I have been struggling to have any semblance of creativity in my life these days. I bounce from one child's needs to another, lots of food production/storage/preparation, and then there's the laundry. Food and children can be a a little creative (sometimes) but not laundry.
Recently, I discovered Zentangle. It's a huge fad right now, it seems, all over the internet. A Google image search yields some beautiful creations. There are almost no rules to this relaxing creative endeavor. Make a design --real or abstract-- and fill it in with different patterns inside every shape. So I've been playing with it in my sketchbook. It takes very little time and effort doesn't make me feel any concern for perfection or exactness or feeling like I need to produce a wonderful work of art. It's really just doodling, and it's for no one but me.
Recently on one of the Facebook pages that I follow for creative inspiration, there was a post about doing Zentangle on fall leaves, particularly as a group activity. Our leaves are all gone now, but just before they all blew away last week the kids and I went out for a walk and collected lots of colorful leaves and pressed them. A few days ago, we went to a fall get-together with some friends during which we made a ginormous batch of doughnuts (a triple batch of Pioneer Woman's doughnut recipe is apparently what it takes to feed a small army of children, plus their mamas and daddies, and there weren't any left over for breakfast). As a side activity, I got out the pressed leaves and a pile of metallic and black Sharpie markers, and we tangled away. I had printed out some pattern ideas to get our brain juices flowing. The kids had a great time with this low-tech activity (at one point they were all singing together as they doodled). A coat of Mod Podge brightens the colors and keeps the leaves from crumbling away too quickly.
I have intentions to tie mine to some twine to make a little garland. More photos to follow if I get that far. (Sorry for the blurry pics, the light was low and my phone is old and crumby.)
P.S. To post from a phone or tablet, you'll need to get the Blogger app. I didn't take any pics with my camera, only my phone, and I could not get it to play nice with my computer, so I had to get the app. I was not excited about thumb-typing this whole post (even though I am now typing one-handed with a baby on one arm...) so I saved the post as a draft and signed in on my laptop to finish it. Also, I believe this blog could be set up in such a way as to allow multiple authors so that we could post to this blog from our own Blogger/Google accounts.