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Believe Me : You ARE Enough

I did some very crappy crafting on the weekend.  As I said in my previous post, nothing worked out and I was feeling very defeated and useless.  I spent hours on one watercolour picture and it was so horrible I wanted to throw it in the bin.  I hated it and hated myself.  Which is not very conducive to creativity.  So, I spent a couple of minutes stamping over the whole damn thing, just to snap myself out of it and get me back on track.

Now I’m not showing you this as an example of excellent craftsmanship or talent – far from it.  It’s horrible.  But it is an example of picking yourself up and getting your butt back in to gear.  Your whiny, self-defeating butt.  The one that tells you you’re not good enough and will never amount to anything and that your should never pick up a paintbrush or pen again lest you scare people with your hideous creations.

I’m feeling that awful “time is running out” feeling again at the moment, hence my panic and meltdowns when things don’t go to plan.  I want to be good NOW.  I want to be able to make a living, or at least part of a living, with my craft. I want to be proud of the things I make, instead of feeling everything is sub-par and not good enough.  That I’m not good enough, which is probably more at the core of things.

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I saw this on Facebook this weekend and it seemed fitting, given the way I am feeling about myself, right now :

“At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.
Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.
Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.
Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.
Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made
The Hurt Locker at age 57.
Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.
Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78.
Whatever your dream is, it is not too late to achieve it. You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 21. Hell, it’s okay if you don’t even know what your dream is yet. Even if you’re flipping burgers, waiting tables or answering phones today, you never know where you’ll end up tomorrow.
Never tell yourself you’re too old to make it.
Never tell yourself you missed your chance.
Never tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.
You can do it. Whatever it is.”

So, maybe, it’s not too late yet.  I hope not, anyway.  I can only keep trying and not give up.  I have to believe that, right now and every other moment, I am enough.  I probably need to tattoo that on my forehead, so that I have no choice but to remember it every waking moment.  Better to stick with the rubber stamped version for now…

Thank you for stopping by – may your day bring you happiness and success x

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Fiddle Faffing

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(fĭd′l-făf′l)
n. Nonsense.
To fritter away one’s time; dally.

Nothing sums up what I did on the weekend better than the term “fiddle-faffing”. Whilst it is true that I was quite busy over Easter, catching up with friends and family every day, it does not excuse the amount of time-wasting I also did.  And I hate wasting time.  My whole life at the moment is focused on NOT WASTING TIME, due to the fact I feel I am rapidly running out of it.  My new therapist said to me last week “Oh I hear that a lot!  Everyone is so obsessed with time running out, these days.  We make our own time!”  I didn’t tell her I thought she was a crazy person (it’s best not to insult your therapist the first time they meet you – leave that for a few months in).  Time is always running away from us, from the minute we are born, dammit!  Time seems to be escaping from my needy clutches at a rate of knots and I am panicking slightly (ie a lot).
Needless to say, when I am worrying about wasting time, it does not facilitate creativity to any great degree.  In fact, without question, it hinders it.  Like a big, fat, hindery thing.  It sits in your brain, all squat and lumpy, and squishes all the creativity and artistic inspiration out of you.  It is evil.
This weekend gone I tried to create and get my craft on, but I was thwarted at every turn.  What I mean by that is I just made a lot of crap.  Everything I drew or collaged or attempted to paint/colour/glue turned out to be a horrible pile of blah.  This is partly my own fault – I am in such a mess, and instead of tidying up and giving myself a clean slate to work from, I attempted to just work around the mess and add to it.  Not a good idea. I also ate too much bad food.  I’m not supposed to eat chocolate but, being Easter, I was bombarded with the stuff, and decided to just eat it with abandon.  Which is idiotic and not very good for me.  I was basically in a food coma for four days, unable to form complex sentences or think very clearly at all.  Eating badly DOES affect me physically and mentally, slows me right down and makes me feel icky.  Too many carbs has me feeling like I am moving in slow motion.
So, in the end, I just gave up.  I stopped trying to create anything new, and just worked on some little doodles I had lying around that had never been finished.  I used my watercolour paints (ugh – my technique is terrible) to finish off a birdy and some flowers and some dainty I-guess-they’re-dandelion-thingies.  They’re better than nothing, and will have to do for now.  If nothing else, I can add them to plain card blanks and use them for standby cards for myself.  And I least I didn’t completely waste the whole weekend.  It just feels that way 😦   Next weekend I am attending a print-making class so perhaps I will find new inspiration and learn some new skills that will help me get my creative mojo back.
Hope you had a happy Easter and used your time wisely! 🙂
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Crimbo Doodles!

Crimbo Doodles!

Finally, after many weeks of not doing anything crafty at all, I managed to get in a few hours of creativity this weekend.  I was determined to do SOMETHING, even if it was just planning stuff out so I would have a head-start next weekend.

I desperately need to get started on my Christmas cards for this year.  I am so behind – normally I have some done by now but I have zero. Zip. Nada.  Which is pretty bad.  Especially since it takes me FOREVER to make just one and I need about 30 at least.  I don’t like resorting to bought ones, but the last couple of years I have had to.  And it irks me.

Anyway, enough waffling.  I sat down late on Saturday night and doodled a few little designs, so that they would be dry and ready to be coloured/painted on Sunday afternoon.  (Please excuse colouration of photos – I used Instagram and forgot to take any pics on my regular camera).

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On Sunday, after attending a lecture on “Anxiety across the Lifespan” (interesting, I enjoyed the information on how the brain actually works during anxiety, and learnt about the Hand Brain Model which is useful for explaining said processes in an easy-to-visualise format) and having lunch with friends (Yum…Beetroot and Haloumi Salad at Circa), I went home and got stuck into painting my little peeps.  I did them rather brighter this time, not giving them the more pastel/watercolour look that I have done previously.

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I added some elements (skin on face and hands, hair on some of them) with a Copic marker.

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Then I got fed up altogether with using paint at all (I was having a wobbly hand day) and tried just using the Copics.  I only have a few colours and many of them are drying up (Lord knows how old they are…I have had them ages).  I didn’t have a nice bright red – just a deep burgundy colour.  But it looks ok and wasn’t too streaky, although on the larger areas, such as the body, I did feel it showed a bit too many streaks and patches.  Probably more to do with my technique than the pen itself…plus I was using watercolour paper so it probably wasn’t the best medium to use the pens on.

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Finally, as it was nearly time to stop and pack up (ha ha – I say “pack up” like I am actually going to do that, instead of just leaving out for three weeks), I had an epiphany of sorts and decided to try paper-piecing instead of painting or colouring.  The result was the little lady below.  I kinda love her.  She looks a bit Charlie and Lola-esque but that was unintentional.  I really like the effect of the patterned paper and it was so much easier and less curse-word-inducing than painting or colouring in.  I still used the markers for the smaller elements (skin, hair, pom-pom etc) but used paper for the hat and dress.  Voila!

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 I have always liked paper as a medium.  I don’t know why I didn’t just do it like this to start with.  I have a ridiculous amount of patterned paper, so I should be able to make a load of cards like these in no time.  Although, truthfully, it will still take me forever, because I am picky about coordinating colours and patterns.  But still, at least I accomplished something for the weekend!  Last night I finished off the day by sitting and doodling lots of heads and hands, hat bands and pom-poms so that I can put them together with the papers at a later stage.  Hopefully not too much later.  I don’t want to go another month without creating.  It’s too important and too much fun and makes life much more enjoyable 🙂

Hope your weekend was happy and creative and exactly how you wanted it to be x

Chickadee

Chickadee

A cold, wet and stormy day today.  Best to stay inside and keep dry and warm. It’s thundering and raining and blowing a gale.  I would like to bake cookies and eat the whole batch, drink eighteen cups of tea and watch TV shows about people who spend millions of dollars restoring old buildings.  It’s THAT sort of day.

I’ve tried very hard to be creative and artistic this afternoon. Have succeeded in making a mess and one sad little Chickadee card which took me far longer than it should have. But for some reason he makes me smile and that will have to do for today.

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Back to work tomorrow – am trying not to think about it.  Thinking about it makes me depressed and that doesn’t help the creative process (I’m not Van Gogh after all).  Sigh.

If only workdays could be split up into sessions, like in school.  Or, better still, like in kindergarten, then you could have a nap in the afternoon!  I’d probably look forward to recess and play-lunch too… “Free study” period would be a problem because I would probably waste it trying to decide what to do and then it would be time to pack up.  I wouldn’t nominate to do P.E because, pfft, I didn’t want to do that in proper school, why would I do it now when things are even wobblier and wheezier than they were back then?  Home time would be awesome – I’ve always thought there should be a bell or siren or something to signify the end of the day so you could rush to cram all your stuff in your bag and race out the door yelling “Whoooooooo!” or something.  I don’t know how my boss now would react to that…he thinks I’m weird already.

So, tomorrow, I shall try and break the day up into modules.  It might help the time pass more quickly.  I can swap my lunch with someone and copy my neighbour’s work.  I can keep putting my hand up and asking people if I can go to the bathroom.  I can run around and split my knee open and ask to be taken to the nurse while my friends cluster around me looking nervous because I’ve gone a weird colour.

It’s worth a try.  Do you have ways of making your workday go faster?

Have a good week everyone 🙂

Experimenting with Colour and Design

Experimenting with Colour and Design

Still suffering with a lurgy of unknown name and origin.  I have been to the doctor now, mainly because I developed a rash on top of the other symptoms (eg sore throat, fever etc) and she took some swabs of my throat and nose (yes, I even managed to get some weird bacterial infection in my nostril!) and prescribed me a million drugs, ointments and creams.  I await the results of the swabs… I don’t feel too bad – just a bit weary and “off” but I wish the sore throat would go away and the horrible rash – it’s gross and itchy!

Needless to say, I haven’t felt like doing much at all but I hate sitting about wasting time.  So I’ve doodled a bit and painted a bit and basically just played around with ideas and designs.  I’m still enjoying the watercolours with varying degrees of success!  I’ve tried them on different papers and backgrounds for different effects and I am happy with some of the results.  I’ll keep experimenting!  Below are a few examples of what I’ve been doing.  I like the flowers – they’ve turned out quite effective and the little notecards I made with them are (I think) quite sweet.

I hope to get well soon and sort my creative brain out.  It’s taking a bit of a holiday right now.

Stay well friends! 🙂

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Watercolours & Waterbabies

Watercolours & Waterbabies

Mum and I took a watercolour class yesterday hosted by the University of Western Australia (UWA), off campus at their Taylor’s College site.  We arrived bright and early (being ridiculously early is a habit of mine – I spend a lot of time waiting around outside venues and people’s houses, class rooms and doctor’s offices because I am always there, as I said, ridiculously  early) and had a bit of a wander around the lovely garden and old buildings.

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It was a bright Spring day – not too hot, not too cool and the birds were singing in the trees as butterflies and bees visited the rose garden and sampled the pollen .  It seemed too nice a day to sit inside but, as we had paid the fee (and not a cheap fee at that) we eventually found ourselves a seat in the class room and waited for the class to begin.

Our teacher was Debi Riley  and she guided us through 11 different watercolour techniques including wet-on-wet, charging, dry brushing and gouging.  It was a fast paced class and the time went very quickly, despite it being all day.  I have had horrible back pain all week and was dreading having to sit still for hours on end but, luckily, I was kept too busy to think about my back and we were often up and out of our seats to watch what Debi was doing in her demonstrations.

Debi went through all the materials and equipment needed with her recommendations for different products and supplies.  Mum and I baulked at the squirrel hair brushes – an ethical, synthetic version will be used by us – but it was good to know which paints are better than others and what paper we should use for the best results.

My Mum is not a novice at painting (although she told the class, during the introductions, that she had “dabbled a bit”) but I haven’t done a lot, other than the basic stuff and some folk-art.  I haven’t ever sat and learnt a proper technique before.  So basically my work was rubbish ha ha.  But it improved as the day went on and I think, perhaps, I might get better with a bit more practice. I was very pleased with one piece I did where we had to use a paint knife and “scrape” it on to very wet paper, until I realised that we were supposed to be creating a mountain landscape, not an abstract image.  Whoops.  Don’t know where my head was at when she mentioned mountains…

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Whoops…but I still secretly like it

I did do one mountain scene which looks kind of Japanese-y.  It still leaves a lot to be desired as a work of art though!  So we’ll call it a work in progress!

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Mount Fugi? Hmmm, maybe not…

I quite liked my trees and their greeny-blue mottled tones but I didn’t like the scratched trunks we were supposed to add (with out finger nail) – it looks a bit dumb.  But next time I will know what I am doing so maybe I will get it right then!

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Trees!

I think I was happiest of all with my gum leaves at the end of the day – I think, with some more practice, I could make a half-decent attempt at them.They were enjoyable to do as each one came out differently, adding to their natural look.

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Leafy!

So, all in all, an enjoyable day and nice to spend it with my Mum who is now all enthused about getting back in painting and art in general.  I found the class very informative and gave me some new skills and techniques.  I want to sit and paint now but I have no time and I am still getting
ready for my market stall which is in TWO WEEKS time (aaaghh!).

I am rather behind in announcing the birth of my brand new little niece, Amity Jane.  She was born on the 15th and is just a delight.  I am an Auntie again for the fourth time and am already thinking about putting my babysitting fees up ha ha.  Mother and bub are doing well (my brother’s partner, Anna, is AMAZING and the best Mum ever) and I am so blessed to have another little person in my life.  Her brothers and sister are also besotted.  And why wouldn’t they be – just look at her!:

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So cute!

Well, it’s time to make dinner and sort out my dining room and do some ironing.  At least one of those things will probably not get done.  I vote for ironing!

Hope you have all had a good weekend and got to enjoy some time with your family and friends.  That’s what weekends are for.  Well, that and crafting!

Have a great week everybody – thank you for visiting 🙂