Breaks can be good for you

Breaks can be good for you

A little while ago, I posted this photo on my Facebook page. It struck a nerve with me because I had just returned from a much needed break on a cruise ship. It was heavenly, and it was very much overdue for me creatively.

I can almost taste what’s in the glass

It turns out, as I’ve been looking into this subject matter, there’s legitimate research into the creative benefits of taking a break…whether it’s in the shower, on a cruise ship, or engaging in a new creative outlet. When I was on my cruise, my most creative tool was the camera in my phone…I brought no sketch pad, no note taking…it was a complete unplug. It’s fun to take a look back at my favorite photos from the trip – and to see what inspired me that week.

The carpeting let my imagination run wild with quilting ideas.
The unique color scheme made me pause and think about how to interpret this. I’m thinking paper piecing.
My souvenir glasses from Nashville never looked so cute!
Remember my love of a pieced background? As it turns out, it translates to bathroom tiles on the Harmony of the seas.

Now, what happens if you need a creative break and you don’t have a cruise on your calendar? There are any number of ways you can give yourself a creative break (did you know that when you take a shower and you get tons of great ideas on that project you’re working on…THAT’s what’s happening!) You can take a walk, drive a different route to work, try a new recipe…these are all ways you can give yourself a break. Your regular routines will appreciate the switch up, and you’ll find yourself noticing things you didn’t before.

I have recently reconnected with Sue Bleiweiss, an accomplished author and award winning quilter who I have known for awhile. Her signature style is relaxing and fun to experience, much as Sue herself is. Here latest book is Modern Art Quilts, and was published last fall by C&T. I had the chance to speak with her about her latest endeavor – she’s taking a creative break (while still working on major pieces of her quilting work), by designing and working on handwork with a line of embroidery designs for Global Artisans Designs. Working in stitchery is something that Sue hasn’t done before, but she has found that the creative switch has given her quilting time a boost. So the concept does translate.

Sue has donated a copy of the book to readers of this blog, and here’s how I’m going to work it. If you’d like to leave a comment on the blog about your experiences with creative breaks – what worked, what didn’t, what your plans are – I will leave this blog post open over this weekend, and I’ll select one winner on Monday, April 15th. We need to celebrate something on that day!

So, with many thanks to Sue, if you’d like to win a copy of her new book, please leave a comment.

Book donation courtesy of Sue Bleiweiss

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