugh!!  I know that most people are hugely inspired by Pinterest.  I do have a Pinterest account and I do use it occasionally for saving inspirational things.  But what often happens to me is that I have a solid idea in my mind and decide to research it on Pinterest.  Very quickly I am spiraling down a rabbit hole and my original idea is completely gone.  There have been times I never could get it back!  So unless I am completely void of any ideas, I stay away from Pinterest!



One of my favorite inspirational accounts on Instagram @sunnydaysupply


And Then There Was Instagram 

Contrary to Pinterest; I do find a lot of inspiration on Instagram.  However, I limit myself to following only the accounts that inspire me and frequently I go through and stop following the accounts that do not.  I try to keep it as clutter free as I can!  (On a side note:  not all the accounts I follow inspire only my creativity; a lot of them inspire me in my running and my physical fitness.  Inspiration and creativity come in many forms.)




Use My Phone Camera

I’m not a photographer but taking pictures is really important to me.  One huge advantage we have today is the camera on our cell phones.  Taking pictures is so easy now.  I try to take a picture every single day that inspires me to create.  Sometimes it is as simple as one little spring buttercup blooming in the woods on our farm.  I can always scroll through my picture albums and find inspiration.  (This little buttercup gave me the idea to make a spring tulip table runner, which I’m still sketching but will soon be a little quilted runner!)



The above quilt is something that was way out of my comfort zone… and I LOVE IT.  


Try New Things

It can be super hard for me to try new things.  But I pushed myself to try something new every month in 2019.  I had some huge fails, I had some big wins!  But I felt that it opened creative doors in my brain that helped me to grow.   I’m attempting the same for 2020!




Keep Projects At Hand

I love to keep a simple project in my living room so that when I sit down to relax, I have a little something to keep my hands busy.  I recently had fun learning how to make the fabric yo-yo’s and I got my grand-girls involved in learning.  I have a wooden tray where I placed fabric, scissors, needles, thread, and the different size yo-yo makers and I have just left it sitting in the living room.  When the girls come to visit, they plop down and whip out a few yo-yo’s!  We don’t know what we are going to make yet, but we have all kinds of ideas that we are throwing around (and none of them came from Pinterest!).


And now it’s Giveaway time!!!  

If you have made it to the end of this post, I’m really happy!  All you have to do to enter my giveaway is comment below with one simple thing that helps you stay creative.  Next month I’ll draw a winner and you’ll receive a fun home-made item from me.   I have no idea what it’ll be yet… but I promise it will be made by me and hopefully something that will inspire you to keep creating!


Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.



  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    I keep a spiral notebook handy to jot down notes or ideas of projects. I also keep a running list in another notebook of materials and items I wish/want to purchase. Then when I find the item and only “on sale” will I purchase it. And then there’s notes about what people like or what I want to make for a specific person in another notebook. Makes “playing” and “projecting” so much easier and fun, and ultimately gets done! I’ve been doing this since 1980 and am now on my 3rd notebook of projects I’ve given away as gifts. Helps the brain right along. Another easy thing I did 2 years ago was to put project materials and patterns/whatever I need in a 2 gallon ziplock bag. They are then put into a small basket–easy to get at when I’m in need of a project to start working on.

  2. Sandra Johnson says:

    I find inspiration in glossy magazine photos–too old school for social media, I find creativity in print!

  3. Kim Rice says:

    It sure is fun to hear how others create and keep that flow going! I also have to have “order” in my space otherwise I just get dizzy and run away’ LOL.
    I truly enjoy your inspirations and plan on “weeding” out my IG page!! It become very overwhelming
    Xo, Kim

  4. Joan Dias says:

    My determination.

  5. kim stehle says:

    I keep pictures on my phone of things I have seen which I would like to either expand on, tweak or recreate in different media or colors. I use these pictures as a starting place. Round Top flea market in Texas is my absolute favorite place to gather wonderful ideas that I can “steal”.

  6. Marlene C says:

    When I wake up in the morning I lay in bed quietly for a half hour and think creative. When I have a concrete plan in my head I get up and get started. Sometimes I get too many ideas at once and get them all tangled so i do laundry or clean house. I also organize a lot.

  7. winnie Jackson says:

    Being a caregiver for my husband this post’s has inspired me so much to continue to create with my fabric stash. I have been in a sewing/creating slump. But now after seeing all your projects and sewing room I now want to change things to be more productive in the sewing world. I thank you. You are just what was ordered for me. Many blessings, Winnie Jackson

  8. Jutta says:

    Hi Dori,
    Thank you for this inspiring post your room and quilts are so lovely. I for one am guilty of spiraling down that rabbit hole more times than I care to admit. What helps me is to just start to play with a few of my supplies, mostly paper crafts and an art journal. Then before I know it I’m what if I try this or that and I’m totally enjoying the process of creating.

  9. MS Barb says:

    I belong to a quilt guild & a stitcher’s guild; seeing other peoples’ creativity challenges me to try something new!

  10. Jackie Galluze says:

    Reading through craft magazines.

  11. Rhonda Cavaliere says:

    I am lucky enough to have a great group of friends who inspire me with their creativity. We get together to sew frequently. It helps to keep me inspired.

  12. Cheryl says:

    I have all my supplies in a guest bedroom and my sewing area is in family room. I only bring out what I need for the project of the day. If I start something new the previous project goes back to the guest bedroom closet.
    Your blog keeps me inspired!!

  13. Debbie Allen says:

    I love looking at new fabric collections, then I get ideas for all my family. The beach, horses and puppies are a few I’ve used lately. Thanks for all your ideas !

  14. Janetlee Murphy says:

    Some of my most creative thoughts come to me at 3:00am when I can’t sleep! To capture these ideas, I keep paper/pencil on my bedside, briefly jotting them down actually helps me get back to sleep!

  15. Joan gill says:

    I am a farmer-rancher artist newly moved back to Blaine Road in Moscow. Nice job on your inspiration!-Joan

  16. Lori Limberger says:

    I “schedule” time for my creative passions. If I wait until time in my schedule opens, I would rarely be able to quilt, knit, crochet or do wool applique. My crafting restores my energy!

  17. Shawna Matos says:

    I like to wander through yarn shops, fabric shops & even through Hobby Lobby or Joanns for ideas of something I can make myself. My yarn stash & idea books is on my list for organizing!

  18. Mary says:

    When the children were still home, we would often spend time organizing their toy shelves. As soon as we were finished they would begin to play with all their stuff:)
    That’s the way I am with my sewing; I need to have things neat and organized and then I can play and play!

  19. Sandy Henson says:

    I agree with you about getting “lost” on Pinterest. Also feel a big waste of time in other social media avenues. I spend a lot of time looking through special magazines, cutting out ideas and placing them in a special “Ideas” folder I keep in a easily accessible place.
    I also do lot of “communing” with Nature spirits and others, take my request to bed, and wake up with “thoughts” graced to me by the Universe. Always be open and receiving to positive thoughts. Be Aware.

  20. Susan Bozarth says:

    I’m inspired by playing with my fabrics, looking through magazines, and being with people that I want to make a gift for. I love your space, so inspiring. I’m working on getting my creative space to a point where I want it. And I’m a “messy” creative person-that’s how my brain works but once I’ve come up with my ideas I like a neat work space.

  21. Patti Piorkowski says:

    When I can read posts from other women that inspires me and keeps me creative.

  22. Julie Altman says:

    When I find myself wide awake in the middle of the night I go through the process of picking colors and making a wool Applique project in my mind. I’ve solved many mental blocks on how to proceed with a project in the middle of the night.

  23. Cindi Johnson says:

    I’ve never thought of myself as being creative until one day, years ago, I was bemoaning my haphazard way of planting flowers in the front yard and wishing aloud that I had my mother’s creative genes. My neighbor looked at me rather stunned – which surprised me in itself – and said, “Are you kidding? Your gardens are so beautiful!”. I think that’s when I started looking at things differently and getting my inspiration from other people’s enthusiasm for whatever makes them happy. It’s like they are little reminders to stop trying so hard – relax and enjoy – the creativity will flow like the unseen breeze and you will only see it when it moves something (or someone).

  24. ROMA HORTON says:

    When I get everything organized before I’m even finished the ideas start to pop!!

  25. Gail Alderman says:

    I am inspired by my love for sewing.

  26. Cyndie Gray says:

    One thing that inspires me is YOU, dear friend!!
    And one thing I learned from you is to keep something handy in the living room where DAN & I relax! I dug our my crochet hooks that hadn’t been used for literally decades & took off!
    I started with crocheting and doing on fleece fabric for cuddle blankets for our littlest grands, then went to hats & ear bands for our daughters & the older grands & now I have found a slipper pattern I love that is easy, as one granddaughter requested slippers rather than a hat!! So thank you for helping me along my creative journey dear Dori! (Oh I also bought a pattern kit for quilting a mug rug & a teapot cozy but haven’t gotten brave enough to buy fabric & try it out yet )

  27. Irene says:

    Much of my inspiration comes from Instagram, magazines and I just got one from you for the pin cushion. Also they just pop into my head when I want to change things around.

  28. Laura says:

    Organization. Tidiness. Notepad. Graph paper. Sharp pencils with good erasers.
    But, most of all, a large window with clear northern light allowing me to look out at the world.

  29. Linda says:

    I love having my cell phone to take pictures of possible projects when I see them or when I think of an idea I use the Notes app to write down my inspirations.
    Would you share your Pinterest account name so I could follow along? I love your creativity and would like to follow you. Thank you for the giveaway.

  30. Sheena Dorak says:

    I find spending time outside or even going for a drive out of town helps me stay creative. Removing myself from my everyday surroundings sparks my creativity.

  31. Jeanne Dimick-Rego says:

    Walking with our pups on our property and forgetting about life’s pressures opens the door for my mind to wander and ideas to come in – even on the bad weather or stressful days. The girls are always my best mojo. When I get home, I journal my ideas with basic details for another day. Like you, avoid pinterist and most social media because of the rabbit hole you described. When I read your posts it is uncanny how much we are alike. Always look forward to your posts. They are real and thoughtful. Thank you, Jeanne

  32. CJ says:

    I used to have creative ideas rumbling in my head all the time and did many creative projects through the years. Over the past 5-6 years I’ve experienced some significant, life-changing health issues and have impacted everything in my life and have given my creative mojo a severe beating. I have had to let go of so many things which include some of my projects. However, I still try to do some sewing and papercrafting, but not to the extent I used to. Sheer determination is what it takes to start something, and it is in starting that I feel the creativity start to flow and the joy return. It’s an up and down process as I am not able to function this way every day.
    I do have a room that I call my “project room” but my sewing machine and supplies, except for fabric are in another room. It helps to just sit in there and think. The struggle is very real and I cherish each moment of inspiration.

  33. Karli Foreman says:

    Hi Dori, Thanks for your inspiring writings! I am not a quilter but my mom is. I create with paint, or pen or marker or … ! Growing up my mom always had her music playing while she was sewing. We lived in the Southwest -it was usually a country song with a good two-steppin’ beat! So I continue that creative inspiration by always having some of my favorite music playing while I paint and create!!

  34. Treese says:

    I’ve been embroidering a set of pillow cases with horses and flowers on them for about 2 years! I too try and keep them in my sitting room and have them handy. However, living on a cattle ranch as you see with a unfinished 2 year project gives me very little sitting time!

  35. Denise Woods says:

    Like you, I like to keep some type of project (usually knitting!) next to my chair so I can work on it at night. It keeps my hands busy and calms me down after a long day.

  36. Lisa Harness says:

    Pictures I have displayed & laughter!

  37. BEVERLY says:

    Dori I really enjoyed reading your column. Your craft room is an inspiration and made me realize I need to become more organized. I like to leaf through quilting magazines in the evening for tips, ideas and color combinations.

  38. Sanne says:

    Thank you for this kick in the you-know-where! I had started out well with my office/creative space and it has become the catch-all instead. A day of cleaning out and cleaning up is in order to get back into my creative groove. I love you shelf wall with the fabrics and will have to figure out a way to incorporate something similar, thanks! And then I will need a wood-working space next… 🙂

  39. Anne Fisher says:

    I’m just catching up on blogs –after reading about the quilts made out of the shirts -here’s another with the tears falling and then I can’t breathe, cause my head is all stuffy! I lost my husband 35 years ago when I was 47 with all 4 kids still at home. We had a year after the colon surgery. Wishing now that I had had this inspiration! If only–we could see into the coming days, to just “know”. I have a problem with being able to “create” -just taking the time to DO! Same thing here–I have to have the things out, visible and handy that I really want to do. Though all too often,that doesn’t help! Some of that (in my opinion!!) is age!! I have a room to sew-but oh my gosh it is such a mess, it keeps me from going in there. So bad of me to envy your beautiful, organized space!!! Happy Creative Days ahead for you!! Enjoy reading about all of those special things.

  40. Nancy Wallace says:

    I,too, work in a tiny “pretend guest room”. The space is so limited that I have to be very organized. I use baskets on bookshelves to organize my FQs by color and put precut squares in ziplock bags so I can see them. Love to be able to see all those colors!

  41. Kate Lehman says:

    I belong to groups that meet regularly to inspire one another. And I try to do one large or small creative project every day, even if it’s just posting a photo on Instagram!

  42. Pamela says:

    Inspiration comes from reading your Farmgirl blog with your pictures. Since I am a visual learner, I cut ideas from magazines to stow away. I also keep picture ideas and recipes on my phone. Lastly, I skim the monthly calendar events pages of our local Kansas Country Life magazine for workshops or seminars. Just recently I attended a weekend textiles seminar run by Sisters at an organic environmentally friendly alpaca farm. The price was very reasonable, brought a friend on a tight budget, learned to knit and had a wonderful getaway. Pamela

  43. Reba says:

    Looking at flowers or trees in the woods make me creative! In the time just before Spring I look at the flowers in the grocery stores, to add color to a home, and it makes me anticipate Spring coming soon! But then when the flowers begin popping up I use that energy to re-decorate my home, look at fabrics to add color for items I want to make such as cushions (I used to have little dresses to sew but not in a while), and clean out the no longer used items for someone else to love! It even affects relationships as I share the energy and excitement of what I am creating!

  44. Pam says:

    Thank you, Dori, for once again inspiring me to get back to my sewing room. Amazing how the business of life can keep me from projects and crafts that I need to get back to for my own sanity and fulfilling creativity. All your ideas are so lovely!

  45. Beth says:

    I SO agree with your comments re Pinterest! A little bit of that goes a very long way for me, and I find I work and create much better without a lot of extra distractions (especially when they’re visual — ack! “rabbit hole” describes this syndrome so well)
    I’m still working on organizing my small space and your photos and ideas will definitely inspire me. Thanks!

  46. Coralynn H Thompson says:

    I really enjoy my magazines like
    Mary Jane’s Farm, Country Living, and Farmhouse for inspiration. I have another wonderful source on line, JagCagDesigns, my daughters site. We bounce ideas off each other regularly!

  47. Renee Hames says:

    All things vintage!

  48. Nanette says:

    Good for you, Dori. I wish I was as motivated as you are. I have a few household projects “hanging over my head” and just can’t seem to get started. Maybe as the days lengthen (yay) I’ll get in the mood. Spring is my favorite season, and soon it will be here! Thanks for the uplifting post. An online friend, Nanette

  49. Paula Sullivan says:

    Reading magazines , number one MJF ,helps me get ideas for things I’d like to do. Instagram and YouTube help as well as I follow creative people there. Journaling is another creative thing I do.

  50. Sherri Winters says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on keeping the creative juices flowing. One of my favorite things that challenges my creativity and “teach this old dog new tricks” is to hang around with my teenage / early twenties grandchildren. They are very artistic and are always showing me new creative endeavors on their computers or projects using different mediums that they learned in art class. I love their individuality and that they love to share their skills and knowledge with Gramma :-).
    Keeping up with them sure is fun!

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