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 have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value’ – Hermann Hesse
It’s been about two months since my last post and probably the longest gap since I started writing my blog. Life suddenly got very chaotic and I found myself unable to anything art or craft related. I was poorly then I had to move house as my landlord was selling. I was also learning to drive and doing some volunteering at an art gallery. Looking back now it was a massive upheaval and I felt stressed and overwhelmed.
Gradually things began to level out and my boyfriend and I moved into a flat together. We now have a spare room for arts, crafts and magic (he is an actual magician!) but this is yet to be fully sorted and is currently a myriad of boxes and degu cage – they are cute though so they can get away with it for now.
Between moving house I did some art journal pages and made my friend a mixed media birthday card. I’ve also been teaching myself Illustrator so I can create a website layout for my boyfriend – magic is a great topic! It is a new way of approaching art and I am finding it a real challenge. I’ve always liked design and illustration and scrapbook interesting packaging, so learning how to create vector art on a computer is another step towards that kind of artwork. I have to admit that spending a lot of time on the computer is hard. I work in an office during the day and being able to make things with clay, paints, sewing is my way of escaping technology and feeling more connected by using the materials with my hands. Maybe once I get more to grips with the software I will find a balance between both.
Below are a few pictures from the last month. Now my life is calming down a bit more I have plenty of creative projects bubbling in my mind.
Creative blog post on creative blogs & life things
I’ve had some creative blocks recently, and with other things going on in my life, it’s been over a month since my last blog post. And who knows how it is June already?! It’s only just started to get warm here in Manchester, May seemed to be a lot of rain.
I recently added a page about creativity and creative blocks, a topic I have been thinking about for a while. I also decided to take my own advice and went for a walk a few weeks ago to the Southern cemetery near where I live. Getting away from my desk was a good way to stop worrying about any creative blocks. It was quiet and peaceful with so many bluebells. I sat down on a bench and woke up some sleepy ducks – they gave me a heart attack being surrounded by old gravestones in the quiet!
It was serene and a lovely place to think, walk around and having a break from technology. I also went to Blackpool last week, somewhere I have never been. The weather was beautiful and the breeze from the sea was a nice relief from the sun – I still managed to get sunburnt, whoops! It was full of arcade places, fish and chip shops, tacky gift shops and I thought it was so much fun. My friend and I went to the Sealife centre there so I could continue my sea creature obsession. I loved the rays, seahorses and I got to see a nautilus. They are cool and weird!
This is an excellent question right now! Because while I’m not in a block as such, I feel like I’m disengaged with my projects. It could be some apathy I’ve been feeling from other things – work, health, personal dramas – and this is bleeding into my art. Or maybe I am just run down and need a break longer than a few days.
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.
Here are two embroidery projects I’ve just finished.
I thought a nautilus was perfect for the smaller hoop and loved the patterns on the shell which I tried to recreate. I used a running stitch and split stitch for this project and I focused in on the details and colours of the threads.
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!
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!
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.
This week I have been thinking of exploring more textiles and sewing for my creative projects so picked up two magazines for inspiration. I also decided to buy a new Dylusions art journal because my old one is now so fat it is really difficult to do two pages! I’m completely obsessed with the newness of journals and notebooks – so many possibilities!
This book box from Graphic 45 is just too cute for words and includes 3 tags inside – excited to start thinking of a theme for it. And I’ve been exploring and enjoying my doodle art journaling in my smaller journal, although I use my Posca pens so much I’m starting to run out.
Hope everyone gets to do something creative this week 🙂