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Craft as Cure

It’s been a very long week.  Do you ever feel like time is speeding up but somehow there’s more stuff to deal with and fit in to every 24-hour period?  I have been trying desperately to get a grip on my worrying and anxiety and, in particular, my dermotillomania which is just driving me nutty.  Or, more likely, I am already nutty and that’s my I can’t stop destroying my fingers with the constant picking and chewing.  It’s gross.  And I hate it.  And I wish I could stop, but I can’t at the moment.  So, bandaids are my best friend – they cover things up and keep me from being able to do further damage (although, to be honest, I just move on to another finger).

The best thing is to keep busy.  And the best way to keep busy (for me) is to do something creative.  It’s hard to chew your fingers while they’re wrapped around a paintbrush or holding a pair of scissors.  I do try not to sit around doing nothing – watching TV is THE WORST.  Halfway through an episode of Masterchef and I’ve decimated several fingers on one hand and am thinking of moving on to the other.

Anyway, being creative is a good way to put those fingers to better use.  I haven’t had a lot of free time this month so my craft room has been very neglected (the painting below was done weeks ago…)  But I am determined this weekend will have a few hours set aside for me to shut myself away from the world and all the worries it contains and do some painting, collaging, drawing and making.

That’s my wish anyway – things don’t always go to plan 🙂

Thank you for reading.  Hope your weekend is wonderful and that a few special wishes come true for you x

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Tiny Town (Torn Paper Collage)

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.

Thanks for dropping by – have a lovely day 🙂

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Creative Copying

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.

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Cute birdy birthday card!

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.

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Placing all the pieces together…

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.

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Finished Birdie Notebook

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 🙂

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Doodling and Squinting

I really need glasses.  It is no longer a case of “I might need glasses…” and I can’t ignore it any longer.  My squint has become almost permanent and I am no longer able to get through the day without a headache or feeling like my eyes are have run a marathon.  I have those crappy specs from the chemist and I use them sometimes but they’re not ideal and I really need a professional to outfit my eyeballs properly.

I have been putting it off because of the expense (tightwad, tightwad…) but it is false economy and I need to just bite the bullet and get some real glasses.  It’s not a vanity thing –  I think I actually look ok with specs on, and think glasses are pretty cool on most people.  Maybe I can even fool people into thinking I am intelligent! 🙂  My nephew has them and he’s gorgeous.  Plus, being a librarian, glasses kinda go with the cliched territory, right?

I have been trying to draw and colour this week, with mixed results.  I find I am not able to focus very well and I am colouring outside the lines with annoying regularity.  Ugh.  SO annoying.  And a waste of time because it renders whatever I am doing a bit worthless and un-usable (especially if I chuck a wobbly and throw it in the bin in disgust).

Anyway, some little peeps to make into cards.  I had already had them drawn (see THIS post) – they just needed colouring.  I am still experimenting with different card stock and marker pens to get the right result.  I like the first little lady the best – she’d kinda cute – but I will keep going and draw/colour some more.  Still wishing I could do eyes…maybe when my own are fixed I will be able to manage them 🙂

Have a bright and colourful day everyone x

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Stash

I have been trying to cull my craft stash.  This has not been going well for two reasons – a.) I am crap at getting rid of ANYTHING, and b.) I am very good at procrastinating.  But then, this week, I also have another, much more pleasant, reason.

My Mum’s friend Barbara asked Mum and I over to see if we wanted any of her “no longer needed” craft items.  Well, I don’t move quickly very often but, on that occasion, I moved like the wind ha ha!  You can probably imagine my face on hearing there was free craft stuff up for the taking…

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Barbara had laid out what appeared to be an entire wardrobe of stuff.  Papers, ribbons, various adhesives and varnishes, paints, stickers, rub-ons and embellishments.  Sigh.  I could have been restrained and not taken anything or even just taken a few samples but no, I pretty much gorged on crafty goodness and took a LOAD of stuff home with me.  I tried to just take what I thought I would actually use – papers in the colours I like and use often (browns and blues and neutrals) and embellishments that would suit what I do and not sit in a “what can I do with this?” pile.

There were a lot of text papers – I use them all the time for my cards as backing papers – so I grabbed them.  Barbara had loads of rub-ons, which I use less frequently but mostly because I just never seem to have any, so I snaffled them too.  Brads and braid, sentiments and quotes and awesome vintage advertising.  There was even a couple of lovely craft books (but I had all but one of them, so only took that one).
It was all so good, like a giant buffet 🙂

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I felt kinda bad afterwards for taking so much, but I guess if she didn’t want it any  more, then I was doing Barbara a favour.  In fact, thinking about it that way, with the amount I took, I was being downright altruistic and ha ha.

So now I am back to where I started – lots of craft stuff to find homes for.  I am still going to keep culling my own collection of supplies – I certainly don’t need half of what I have and I am sure someone else could use it.  I’m having a car-boot sale soon with my cousin, at a local market, so I could probably sell off some of it there.  I don’t want to throw anything away, and I want to make sure it goes to a good home where someone will be happy to have it and make good use of it.

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 I was going to post a proper picture of said stash but, every night after work, the lighting is so bad in my house it’s just not worth trying to photograph anything.  So, lazily, I will leave it up to your imagination and try and make something with the supplies on the weekend, and photograph THAT.

Hope you are having a good week.  May it be uncluttered (unless it’s cluttered with free stuff and things you love) 🙂

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Songbird

Happy ANZAC Day everyone 🙂

Forgot to include this card with my last post.  It was one I made very quickly at the end of my group crafting day.  My friend had bought an old Japanese book from an op-shop, with the thought of using the text on cards and other projects.  She shared the pages with us, and I created this card with some other Japenese-y papers I had luckily brought with me.  Actually, they were from years ago when I was on the Design Team for a scrapbooking store.  I hadn’t used these papers since then, but they went well with the text as a backing paper.  I liked the addition of the vintage bird too (when do I NOT like adding a bird?).  As I didn’t have all my supplies with me, it’s not finished as well as I would like, but it’s ok and a quick and simple little design that ended my day on a satisfied note.

Hope you are having a productive day 🙂

PS I am dedicating this to the late, great Prince, who we tragically lost this week.  RIP x

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