Friday, January 04, 2013
That would be me. I talked for most of last year about change...changing my work focus, changing my life, changing all sorts of things. I talked up the proverbial storm... but didn't actually do anything. Well, I did do some things... I started two new blogs, as if making more work for myself would actually help anything (it didn't). Recently, though, I've been talking to a business advisor, the wonderful Chris Leighton, for whom I occasionally work as a volunteer mentor. I now have A Plan (cunning, business), and A Schedule (relentless). And I feel Much Better about everything.
So what am I going to do? Well, that would be telling...but right now, I'm clearing the decks and getting ready to start properly. Part of the problem, believe it or not, is that I have too much stuff, and therefore, the more than ample three studios (read it and weep...) I have to use have Not Been Enough. So... I've been selling off my commercial fabric, and that has given me a lot more space for starters. I'm allocating different types of work to different places...seems obvious, right? But it often isn't; I had two cloth studios in the attic, and pieced in one room, and quilted in another, with felting/embellishing floating between the two. It so didn't work. So now, all the sewing is done in one room. The embellisher, dry feltmaking stuff and hat making lives in the other, along with all my textile books. Wet stuff, eg making hat bases using blocks, dyeing and silk paper making, live out in the Little Green Shed. The only strange thing that lives out in the shed is my cutting table. Ideally, I would have it in the house, but because the rooms are attic rooms, the headroom in them is limited, and therefore, the useable space is, also. There just isn't room for my cutting table, so anything that needs cutting has to be taken out into the shed. It's not ideal... but then what setup ever is, unless you can build it from scratch? This way, I get to keep bulky stuff like wadding and bolts of cloth in the LGS, and that frees up a lot more space in the cloth studios. Hurrah!
I'm also 'clearing up' my blogs. Rather than having several, as I have at present, I've decided to amalgamate them into one. It seems silly to be spreading myself so thin, given that the other blogs are only really covering stuff I talk about here, anyway. It seemed like a good idea at the time...but hey. I will be leaving them open, because there is some useful information in them, but there will be a clear link back to this blog, so that everyone can see what's going on! Hopefully that way, it'll be easier to keep talking; one or two blogs are doable.... five is overkill. Normal service will be resumed, etc...
Thank you to all my loyal readers who have stuck with me through what has been a really difficult year. I hope you'll enjoy and benefit from my change of direction, which I'll be talking more about in the next week or so... I promise!
Monday, October 22, 2012
well, yes. I'm back onto hats. It has been a while, what with the flu and one thing and another. I've been playing about with roses for a while, but this is my best rose fascinator so far, made from stitched sinamay. I think I'll make some in other colours, too, just to see what they look like, a yellow one, for instance... I'm interested in making hats for people who don't wear hats...usually... Small and unscary, my hats are, I think. I hope!
I've created a new shape, and am about to wire it, and put its bias binding on. These things are becoming second nature now, a learned process. It's interesting to watch myself learn, as it were...and to see how much easier I find the process as I do it more and more. My next step has to be to buy blocks so that I can make more felt hats, I love making those. Meanwhile, I'll stay with fascinators and small hats on bands or elastic. Like the rose, and this flower one, below. Poppy, do we think? I'm definitely on a floral kick!
Thursday, October 18, 2012
I'm finally recovered from the flu, and starting to make space around myself for creative things to happen. My upstairs studios have had stuff dumped in them, as I work my way through the house, decluttering and muttering... Now, it's time to get that sorted out. I spent half a day this weekend, just sifting through one of the rooms, and found a remarkable amount of unfinished work. I've been beating myself up for not making much in the past two years, only to find that I've got plenty to be working with for the meantime, thanks.
I've gone back into therapy, the demon depression has been biting again. The major focus of that is to help me to get out of my own way; there is a whole tangle of 'stuff', a bit like the thorny forest surrounding Sleeping Beauty's castle, that needs to be pruned back and sorted. It's hard, painful work; those thorns scratch! Part of what I'm learning is that I seem to have moved away from the work I do best, the work 'about' depression and mental health issues, the work about feelings. Instead, I've been chasing the elusive 'sellable' work, that seems to be indefinable, at least for me. Nobody seems to want to buy my work; that's not a complaint, it's a fact. So I may as well please myself, and make the strong depression work, the work about feelings, and starve happy!
Friday, October 05, 2012
...yes, the lurgy is still here, but I'm up and dressed...it must mean improvement! This is a truly vicious flu; I haven't been as ill as this in a long time. But I'm well enough to start thinking about things... which is a distinct improvement over lying around like a wet dish rag!
Hats, as you know, are my current fascination, and a workshop with lovely Louise has introduced me to working with felt. I do make wet felt, but have to say that this is much faster... you take a 'hood' of felt, and stretch it over a hat block. Which, I suppose, is pretty much what you do when you make your own felt... must try it. As you can see, you get amazingly sculptural shapes, depending on which kind of block you use. I particularly like this one, because I have found I can wear it in two different ways...two hats for the price of one!
We met Louise through attending a workshop organised by the equally lovely James at Hat Blocks Direct; check out his site to see all the amazing possibilities for hats...he makes the blocks by hand, and they are truly lovely; these are the blocks I've bought so far from him. The head is known as a 'dolly'; the blocks are for making small hats, such as pill boxes. At first glance, they all look the same, but there are distinct differences in the way they are finished; in combination, they produce a number of different styles. I'm having fun just working out all the different ways in which I can use them!
Now, of course, I'm trying to work out which hat blocks I need to get to make Even More Hats... watch this space!
Thursday, September 27, 2012
...and it's not the whine of a buzz saw (see previous post...). I've got the flu. Nope, not man flu, even though I did get it from my husband, who believes in share and share alike... The real, achy, coughing, sneezing flu. Bleh.
For once, I'm practicing what I preach. I'm tucked up in bed, with a cat at my side, feeling marginally better than yesterday, playing silly games on Facebook and sleeping a lot. When I'm sleeping, I'm dreaming of hats, and weddings, and friends. This is not a bad way to dream... I'm leaving the hanging of our exhibition to Jill and Clare, and may not even make it to tomorrow night's opening. This is not like me. But I'm of the view that pushing myself to get up and out of bed is just so much wasted energy. Better to keep it for getting better. Health, in my book, comes before productivity, and marketing, and all those things... if I'm not well, I'm not well.
That's not always the case when I'm depressed, though. Over the years, I've come to realise that getting up and going for a walk, or to make something, will help to lift the depression, rather than make it worse. Physical illness needs lots of rest. Depression tells you it needs lots of rest, but if you can persuade it to shut up for five minutes, enough time to get engrossed in making or writing something, then often you feel refreshed and A Whole Lot Better. It's a balancing act. If it doesn't work after ten or fifteen minutes, I go for a nap. There are worse things to do with ones time.
Be kind to yourself, is what I'm trying to say, here. Even when it feels as if you're being cruel, initially, like forcing yourself to work. It may not fix everything...it may not even help anything... but it's always worth a try.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
said the very busy bee...(that's me). I've been doing a lot, but not sharing it here... partly it's to be seen on the Spunbond Sensations! blog. Partly, it's to do with hats...not the making of them, but the work behind the scenes in promoting them... Add into that, facilitating a creativity support group on Facebook, and starting a new blog on creativity as well... and it's pretty hectic.
Myrtle♥Rose are bringing our exhibition, Blossomings, to @The Gallery, Dereham (in the Memorial Hall) for the first two weeks in October, so if you have always wanted to have full permission to try on a LOT of hats and fascinators, not to mention hairbands and ornaments, that would be a golden opportunity! As well as the hats, Jill Arnold and I will be showing textile art that relates to the theme in one way or another. Contact me with your email address, if you would like an invite to the Preview (I'll be making cupcakes for that one...).
I also wrote a profile of my work so far, in the new UK Art Quilters blog, . The blog is an offshoot of a Facebook group. Writing this was a very interesting exercise, and has made me think a lot about the direction my work has been taking over the last few years. I'll write more about that another time, I think, when I'm clearer in my own mind about it. It is a theme I return to constantly on this blog. It's really important to me to make work with meaning; going back and looking at what I've made, there are several threads that run through my work, all of them meaningful to me, some for obvious reasons, some not so obvious. I'd like to settle down into some serious work, and focus properly on it, rather than spreading myself thin over a lot of work that isn't quite so meaningful for me. If you see what I mean...
I made a not so deliberate mistake in the UK Art Quilters Blog; I said I would show an abstract garden quilt...and then forgot all about it... oops! So here is 'Green Girl In The Garden', one of my favourite Lutradur quilts. The 'Green Girl' in the title refers to a textile doll I made several years ago... she had a triangular head and odd shaped body... this 'Green Girl' has a triangular body and a round head... but they relate, nonetheless!
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
here to find the 'rules of the game', as she puts it.
Now...what to do with these beauties...mmm.... I might even consider doing a giveaway of my own...
Now...what to do with these beauties...mmm.... I might even consider doing a giveaway of my own...