Tag Archive | Creativity

Homemade Christmas gift ideas

I’ve enjoyed giving homemade gifts since I was a kid. My gifts now are a lot more sophisticated than they were back then (beads on a measure of yarn, tied at the ends to create a necklace). I’m not into baubles, which makes a lot of craft books for homemade gifts not very helpful to me. I prefer gifts that entertain, and I work with a low budget. Some that I’ve made in recent years are as follows:

– Audiobooks using a program called Audacity, which can be downloaded for free. It’s extra fun if you stick in music and sound effects. (Here’s a picture of the four I made last year).

 

Homemade Audiobooks– Christmas Gift

 

– Comics. Now, mine are drawn, but I have siblings that have done sprite comics before. Those might be considered less daunting. All I really need is paper, sheet protectors, and a binder or folder

– Stories that I wrote. The easiest thing for me to do is write parodies or fairy tale retellings. I also created an amusing nonfiction piece for my roommate on the occasion of her engagement– to tell the story of her courtship through my eyes. It was fun, I stuck in lots of photos and clipart to give it a kind of scrapbook-y feel.

 

 

 

– Calendars with my artwork (photos can work too). I get them printed through an online store called Zazzle. I had a friend draw an illustration of me as a My Little Pony and send it to me in Desktop Wallpaper format, so there are more uses for artwork than calendars.

– Videos. Good for entertaining, informing, or recording.

Thats generally what I do. Other ideas that might work are: recipes, cookie mixes, letters of appreciation, candles, quilts, costumes, and cards. I make cards and valentines the way some people make Facebook memes, so they’re usually fun and funny.

 

Tangled Valentine

 

Or they can be sweet.

 

Father's Day

 

You can make baubles out of… well, just about anything with a little creativity, but my family usually uses beads or polymer clay.

There’s a lot of sewing projects you can do out of old T-shirts (some you don’t even need to sew, you just need a pair of scissors) that you can look up online.

Conversation jars would be simple enough to make, especially if you have the right sense of humor (personally, I think the concept of a conversation jar is a little appalling, like people aren’t capable of holding conversation without help, but it could be a nice… I don’t know, party game sort of activity).

 

Have other ideas? Leave a comment.

New Image: Tamara Lynn

Only  TWO DAYS to color this. That almost never happens. I wish I had more artwork like this.

This is inspired by the story of Tam Lin– where a girl saves a guy from the fairies by holding onto him while he goes through a series of animal transformations. I did a gender flip for this image, which I think works thematically. I could be wrong, but I think woman tend to be more changeable in moods and behaviors, and some guys are wonderful because they bear it patiently.

 

 

Everything was much wilder in the doodle. Color tends to tame things a bit. It looks almost serene, even though it was inspired by a lot of chaos. Tamara’s dress was actually easier to color than the background. There’s some nice, recognizable animal elements in there. When I finished, she actually reminded me of what an animal deity from a different culture might look like- especially with all the colors. That’s alright, I think she still looks cool.

I’m pleased with this image, perhaps in part because I finished it so quickly, so I never lost the hype I got from the concept, when I looked at the doodle thinking, “This could be so cool.” It would be great if most of my artwork was like this, and I could make a lot of beautiful artwork in a shorter amount of time.

 

Last time, with Shifter, I didn’t get a lot of response, except from my good friend who I emailed it to. I kind of hope I get more for this one. Not because I need the attention, but I like it, so I want other people to like it.

 

I wonder what great thing I’ll do next?

My Roommate

I guess I really haven’t written very much this year, even though a lot is actually happening. For one thing, I’m rooming with a good friend of mine again. It’s so nice to have her back. She’s been in Thailand of late. She’s engaged to a really great guy. I was able to surprise her yesterday with this little creation. The tricky part was finding a silhouette where the guy wasn’t noticeably taller than the girl.

 

 

I’ve been working on something else for her too. More about that later.

 

She listened to one of the audiobooks I made last year, the Princess Bride spoof, and thought that I could really do something with… this. Like if I could start a Youtube channel and share it on Facebook and see what comes of it. It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? I’m rather dubious myself, but I like the encouragement anyway. It would be great if I could do something like that, where I would have complete autonomy over my work, and the creative freedom to pursue my own ends. It’s not like I’d do it for the money, the only problem is that I do need money. I’m sure that has been the plague for countless creative people now and in times past.

 

If I could know that I would be provided for, I would be able to try some of these things out. I mean, I’ll be writing and drawing and stuff anyway for the rest of my life. It would be nice to think all of that actually went into something.

Over

The worst of it is over. Except for White Glove, of course.

Here’s how I’ve been entertaining myself. Happy super-early Earth Day.

 

Life gets interesting

Well, I’m procrastinating on my homework, which is a shame, because I’m usually good about keeping that up. Yesterday was bad, because I got caught up in a new activity.

It started when I found out I wasn’t giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting after all (which I was a little miffed to discover), so I had to reformat the talk into a lesson plan so I could still use it for my Final project in Religion class. While I was working on it, I got the weird idea to create a visual for it. After toying with the idea, I came up with this:

 

It was also my first time working with sort of overlapping images. Remember I’m doing this all without Photoshop too, this was created using Pages. Once I made this, I had to do some experimenting to see what else I could do.

 I’ve been doing some creative writing as well. This is not a good time to get caught up in spurts of creativity, Finals are coming up. These next few weeks are going to be really important to my grade. Nevertheless, I am grateful to have been able to explore, at least a little bit.

About Christmas

So sorry I didn’t make a Christmas post. Christmas was a bit bigger than I expected, and I’ve been busy ever since it.

We siblings pitched in our Christmas money to get the latest Phoenix Wright game. I told you how excited I was during the school year when I found out about the existence of such a game. It was one of the little things I would think about to make me happy when things were getting rough. I’m almost done with it now (the finale case is super intense, I needed a break). I approve of all the slight changes they made to the game play, the cases were intriguing, and as far as organization goes, it looks like they’ve shaken things up a little bit. There are good story/character moments as well.

As for the homemade audiobooks I gave, as far as I know only my youngest sister has listened to all of them. Her response was positive, but I always knew her to be the biggest fan of my work. I’m grateful that the ‘comedic storytelling’ CD was a success, since that one was the most experimental. Making these CDs was a wonderful experience. It’s great to at last make a homemade gift that’ is of decent quality and purpose (I sometimes get rather aghast at what people think would make a good homemade gift– it’s usually either to difficult to make without a thorough knowledge of the skills involved, or it’s pointless for anything but decorative purposes and flimsy to boot) I think I would like to do this more in the future. There are so many creative possibilities. It’s enough to drive one mad. I would like to explore this so very, very much. But there are things in life that must be attended to, like housekeeping and school and maybe one of these days, a job. Not enough hours in a day.

But take a look: Here’s a picture of what I managed to get done for my siblings for Christmas. Enjoy the day my friends.

 

And another thing

Another thing I’ve learned from listening to myself record my work and having it play back to me as I go through the editing is that I’m a weak writer. I kinda expected to discover that. Still, I didn’t anticipate this many holes in my work. It would almost take an entire rewrite. I suppose it’s good that I have this experience, even though I don’t know what good it will do in the long run. When I think about it, this year isn’t the first time I wondered how feasible it would be to create a homemade audiobook. I’ve wondered for a while. Having a laptop and time has allowed me to explore the possibility.

 

I just… would love to be able to create something really cool. I get excited when my family and I create something. My sister finished an afghan blanket, my Mom and brothers are collaborating in creating a strategic swashbuckling game, and another of my sisters is creating a computer game. This is all really good. But then…. then I look at music videos, like by  The Piano Guys and I read books and I look at other people’s artwork and…. And I think there is so much out there, so much potential, and I haven’t even brushed up against it. What if I could do something truly amazing

Creative wallpapers + project

Today I discovered a creative way to make really cool desktop wallpapers for your computer. It’s so easy, just turn the visualizer on in your iTunes and take a screenshot of it. Voila.

 

 

About my other projects, I’m creating the cover for my audiobook. One of these days, I should learn graphic design on the computer, so it would look cooler and more professional, but what I’m doing will work well enough. After all, this whole project happened kind of by accident. I’m getting that creative adrenaline rush, so I’ve been wanting to come up with a whole bunch of projects in preparation for Christmas.

 

When I was a kid, I prepared for Christmas starting in October. I’d come up with all sorts of ideas for homemade Christmas presents and stuff. These days, I still like the idea of creating homemade Christmas presents, but I have much higher standards as to the quality of those presents. Last year I wrote a comic. This year I’m creating an audiobook, which is a step up in my mind. I like to think there are more things that I can do, I’ve got some ideas running around in my head, but none specific enough to be really helpful; videos, books, audio recordings, sewing projects, homemade nicknacks…. hopefully something will occur to me, because I really love having projects to work on.

 

Success on an unplanned project!

Today was a good day.

 

Mind you, it didn’t start out that way. It rained yesterday and the rain froze overnight and got a little snow on top. I was up at 5:45 trying to get the ice off the car so I could take my sister to seminary. Eventually we had to give up, that car is difficult enough even without ice covering it and the road.

 

There wasn’t much chance of going back to sleep, so I puttered around on my computer before breakfast. I watched Dancing with the Stars, and it was absolutely lovely– with one of the best concepts for a trio dance that I have ever seen. It put me in a really good mood. So much so that I actually did a more thorough job of cleaning the kitchen than I normally do.

 

When that was done, I got worried that today would turn out to be really unproductive, like yesterday almost did. But instead I found a secluded room, and I recorded myself reading something I wrote weeks ago, a spoof of Sherlock. It’s not a brilliant piece of work, but it is funny. I had intended to put it on a flash drive and give it as a gift for Christmas, but I read through it yesterday and I thought it was a shame it wasn’t an audio recording, things tend to be funnier when they are heard than when they are read. Then I realized… why not? I probably could record it, and then burn it onto a C.D. Today I did the recording. It turned out good, it didn’t even take too long. I got a lot more bang for my buck on this project than I typically get with my artwork or writing comics… and I didn’t even plan on doing it, it just sort of… happened.

 

So now I’m exhausted (it didn’t take too long, but it was draining enough) but I’m also super excited because of this success, so I’m on an adrenaline rush. Bad combination. Still, it’s opening up new possibilities in my mind. Maybe I can look into comedy, and work on that along with my artwork. I don’t think my skill in either will get me money, but I think it could make people happy and that’s good.

 

I am so grateful for successes like these. I’m grateful for my creative abilities, and I’m grateful for those things that make me happy, like Dancing with the Stars and people who make the world a more beautiful place, like The Piano Guys (who, by the way, just posted a new video– go watch it).

Phantom Tollbooth meets Azure’s attempt at creative writing

So there I was, all set to write a short story about a crazy magical toymaker named Dross L Mire. I’m not good at creating stories. I get ideas, but they never seem to go anywhere. My sister tells me just to start, and then let it go where it took me. So I started… and then it went all Phantom Tollbooth on me. I got a story, of sorts. It’s about a page long, and… it’s just interesting. I kinda want to share it. I just have to figure out how without imposing on somebody. Or, rather, how to impose one somebody in a way that won’t make me feel guilty.