Category Archives: crafts

3 Ways to Increase Your Creativity Levels Now

Community painting party in Manchester, CT

The creative process plays an intricate role in most people’s lives. Every day, in some shape or form, the basis of it is used. Creativity lives is everyone, therefore everyone is creative. However there are some moments where it seems that the creative space can not be found even in the deepest crevice of your brain. When faced with those times, you may feel stuck, unmotivated or just plain uninspired. Creativity can indeed be fleeting but here are a few tips to perhaps make it stick around a little longer.

Read a Book

Yes, read. When you feel like you are stuck in a moment where you can’t produce a thought or an idea to save your life, reading will provide a great escape. When you are reading your imagination takes over and someone else’s words fill your mind, taking the pressure off of you for a moment. Allow yourself to get lost in the tale of a fictional character’s life and take a well needed mental break. If you find yourself pressed for time, even reading a short chapter or a few pages will give your brain adequate time to reboot. Reading exercises your brain by flexing your “mind muscles” and as with any muscle, it needs to be exercised daily in order to grow.

Listen to a Guided Meditation

Meditation is one of the most ancient practices of the world, and there are reasons why it is still relevant today. Having a still moment to relax and just be present with your body is something that very few people make time for, yet the benefits are astounding. Listening to a guided meditation will allow you to clear your mind of clutter, de-stress and think more clearly. There are several ways you can practice meditation, however if you find yourself having a hard time being able to silence your thoughts, a guided meditation is the best route. Be sure to create a clean and organized space to clear your mind. You can download guided meditations online or directly from your app store. Meditating does not have to be an extensive or long process in order to reap the benefits. You can find short, yet effective 5-10 minute meditations and enjoy them on a short break.

Do a Brain Dump

Listen, it’s not as bad as it sounds, but incorporating this exercise in your day will definitely help boost your creativity levels. Brain dumping is just a mental exercise that helps you get all of your thoughts out of your mind, and onto paper. Sometimes being stuck creatively just means you have a ton of ideas but you don’t know which direction will lead you to where you want to be.

Grab a pen and paper (no technology, please) and write down any and every thought that comes to your attention. Once you’ve reached a halt, review what you have written on your paper thoroughly. After you go over your list, organize what you’ve written into a list in order of importance. Now that you have everything in front of you, you can use it as a compass to navigate you to your next task or project!

Work with Kids

It’s true that you never quite know what a child will say or do. They are generally free of the inhibitions and self-criticism we experience as adults, and that’s why they can be a great help in unlocking our creativity. Ask a child to think up a story and they’re likely to take you on a journey that zigs and zags in ways you could never have imagined. But these zigs and zags can be quite inspiring. If you have children, spend some time with them creating stories, plays, or art. If you don’t have children, consider becoming a tutor — you can help them with their academics and then offer up a creative exercise you both participate in each session. Or look for opportunities to volunteer with children through arts or literacy programs or your local library.

People tend to think that the creative process has to be a painful, drawn out experience. Finding effective ways to boost your creativity just involves you taking the time to step back and give your mind the time to catch up with your body. When you push yourself to the limit, you block the creative process and compound stress into your body. It’s always good to make nurturing your mind a part of your daily routine to ensure that creativity will always be able to find you.

Thanks to contributor Sarah Lockwood at thepreventioncoalition.org for this wonderful article. We invite guest bloggers to share ideas on creativity, arts and crafts, celebrating special occasions and family life. Please contact us if you’d like to contribute to The Art Truck blog.

 

10 creative ways to celebrate “MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU.”

Guest-blogger, Art Truck Creativity Coach, and mom, Monique Sanders, shares ideas for “MAY the 4th Be With You” celebrations guaranteed to be out of this world.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Star Wars fans started celebrating. Today, fans are celebrating new movie releases and getting ready for the galactic celebration of “MAY the 4th Be With You.”  Meanwhile, here at The Art Truck, we’ve been searching the galaxy for some out of this world arts and crafts to entertain Star Wars fans of all ages.

Build a Droid Robot

1. “These aren’t the Droids your looking for… ” Does your youngling enjoy building robots just like Anakin Skywalker? Well, we love to Party like Robots, too, so contact us if you’d like to throw a droid-building party for your creative young Padawan.

2. Edible art is delicious. Host a DIY cupcake party and have kids make storm trooper helmets using marshmallows and food markers. Or try these adorable Star Wars Character cupcakes from Betty Crocker Website. Simple, tasty and fun! Or contact us to plan your Party like a Cupcake Chef celebration with a Star Wars theme with no stress or mess for you.

3. These pencil holders are adorable, easy to make and useful. The Chewbacca pencil holder is made out of fake fur, felt, googly eyes and a pom pom nose. R2D2 is made entirely out of felt (Blue, Black, Red, Silver and White). So simple!

4. We just love using self-adhesive art supplies during Art Truck parties. So, we’re really excited about peel-and-stick moss. It’s perfect for making this Dagobah inspired magnetic chalkboard. In addition to the moss, I attached used sticks, a wooden peg, felt  and googley eyes to a small wooden magnetic chalkboard. Kids will especially love the adorable mini-Yoda.

 

4. While you have the peel and stick moss out you can create an Ewok frame to remember your favorite moment from your Star Wars celebration.  The materials you will need are: assorted brown buttons, felt for Ewok’s hood, peel n’ stick moss, sticks, rocks, a  wood frame and a glue gun to put it all together.

6. Create your own little Star Wars world in a terrarium inspired by the dessert planet of Tatooine, the forests of Endor or the frozen planet of Hoth. Upcycle glass jars and have kids find materials to fill their worlds.

7. Do you need a Costume for your Star Wars celebration? These Princess Leia and Yoda headbands are super easy to make.
8. Every Jedi needs a lightsaber.  Make your own pool noodle lightsaber with a pool noodle and duct tape. Your young Padawans will love using them during their own Star Wars games.

9. These Jawa Candle Holder with light up eyes are super cute. You’ll need felt, paint, a battery candle, cooking paper and a glass votive candle holder. You can find the instructions at Big Kid Little Kid Web Site.

10. These galaxy tie-dye shirts are out of this world! Materials are simple: a black t-shirt, bleach, a spray bottle, white, purple and blue fabric paint. Just spray the bleach on the shirt and splatter with paint.

In the words of Master Yoda “Do. Or do Not. There is no Try.” We at The Art Truck hope these ideas have inspired you to do something creative during your ‘MAY THE 4th BE WITH YOU’ celebration. May the creative force be with you!

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Bunny Mask

Hip Hop Hooray Easter’s On Its Way

This month, guest blogger, Art Truck Creativity Coach, and mom of two great kids, Monique Sanders, shares creative ideas for celebrating spring, Easter and memorable birthdays. Thanks so much, Monique!

Bunny Mask
Bunny mask created during an Art Truck party.

Spring is my favorite time of year.  The birds start singing, flowers start blooming, the weather starts warming up and Easter arrives filled with the excitement of egg hunts, Easter baskets and get-togethers with family. This year Easter is in April which Thinking just warms my heart because it is when I get to celebrate both of my kids birthdays.  So, at this time of year, I’m always looking for inspiration for spring parties and fun Easter crafts to make the celebrations more springtastic.


Crafty Spring Critters
Sock Bunny CraftA celebration isn’t complete without a cute craft the kids can bring home to remember the fun they had. Kids love spring crafts since they are filled with adorable bunnies, chicks and lambs. These no-sew easy Easter bunnies from AnnsEntitledLife.com are are so cute and simple. All you need is a colorful out-grown sock stuffed with batting or rice and put a ribbon around the neck to make the head. Add an elastic around the top and trim the sock to make the ears and decorate with googly eyes and pom poms.

Since eating hard boiled eggs in our house isn’t an Easter favorite, I’m always looking for some other options for decorating eggs such as cute chicks and animals made out of plastic Easter eggs. One idea is to use fabric or felt and googly eyes to decorate or cover eggs in string, cloth or Washi tape for Easter egg decorations that can be around for years to come.

Egg Bunnies

At The Art Truck we made these simple styrofoam egg-bunnies on a craft sticks to be used as puppets, place cards or  or even plant stakes. Plus, I love the sweet little gift bags which you can fill with  plastic eggs and other holiday treats.


Creative Baskets and Surprising Egg Hunts
Easter Ideas
Some of my fellow Moms are trying to find alternatives to the Easter basket filled with tons of candy. Well you know what they say… April showers bring May flowers. Fill a kids umbrella with some spring time fun such as art supplies, kids gardening tools, bubbles and small outdoor toys or create a themed Easter fill a baseball hat with goodies for a boy who loves the game.

Are your kids tired of the same old egg hunt? Surprise them with a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt and glowing ring toss using glow sticks. Or for another surprise, place clues in the plastic eggs that lead kids to Easter baskets.

Hangin with your Peeps
Marshmallow Peep VaseI never knew you could do so much with marshmallow Peeps! Use bunny Peeps and jelly beans to create edible centerpiece treats.

At The Art Truck we love edible art parties. So let the kids have a cupcake cake party and transform them  into spring time cuteness with marshmallow  bunnies. Instead of a gingerbread house you might find at Christmas time, create a bird house out of graham crackers, frosting, a marshmallow Peep chick, colored coconut for a nest and chocolate eggs.

Marshmallow Peep CupcakeIf you love the idea of having a spring party but don’t want to deal with the mess or stress, The Art Truck offers a wide range of creative parties from painting with Beanie Boos to a Masquerade Party where the kids will love creating personal arts and crafts to take home.

Contact us to find out how we can help you turn your spring celebration into a work of art. Happy spring!

 

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