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What creative outlets do you have, even if you aren't "good" at them?

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I visited a nursing home this week and I've been mulling over something that several of the older ladies said to me independently. They said that when they were young they never did ___ (whatever the creative activity was) because they weren't very good at it or they didn't think they would be good at it. When they were young, you didn't do something at all unless you did it really well. They were visibly saddened by that. They obviously felt they had missed something valuable in their lives.


So, I've resolved to go ahead and do creative things, even though I'm not good at them (or think I'm not). It's time for this recovering perfectionist to recover a little more. Maybe gardening - I love flowers, and I enjoy arranging them, but I've never grown my own. Any tips would be appreciated!


What are the creative outlets that you enjoy, regardless of how "good" you are at them?

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I sing............publicly! Fortunately I go to a church that is just desperate enough to want me to. So, I sing on Praise Team and have even done solos.........scary business, but I'm so glad I am doing it.


Gardening............I suck at this! I kill almost everything I plant, but occassionally a hardy soul (roots, whatever) will come along and actually grow..........it gives me such satisfaction


I jump on the bed, wrestle on the floor, I have belching contests.........all in the name of "I'm not too old"............and I'll keep doing it until I can't!

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cooking (I actually like researching new recipes and trying things out).


knitting - I'm learning to knit along with my two dc


singing - I'm singing again after not singing publicly for 15 years. The elderly at the assisted living home we minister at are so encouraging!


gardening - ok, right now it is more like hacking out a spot in the wilderness, but eventually it will get to the fun stuff, right?!


Is reading a creative outlet? My mind is creative in trying to figure out "who dun it"!

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Scrapbooking although I haven't touched my albums in over a year. :glare:


Singing...used to sing in college and then on a Praise Team and hope to again one day.


Fantasy, Full-face Face Painting (not just cheek art)...a talent I never knew I had. Fun and lucrative!


Rubber Stamping...although my supplies have been put away until I actually have time for this.


That's about it. I don't have time for many creative things just for me anymore. One day...

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Scrapbooking--although I think they look nice.


Sewing--I am good enough to patch holes and make doll clothes for the kids but not good enough to sell the doll clothes and turn a profit.


Knitting--a relaxing thing for me to do to keep my hands busy but not good enough to really make anything but quirky scarves.


Drawing/painting--I love to draw and am ok but not as good as some people in the family who are folk artist and are able to sell the things they create.


Cooking--Now, I have taught myself to cook well. But I almost failed home-ec in the 7th grade because I had almost no kitchen skills. With practice I can recreate a lot of restaurant meals at home with a fraction of the fat and grease.



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Horseback riding---I just took this up 1 1/2 years ago. I still have a lot to learn but this is something I have wanted to do since I was a small child.


Walking with Friends---ok, this isn't creative but boy do we have fun. I don't really enjoy the walking part but the fellowship part is great. We walk Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings--who ever can comes. We are now talking about a small bike trip---like 8 miles each way.

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Wellll, I find that I'm better at appreciating and basking in the creativity of others rather than being so creative myself. LOL


I do a little scrapbooking and I am a webmaster which sometimes provides some creativity. I would love to have the time and tools to build furniture and decorate my home. lol But mainly I just love the arts: theatre, literature, fine art and music!

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Well, homeschooling is helping me a lot with this. I start a lot of things that I wouldn't have otherwise.


Playing the recorder and the piano come to mind. I never did either before and am not very good at it. It's fun, though.








Hmmm. There are lots more things. I agree, it is sad to look back and wish you had...



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It used to be decorating. I've given on this house, it needs too much remodeling before I put the final touches on it.


Singing - spent 4 years on the worship team where we used to live.


Writing - have done newsletters for MOPS, the worship team, co-wrote one song for our previous church. Also co-wrote some skits for our previous church, man those were fun.


Writing part 2 (the real stuff) - I am currently in the midst of a year long writing contest. I have one novel completed in very rough draft form. I am working on 3 more that are in various stages on completion.

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Singing--In the past 20 yrs. I have been singing on and off with a worship team as well as soloing. Right now I am not singing on a team because of time contstaints. I miss it.


Gardening--I have lots of flower gardens and a vegetable garden. I am not good at gardening at all. In fact, I stink at it. It is discouraging to me to put all of the time and energy and nothing grows, but I do love spending the time outside mucking in the dirt.


Scrapbooking--I haven't done it in a while but this past month I renewed acqaintances with a neighbour who loves to scrapbook. We are now meeting together once a week and scrapbooking. I am loving this time from a creative standpoint as well as a social one.

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Drawing is huge to me in this category. I am not great at it, but in high school I had a teacher who really encouraged me. I do it to relax or just to pass time. I try to pass on that sense of encouragement to the kids I work with...do something because you like it, not because you are great at it. I just keep in mind that not all greats of anything were born that way. Some truly worked hard at it and had real determination. Also, I would agree with some of the previous posts...cooking. I started out pretty pathetic and now I am respectable. Thanks for posting your experience. I think I will go draw a picture. :)

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Until recently, rock climbing. I was never particularly good at it (30 lbs overweight for one:) , especially compared to some of the teens that climb regularly, but I love it. It was great exercise, plus it kept me mentally sharp. Rock climbing is a fantastic visual/spacial exercise - only your body is the puzzle piece :)! Bummer that my climbing partner and I just can't find a compatible time to get together anymore.

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but martial arts. No, I am not good. I fight like a girl but I enjoy learning that whole fighting science.


Somebody mentionned homeschooling as a creative outlet. :iagree: I've had to rethink it so many times, trying to find ways to reach my rambunctious son.


Recently, scrapbooking and card making. I can only do it if the whole project is packaged and completely thought out for me. Kind of like SL for card making. That way I make something nice and I can pretend that I am artistic.


Lastly, don't laugh, reorganizing the house all the time. I don't know, I just love filing, labeling, and sorting.:tongue_smilie:

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I paint, which used to be a career but now I try very hard to keep it a hobby only. Most recent paintings here and here. I also draw, but have not finished anything in a long time.


I corchet. Most recent here and here.


I embroider and sew stuffed toys (separate hobbies, but they use the same skills :) ) Silly little keychain made the other day. Last night I finished embroidering a tea towl, but no photo yet.


I also write (working on a novel slowly). Just recently shut down my blogs, so I can start fresh with a new one. Not ready to launch yet. I love computers and web design, although I do far less than I used to. I cook and bake, enjoy photography (I need a new "serious" camera), and decorating my house. I am also learning to play piano and electric guitar.


It sounds like a lot, but it is how I keep my sanity. I LOVE homeschooling my kids, but I need to find personal fulfillment in activities that are not done for someone else, if that makes sense.

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I agree that homeschooling can be very fulfilling in the creativity dept of my brain. I also love to bake. I found out that I like to garden (hate pulling weeds though!) And I can't wait to plant some trees and bushes this year. Just need my dh approval and help.

I taught an art class to homeschoolers and found out that I love to draw and paint. (I had forgotten...) But I prefered the prep work and not so much dealing with an inattentive group of kids ages 3-12.

I love to write too, but mostly in email form lately. I am sharing a journal with a good friend. She writes in it one week and then I write in it the next. We put little side notes and drawings as well as magazine clippings. It has been so fun. Much better than coffee visits and phone calls which are few and far between.

the next thing I want to learn how to do is make my own pasta. I just need the little attachment to go with my mixer. My dh rolled his eyes when I told him that! Last year he said we lived in appliance hell. I would love to have my own bakery. Maybe some day....

bakery/coffeeshop/art gallery/bookstore.

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I love reading about all this creativity! I like what someone said about doing it for enjoyment not b/c we're good at it.


Sometimes HSing doesn't leave me feeling very creative, but I do enjoy crochet and have finished some big projects this year.


Music is a big part of our day and I spend about an hour a day playing the piano and singing.


I wish I had the organizing/filing/labeling creative bug. I pretty much slap everything in a tote or a 3-ring binder.


My boys are into taekwondo and after we get some orthodontic bills paid down, I'd like to join them. I never thought of it as creative until I watched one of the instructors do her 5th degree black belt form....it was graceful & powerful.


I would really like to learn to draw well and I piddle with it in spurts.

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I love to draw, and to paint. I'm not much good at either, but I love to do it. I do whatever crafts strike my fancy - I'm enjoying doing pysanky eggs. I also play piano, not at all well, but music is my preferred creative outlet. Besides playing piano/keyboards badly, I also play guitar and bass badly. I sing fairly well, though ;-)


I used to write, mostly song lyrics/poetry. I haven't done that in ages, though.

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Writing is my main creative outlet. I have a 40 gal. tote overflowing with notebooks of things I've written going back to 2nd grade, and more on the computer. I didn't finish my NaNoWriMo novel last year. I took all of one creative writing class in college, my very last semester, and concluded that I should have taken more--except my other classes always gave me great inspiration. I was an anthropology major and I like writing sci fi and fantasy, so stuff I learned in my classes was great world-building inspiration.


I've seldom finished anything. 98% of what I've written is unfinished. I keep getting new ideas.


And when the new ideas grow thin, I sew and I've tried my hand at tablet weaving and recently started learning a bit of embroidery, which I want to do more of in the near future.

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and that is a priority for my free time.


But as far as what you're getting at, I am trying to do more lately.


Last night I took a carful of kids to a family dance. It was sort of a square dance. There was a live band of several fiddlers and a dulcimer. We live in the wild west now, LOL. We had a *blast*. I have never been at an event that was so wonderful for all ages and genders. Everyone was having a wonderful time, even the very little kids. It was a great way for the teenagers to be together in a friendly, family setting. So I guess we will be doing this once a month now.


I would like to do some crafts but when push comes to shove what I end up doing with my "free" time is cooking and cleaning. I do get help from the kids and dh. It's just that there is so much to do. When all that is done, I fall back on my old standby, reading.


My 8yo dd just got a "Knifty Knitter" for her birthday and is whipping out projects right and left. This type of knitting even I can handle, so I may be doing some projects also!

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Ballet. I danced throughout my teens, and I was a technically solid dancer, though in no way talented or in any danger of pursuing dance as a career. But I loved it. And I've taken to going back to ballet now (there's a wonderful adults-only studio here in town where you buy a pass and go to any of their classes when you can -- no required schedule or commitment), and it's just *wonderful*. I'll never be a great dancer, but I love pushing myself, I love feeling the muscle memory I have from my youthful training, I love being in my own little world within the class...


Cooking does this for me a little.


Acting, when I get the chance (which is a little harder to fit in as the mom of young children.) (And, btw, lol, this is the one I *am* actually good at...)


Sewing. I have very little *skill* or know-how, but I *am* "creative", lol... This is the second year I've designed and done major sewing on the recital costumes for several of the little-kids classes at my kids' ballet studio. It's actually a lot of fun for me -- though I wish I had more technical know-how, lol.


A little knitting and crocheting from time to time.


And does belting out songs with the radio/cd player count? I'm not a good singer. But who CARES?!? I don't usually subject anyone but the kids to hearing me. ;) And it makes me happy. ;)

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Abbey - I'm jealous of your adult-only studio. That sounds awesome.


First off, I'm absolutely amazed at how many of you will sing aloud AND in public. My hat is off to you all. I was asked, rightfully, to stop singing aloud in the 4th grade.


For me, I love learning art with the boys. I love draw and painting and making huge messes. I'm not very good at it, but we have fun. We did this mural on our back porch about three years ago - it was so much fun. You can't see the far side of it, but all the boys added fish and other sea creatures. porchmural.jpg


My main creative outlets these days are writing and soap and I love both.


I also love quilting and finishing others' half-finished projects (weird, I know). I also love organizing other people's houses and/or rearranging their furniture. I'm so excited that my sister is moving and I'll have a chance to do this for her.

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I scrapbook, and I'm fairly decent at that, especially since there IS no "right way" to do it. (: That's my favorite of all of my outlets, because I get both a creative boost and that glow of feeling like I'm leaving a legacy for my kids.


I cross-stitch, but only once in a while (like twice a year). I have a GIANT project (about 11x18") that incorporates beads, metallic threads, and so on. I've been working on it for close to seven years. I'm maybe 1/3 of the way done. :D


I dabble with playing the piano. I can read music, but have never had the discipline to practice enough to get really good. I enjoy playing once in a while, though.


I'd love to put aside my perfectionist tendencies and let myself try more things and not be good at them. I would love to draw and watercolor, for example, but every time I make an attempt my inner critic just screams at me! :001_huh:

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I draw and paint, but at the moment I have no inspiration to do it on my own. :glare: My creativity only seems to rise to the occasion when someone else needs something (an invitation, a logo or somesuch).


Here's an example of a fun project I did recently. Friends of ours threw a Hank the Cowdog birthday party for their dd's 5th birthday, so I created the cast of characters, who didn't complain a bit about posing on the sofa for me:




I love doing this sort of thing, but I look forward to the day when my own inspiration is enough to get me up to the art table or out to the easel. :001_smile:


I also love to embroider, but I have too many unfinished projects stashed away to consider that a true creative outlet. ;)

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Painting- I love to paint scenic pictures and I've been doing it since I was 8. I've been told I'm good, but I'm my own worse critic! Painting helps to calm my nerves. I just wish we had room in our small house for a studio. If I had a studio It would give me the ability to paint more freely (without kids getting into my paints)


I started a flower garden a 10 years back, and at the time I didn't have a clue what I was doing. It was a lot of trial and error.

One thing I learned: Don't get upset if you move plants a lot, your not a true gardener unless you feel the need to move plants and improve the look of the garden!

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A few years ago my mom bought us a Canon Powershot for Christmas. I'd always thought I might like to try photography beyond documenting the kids growing up and special family events. I never would have considered it with a regular film camera because of all the cost of film and developing. Non digital SLRs seemed so complicated to me. I couldn't imagine using one. With the gift of a simple digital camera, I felt like a new world was opened to me. I could take as many pictures as I wanted and I could use the automatic settings or play with some of the limited manual settings. It was so much fun!


Soon I began dreaming of a DSLR, and I got one this Christmas. (Dh, his parents, and my brother and his wife all chipped in some and the rest was put on a great payment plan at Best Buy.) I'm still learning how to use it. I think I will take a photography class this summer.


I enjoy photography because it gives me the chance to look closer at things and appreciate beauty that is already there. It helps me to maintain a thankful attitude when I am constantly looking for beauty around me. I think I've always had a good eye for finding beauty in things small and large and in unusual places, but I find myself looking for those things more now.


Even when I don't have my camera with me, I notice myself creating mental snapshots. Driving down the road the other day I saw a red tailed hawk swooping down on some hidden prey in the tall grass of a pasture. Click! A quarter of a mile down and across the road, I noticed a tiny calf hobbling through the grass. Snap! A scissor tailed flycatcher perched on an electric line, and I added it to my mental photo album. It was the same half hour drive I make 5 days a week, and sometimes I'm not too happy about that, but composing those shots in my mind I was filled with joy and contentment. I'd made a picture book full of things to be thankful for, and that works wonders for the soul. I may not be able to show anyone the images I took during that drive, but they are as clear in my mind as when I saw them.


There are other types of art I'd like to try. I'd like to take drawing and painting classes and I'm thinking of taking a class this summer to learn how to fuse glass. I've been collecting broken glass from the river near our house. The way the water and rocks tumble the glass and the sun changes the color and often the shape fascinates me. I want to make some art pieces with this glass and other objects I find along the river, but I'm not sure how. Maybe you have somewhere near you that offers different types of art classes. I've been looking at Wichita's City Arts site this evening and I've found so many classes I would love to take--if only time and money allowed.


I forgot! I also decorate cakes and when my oldest two were small, I bought headboards at a garage sale and painted one for each of them. You can see a couple of the cakes I've made and the headboards in this blog post. Someday I'll have to post pictures of my first few attempts at cake decorating. :lol:


Dh and I used to sit around and design fun furniture that we would have loved to build for our kids' bedrooms. He did finally make a loft bed that looked like a house for the girls and we made huge train engine for oldest ds. The barn bed, firetruck bed, and sleeper cars and toy caboose to go behind the train engine never did get made, though.


I also designed the partition between our bedroom and the master bath where the closets are. It's a little hard to describe, and I don't have a picture. Someday I'll write a blog post about it. And one day I hope to paint a forest mural in our half bath.

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I used to love to write poetry, but I haven't done that in years and years.


I also used to spend a lot of time and energy decorating, scouring yard sales, estate sales, and the like, but I quit that, too.


I can cook well *only* when I can be creative. It's the plain, everyday meals that I think taste awful cooked by me.


I could get creative with sewing, but I haven't taken the time. I just sew basic things, but I'm hoping to have some time (and money) to revamp a few things around here this summer, a little sprucing up.


I can get really, really creative with homeschooling. I enjoy that more than anything.


I can garden, and I guess that's creative. It's more like back-breaking work, though! I enjoy the process, and I am glad I usually get good results.


I was a complete failure at pottery, painting, and drawing. Ditto for any type of singing or musical instruments.

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I recently got free from not doing stuff cause you don't think you're good at it. I like to paint, but don't excell in it, yet was shocked that I did a painting in a public forum just for fun, and someone came up and liked it so much they said they'd want to put it in their kitchen. There is great leeway in art. I play piano quite well, but can only play 3 chords on the guitar, so sometimes I make up 3 note songs on the guitar for fun.

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My creative outlets:


- playing the guitar, piano, and violin

- cooking/baking

- organizing events (I am one of those people who can visually "see" things easily in my mind - is that considered creative?)

- sewing (I wish I had a really good sewing machine!)

- planning my dream house! :001_smile: (which is not elaborate, just more "functional" for our needs/lifestyle than what someone else has drawn up, kwim?)

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cook and bake








I really love to sew.


I have made a couple easy quilts, and I would like to do more.


I have been so inspired by Sarah at Handmade Homeschool, that I want to incorporate drawing into my life and our homeschool. We will begin that in the summer.



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