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Old 01-17-2016, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default Low Mojo...

I have been having a mojo crisis, or perhaps I should say I have been suffering from a severe mojo deficiency, for several weeks. It's not just that I can't think of anything I want to create, I also find myself wondering why I should bother. I've gone through this before, and always come out the other side, but every time it happens I think: this is it, it's over, I'll never make another card again and who cares?

So after spending another hour standing in my studio, stamping things and trying to figure out what to do with them (I have a big pile of things at this point), I thought I'd come here and whine to you all. In case you wanted to whine along with me. Or tell me to get over myself. I'm open to any response.
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:28 PM   #2
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I have been having a mojo crisis, or perhaps I should say I have been suffering from a severe mojo deficiency, for several weeks. It's not just that I can't think of anything I want to create, I also find myself wondering why I should bother. I've gone through this before, and always come out the other side, but every time it happens I think: this is it, it's over, I'll never make another card again and who cares?

So after spending another hour standing in my studio, stamping things and trying to figure out what to do with them (I have a big pile of things at this point), I thought I'd come here and whine to you all. In case you wanted to whine along with me. Or tell me to get over myself. I'm open to any response.
I have been there! Just between you and me, sometimes I'm so tired and uninspired (cue Carole King) that I go into my craft room and pick up and put down half-finished projects, move some things around, look at some die-cuts and embellishments, then get up, turn off the light and go to bed

Crafting is meditation. Crafting is stress relief. Crafting is an expression of your best self, even on a down day. Crafting is healing! These are reasons alone to sit down and do something, even when you're not feeling particularly motivated, imo.

This is when I think a sketchpad that gives you space to experiment and then just turn the paper over and start again is a really good idea.

When I do this, it's practice and experimentation, so I don't put pressure on myself that I'm "wasting" good card stock. I can do whatever I want, make as many mistakes as I want, rip out or turn the page over and start a new idea or technique. I let go of perfectionism and judgment because it doesn't matter – it's just cheap paper and a few supplies.

When I feel loosened up, and if I feel inspired, then I might move to my art journal or even a card front. I usually CASE because it frees me up from having to think too hard about measurements and proportions, which is freedom. Working with favorite colors or a cool composition usually makes me feel better, even if I don't achieve the same result myself.

But if all I do is play in my sketchbook and then turn out the light, I consider that a good session. This afternoon, I did some pretty mediocre painting with my new shimmer watercolor set and a stamp that has never ever stamped cleanly that I've had for years. So I unmounted that baby and slapped it on the MISTI and made it work. The annoyance invigorated me
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:57 PM   #3
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I know. I just have to DO something. The truth is, I do not send out very many cards. I make many more than I send. And I have some I can't part with. It's really an art form for me. Hence the lack of sentiments on most of them. I never know what they will be used for, if at all.

I don't art journal, but I have been doing some mono-printing on my Gelli plate. But not for card backgrounds, just as mono prints. The uncontrolled aspect of mono printing is like an antidote to me, the Great Controller. And I just bought the biggest plate, the 12X14 one, but haven't taken it out of the package.

I know I'm in mojo trouble when I find myself trying to "shop" my way out of a slump. This time I caught myself in time and returned the big $$$$ box of stuff I'd ordered from Simon Says Stamp, thinking it would inspire me. I have plenty to inspire me! I'm just not very inspired.
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:09 PM   #4
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I know. I just have to DO something. The truth is, I do not send out very many cards. I make many more than I send. And I have some I can't part with. It's really an art form for me. Hence the lack of sentiments on most of them. I never know what they will be used for, if at all.

I don't art journal, but I have been doing some mono-printing on my Gelli plate. But not for card backgrounds, just as mono prints. The uncontrolled aspect of mono printing is like an antidote to me, the Great Controller. And I just bought the biggest plate, the 12X14 one, but haven't taken it out of the package.

I know I'm in mojo trouble when I find myself trying to "shop" my way out of a slump. This time I caught myself in time and returned the big $$$$ box of stuff I'd ordered from Simon Says Stamp, thinking it would inspire me. I have plenty to inspire me! I'm just not very inspired.
Well, I have a slightly different take on this — I think new supplies can inspire us! Maybe your style has changed and the stuff that you bought before just doesn't do it for you anymore. Or maybe you'd enjoy a different format. If you don't "art journal," you could create pages just a little bigger than a card front. Instead of making card fronts, create the "front" on a journal page. Gelly prints make great backgrounds for pages.

Or maybe put a card "front" on a small format canvas board. Or bind them into a mini book, which is what I do

Or maybe stop crafting for a while and see how you feel.

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Old 01-17-2016, 04:40 PM   #5
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Oh, I already did the "I need new supplies to inspire me," thing. This was me realizing I'd already done it, and that doing it again wasn't the answer.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:10 PM   #6
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You need a reason to create! (me, too!)

How about making cards for the "Cards for a Cause" challenge. That was (still is) part of my 2016 goal. Except that I can't seem to crank out a bunch of cards with a focus on a particular group (children, soldiers, etc.) So instead, I just make cards. If I get enough of a requested type, I'll mail them off and save the rest for another time.

I participate (use that term loosely) in other SCS challenges (mixed media, all occasion, Christmas). I put the cards in a box. When a new Cards for a Cause challenge goes up, I'll dig through my finished cards to see what is appropriate to send.

I figure it's a win-win. I get a reason to create, it helps justify the money I spend on cardstock and, eventually, someone else will get to appreciate my handiwork.

As for those special cards that you can't part with . . . .make them, keep them, enjoy them. They are, after all, your artistic creations! You are allowed to keep things you make!
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:15 PM   #7
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I go through this every year right after the holidays. I think I just get burned out on stamping after so many cards and gift tags and decorations. And now that there is a chill in the air I want to knit or crochet more than stamp. So I let myself set aside stamps for a little knowing I'll pick it up again soon.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:25 PM   #8
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Melissa, I had that thought, and I looked at Cards for a Cause this morning, but it seems like it's mostly geared toward children, and I don't do children's cards. I looked at some of the organizations that sent cards to troops, but they are now only asking for cards actually for the troops, thanking them, so you kind of have to be able to do guy-type cards or patriotic cards. What happened to Operation Write Home, where you sent cards to be used by troops to send to their loved ones? It has stopped sending cards.

Cobby - I can't claim Christmas burnout. Christmas blew right by me, I don't celebrate it because I'm Jewish!
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:38 PM   #9
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Rachel, I can always get started easier if I have a goal in mind - to make a card FOR something. Fortunately I have a huge extended family with 19 grandkids and 4 greats, so someone is always having a birthday!

Maybe you can make a bunch of cards, in the style you like to do, and take them and drop them off at a nursing home/senior citizens facility.

So many older people would love to send cards, but have no way to get out and buy them, and probably don't have the money to spend either.

Or if they don't send the cards, they could just be displayed in their rooms to cheer them up!

I just noticed you're in Florida - I know there are lots of seniors there.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:42 PM   #10
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Another slant on this whole topic: usually when I'm in a "mojo slump", I'm in a SLUMP, period. My general ennui spills over into everything, and I lack interest in everything. Once I get some rest, or whatever the soul-sucky thing that's going on has passed, my interest - and my mojo - come back. Maybe just leave it well alone for a minute...

I'll also add that I usually do organizational-type things when my mojo is failing, and I usually have at least an idea or two cross my mind while I'm touching everything...
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:47 PM   #11
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Whoa! Rachelrose! I had started typing pretty much what poppydarling was saying about a new format. I also loved doing cards with no sentiment on the front and really have moved away from cardmaking. Then I read that you enjoy monoprinting and then I went to check out your gallery! Mixed media and making framed art seem right up your alley. You have a gift for a collage look and maybe what's holding you back is getting stuck in the card rut.

Maybe just explore that side and get yourself out of the card making thing. Also, canvas boards are inexpensive and can be propped on an easel or framed - or you can use a Crop-a-Dile or hole punch to make a leather or ribbon hanger.

It never hurts to just take that lack of inspiration and run with it.... take a break and maybe try something new down the road. I wish you the best!
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:28 PM   #12
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Gosh, I thought I was the only one missing my Mojo. I spend days
in my craft room and at the end of it, nothing has been created. I have cleaned out my drawers, organized my dies, un-mounted my stamps and filed my scraps. I look around and see all these "toys" I have bought some of which have never been used. Well today was the day I created something even if it was a card I had made before. I donate to Cards for a Cause and also Ronald McDonald house. Making childrens cards is not in my comfort zone, but deciding to do it gave me a challenge. I am sure Ronald McDonald House would welcome any type of card that you wish to donate. Operation Write Home is no longer accepting cards and has closed up. With the troops coming home, there just wasn't enough military posts to send cards to.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:25 PM   #13
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When I want to get the "creative juices" flowing, I'll look on Pinterest or Google techniques or cards using...... (i.e. watercolors, Copics, Gelatos, stencils, etc.) for whatever product or skill I feel like using. That way, I get various ideas and it then stimulates my creativity.

Another thing I may do on Pinterest is search card ideas for a particular stamp or stamp set I may want to use; and again get ideas and go from there to create something on my own. You'd be surprised how seeing something gets you thinking, "Oh I could change that to a die cut, or add ribbon/take away, add embellishments, background paper, embossing," the possibilities are endless. And, when the mood does strike, I always seem to need Thank You cards, and Birthday cards.......
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:16 AM   #14
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When there is a cure for LoMoJo, let me know. I dragged out some stuff to scrap Christmas and snow pictures, keeping themes and colors and supplies to a minimum to speed up the process. That was Friday and Monday morning it sits untouched. Sigh.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:53 AM   #15
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Another slant on this whole topic: usually when I'm in a "mojo slump", I'm in a SLUMP, period. My general ennui spills over into everything, and I lack interest in everything. Once I get some rest, or whatever the soul-sucky thing that's going on has passed, my interest - and my mojo - come back. Maybe just leave it well alone for a minute...

I'll also add that I usually do organizational-type things when my mojo is failing, and I usually have at least an idea or two cross my mind while I'm touching everything...
This is right where I'm at these days. I know that my grieving is affecting so much of my life and why wouldn't it affect my stamping too. My stamping area is in absolute turmoil too....too many times I threw a bunch of stuff together and brought it upstairs to do a project and then the stuff went back down but never got put away. Then there are the goodies I've accumulated post-Christmas that haven't made their way into homes, etc. The clutter and mess does not make for inspiration!
I do find that the daily challenges are a good jump start. I also started a Rolodex card challenge for myself where I'm making Scripture cards and turning it into a calendar. The small size is not so intimidating and I can make them as elaborate or simple as I want. I remember Lydia sharing on the Mixability Challenge a calendar where she was filling in each day's box with a little sketch or technique. Maybe doing something on a smaller scale but consistently might be a help too.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:02 AM   #16
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I had low mojo throughout most of last year, and it was trying to participate in a few of the challenges that helped keep me going. I know that some people give up altogether and then come back as the mood takes them again. But I found the concept of warm-ups in a recent MIX challenge from Dina interesting - http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...a-t605486.html. Like doing ten minutes of scales and exercises on a musical instrument even if I don't feel like playing music. So personally I would go more with trying to do something even if it never makes it onto a card. Again personally, my problem with some mixed media/3D stuff is space and clutter - it's not me. But even if I just sit and enjoy colouring something, it can be put aside for another time. And if it never makes it onto something, it was fun and maybe even therapeutic at the time. I have a large stamped image mixed media page on my desk that has been there for over a year now; it's a bird, so of course I love it , but I just don't know where to go with it because it's bigger than my usual card size.
And I hear you on some that you'll never part with. I love that some of mine that were "keepers" ten years ago still are. Of course there were some pretty poor ones back then too .
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:41 AM   #17
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I see this often in the winter. Just when we dont have the conflict of warm weather making us want to go out and do things...we lose mojo to make. It may be SADD or just winter blahs. One just wants to be under blankets watching movies with hot chocolate.

My suggestion is this:

Dont try to make a card. I never do well when I try to force it.

Just try new techniques with no goal in mind. Just play. Over time, it may spark a thought for a card. At very least, you may get some BG paper to use later for layers or die cuts and master a new skill. Too often we are trying to do this in the middle of a challenge.

Test sponging with distress inks to see what color combos work well together and make yourself demo strips to refer to later. Like "sunset" = these colors. "water" = these colors. Or your watercolors. Play with different WC paper and see how you like them. Experiment! Be a mad scientist! We dont always have to have something to show for it afterwards.

Put on the radio with upbeat music. It's amazing how that can lift the spirits. I want to create a mix of that I can use in the house. I have some in my old Ipod that I listen to when I am in the garden and it really helps. Another winter project. My cousin just sent me a ton of CDs she got rid of because she loaded it all on her computer. I need to learn to do this.

Right now I am in re-org mode myself. I specifically left it to after the holidays as a winter project. I have tons of ideas to make which is pushing me along to get this done.

BTW-Operation Gratitude will take cards to be given to troops and first reponders here at home for them to use in gift baskets. Same 5 cats as OWH. Love, Thinking of you, etc.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:25 AM   #18
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Yes, it's true - it's easy to forget that what's going on in our lives has got to affect our creativity. Grief, anxiety, depression, whatever. I have some health issues going on that are worrisome and have to be resolved, maybe that's what is distracting me.

So sorry to hear you are going through a rough time, Gail.

Good idea, Sue. I do have some organizational things I could do. I have been meaning to do a color chart for my watercolor pencils for a year. I did my Inktense pencils a few months ago and it really helped, but I still have to pick up my watercolor pencils and try them out on scrap before deciding what colors to use, or guess. It's just that I have 120 of them! But it would keep me busy.

And maybe I'll stamp some stuff to have around to color in. If I color them in, I'll have focal images ready to go for whenever my muse decides to return.

I'll check out Operation Gratitude…

And try to be more process and less product minded.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:52 AM   #19
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I notice you said this has happened several times before, maybe you are trying to force your creativity into a "mold" that doesn't fit. Not saying you shouldn't be a stamper but card making or only making cards isn't for everyone.

Mixed media of any form is so freeing, it helped me get over a several year slump. After I started, I remembered I had dabbled in mixed media years ago. Then I discovered the world of online and started making cards instead and didn't do any MM again for years. I am so glad and thankful that I went back to it and I love art journaling. I'm even enjoying the process of making an occasional card again.


When I started my first art journal it was a self bound one. I liked that I could create with any medium on any type of paper (which I have tons of btw ) and once I had created enough pages I could then bind them together and by the time I was through with that first AJ, the stamping bug had bitten once again.


Binding does not have to be anything fancy either, all you need is a hole punch and some ribbon or ring binders. It sounds like you already have a head start on a hand made journal with those Gelli prints all you need now is to add journaling and binding. The journaling does not have to be diary like, mine are inspirational quotes and bible passages instead, aka... all those stamps I bought and then never or rarely used.

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Old 01-18-2016, 08:12 AM   #20
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I hate when I loose my Mojo. I just went through an almost 2 year low mojo spell.... It was really stressful... I was going through some school and job stuff and then some family health issues. I really was convinced I would never make a card again! It was the worst because I wanted to play with my stamping toys but I just couldn't. I tried playing with some other crafts that I usually enjoy when I'm not in a cardmaking mood but even those didn't hold my attention. But suddenly kind of out of nowhere I sat down one day a few months ago and I just started making stuff again. Once I started I bought some new toys to really get me going and I haven't stopped. I really think sometimes it just takes time!
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:33 AM   #21
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Christmas blew right by me, I don't celebrate it because I'm Jewish!
This is the first Christmas in many years that I sent out cards, but not as many as I'd hoped to send.

Every year, without fail, I get a Christmas card from a former coworker who is Jewish. This year, I vow to buy some sort of Jewish stamp--maybe a menorah or a dreydl--and surprise him a Happy Hanukkah card. Any suggestions to where I might shop?
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:12 PM   #22
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...usually when I'm in a "mojo slump", I'm in a SLUMP, period. My general ennui spills over into everything, and I lack interest in everything.
Me, too. My last lack of interest period spanned more than 1,000 days!
I went three years with no stamping, no scrapbooking, no writing, no reading--all the things that used to top my "love to do" list.

I think mojo slumps are normal. Sometimes they allow us to look in other directions for fun and creativity, like switching from scrapbooking to card making to art journaling. But when those slumps last for months, or when they start to affect other areas of our lives, we might want to take a step back and consider whether we need to look elsewhere for motivation, possibly even our physician.

Believe me when I say that depression is serious business, and ignoring it can make things worse.
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:35 PM   #23
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This is the first Christmas in many years that I sent out cards, but not as many as I'd hoped to send.

Every year, without fail, I get a Christmas card from a former coworker who is Jewish. This year, I vow to buy some sort of Jewish stamp--maybe a menorah or a dreydl--and surprise him a Happy Hanukkah card. Any suggestions to where I might shop?
Zum Gali Gali specializes in Jewish stamps
Zum Gali Gali Home Page

Papertrey Ink has a set (and a couple of add on sets, just search their website on the word "Jewish")
https://www.papertreyink.com/stamps/...tov-stamp-set/

But you don't even have to get that fancy. Polly (peeps321) sent me a card this year that was made with NO stamps and was absolutely charming:

Chanukah Card From Polly (peeps321) by Rachelrose - Cards and Paper Crafts at Splitcoaststampers
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:53 PM   #24
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I think all of our mojos have gotten together and partying without us. They are probably some place warm, too.
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Old 01-18-2016, 01:10 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by melissa59 View Post
This is the first Christmas in many years that I sent out cards, but not as many as I'd hoped to send.

Every year, without fail, I get a Christmas card from a former coworker who is Jewish. This year, I vow to buy some sort of Jewish stamp--maybe a menorah or a dreydl--and surprise him a Happy Hanukkah card. Any suggestions to where I might shop?


Melissa, as an option to buying a stamp - there's a tutorial here which uses circle dies to make a lovely menorah: Menorah Card Tutorial - Splitcoaststampers
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:59 PM   #26
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Melissa, as an option to buying a stamp - there's a tutorial here which uses circle dies to make a lovely menorah: Menorah Card Tutorial - Splitcoaststampers
That is beautiful! I think I'd rather make make that menorah than stamp one!
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:38 AM   #27
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I think all of our mojos have gotten together and partying without us. They are probably some place warm, too.
I like to think my mojo went to Maui without me.

I have random slumps where I have no interest in creating. Sometimes cleaning and organizing, new products, or a new technique can help. But more often than not, I just play and make ugly stuff until lightening strikes.

Mixed media is holding my interest - it wasn't for MM I'm not sure I would still be a paper crafter because just making cards is boring for me.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:22 AM   #28
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I have created email boxes for "Techniques" and "Backgrounds" and store ideas in these email boxes so I can replicate these when my MoJo is low. I also pull one of each every week and try it out! No stress learning for me because I am following clear steps and adding to my knowledge base. I take notes on the back of the mat card and file it away. When I get stuck, I flip through these cards and oftentimes this alone sparks new creativity and inspiration.
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Old 01-22-2016, 05:26 PM   #29
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Another slant on this whole topic: usually when I'm in a "mojo slump", I'm in a SLUMP, period. My general ennui spills over into everything, and I lack interest in everything. Once I get some rest, or whatever the soul-sucky thing that's going on has passed, my interest - and my mojo - come back. Maybe just leave it well alone for a minute...

I'll also add that I usually do organizational-type things when my mojo is failing, and I usually have at least an idea or two cross my mind while I'm touching everything...
I LIKE this idea of organizing when you don't have your "mojo!" I go through times when I honestly don't like the stamps that are out there. (I think I'm somewhat picky about what the images I choose....) So then, I concentrate on getting things that I wouldn't otherwise get....like Christmas this year, I didn't get but one stamp set & got tools of the trade that I didn't have. But, I DO LIKE the organizing idea for this time! We SHOULD BE, VERY ORGANIZED!!!! LOL
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Old 01-22-2016, 05:31 PM   #30
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I have created email boxes for "Techniques" and "Backgrounds" and store ideas in these email boxes so I can replicate these when my MoJo is low. I also pull one of each every week and try it out! No stress learning for me because I am following clear steps and adding to my knowledge base. I take notes on the back of the mat card and file it away. When I get stuck, I flip through these cards and oftentimes this alone sparks new creativity and inspiration.
WHAT A SUPER IDEA!!!! I have a small file box I organize my sentiments in to keep track of what I have & I can easily reference them when looking for a specific sentiment.... I lack in techniques. A lot of it is lacking the material....& I am comfortable with with what I do, so it's just easier. Getting materials isn't as easy as you would think either.... but, I DO LOVE this idea & will have to give it a try to stretch myself! Share more on how you do this???? I'd LOVE to know!
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:50 PM   #31
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Last year I made a LOT of card for Operation Write Home until they ended. Then I had the month of August to get some projects done around the house, two weeks to spend with my sister, and then I started going to school. My mojo completely shut down at that point, even when I could get a minute to make something, I just didn't want to.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago - out of the blue my mojo is back. Any spare minute I get I'm at my craft area. I'm working on scrapbooks again and like someone else mentioned, just making cards and hanging on to them until I find a cause that will be appropriate.


So my point is, sometimes you just have to ride it out and wait. When I lose my mojo, I can't force it to come back no matter how hard I try. But it always does. I even ordered some new stamps the other night, the first ones in about a year. Just be patient with yourself and see what happens.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:06 AM   #32
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I find that I loose my mojo when I have just made it through several long months of card making---lots of Christmas cards and then February in which we have 15 family birthdays plus Valentine's Day. While I'm working I'm having a ball, but also thinking I should be cleaning, working in the yard, sewing, and vowing I will when the big push is over. Then I find I can't find mojo for anything! I love to work with my plants, but I sit there and think I should get up and repot that poor pot bound plant, or weed the yard or sew that jacket, but I can't work up the enthusiasm. I find what helps is to really clean up my craft room (which I also really like to do) or get some other smallish project done. Sometimes I just catch up on reading and take a break from being so productive. Doing something different sometimes makes me long to get back at my crafts---or any of the other things that I didn't have mojo for. Good luck in your quest to find you mojo!
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:25 AM   #33
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I have been doing some organizational stuff - I spent yesterday doing my much-needed chart for my colored pencils. Now I'm working on revamping my die organization. I realized I don't make enough use of many of my dies, and it's because I never think to.

I also tried something that was interesting and fun, but may or may not result in any actual cards: I keep my stamps on panels, with a paper index, in a page protector. I took a couple of sets that I have not made much use of, photocopied the index and then wrote all over the photocopy different ideas on how I could use the stamps, including anything that I might want to buy to make them more useful in terms of DP or other stamps or dies. I came up with some good ideas and it was low pressure.

I'm also thinking of changing up my card format. Someone mentioned that here. I have some bits and pieces that really would look good on a 5.5X5X5 card. I've never done anything but A2 cards, so I'd like to see if a different canvas would be inspiring.

Lots of great posts about mojo here. You guys are so great!
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:48 AM   #34
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I'm right there. I stopped making and sending birthday cards around March of last year, and haven't had any motivation to pick it back up. I did manage to make the usual 100 Christmas cards, but did them all last minute.

My craft room is a mess. I think I need to start with a good purge. If I can reclaim the space, it may motivate me to create again. I don't work well in clutter, but I'm really good at creating clutter. At least, I hope this will work. I had friends who got married at the end of October, and I still haven't made their card. My dad's 80th birthday was in November. No card. Yikes!
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:45 PM   #35
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Every year, without fail, I get a Christmas card from a former coworker who is Jewish. This year, I vow to buy some sort of Jewish stamp--maybe a menorah or a dreydl--and surprise him a Happy Hanukkah card. Any suggestions to where I might shop?
I have a couple of friends who are Jewish, but since I only make 2 cards (one for each) each year, I don't feel like investing in stamps or anything that are Hanukkah-specific. I usually either go to Pinterest or Google and do a search for "DIY Hanukkah cards" or something like that. Some ideas I find use specific products, but I usually find enough that don't require special stamps or something. Then I just add those to my Pinterest board for Christmas/Winter/Hanukkah cards for future inspiration. You might also find digi Hanukkah images, if that's your thing. Again, try Google. (What did we ever do before Google? LOL)
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