Loving Your Creative Influences

My ballerina cousin and I, several years ago.
My ballerina cousin and I, several years ago.

Both my parents are creatives, as are my sister and brother. My brother is a writer and was the president of his slam poetry club in high school, as well as being a musician. My sister is a phenomenal artist and photographer and creates things on canvas and with her camera that both soothe and excite. My mother is a songwriter and is working on a few novels, when not gigging with my step-dad, a musician and journalist. One of my best friends is my cousin, who is a classically trained ballerina. My other best friend is an amazing guitar player and singer/songwriter. And we’ve all been involved in musical theater for most of our lives. This is the environment I grew up in. And I have only recently realized how blessed I am to have grown up this way.

Whenever I want to try something new, creatively speaking, I have several different sources to bounce ideas off of. I can trust these people who have influenced my creative development so much to give me the best advice and encouragement. It’s easy for me to assume my gifts are just inherently mine, but the truth is, I owe them as much to my genetics as I do the environment I was surrounded with in childhood.

Love your creative influences. Make sure you take time to thank those people in your life who’ve encouraged you or inspired you. Maybe they’re your friends and family, or maybe they’re strangers you’ve never met. Whoever they are, love them. Let them know you appreciate them. It’s good for your spirit, and it’s good for theirs too.

Upcycled, No-Sew, T-Shirt Necklace!

I’ve seen these t-shirt necklaces floating around Pinterest for a while now, and wanted to give it a go on some scraps I’ve had from past projects! I love how it turned out, and have already made several more! Easy, easy, easy!!

First off, I took three strips of white t-shirt I’ve had lying around from an old project. Each strip was about an inch wide and with the others I’ve made since this one I’ve cut them to be an inch wide also. After cutting the strips, I pulled and stretched them until they rolled up and were really loose.

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I used three of these strips because I knew I wanted to do just a really simple braid. After stretching/pulling, I gathered them and cut one side with a pair of scissors.

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Then the braiding! This made for a really, really long braid, so I advise you to have someone hold one end as you braid, or tie one end off somewhere so you can pull on it without the braid coming loose.

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The finished braid didn’t look very uniform at first, but I tugged on it a bit more and it evened itself out.

TshirtNecklace4Next up, I took a rectangle shaped scrap, placed it over the two open ends, and began wrapping and super glueing the ends with the rectangled scrap over top to conceal the ends and hold them together.

TShirtNecklace5 After braiding and closing up the ends, I tied a small bow out of twine and super glued it to one side of the braided necklace, about halfway up. Based on the length of the necklace and where it falls on you, you can decide for yourself where (or if) you want embellishments. I chose a spot that looked right once I put the necklace on.

TshirtNecklace6 Lastly, I hunted down an earring that I’d lost the partner for, removed the hook and super glued it on top of the two twine bows already on the necklace.

TShirtNecklace7And there you have it! I love this thing! It took almost no time, it came from things I already had on hand, and it’s PRETTY!! If you haven’t tried doing one of these yet, YOU MUST!!