Here’s a quick blog before i go to work as a teaching assistant in a reception class in a local primary school. Last night i got home from work and decided to do half an hour of craft before reading a book. I started on the fox template which you can see above. The pattern is printed ready, and with this you cut away all the black parts and then flip the page over to see the design.
This is how much i got done in 30 minutes
I’ve discovered i most like cutting out the elongated triangle shapes, and i need to practice corners and getting these sharp on other shapes.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes to cut the whole design. Cutting round the outside will be the last stage as this helps to keep the whole thing stable while cutting the other parts.
This evening i had a bit of time after chilling out watching a film so i decided to put on paper what i had been thinking about for the next pictures in my draw every day book.
The first was an aerial view of a tidy French garden. I found a picture online, i think of Versailles, and was taken by the pattern in the hedges and pathways. I found it odd that the pattern wasn’t symmetrical as i think it might be in an English knot garden? But i loved how the pathways were also part of the design. Seeing as most of the drawing would be green i decided to take my lesson from yesterday and go multicoloured.
Here i realised the issue with blogging… That i feel the need to post stuff even if I’m not happy with it! But it could be worse. I’m glad i did the different colours (i started with orange and purple in honour of Benjamin!). I’m not so happy that my paths aren’t neat like the photo. In the photo they’re very even widths, which they’re not in my drawing. But i do like the different colours and how they make me think of an abstract piece of art.
Having decided i wasn’t impressed with that i moved on to the next picture… A bunch of lavender.
I’m not overly keen on the stalks, but i enjoyed ‘stamping’ with the brush tips to get the buds of lavender and playing around with putting other colours under the purple to get different shades. I definitely think the blues worked better than the pink!
And that’s me for today! I’m pleased my blog has motivated me to be creative when otherwise i might have just sat and read my book, but I’m also rather amazed (and a bit freaked out!) that when i arrived at church wearing my infinity/mobius scarf people were greeting me with ‘ooh, is this the scarf?’! (not everyone actually went ooh!). I didn’t think anyone would really read this, and i’m grateful that some people actually are!
After a morning in church where people shared testimonies of how God had worked in their lives this past year and over longer periods, my husband and I went to Gloucester Cathedral to meet with a group of people for communuion, prayer and afternoon tea.
We were running late and the group were already gathered in the Thomas Chapel, which is my favourite part of the cathedral (other than the cloisters), with abstract-looking predominantly blue stained glass windows. The group were singing the first Noel together. There were only maybe 8 adults and 7 children there but as we walked round we could hear their voices echoing through the cathedral and it sounded beautiful. At first i wondered if it was the choristers practising, but it was a group of ordinary people singing unaccompanied. I wonder whether some of the things we say and do have a greater impact than we could imagine, or appear more beautiful to others than we can believe?
Anyway, as part of our time together we had a few prayer stations. I chose to colour the celtic knot, and decided on pastels which I’ve never really used before. I wanted to make each section a different colour of the rainbow and i planned it out in terms of how many sections there were, but part way through filling them in i realised the flaw in my plan as there were no blues! I played with blending the lilac colour with other colours to make them look different.
It’s not my greatest piece of artwork, not least because i was doing it in a faintly candle lit area, but i enjoyed the process of putting colour down and smoothing/blending it with my finger. Sometimes i need to remember that the end product is not so important as the process or journey of getting there (in life as well as in art). Things can have a valid purpose even if they don’t end up looking how we’d like them to.
And finally i added my prayer for this year. Words from a hymn that we sang this morning (crown him with many crowns) :awake my soul and sing. Right now I’m not sure where i am in my journey with God but my prayer is that my soul will ‘wake up’ and connect with Him.
Well this is not exactly my normal thing but i figure it was creative, so I’ll include it here.
It’s not all my colouring! I spent a happy half hour this afternoon with a lovely 3 year old called Benjamin, and together we decided on colours for different things. I loved how he decided that we should colour the tractor in purple and orange so that it was both our favourite colours!
What i found creative and i guess educational for me was playing around with colours. He wasn’t bound by what colours things ‘should’ be, but what colours he liked, or what colours we hadn’t used yet from the selection of crayons we had. I loved the multicoloured effect we ended up with, and i loved the collaborative effect, especially when we drew lines down the middle of some things so we could colour half each in our colour. Maybe I’ll try playing around with colours in the next thing i draw…. We’ll see!
This is a project i started ages ago. It was going to be a poncho as i’d come across an idea where you could crochet two rectangles and then sew them together in a clever way that would turn it into a poncho once you’d sewn in a neck line. I used it as an opportunity to use up different colours that i had in my wool box, and to try out different stitches. Prior to this I’d pretty much only done double and treble crochet but here i tried lots of different things, which will give me confidence in using them in other patterns.
As the rectangle progressed though i realised that even by my standards it was going to be too bright and colourful to wear as a poncho. A friend of ours suggested turning it into an infinity scarf. That seemed like a good idea, but that was back in November and i still hadn’t done anything about it! This morning the fact that i hadn’t blogged for a few days, linked to the fact that we’re seeing that friend this afternoon motivated me to just get on with it!
So i sat next to our newly adopted guinea pigs, peppa and rosie, and crocheted while listening to their soothing sound of munching on hay! I decided to crochet the edges together, which I’ve never done before, and rather than try to sew all the ends in (far too many ends to thread!) i’d try to hook them under the crochet as i went.
I’m quite pleased with the view from this side as it looks quite neat and tidy. This was the side i was working on. Not so impressed with the other side of this edge,
or the bit when i turn it inside out.
But it’s an infinity scarf/snood thing, and really, who’s gonna look that closely at it when I’m wearing it?! I’m pleased with the end product, and I’m super pleased that I’ve finally turned that rectangle into something I’ll enjoy wearing during the rest of the winter.
Now to figure out my next creative project and hopefully not leave it so long!
Today was the first day i tried paper cutting. One of my lovely sisters in law, Susie, and her family, gave me a book on paper cutting called ‘paper panda’s guide to paper cutting‘ by paper panda and friends, as well as a paper cutting board and knife. Having read the start of the book on Christmas day i realised i would need a different knife for cutting as they recommend changing the blade every 10 to 15 minutes to keep the cuts sharp. I ordered a new knife and replacement blades and when they arrived today i couldn’t wait to get started!
I tried their practise activities and felt rather smug when my circle looked like a circle and not like a 50p as they suggested it probably would on my first attempt, so i felt confident in starting a proper one from one of their templates. I chose a small one as i figured out would be quicker to do, and i’d feel less upset if i messed it up, but I’m really pleased with the outcome.
I didn’t change the blade, but can see a difference in the cut quality at the bottom of the picture. I’m not entirely sure though if that’s because of the blade or because i was getting impatient to finish it and was maybe being less careful and getting a bit quicker!
I really enjoyed doing this, especially as a relaxing activity after getting home from my work as a reception class teaching assistant and before cooking dinner. I’m looking forward to trying a bigger design next.
This is a cheaty post, updating what i have already done! I started working on the draw everyday book at the end of last year. The idea is that you spend a month working on a given topic area in a given medium, and obviously get variety over the course of a year. The first month is a month of nature, using markers and black pen. These are my first 3 drawings. I’ve found it hard not necessarily being able to draw a general outline of something, but was really pleased with how my dragonflies turned out. I wasn’t impressed with the idea of drawing a whole field of sunflowers but i really enjoyed it once i started. I never felt very inspired by the redwood tree, and really don’t like the picture I’ve done as it feels very flat and childish. I guess if I’m not actually going to draw every day then i can pick and choose the ones i actually do…. But then the danger is that I’ll not like the sound of something (like the sunflowers) and then miss out on an enjoyable experience. What i like about the set topics is that i look for a picture on google, and then spend time looking at it in more detail. I appreciate the time to look at the smaller details of things and to notice different colours and patterns. That said, i find it hard that with the felt pens i only have a limited range of colours, and no way of blending them.
This is the post excerpt.
Well, here goes….my first ever blog, at the suggestion of my husband! My name is Julia, and I turned 40 last year, and decided it would be a good time to try new things. I’ve always enjoyed arts and crafts, and this year I have decided that I would like to explore different ways of being creative. At the end of last year I did some wet felting, and I’ve done bits of crochet for a while. Then I’ve just bought a couple of needle felting kits, and paper cutting things. I’ve also bought a book called ‘draw every day, draw every way’, and think it would be good to have a way of sharing what I have done each time I do something on a creative project. So here is my record of this attempt at being more creative over the course of a year (but which hopefully may continue longer). I know already that it would be a crazy target to try to do something every day, so I’m not going to attempt that, despite the title of the book! I just want to take opportunities where I can to develop new skills, and relax, and hopefully develop my creativity along the way. I’m hoping that having a blog will motivate me to keep going, and be a nice record of the things I do, even if no-one ends up reading it!