Cherryblossom Tears is Five

blogging, Life

‘ 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.

Fizzling Evolution Plus Competition!

sculpture
Fizzlings

Win one of these dudes!

I’ve been thinking for a while about writing a post just about my fun monster sculptures, which I called Fizzlings, and how they evolved and I also wanted to do a little give away competition as I have made so many and they need proper homes! So keep reading to find out how to win one of the three you see here!

Making my little creatures began last when when I had been playing with Polymer Clay Fimo for a while, just bored after making loads of mini charms. I, as always, wanted more of a creative challenge and to make something bigger, so I started with these oddly shaped characters. I added little metal bits lying around, giving them personality.

Stumps

In the Beginning…

Each creature I made was an improvement on the last, but I wanted to make something more substantial. I watched sculpting videos on YouTube (a great resource) bought a variety of books on Polymer Clay and sculpting, and began using an armature of wire and foil inside my sculptures. This is when my creatures started to get bigger and take on a proper form. I had been sketching rough ideas now and planning my work more, thinking of themes, embellishments and colour.

Some Fimo Clay Adventures!

Polymer Clay

Time to get baked! Having felt a lack of motivation recently and a general malaise in my art, I decided to a.) watch Heroes as a break from all my embroidery and b.) try a new approach. I’ve made things with Fimo Polymer Clay before and had a lot of things left over, as I like to keep all my different creative projects and supplies. I started making little charms in 2010 before I moved to Manchester. This post is what I’ve been doing recently, starting with something super easy – snails! These are cute and make nice little gifts for people. I then got a few new colours and started making cute monsters, with the idea to turn them into key rings. It’s much easier to bake with this kind of medium now I live in a better house! Here are a few things I made last week

I found a tutorial on the jellyfish which I thought was cute, so made two of them. I also wanted to try making some bugs. These are quite small but I think they are good for a first try, I can see how to improve them and that is when I know my creative rut is lifting.

A Foxy Embroidery – With Buttons!

Embroidery

Fox

The Idea

Well I have been obsessing over foxes the last few months and wanted to create a project based on one. This design was quite simple, as I was going to go for something more realistic.  But I decided with the size of the hoop and the fox being the centre focus, that it should be colour and pattern that are more intricate and ornate. fox

My style is quite elaborate and I find that details really make a project pop which is why I added the detailing inside the fox. That was free hand and I gave myself the chance to just experiment with colours and pattern. I think it works well.

Materials & Stitches

New Year & Monster Embroidery!

Embroidery, Life

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!

A Little Reflection on Art

Inspiration

Wow, October sneaked up fast! Not long left of the year, which has made me reflect a little on all the projects I’ve done and the ones I’ve wanted to try. I seem to forget how productive I can be!

I started the year still really into art journaling and got my smaller A5 dylusions journal which I still love. I was also doing a lot of mixed media projects in Spring like my Printer’s Tray and Steampunk themed shadow box. I like to come up with a theme then collect all my materials for that.

Sweet Dreams Matchbox & Book

Altered Art

I made this a little while ago and put it to one side because I wasn’t sure what to do with it. However, I actually think now it is finished and so cute! I love making small items and especially themed things. I had a lot of little embellishments that went well with a sweets and cute theme – I love the tiny ice cream x

Feed Your Mind ~ Journal Page

Journal

feed journal

A page I have been working on over the last few days. I wanted to try different things out in this smaller art journal and with a pink page, thought a girl’s face would work. I added the leaf punches and pictures of sweets half way through the doodle to give it a different affect, and the doodles coming from her head made me think of a mind open to ideas.

Hurrah!!!! Spring Is Here!

blogging

I don’t think I could have asked for a better birthday weekend. The weather was warm, if a little rainy (but it is Manchester after all) and I had some retail therapy, a massage and pedicure, pressies and a lovely meal out with my guy. Gushing! So far

Fairy Tale Inspired Printer’s Tray

Mixed Media, tray
Printer's Tray

Fairy tale Printer’s tray

This is one of my favourite projects to create, and going out and finding little elements to put into the tray is one of my life’s joys! I find so many things and think ‘I could use that!’ – it is a good job the tray and items are small or I would be broke!

Whimsical Art Journal Page

Creativity, Journal
Art Journal Whimsical

Whimsical Art Journal Page

I’ve been on a creative mission to make a load of art videos while I am on holiday from work and this has given me some much needed motivation for my art journaling. For this page, I knew I wanted to try an uplifting colour palette so went for orange, yellow and pink in the background. I’ve found through trial and error the importance of the background to bring all the elements of the page together, and the last few videos I have made are experiments with texture and colour.

Victorian Curios Shadow Box

Altered Art, Crafts, flowers, Mixed Media

Here is my finished shadowbox. When creating it I had the idea of a Victorian Curios box in mind and the black really brings all the intricate pieces together. I think it is the little details that draw me to things like this. I am putting this up in my Etsy shop and am looking forward to my next media challenge.

Curios box