Indulge in 5 Creative Gifts for Yourself

Jean Campbell

To-do for you–

Like many of you out there, my to-do list is very long and complicated. So much so, actually, that I’ll admit I have a second to-do list that prioritizes the first to-do list. And like Pavlov’s dog, when I cross something off the short list, I drool a little, knowing it’s time to give myself a little treat. Sometimes it’s as simple as a piece of chocolate or a high five with the person who happens to be walking past my office at the time. Other times it’s a more tangible treat. One that fills the creative void, especially when the thing on the list was something like “Finish the taxes.”

So I was thinking . . . what creative things do I do to give myself an artful treat? Here’s a short list:

  • Make a pair of earrings. Just about any earring pattern is quick to make and doesn’t elicit a third to-do list. I just finished a big book edit, so I’ve been looking in the Beading Daily store for a treat just like Marcia DeCoster’s Little Black Dress Earrings.
  • Take the camera out of the house, away from family and friends, and play National Geographic photographer. I use the camera to look at nature, architecture, and people in a fresh way, framing what I see. This lets me go into artist mode (“I am creating”) rather than my usual mom/worker mode (“I am documenting”).
  • Head to the bead shop and buy supplies for the Next Big Thing. It’s good to have a plan before I go, though, so that I don’t buy too many things. Right now I’ve got my eye on a project like Daeng Weaver’s Crystal Brilliance Necklace.



  • Dust off a craft supply I don’t usually use. For example, I often go to my sewing machine for this treat, using it less as the ripped-jeans repairer that it has become and more like a drawing utensil for fabric. I just cut a square of scrap fabric and topstitched circles, lines, and random patterns in different thread colors all over it. I figure one day I’ll have enough of these little swatches to create a quilt!
  • Make myself a present. I feel like I’m often making jewelry for other people . . . for publication . . . for teaching. But I don’t often make things for myself. Things I know I’ll wear every day. This creative treat is the best of all, because not only do I get a creative release, it’s very self-indulgent! Right now I’d like to give this to myself: Colleen McGraw’s Simply Silver chain maille bracelet. I know I’d wear it all the time.

Do you give yourself creative treats like I do? What are they?
Please share which projects get you feeling creative here on Beading Daily.

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