Winter Doldrums – When the Winds of Creativity Don’t Blow

February 8, 2017 , In: Inspiration, Studio, Studio Buddies

The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage, that refers to parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans where the prevailing winds are calm, or disappear all together.  Because of this it is also used to express a state of inactivity, mild depression, listlessness, or stagnation.  (Wikipedia)

I am in my winter creativity doldrums right now.  This part of the year is always kind of rough – overworked, too many commitments, still recovering from holiday madness, and about to undergo some major dental work.  It’s still not quite light when I get home from work, so all I want to do is curl up with the computer.  I really need to get my creative zen back!  It’s just so hard with so much going on, and so little time and light to work with.  I am longing just to sit with the windows open for a few hours without freezing. 

Since I feel supremely uninspired to do anything, I figured I might as well take the time to set up my guest room/craft space for more than just beading.  I have been doing a lot more sewing lately, and previously I could not set up the table and machines while set up for beading…mostly, because you can’t sew easily if all your fabric is stuffed into totes in the closet.

So I arranged!  The room is about 12×12′ – a little box, but with the addition of a new shelf I was able to get most everything picked up and put away in boxes on the shelves:

The dolls now have a shelf, where I can not only set them up, but also store all of their clothes, props, and boxes of supplies.

Next to the doll shelf, I was finally able to move my beading chaise back into the room. I have a large sheepskin rug and blankets, since the room runs a bit cold at this time of year.

Next to the chaise, under the window I have short bookshelves with my beading books, drawing and notebook supplies. Also a trashcan, and my current bead project trays are on the floor within easy reach.

The sewing table is still a work in progress, as some of the items I need regularly are still stashed underneath, but it is nice to have the sewing machine and serger side by side, rather than having to stow one when I want to use the other.

I have a small white cabinet where I have stashed my favorite fabrics away from dust…although Gigi thinks it should be her apartment.

Lastly, I have 2 more big shelves side by side. The bottom 2 shelves on each house the beads, then more fabric that wouldn’t fit in the white cabinet, and the top shelves have sewing, doll and other books, plus boxes and baskets of other supplies.

And sew it begins…I still have a pile of things that need to be sorted and put away, but now I can at least spend some time in here, sitting and plotting, even if the winds of creativity are not yet blowing my way.  Having all of this space ready for when I am inspired, gives me peace of mind that clutter and mess won’t be a hindrance when the time arrives.

Do you all have a season that leaves you uninspired and worn out?  What do you do to get out of your doldrums and back to creating?  We would love to know!



Lindsay Star

Lindsay Starr is a beadwork and mixed media artist currently based in Nashville, TN. She spent her early childhood in Alaska, and her school age and college years in Oregon. Lindsay has a great appreciation for history, science, and nature and is consistently inspired by insects, sea life, color, and the significance of beads and beadwork throughout human history. She spends her days beading, walking at the zoo, and practicing yoga. Lindsay loves to share her knowledge and passion for beads and beadwork to hobbyists of all skill levels.
  1. Reply

    You are creating!! Creating order from chaos. Sometimes or the only and best thing you can accomplish

  2. Reply

    Wow that’s quite the impressive set up! The room is looking good though I’m not sure there’s space for guests anymore. 🙂

    If you’re still suffering the winter doldrums and are looking for inspiration why don’t you use some of those beautiful fabrics to cover the cardboard boxes in? They would be so much prettier that way and after all my experience has been that those boxes never seem to go away, even when meant to be a temporary solution.

    • Peggy Aronson
    • February 8, 2017

    Beading chaise–I love that little nook! And what, no nook for Gigi? She needs her own spot as close as possible to your work space so she’ll be ready to pounce on your latest creations.

    • Deb
    • February 10, 2017

    I too suffer from the doldrums this time of year – too much cold and grey and not enough sun and warmth! I found that cleaning up my creating space helps clear my mind. While putting things away I find items I forgot about, then I get some new ideas for the new year!

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