Rest, creative energy and art

Last week I wrote about how making time for doing nothing, for rest, and for savoring the joys of summer is important for well-being and creativity.

And then a funny thing happened. After having been focused on rest, I began tackling some creative projects I’d been thinking about for a long time.

Stillness increased my creative energy.

I made a batch of soap.

I made a batch of cold processed soap scented with lavender and cedar

I started painting a bookshelf from my studio. And with Matthias’ help I crafted a sewing table to replace the card table I’d been using.

Painting furniture on the patio in my garden

This new table (I’m painting it blue!) started out as the base of my old Ikea cabinet desk.

My old computer desk was a cabinet that took up a lot of space in my studio

When I stopped using it to make more room in my studio, I took it apart and have since repurposed many pieces (the small table with the orange top in the photo above used parts of it, too. Now it’s Matthias’ new beer brewing stand).

For my sewing table Matthias cut 2x2s and attached them as legs using the original hardware. I love that I’m reusing something I already had and that it will now be a simple table in a fun, joyful color.

Sometimes projects like this can feel so daunting. So big. The soap project was on hold for months. First because I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed (and I kept vacillating about which essential oils I wanted to use). After I got the ingredients, when I finally set aside time to work on it, I couldn’t find my safety goggles.

Even when you have all of what you need for a project, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and then procrastinate starting something because of how much time it will take. Often, though, each step of a project only takes a small amount of time and something like soap making, once everything is set up, takes less time than making a cake.

I’ve been giving myself a little bit of time each day for the furniture projects. Each coat of paint, or primer or sealant doesn’t take much time. And each day’s work adds up.

As with my watercolors and my garden, patience, slowness, mindfulness help me in whatever project I’m tackling,

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part.

What about you? What projects have you been dreaming of? How can you make them happen?