Hello everyone. A little quickie post today. I made this small (10cm x 10cm) block canvas very quickly last weekend, when I was struggling to get my creative mojo to cooperate on some of my other pieces. I needed a distraction – so a wee little collage was done and dusted in record time. I can always rely on butterflies to inspire me (translation : save me when I can’t figure out what to do, or need to cover something up when I have made a boo-boo). Wings make everything better 🙂
This piece was just roughly torn pieces of text and patterned papers, a vintage image and some words cut out of book, outlined with a permanent pencil for a bit of definition. I added some wonky scalloping on the bottom and top too.
The world needs lots and lots of hope right now. It seems like it is all we have to hold on to some days, doesn’t it? And hold on we must. Otherwise we are lost. It does get rather hard to summon up even a tiny speck of hope though when you turn on the news or read the papers. Or watch reality TV. Ugh.
Nevertheless, I hope for great things. I wish them for you too 🙂
Confession : this collage did not have me thinking good thoughts at all. It had me swearing a lot and throwing things around. I must have repainted it a dozen times, recovered it in different papers, repainted it again, added washi tape, and generally worked on it for much longer than was necessary. I started off bravely, using bright colours and tones I would not normally go for. It messed with my head and I didn’t like the result at all. Hence all the repainting. Consequently, it is all a bit lumpy and out of whack. But it’s finished, at least. The lady on it looks like she is wishing it would all be over soon (as I was) and she is still a little bit bright and stark for my liking.
But my aim, these days, is to get over things and move on. Onwards and upwards!
I was glad to get this piece finished and off my desk.
Hope your mind is filled with good thoughts today 🙂
Hello everyone! I have been a little bit absent lately due to *cough, cough* a lurgy that left me feeling feeble and pathetic. I also hurt my back with all the coughing and so am walking around like a pale, decrepit, phlegmy old thing. I had time off work – my boss made me – and moped about the house, sleeping and complaining about life. My Mum has also been unwell (and also has some worrying back problems) and so I’ve been worrying about her as well. Lots happening – family dramas, work issues, health concerns – and all of it inevitably provokes the anxiety monster that resides in me. I want to poke it with a stick and make it go away but it laughs in my face and makes its presence known with various aches, pains and physical ailments. I even got pimples! I don’t get pimples!!! I am forty three years old, for crying out loud – I didn’t even have pimples when I was a teenager.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I haven’t had much time (or energy) to do any crafting. I’ve attempted a few things but mostly just moved stuff around, squinted a lot and sighed heavily at my lack of artistic ability. My craft room looks worse than normal – I have had to make a little path from the doorway to the desk so I don’t trip and break my neck, falling over the various boxes of papers and supplies. I could tidy up, yes, but that would take up precious squinting and sighing time.
In the midst of all this creative slumpery, I did manage to complete one little collage-canvas and it is OK. I will settle for ok at the moment. I don’t want to throw it out the window or set it on fire, so that’s a good sign. The little lady on it did give me some stress – I stupidly painted her with gouache paint, not realising you couldn’t put gel medium over that (without it smearing and making an unholy mess) – but I repainted her with the usual acrylics and, in the end, I quite like her and her simplicity. I tried not to muck about too much. I am still not very good at faces, but am trying to just DO them and not get bent out of shape if they are not perfect. Her lips are well wonky. Don’t look at them.
So, in essence, I tried to zen out and be “quiet and content” with this piece. The background actually looks like a single piece of text paper, but I actually collaged lots of torn pieces from different pages and then distressed / painted over it. That was the easy bit that required no swearing or nervous breakdowns (gouache – I am talking to you!).
Hope you are all well right now and having a happy week. Where is the year going?
Anyone else feeling the world is an icky place to be right now? I always try really hard to focus on all the good and not dwell on the bad, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult. I feel so anxious about what the future holds, don’t you? Do we even have a future?
When feeling this way, I just want to curl up in a giant cookie, suck my thumb, and pretend the world’s not there. The next best thing to doing all of that is crafting. I can lose myself in paint and glue and paper and the chaos of my craft room. Sucking of the thumb is not advised during this time as it will usually be covered in all manner of art mediums, but cookies are allowed, as long as they’re washed down with copious amounts of tea. Some music on the stereo, a nice warm cardi, and I’m all set.
This weekend I worked on this collage piece. It’s quite pink for me, but maybe I was chanelling my inner child and wanting some comfort and cuteness. Maybe that was just the colour I grabbed first (after culling all my papers a few weeks back, I am now a bit low on supplies…might need to go shopping ,hee hee!) and it has no emotional ulterior motive at all. Whatever, I am quite pleased with this one. It came together so quickly (for me, Mrs Snail-Pace) and I like its sentiment and theme. I can see there’s a couple of spots I need to touch up (not outlined or finished off completely) but I will do that before varnishing.
I do think kindness is the most important quality a person can have. I think it creates a foundation for everything else. If you’re inherently kind, you won’t judge people, or be intolerant. You will put others first and not seek to oppress or demean anyone. You will strive for the greater good, and help others to do the same, by your example. There is strength in love, and it should never be seen as a weakness. Love and kindness should be encouraged in schools, and in churches and in our community. Instead of someone getting three million “likes” because they achieved the perfect duck pout or showed their boobs or bought a new handbag (the cost of which would probably feed three families for a month), we should be applauding those that do good.
We should be celebrating kindness and spreading love and compassion.
Anyway, I am getting on my “be nice” high horse again. I had a lovely weekend – caught up with an old friend, spent time with my family and brand new baby nephew, and did lots of crafting. I had time to myself, and time with loved ones, which is the perfect balance. I nested and baked and slept and tried not to think about the outside world.
Hope you experience, and share in, some love and kindness today x
Sometimes I lose my words. Not just when I’m talking, but also when I am crafting and using actual words. Like, cut-out-of-books words, that I use for mixed-media projects. Teeny, tiny little scraps of paper with EXACTLY THE RIGHT WORDS ON THEM THAT SUDDENLY DISAPPEAR WHEN I COUGH OR SNEEZE OR START WHISTLING. Or, I cut them out and leave it on my desk where God only knows what could happen. Because once something ends up on my desk, it is lost in no man’s land, never to be found again (or, at least, not until I’ve given up and used a completely different word which changes the whole meaning of the piece).
So, my Mum, ever the organised and, let’s face it, more mature adult, suggested I make a little word book, with all those little-bitty scraps in them, all neatly set out and ready to use. Her idea is simple : stick the adhesive strip at the top of Post-It Notes onto a page in a photo album (the kind where you slip the photos in to little sleeves) and – voila! – you have created a perfect receptacle for your words, sentences and letters. You stick the adhesive strip (sticky side up) onto the pages with double sided tape and then just pop your words on top. They stay in place, the adhesive isn’t sticky enough to make the page get stuck inside the sleeve, and everything is hunky-dory, neat and tidy. Genius!
So, instead of losing those words, or having to hunt through piles of junk on your desk to find them, you have a perfectly organised little file, which saves you time and energy. So you can concentrate on finishing your crafty projects, word art, or collages, and feel good knowing you have created some order in your messy life. I don’t know about you, but I need all the order and calmness I can get right now.
Hope this has been helpful. You can thank my Mum 🙂
Some time ago, our art therapist at work let me borrow a couple of her art books for the weekend. They were great little books – filled with simple ideas for getting your art on. One of them had some lovely collage ideas and I particularly liked a torn-paper cityscape. I cannot remember the name of the book, but I’m pretty sure it was published by Usborne and the artwork work was possibly Fiona Watt. Apologies to both artist and publisher if I have remembered this incorrectly (if anyone can enlighten me, do let me know).
Anyway, I kept this idea buried in the recesses of my brain (a dark and cobweb-covered place if ever there was one!), thinking it would be a good little project to try if I was ever in need of some creative inspiration. Well, right now, I am in desperate need, so I decided to give this one a go. I liked the simplicity of the technique, as well as the small amount of materials (and, therefore, mess) it required.
Simply tearing different sized strips of paper, in different shades, adding details with pen and markers, and gluing them down into a simple cityscape – what could be easier? It was very therapeutic and I enjoyed adding the details, including the teeny little and flags.
So, here it is! My Tiny Town. I didn’t get the perspective quite right – there’s a couple of “floating” buildings – and I didn’t have a fine enough white pen to get the nice detail I would have liked but, all in all, I am pretty happy with it. I added the dark sky as I felt it needed some extra colour and interest. The original idea in the book didn’t have text but, as I am a bit word-obsessed, I added a few lines from a poem, which I think finished it off quite nicely. I made this as a card, but I’m thinking I might make a few as little framed pieces. What do you think?
So, happy to have just tried something new (without it being COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone – I mean, it’s still paper after all!) and gotten closer to leaving the creative slump I currently find myself in. I’m definitely going to make a few more of these, just because they were fun and easy and I didn’t have to think too much 🙂 I try not to copy other people’s work, but sometimes I think you need to just borrow a bit of creativity, in order to get your own up and running again.
Sometimes I am very inspired and know EXACTLY what I want to do, craft-wise. Other times, I am clueless and spend ages just mucking about, not knowing what I want to do, and feeling rotten about it. Completely uninspired (and pathetic), you could say. Just lately, I have been unable to make ANYTHING and just feel like I have no creative ability whatsoever. At all. Nada. Zippo. Zilch.
So, this weekend, I utilised a bit of creative copying in order to get my mojo back. Having had a birthday recently, my shelves were full of lovely greeting cards. Granted, I should have taken them down some weeks ago but, it will surprise no one to know, I am lazy and slack, and they were still sitting there, a month and a half after the event. However, there were a couple that I really liked the design of – the shapes of some of their images – so I had a go at using them for templates to make my own cards and other items.
First up, I had this cute birdie card. I liked the simple shapes and was pretty sure I could use them to create a design of my own. Plus, you know me, I love birds, so it was a no-brainer in terms of subject matter.
I started by tracing the basic shapes of each bird – bodies, feathers, tails etc. I then traced those shapes on to cardboard, so I could cut them out and have them as patterns. Using pretty, coordinated papers, I traced and cut out the shapes to build the various body parts of the bird, and then arranged them together until I was happy with the overall look.
In the end, I decided to put it all together on a notebook for my Mum, to say thank you for her support and always looking after us (even though we’re old enough to look after ourselves. Apparently). I painted a plain little notebook and bound the edges with washi tape, before gluing the birdie to the front cover.
I added a crown and some text cut from an old book.
It’s not the greatest work of art on the planet, and I can’t say I was thrilled with the final product, but I had made SOMETHING and that is better than nothing. I just needed to get back into things and “play” a little, even if the end result wasn’t spectacular. Otherwise I feel as though I am losing all my creativity and desire to create in the first place. And that’s not a good thing.
So, one little birdie at a time, I am going to get my mojo back. Send cookies and hugs 🙂