Saturday, September 3, 2011

Simple Swaps: A Creative Oasis {How to create a space in less than 15 minutes at no cost}

*Congratulations to Stephanie who was randomly selected to win the Scentsy giveaway.* Saturdays around Undercover Mother are getting a little makeover for the fall!

The first Saturday of each month, I'll introduce one Simple Swaps as a way encouraging my friends here to find the time and resources to make simple changes aimed at gaining a healthier, more inspired, intentional lifestyle.

Each swap will:
1. Take 15 minutes or less to accomplish
2. Be free to implement or boast overall, long-haul savings
3. Focus on improving health/eco-friendliness, being good stewards of our resources or fostering a creative and intentional life.

Some weeks, all three will be accomplished in only 15 minutes!

The beautiful and creative Robin from Diet Coke on the Rocks will make the Simple Swap first each month so as to show ease and perhaps sometimes another way to implement a Simple Swap. Check out her September Simple Swap for more ideas!

Simple Swap for Saturday, September 3, 2011: A Creative Oasis

It had been quite the week around our house -- chaotic with the craze of two weddings in three weekends, a pending bachlorette party {last Saturday night!} planned by yours truly and the insanity that emerges around both boys' birthdays when developmental peaks happen.

Plus, you know, life -- a business and laundry and cooking and cleaning per normal, none of which rests.

Last Friday night after the boys were fast asleep and the house was bathed in quiet, I found myself totally unmotivated and uninspired to take on all of the Martha Stewarting necessary for executing last Saturday's bachlorette party.

Because, really, there is nothing that zaps my desire to create like a house that looks like this:


My brain just cannot get beyond the mess {which is normally cleaned up before the boys go to bed, but holy crabbiness, batman!} and let the creativity flow when I'm knee high in toys and general clutter that's been scattered around the house by the boys.

As time was not a luxury with the party being so close, I decided I needed to make a creative watering well of sorts amid my cluttered, tumbleweeded desert of a home.

I picked one small space last night, gave myself 15 minutes and transformed the dining room into a tidy and inspiring Creative Oasis by focusing on making just a few improvements to the senses for no cost and with little planning in little time: Sights, sounds and smells

1. Sights

-Clear Clutter

After clearing the clutter from my chosen space, I focused on bringing beauty to the space.

- Beautify
I switched out the dirty table cloth, clothed my temporary desk with striped colors and retrieved the bouquet I'd been drying from last weekend's wedding, placing it in a vase as a visually appealing centerpiece.

-Stage Lighting
The dining room light isn't too harsh, but I dimmed the chandelier and instead turned up the tiny lights laced into decoration above the hutch so as to soften the ambiance.

2. Sounds

Though I often crave the quiet only night brings, I know I'm inspired by song and lyric, so I turned to Pandora {free Internet radio in your chosen genre} for the deep lyrical melodies of Mumford and Sons, Death Cab for Cutie and Sufjan Stevens. I opened the window next to the table, too, so as to soak in sounds of the crickets chirping in the late August air.

3. Smells

A fresh lemongrass Thai candle not only enhanced the smell in the air, but it also provided a bit more of soft lighting.

To top it off, I brewed a sweet smelling coconut tea at the table and let the smells waft into the air as I cleared the rest of the clutter from the table and hutch.

After my allotted 15 minutes passed, I looked around {took a few pictures} and breathed in the clarity and beauty of a freshly designed Creative Oasis.

And I'm overjoyed in the works that came from being in that space for a few hours last night


My creations turned out so awesomely, too! Much funkier and loads more playful than the vintage button bracelet I crafted last month.

{My BIG fall project is to create a permanent creativity oasis because I think we should all have some sort of small space, even if it's just a corner, where we can think and feel and let inspiration have room to expand and take shape.}

OK! It's your turn to Simple Swap and create a Creative Oasis. If you make the Simple Swap, link up a post of your before and after picture below.

One person who links up her Creative Oasis, will be randomly selected to win the Scentsy Nantucket midsized burner and her choice of a scent bar gifted generously by Scentsy rep Natalie.

If after checking out Scentsy and loving the awesomeness of a flameless candle scenting your home, you can use 10 percent discount code for any Scentsy orders placed through September 30 when mentioning September Simple Swaps in your email order: nataliejcline{at}yahoo{dot}com.

The Creativity Oasis linky will be open through next Saturday, September 10.