Overcoming a Rut

That dreaded rut....something I push so hard to avoid and yet somehow manage to fall into more often than I should....it can be very depressing to hit that stage, especially when your job and income rely on you Not falling into a rut.

I've been stuck in this for a few weeks now.  It sucks.  My mind has been completely blank.  What once was filled with so many swirling ideas that I never had enough time to complete became an empty void of cricket chirps.  I felt like nothing as going to pull me out and it infuriated me.

But I want to let you know, if you ever fall into a rut...there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Don't give up or throw in the towel.  Just keep pushing yourself forward, no matter how frustrating and depressing that blank void is.

I can't say that I've fully pulled out of this rut yet...but I'm making progress and that makes me happy.

A few things to try if you find yourself there:
~Search the internet for inspiration
~Organize your supplies.  Sometimes being reminded of what you have can help inspire you.
~Browse back through your past work.  I know that seeing some of my old cards can often trigger an idea or make me balk at how awful that card was and push me to remake it :)
~Get outside!  Work in the yard or go for long walks every day.  Clearing your head and working with nature can be great inspiration.
~Give yourself a couple days off.  Maybe your brain just really needs a break.  Grab a great book and just chill.

But the one thing that worked for me (since I tried everything above..repeatedly) was to pull out my favorite supplies and force an idea out.  I just started watercoloring and stamping stuff.  It was all horrible and probably a waste, but every time I blended something together or inked up another stamp, a new thought came to mind.  It may take a little bit of time and lots of random playing around, but if you're using the supplies and techniques that you absolutely love, something will trigger!

So my favorites are all featured in today's card, which is my breakthrough card that I will cherish forever because it became my light at the end of this horrible rutted tunnel.
First fav is ink blending!  Who doesn't love a great color combo to feature on a card?  And for me, I can never resist a blue/purple combo.  This background was inked with Peacock Feathers, Faded Jeans, and Dusty Concord.  Of course, you can't do a distress background without some water drops.

And that leads to my next fav which is sparkle!  I sprayed the entire background with a shimmer spray.  I just needed a lot of sparkle to make me smile :)

I also took the Beautiful Life stamp set from Honey Bee Stamps and silver sparkle embossed the outlines of the hearts.  Then went back over just a few of those hearts with a clear embossing powder and embossed the solid heart.  This helped make a few of the hearts pop on the card.  I also white embossed some itty bitty hearts around the background too.

Next favorites - Vellum and Stitching!!  With such a colorful busy background, I didn't want to cover it up or try to put a sentiment directly on it since it would probably get lost.  So I took a simple piece of vellum and white embossed my sentiments on that.  Then did a zigzag stitch across the top to affix it to my card.

When you focus on using your favorites, I feel like it can really pull great ideas out.  Maybe all of your favorites don't work together on one card, but some of them will definitely mesh well, and that is a great start to get your mind working again.

If you've ever hit a rut, leave me a comment and let me know how you pulled out of it.  I love to hear other peoples ideas, because while it is never fun to fall into those dreaded ruts, it happens and knowing ways to get out is always a huge help!

Thanks for sticking around for this long winded post!  I know it was lengthy, but I wanted to share all of my thoughts with you :)

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    Addicted to Stamps #207-Make Your Mark
    Fab n Funky #316-Anything Goes
    Penny's Paper Crafty #291-Anything Goes
    Word Art Wednesday #244-Anything Goes

Love to everyone! <3


  1. Beautiful card Emily. Thank you for playing along with our Challenge at Penny’s Paper-Crafty. We would love to see you again ... Anet DTx

  2. Well your mojo is definitely back Emily and I love your vibrant card. The ink blending provides a wonderful background to the vellum and I bet the sparkle is sensational IRL! All your tips for getting out of the doldrums are great and I'm so glad they worked for you in the end.
    Thanks for sharing with us at ATSM and I hope you will join us again soon.
    Carol x

  3. Emily, I love your use of embossing, and vellum on this card. The combination is just perfect. Thank you for joining us at Word Art Wednesday!
    Misty D.
    WAW DT

  4. Love the background and the lovely sentiments! Happy to see you in the ATSM gallery. All the very best. Nandini DT