As 2017 comes to an end, this would be a good time to write a post reflecting on everything I’ve done, the art I’ve made and how I’ve changed.
This year I’ve naturally focused more on my embroidery and as a result I’ve become more precise in my work. Moving house meant I had more space for my crafts and while I set up the art room I would do embroidery projects in the living room. The more embroidery hoops I made, the more ideas and I would get for new ones.
I also started to spray paint the hoops, giving the whole piece a more completed look. I have lots of fabric pieces so embroidery was like a fun way to plan, doodle and relax. I would pick out my fabric, sketch an idea onto it and play around with colours and stitches to bring my ideas to life. I also challenged myself to try something more complex each time I started a new piece.
Skull and Flowers
When it came to subject, the main themes for my pieces were nature and whimsical – no surprises there! I find inspiration in so many things; beetles, flowers, seasons, the sea, anatomy, space. I also love looking at other artists and different styles such as Pop Surrealism, Kitsch, Kawaii.
I’ve been having a bit of creative slump with my projects so I decided to just go take my own advice and make anything! I got this lovely Paper Poetry cherry blossom kit a little while ago so I decided to try it out.
At first I found it frustrating as it was quite fiddly and I’ve not been working with paper for a long time. But my flowers got better and making them was more about breaking my annoying creative brick wall.
I’ve been doing a lot of embroidery projects the last few months and this was one of my biggest influences on my next project. I had bought a copper S shape from Hobbycraft a few months ago as I wanted to add some interesting wall art to my new craft room. I had a vague idea of adding wire and beads to it, so I just opened my box of embellishments and beads and started.
Of course my little friend Dr Truffles wanted to see what was going on as well!
When I ran out of colourful wire, I started using some black twine and tying parts of it in knots. I added beads, metal charms, paper flowers, anything I could find that I thought went together well. love how it turned out!
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.
Sweet Mini Shelf
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!
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!
Awesome tattoo of vintage Victorian teeth drawing
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!
I’ve been learning hand embroidery for about six months now and thought I’d share some tips – and frustrations! – that might give anyone considering trying it (or even beginners) some insights.
The fabric is your background that pulls your design together. When I first started I used some terrible fabric. It was heavily patterned and pretty but overwhelmed the embroidery instead of complimenting it. I’d recommend planning. Being impulsive I went straight in and was left disheartened with the end result.
Another thing that may seem obvious is ironing your fabric piece! Even if it seems relatively flat it may have some small creases and it’s best to start from a completely smooth piece.
Black and White
The Craft Centre
Hand Made Goodness
Is that Oasis?
Preparing for Chinese New Year
I’ve been really interested in the graffiti and art in Manchester for a while and wanted to do a project photographing some of the different places for the blog. Here is a small collection in the city’s Northern Quarter, a vibrant part of the city with little independent shops and cafes. It is also home to The Craft Centre where a number of local artists make and sell items from ceramics and textiles to jewellery and prints. I love taking friends and family who come to visit. I’ve lived here for nearly 3 and half years and just love the vibrancy and creativity in the city. The Northern Quarter is also home to The Buddhist Centre which is in a lovely building and holds lots of different classes such as meditation and yoga. If you ever visit Manchester I highly recommend these places.
I’ve wanted to try this for ages! And I admit I was frustrated at first because my creations weren’t as good as I wanted. Duh! The two owls were my first try at animals, then the bunny which I think is OK but a bit square!
A few pictures from the weekend
My Lovely Cute Journal
Stream of Consciousness
Here is a little flick through my A5 Dylusions art journal – which I just love. I want to cover the front but not until I’ve used all the pages – otherwise it will just get covered in blobs of paint and ink and sprays!
Sunshine after rain
I love how the rain seems to illuminate wildlife and I’ve tried to capture the intensity of colour and texture in these photos. I also found some interesting textures in the plants and flowers and see the contrast with the gate and other more urban settings.
Also some interesting graffiti in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, a cool part of the city with alternative craft shops, coffee shops and the Buddhist centre.
New Art Books
I bought these two books Stamp It! and Craft-a-Doodle for some inspiration and this is a doodle I started to get back into my art. I’ve also been carving more stamps, which I will be putting up in a new post soon.
Mollie Makes came out yesterday so I am very excited to read this! Lots of flowers in full bloom right now too
A spontaneous art journal page – I love these colours
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I had a few days off which I thought would be a good opportunity to start the art journal pages challenge I set myself, and this one was to make a page heavy with texture. Sometimes it is hard to just pick up materials and not really think about where to put them, but I consciously decided that the page would be layers of textures first and the image would come later.
Well, recently I have been getting very interested in improving my blog, adding content and developing the overall approach I have. With this in mind, I have been learning about web technologies, web design and teaching myself how a website works. I have even got to grips with code like HTML and this has made me really pleased!
While I will continue with my blog, I have started a new website too which I am still working on in terms of ideas and structure. It will be linked to this blog but maybe more focused around my art and art therapy. It is still very basic but the link is here if anyone wants to check it out: https://cherryblossomtears.squarespace.com