The last few months have been slow in the shop – the normal summer lull. I’ve been unmotivated and quite honestly in a creative funk. Now that school is back in session I’m excited to get back into things and get pumped about the Christmas season ahead. Today I thought I’d share a few tips on how to kick a creative funk. Be sure to leave your own in the comments below.

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have an encouragement wall in your studio/office

I just recently moved my sewing/computer desk under my encouragement wall, so that when I’m working on the blog, shop or Natural Living Real Life, I can look up and see the encouragement of my family, friends & customers from throughout the years. It’s such a joy to look up and see these handwritten notes and it encourages me to keep moving forward with what I’m doing. I’d suggest that everyone have an encouragement wall or at least a box to keep cards in to revisit on a regular basis.

think outside of your normal box

For the last 11+ years I’ve created things that I like personally for my jewelry shop. Lately I feel like that mindset has been stifling me, so I’m working now to branch out and create some styles that might not be my cup of tea but that could be someone else’s. It’s fun to think outside my normal jewelry box (pun intended) and helps stretch my creative muscles. I believe we all need that. We need to be stretched and challenged to come up with something new and different.

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collaborate with someone else

Collaborating is so important! Of course, you want to be sure that you know who the person is and how they work before you collaborate to protect yourself. However, collaborations can help you get out of that normal box that I spoke about earlier and can stretch you to do something new. It’s also a great way to cross-promote and energize your creativity. I did this the other day with a friend who has a fashion blog. She and I came up with a Belle of the Midwest collection that we’ll be launching next month. At first I was nervous because it’s not necessarily the style that I’ve been doing in my shop, but then I got really excited about what this collaboration can bring. Finally I became excited to create again!

have an inspiration wall or binder (or pinterest board)

We all need inspiration! Creative funks hit everyone. So start saving things that inspire you or that you like. Clip things out of magazines, even if they don’t have anything to do with what you create in your shop. Clip out favorite colors, textures, ideas, quotes – and then put them up on the wall or in a binder that you can look through when you’re in a rut. If you’re more the electronic type, keep a Pinterest board. If you don’t want other people to see it, make it a hidden board that is for your eyes only. We all do it, no shame.

How do you kick a creative funk?

For the last few months, I’ve been in my slow season for the business. I’ve gone on this health journey and started a new blog since then so I have to assume God has allowed all of this to happen together knowing that otherwise I wouldn’t have had time to start sharing what I’m learning. I’ve been really excited to share with others about food and essential oils as medicine, which in turn has made me less excited about making jewelry. Which has made me sad to think about. I do feel like God has given me the gift of creativity, so I don’t ever see myself not being creative – I just think I’m in an uninspired place right now.

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Until the other day. I have had a vision for making some diffuser necklaces for a while now, at least the last month or so. I’ve searched and searched for another design that I have in my mind but was so excited when the idea came to me to use my wax seals to make wax seal diffuser necklaces. The perfect mixture of both of my worlds. And I was excited again. And the response on social media was awesome. Other people were excited about it as well.

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free sterling silver teeny stamped band with any $50 purchase!
Today only (7/18/14) you will receive a free sterling silver teeny stamped band with any purchase over $50. Use coupon code teenybandfree to get the $18 taken off of your purchase price.

(not valid on previous purchases, one coupon code per transaction, valid 7/18/14 only. expires at midnight EST)

IMG_0770xcropToday I’m giving FREE First Class shipping with any domestic order (international orders can get a discount off their shipping charge). I will give FREE international shipping to orders over $100! Use the following codes based on where you fit with your order:

orders under $50 – shipfree 
orders over $50 – shipfree50
international orders over $100 – shipfreeIntl

(one coupon code per order. not valid on previous purchases.
expires at midnight EST on 6/27/14.)

{{ and did you see?? there’s a new bangle in the shop! }}

{Disclosure: I was sent a pair of earrings for free to review for this post. My thoughts are my own and are my honest feelings about the product.}

I’m so excited to tell you today about Kilee and her new business. Some of you know her on Instagram as onelittlemomma and her belt business One Little Belt. I’m super excited to tell you about her newest venture – Nickel & Suede.

nickelandsuedelogoNickel & Suede is a shop full of wonderful accessories, most made of leather. From their website:

Kilee is a style and DIY blogger who will often alter an existing item or make something herself to get just the right look. One Saturday while getting dressed, she was looking for the right color of gold earring; everything she owned was too yellow. She remembered she had picked up a piece of gorgeous gold textured leather the week before and thought maybe it would work for earrings. She traced her favorite pair of silver teardrop earrings and cut them out.

OLB5As she attached the hooks, she could see that the look was perfect; what she didn’t expect was that they felt even better than they looked! The leather was so lightweight, flexible, and comfortable. They didn’t pull on her ears, cut into her neck, or even make a sound. Soon, Kilee started wearing these leather earrings exclusively. When she realized she was even wearing them to mow the lawn because she couldn’t even feel them, she knew she was onto something.

In 2013, Kilee started selling leather earrings and eventually leather cuffs, which had also been spontaneously created as the perfect accessory to one of her outfits. Her business expanded from leather belts for babies and toddlers into leather accessories to keep women feeling stylish and comfortable for everything from errand runs to date nights.

n&s3I was sent this amazing pair of weathered turquoise earrings in size 2.5″ – aren’t they fabulous? I love how light they are, despite being leather. The leather is so soft and I hardly notice them when I’m wearing them. Kilee sent them on a really unique wooden earring card in a Nickel and Suede jewelry box. Every detail was so well thought out. I’m so impressed and can’t wait to get my own slit leather cuff!

n&s2Kilee has generously offered to give away a $50 gift certificate to Nickel & Suede. You can follow her via social media: website | facebook | instagram and enter to win the $50 gift certificate below.

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