There is no question that the economy is on everyone’s mind. I would hazard a guess that most people did not know that recessions and times of uncertainty have been historically good times for those in the crafting industry. It is not hard to connect the dots really….people decide to make stuff rather than spend dinero they do not have on bought things. Personally, I think some of the most amazing pieces of art are created in leaner times. Creativity has and always will be about using the stuff we have on hand. To tell a compelling story and document your memories, I encourage people to go shopping through their existing stash to find those lost treasures and use them in new and innovative ways. One of my favorite creativity exercises is to sit at my desk in the studio with a limited number of supplies (an adhesive of some sort, an India Ink or waterproof pen, one or two pieces of paper, and a good picture or two….) and think through all of the ways they can be used to tell different versions of a story based on the pictures in front of me. Not only are you forced to concentrate on the activity and exercise but, you aren’t hampered by too many choices that tend to distract. I liken it to wearing a uniform everyday as opposed to having to decide each morning what you’ll wear. Once you get rid of the variables, you are able to concentrate on the substance or content. Recessions force us to work within our means and get rid of (voluntarily or not) the extras. Through this sifting process, not only do you end up with a distilled and concise piece but, more times than not, a better story with more detail.