New Years Resolution: Creativity Jar

New Years Resolution: Creativity Jar. Each day do or make something creative or useful and then write the project down on a piece of paper. Creativity is therapeutic and this will help inspire me to tap into it every day!
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Build core body strength, eat less meat, travel more, get my new allotment fully operational; these are all goals I have for 2016 but none is my New Years Resolution. Instead I want to do something for myself every day that will nurture and inspire my love of making. This year I’ve decided to start a Creativity Jar.

It’s almost empty at the moment but each day this year it will help remind me to not get bogged down in accounts, or packing orders, or housework, and to make sure that I create something that adds to building more of ‘The Good Life’. It could be a handmade card for a friend, colouring a page in my new desk calender ( I got this one for Christmas: Posh: Coloring 2016 Day-to-Day Calendar), or just whipping up a creative meal. Today I made another batch of my favourite handmade face cleanser based – here’s the recipe.

New Years Resolution: Creativity Jar. Each day do or make something creative or useful and then write the project down on a piece of paper. Creativity is therapeutic and this will help inspire me to tap into it every day!

Both November and December were insanely busy for me with Lovely Greens Handmade Bath & Beauty. This was my biggest year yet selling with Not on the High Street but my own orders direct from the website and wholesale orders from local retailers kept me up to my ears. I’m grateful that business was good but I also felt myself losing a bit of that sparkle while I packed up boxes with gift sets twelve hours a day. I need to create – it’s part of my make-up to do or make something different every day, even if it’s the five minutes it takes to make handmade face cleanser.

Handmade Christmas cards made using Kraft paper, string, gilitter, and greenery.

Handmade Christmas cards made using Kraft paper, string, gilitter, and greenery.

Making handmade Christmas cards with friends was a great way to relax, have fun, and create something personal for the holidays.

Making handmade Christmas cards with friends was a great way to relax, have fun, and create something personal for the holidays.

When things started to slow down during the week of Christmas I finally felt able to breathe. I wrote out my Christmas cards, which I’d made a couple weeks earlier with friends, and I put together handmade gifts like jars of my own honey and soy wax candles.

I also made some preserves – Elderberry Jelly and homemade Piccalilli using Pam’s Piccalilli recipe from one of my favourite River Cottage handbooks. I made it quite late in the year but it’s a fantastic preserve to make in July and August when you have a glut of veggies in the garden. You can use pretty much any vegetable to make Piccalilli.

Homemade Piccalilli - a pickle made using cauliflower, courgettes, green beans, peppers, garlic, mustard, and vinegar

Homemade Piccalilli – a pickle made using cauliflower, courgettes, green beans, peppers, garlic, mustard, and vinegar

Another creative project I was really excited to make was my family’s Christmas ravioli. I grew up celebrating Christmas Eve with this dish that’s been a tradition in my family for a hundred years. Since I haven’t spent the holidays back home in a long time I’ve really missed out! Piles of steaming beef and spinach pasta parcels with a sweet tomato sauce are what it was about when I was a kid. This year I decided I wouldn’t be disappointed again so asked my Aunt how to make them.

Handmade beef & spinach ravioli
traditional-ravioli

Not long after, a recipe popped into my inbox which I imagine was typed out exactly as it appeared on a handwritten recipe card. Some of the ingredients I found surprising and others I had to substitute. I spent a full day and a half preparing and making the ravioli and in the end was so relieved that they tasted exactly like how I remembered them – absolutely delicious. Both I and my family back in the States were really tickled to know that I’d made a dish that means so much to all of us half way across the world and then shared it with friends.

And really this is what my Creativity Jar is all about. It’s creating something every day that brings health, joy, and personal enrichment. It’s the meaning of the Lovely Greens tagline too: Happiness is a life made lovely. Grow, make, repurpose, forage, craft, cook, and love your way there.

I thought long and hard about why I do and make the things I do and the reason that stands out most is the fact that it makes me and others involved feel happy. The simple act of growing flowers and vegetables, collecting sea glass for projects, or simply making a batch of cookies and then sharing it with others can’t do anything other than put a smile on your face. So here’s to 2016 and more creative days ahead!

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10 Discussion to this post

  1. Helen says:

    Found your blog somehow via Twitter. Love the idea of a creativity jar, it’s so easy to get bogged down in the day to day tasks.

  2. Caro says:

    Congratulations on such a successful year for your beauty products, Tanya; it’s great to read how your hard work has paid off. I love the idea of having a creativity jar and doing something for yourself every day – it’s something that every creative type should remember, myself included! I don’t suppose you want to share that delicious recipe for your family’s ravioli, do you? Or have you been sworn to secrecy!

    • lovelygreens says:

      Even though we may be ‘creative’, it’s sometimes hard to keep nurturing that side to ourselves each day. I’m going to keep on posting my daily creativity jar addition on my Facebook page and Instagram and hopefully keep myself motivated that way 🙂

      As for the ravioli, I’ll ask my family members first.

  3. Patti Estep says:

    Well said. This is exactly why I started blogging. I love to create things and I had gotten away from it with “the day job” and responsibilities of everyday life. Creating, growing and sharing beauty makes me very happy and in turn those around me too. Your creativity jar is an excellent idea. Thanks!

    • lovelygreens says:

      You know exactly what I mean then Patti! Even the background work of running a blog can get in the way of the entire reason for blogging – to share and inspire creativity for both ourselves and in others. Wishing you a fun and garden-creative year 🙂

  4. Janet says:

    Just found your blog and really enjoyed it, tried making raviolis and it just didn’t work for me.

    • lovelygreens says:

      They’re tricky but I found that if I used LOADS of flour underneath the bottom pasta layer then it wouldn’t stick to the surface. Next, I laid out small spoonfuls of filling in a grid layout (see picture in the post) so that I could use a pizza cutter to cut in straight lines. The top pasta layer I rolled up onto a rolling pin and then unrolled over the filling/first layer. Wetting the bottom pasta layer around the filling with beaten egg or water helps the two layers to stick together. Good luck on your next attempt!

  5. Jodi Bucknam says:

    Great idea for the creativity jar! We have a happy jar at my house, where my husband & I drop little notes about happy moments throughout the year, so we can read them around New Year’s. It’s so nice after all the stressful holidays. Anyway, I too have a goal this year to make something every day. I’ll have to add notes about that experience to my happy jar! Thanks for the idea.

    • lovelygreens says:

      What an absolutely lovely idea – a happy jar that you happily look through with loved ones at the end of the year. I hope that creative projects make a fun addition 🙂

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