Cherryblossom Tears is Five

‘ Creativity takes courage’ –  Henri Matisse

Everything begins with an idea. And five years ago I decided to blog about the creative things I was doing, like an online dairy. I was nervous about showing the world my ‘flawed’ works but part of my plan was to become an art therapist and this felt like one small step in that direction.

I started Cherryblossom Tears when I was 28 and now I’m 33. My art has changed as much as I have in that time. I’ve recognised that my blog was never going to be a glossy portfolio of finished pieces. My strengths lay in the so called imperfections and the process of creating. This is what art therapy was about; engaging with the materials and the creating of artwork. I learnt how to run a blog inside out by doing it, making mistakes and learning from them.

I developed better writing skills and found a natural voice when putting up posts. I learnt how to take better pictures of my work and how to plan my projects. The purpose of my blog started to shine through: It was about not giving up, sharing my frustrations with my work, the trying, the experimentations, working through to find and cultivate a personal style, the materials you connect with and feel on an intuitive level.

‘Life is like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning.’ Charles de Lint

I think writing in this way is liberating. I realised where my creative strengths were and also how much I love combining materials to makes something unusual. One my favourite things to do is go to the art shop and find something new to try. What can I make with Polymer clay? What happens if I add beads? What about wire? How can I create a monster in my own style?

By allowing myself this freedom, I stopped caring so much what other people thought of my art and really embraced the enjoyment I got from making things. It doesn’t matter if something I make doesn’t work, I can try again! I’ve found a quiet confidence in presenting myself as who I really am; a little eccentric, messy, prone to over-thinking. But who I wished to be in my 20s wasn’t real or authentic.

Embracing this has also given me confidence to offer advice and encouragement to others. I like doing tutorials on the blog for anyone starting out of a creative journey, wanting to find a new side to their personality or just wanting to find a new hobby.

below are a few of my favourite things I’ve done in the last five years – I always forget how much I’ve made!

Mini Projects & Rainy Days

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I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog a little, but I have just been so busy with other things and a little side tracked! So here are a few mini projects I have been doing in-between my embroidery, celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday, working and general life things!

Art Room Projects

I bought a wooden mini shelf from Amazon to add all my tiny little knickknacks on. First I primed the whole thing ready for painting and used this lovely blue Dylusions paint. I added this floral patterned paper using Modge-Podge and coated the whole thing to give it a varnish effect. I then added some tiny circle mirrors, gems and mosaic tiles for embellishment. This is now in the corner of my window sill looking sweet.

The next thing I made was a pinboard to fit under my new shelf. I found this frame in Primark and loved that it was a hexagon. I bought it for £6 and basically took it apart!

First I spray painted the frame a neon pink, added my own paper to the backing card (the same as the mini shelf above) and threaded purple ribbon between the back and the wood. I used glue and a staple gun to secure the back and added some embellishments to the front, including some day of the dead skull beads! I am really pleased with how my art room is starting to come together.

Life Things

I love the longer nights and Spring weather – even the rain in Manchester is refreshing and reminds me of Summer. In my spare time I’ve been working on my embroidery projects, adding to my sweet cactus collection and teaching myself how to draw on a Wacom tablet. I picked up the bowls my boyfriend and I made at a free clay event last month and am really surprised how well they turned out from just an hour lesson.

Sadly one of our degus died last week, Moose. He was 8 and a half and we were mostly expecting it, but he was a sweet character and will be missed. We still have two left who are a bit younger and seem to be OK at the moment.

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Rest In Peace little Moose x

 

Textiles, Sculpting & My Birthday!

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So this is just an April post update on things I’ve been up to plus it was my birthday, hurray! 33 baby! I had a lovely chilled day with my sweet boyfriend; went looking round shops I like, got this cute tattoo of a vintage medical drawing of teeth (I just like teeth, what can I say?!) went to Richmond’s tea room in Manchester where it is themed like Alice in Wonderland and ate cake, then later we went to see Ghost in the Shell.

I bought this lovely glass terrarium and add two of my smaller cactuses; I made this crazy chocolate swirl cake and decorated it with m&ms; I also got my hair cut quite dramatically!

I’ve been working on some new embroidery projects and continuing with the sweet theme, did an ice cream cone. I’m also working on a new banner for this blog which is coming along very slowly!

I recently got a commission to do a small penguin sculpture; he was to be wearing a little jumper and bow tie! Well I do like a challenge and this is how he came out. I really liked this project and am planning to do some more bird sculptures.

I still feel like I’m working on making my craft area the best possible place to work in. I’m going to be making a little shelf unit for all my knickknacks that I put on the window; I also want to re-pot more cactus friends!

Recent Things in March

So the craziness of last month has definitely started to settle down and my new craft space is looking good. I have my favourite things on the window sill and my inspiration around me that make me so happy and fulfilled while I’m creating things or in need of ideas.

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Since moving into the flat with my lovely boyfriend, I have been exploring my new love of baking (especially decorating!) and also want to make the place cosy and a space to feel relaxed and content. I recently bought a magazine on up cycling and am planning to make a headboard for our bed and re-purpose an old lamp. Also my obsession with cacti has exploded!

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I have been getting back into embroidery recently, partly because our spare room wasn’t finished yet and I wanted something creative to do while sitting in the living room.

I started with a smaller hoop as a practise then planned out a bird silhouette filled with flowers. I forgot how much I enjoy creating with stitches. Colour, shape and movement are all my favourite elements in my work and feel I have captured that in this project. I’m planning to add some seed beads to this and also thinking about spray painting the frame. I’m thinking this would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift for my Mum as well.

Another one of my mini projects for my art area is a copper wire letter S I got from Hobbycraft which I thought would make an interesting addition to my wall art. I’m thinking of covering it with wire and beads and just generally experiment.

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Three Years and Counting…

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I was 28 when I started this blog. It was quite basic in the beginning as I only put up photos of things I had been making. I’m now 31 and a lot has happened in three years. I’ve moved house five times, waited two years for my job to become permanent and had more than my share of personal struggles to overcome.

I’ve also become more confident, happier in myself with a better understanding of what I want. My perception of art, creativity and my life has gradually changed. Writing a blog allowed me to reflect on just how much I did change, and sometimes I am surprised with the things I have done. I developed a quiet self-assurance in my ability to learn and not be afraid to make mistakes. This allowed me to open up to new creative challenges and try new things for the pleasure and curiosity, as well as pushing myself to grow. As I did this the deeper and more fascinating different craft projects became. I also cared less about other people’s thoughts.

I began to see that perfection wasn’t the purpose for art, at least for me. I embraced my mistakes, documented them and used them as a measurement of how far I could go. This is something I did in all areas of my life not just my art. I started learning more technical things around my job and teaching myself how to develop, layout and write a website. I read books about photography, blogging, and social media and went to talks about the future of technology. I became interested in design and started learning how to use InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. These skills fed back into my blog as it went through many looks.

During my early 20s after finishing my studies I struggled finding a job. In-between the drudgery of job hunting I started looking into new crafts. I experimented with mosaics which I liked although I shredded my fingers cutting the tiles and made a mess in my room! When I moved back to Cambridge I got a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew. I had a bit more space then and made my sister a school bag, made some fluffy critters and tried making clothes. I also experimented with polymer clay.

When I was 27 I moved to Manchester and this was a dark time in my life. I found solace in my art. I remember at one point I had no money, my computer had broken, I had no TV and my phone had been cut off. I was disconnected from the world! But I knew the one thing I could still do was create, so that is what I did. I made books into altered art pieces and experimented with paper crafts.

Since starting Cherryblossom Tears I went from mostly sketching and painting with oils to trying altered arts, die cutting, paper crafts, collage, decopatch, art journaling, shadow boxes, jewellery making, photography, video tutorials, embroidery, felting, stamp carving, fabric pens, polymer clay and resin. I found my niche in mixed media and a love of creating projects to work on. I enjoy sharing my work, writing tutorials and finding new ways to convey my ideas. I believe that everyone has the ability to be creative; some just need encouragement and guidance to start. Who knows what you could craft if you allowed yourself.

It’s My Birthday!

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Another year older but definitely not wiser! Haha! My sister came up to Manchester and we went on a tour of all things cute pretty much – Richmond’s Tea Room which is Alice in Wonderland themed (!) Manchester art gallery, Manchester cathedral, shops that were open (as it is Easter Sunday) and had lots of cake, coffee, gifts and yummy bath bombs from Lush! A fun day to celebrate turning 31 😀

New Dwellings

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I’m back! And feeling much better after picking up a particularly nasty virus that has been going round recently. Loads of hot drinks, sleeping and soups helped. Since moving to my new place I have been trying to sort my room to make it super cosy, which is hard when you have so much art stuff like me and not much storage space!

Wall Collage

Wall Collage

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Busy-ness Vs. Arty-ness

What a month I’m having! I’m in the process of moving house, busy at work and now I am coming down with the lurgie I thought I was able to avoid because I had a super human immune system! Wrong! Plus Janaury is always the long month after Christmas when you have to make your money stretch…. and I always see things I want to buy, like a desk for my new place!

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New Year & Monster Embroidery!

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Well hello January. Yep it is that time of year, new beginnings, rain, sales and all that jazz… I have to admit I do quite like the hope that comes with New Year and look forward to Spring, the days getting lighter and the possibilities that lie ahead. I’m also 31 this year and am fully embracing this decade of my life! They say you know who you are in your thirties, or maybe you are just happier with who you are.

A few things I want to do this year include improve my web design skills, try snowboarding, go to Paris, go to life drawing classes, save money, get a fox tattoo and Pilates.

Plus I have always got a lot of art projects going on in my mind, I just need to focus on one at a time!

  • A new shadowbox
  • A mixed fabric Stag head embroidery
  • A Pandora themed tag box
  • More felting creatures

And here is a tentacled monster I just finished. He was more a project to practice my embroidery stitches but he came out pretty sweet! My fingers need a break now! After a walk in the lovely wind and rain in Manchester,I came home and baked a cake. Got to take advantage of a free kitchen! It is chocolate and orange swirl and it was still warm inside when I tried it. Yummy!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Christmas Markets in Manchester

I’ve wanted to take some pictures of the Christmas markets in Manchester city centre for a while and as my friend came up to visit, I thought this would be a great chance to do that before they go.

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Halloween Weekend!

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Halloween was really fun AND I had Friday off! We went to see The Book of Life, carved pumpkins and used the insides to make pumpkin pie, we watched trashy horror films including the original Fly and the 70s Invasions of the Bodysnatchers (which is still amazing). I’ve got The Rocky Horror Pictureshow and Basketcase to watch!

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