Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Outside of the Box



    I love that phrase; Thinking Outside of the Box. When we are children we do this all the time. We don't know anything different. But as we get older we are molded and shaped into what we should be, how we should act, how we should look. It isn't meant to be mean or hateful, it is just how things progress. And as we become adults we add to shaping the box we live in and think in. We want to be like everyone else. We want to be thought of as part of the crowd, to fit in. We want to walk the straight and narrow. We don't want to upset the apple cart, it might get us into trouble. We want to do as we are told, because we might be rewarded. We don't like to question something, because they just might know better than I do. We follow patterns, and books, and guides.
    Don't get me wrong, boundaries are good and necessary. They give us a place to feel safe. But, they should be flexible boundaries with wavy lines. We should not be afraid to step outside those lines, to color outside those lines. Taking chances can be so very scarey, but so exhilerating as well. They don't have to be life threatening chances. They don't have to be big bold chances. They can be tiny ones like drinking from the milk carton, or eating the ice cream from the container. One of the first things I smiled at when I was on my own and my children all grown was that I could make a bowl of pudding and take a spoonful once in a while right out of the bowl. It was ok, because no one else was going to be eating it.
    We don't have to live inside the box when it comes to art and creativity. This is the best place to expand those wavy lines. We don't all like the same art, thank goodness. Some of us lean toward modern, clean, crisp lines. Some of us prefer the soft, fluffy, romantic style of shabby chic or country cottage. Some of use love the country, rustic look.  And some of us prefer the classic traditional styles. It is reflected in our clothes, our home decor, the art on our walls, and our creative soul. But that doesn't mean you can't step beyond and experience something new, even if it is for just a little while. Our tastes change as we age and as we meet new people in our lives. I remember being in high school and starting a hope chest. Does anyone do that anymore? Well I cut out pictures from magazines and catalogs of things I liked, styles I liked, what I would like in my home when I was on my own. I kept those pictures in a manilla envelope. When I got married I went through that envelope and found that I didn't like any of it anymore. I had gone from a country feel to a Victorian feel. Now, many years later, I find I just like the eclectic feel. A little bit of everything.

   Each of us is creative. Really, you are. Some can bake and cook, some can sew, some can write, some can lead, some can make beautiful gardens, and some can build. But we all have a creative gene in us. We need to let that creativity feed us, feed our souls. Once in a while we need to do something that makes us happy, connects us back to ourselves. It is necessary for growth. We need to remember what it was like when we were children and didn't know any better. When you do use that creativity next time, try "thinking outside the box". Try something new and fresh and maybe a little scarey. I am pretty sure it will make you smile.

Denim Planters "Jean-etically Modified Plants" by Tom Ballinger
Fourth of July outfits made from Duct Tape

Here are some ways people thought outside the box. I apologize in advance if I don't have credits with each picture, as some of them I have had for a very long time and don't remember where I found them.   


  1. Oh the TOPHATS!!!!! I love them!!!!!! Out of the box, you say? Right now, I can't even FIND the box!

    1. The tophat lights are really fabulous, aren't they Mimi.
      It really is hard to be so creative when we sew for a business, especially when we get swamped. I relate it to an artist who must struggle making production paintings to pay the rent, while he continues to work on his masterpiece in the corner.