Jul 10 2009
Creative ideas — we all have them, but do you capture them for future use? If not, you are losing a very valuable crafting resource.
Flashes of inspiration can occur anytime, anywhere. You may be browsing through a home decorating magazine and spot a color combination you wouldn’t normally choose. It catches your eye and you begin thinking that the colors would look striking on a handmade card. Or you see a floral arrangement that is quite out of the ordinary. You begin imagining it recreated in quilled flowers. It is such a good idea that you are sure you will remember it later. But, sadly, you probably won’t.
Last year, when I decided to get serious about my quilling, I realized just how many ideas I was losing track of. Sometimes the idea would return at a later time when I happened upon the same set of circumstances that sparked it in the first place, but I know that many are gone for good. To save as many ideas as possible, I created an idea box.
At a local office supply store I purchased a sturdy 3″x5″ card box, along with a set of tabbed dividers and cards printed in fancy colors (just because they made me smile). An unused recipe box you have tucked away or found at a yard sale together with scrap card stock cut to size could certainly be used and would be a great way to recycle. The tabbed dividers had the names of the months printed on them, so I turned them around and used the back. I wrote the names of the categories I wanted on some blank peel-and-stick labels I had, cut them to size, and stuck them on the tabs. Some of the categories I use are 3-D Quilling, Ornaments, Floral Ideas, Greeting Cards, Christmas, and Bits & Pieces, for ideas that don’t seem to fit elsewhere. You should customize your tabs to fit your own ideas.
The beauty of this system is that it not only allows me to capture a brief description of my idea, but to include a sketch, crude as it may be, or attach the actual picture that provided the original inspiration. I scanned one of my cards to show you what I mean. It’s not “pretty” and I certainly had no idea at the time I made it that anyone else would ever see it, but I think it accurately demonstrates my point.
Remember, with this system you aren’t designing your project, just jotting down enough information to jog your memory at a later time. This is meant to be a quick and easy tool used to capture the spirit of the idea before it is lost, not necessarily the details. If the process turns into a chore, you won’t use it.
I encourage you to make your own Quilling Idea Box and keep it near your work space. When you have an idea, jot it down. When you need inspiration at a later date, simply open your box and look through your cards. I have no doubt that you will see a note that will start your creative juices flowing.