Hello friends, I haven't posted in a while, I've been in a sort of creative void and also a blogging void. I'm not quite sure why. I started spring cleaning the house, I got the urge, you know how it is, the nicer weather seems to inspire a bit of a nesting feeling. You seem to notice the windows need cleaning and then start to clean out cupboards etc and then before I knew it I got a bit obsessed. I didn't actually think of it as obsessed I just thought I was on a roll and I kept going, decluttering and organising, then it slowly dawned on me that I was feeling guilty whenever I sat down to do some scrapping or art work of any sort, I kept thinking of all the things that needed doing, which, in turn, made me not enjoy what I was doing, I would actually have to stop and go and do whatever it was that was bothering me. Even if nothing in particular was bothering me I would start having thoughts like, "I'm being so unproductive", or "how is this helping our family, they'd be better off it I went and made a soup, or organised something or whatever" and on and on the list can go. I have struggled with this before and it's not fun, it really does affect how much creating I do. I'm still struggling with it as I write this as a matter of fact and I'm not sure how to get past it. I sort of feel as though the house has to be perfect and maybe then I can relax and 'allow' myself to do my creative stuff. Little bit OCD at the moment I think, I know it's not a good place to be as art really is part of me and I need to express myself through it. I am trivialising it by putting it last on the list, or not on the list at all! Logically, I know I shouldn't feel this way, yet I am really having trouble with the guilt. Maybe I feel as though I don't deserve this outlet? Maybe I am procrastinating? Or perhaps a bit of both? I'm not quite sure but I am sure something's gotta give. Those photos above are pictures of what has been sitting on my work area for weeks. I got as far as choosing colors (sort of), choosing some embellishments, choosing a cute photo and a selection of a few others in case I want to use more than one. I had the idea to use the back part of the packaging that Elsie Flannigans rubons come in as part of my layout (behind the main photo) which I thought was a cute idea and kind of inspired me and then.........I came to a dead stop! I have remained at this stage for days. I don't know if any of you have struggled with anything similar to this, if you have I'd appreciate some suggestions. I think I may need to take a bit of time to analyze what's really going on here. I must also start reminding myself of why art is not a waste of time. I guess that's what is at the crux of it, I have been feeling as if sitting down and making something pretty is so self indulgent. It's not as bad if I'm making it for someone else, which is why I joined a 'swap' club a while back (not that I've made what I am supposed to make for that either yet), I guess I thought that if I'm doing it for others it's not as self indulgent. I really don't want to feel like this, it just seems wrong in a way that is not healthy. I will work through it, even writing about it here is enlightening me a little. I seem to remember, vaguely, reading something Ali Edwards wrote about a similar topic, I may go to her blog and read old posts. Also, reading about how other people who 'make' things feel about this might help. I shall do some research on the subject. Gosh I've waffled on a long time about my problems, sorry, I'm surprised if you're still with me (and grateful) lol! I shall finish now, it's 1o.50pm here and Jack is still up! Well, it is school holidays, but still.....take care of yourselves and each other and hopefully next time you hear from me I will have created something. PS: I read through Ngaire's blog today and that did stir something deep inside me, enough so I almost got up and went to my work space, almost....Thanks Ngaire, you have some beautiful things on there.