RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: February 2012

decluttering the brain

Diary entry: Day 1. of my journey

The snow is falling, our house water is frozen, but my brain is getting a spring clean.

Today I have written out on scraps of paper all the project ideas swimming around in my head. For me too many ideas = stuck,


Here is a photograph of  a piece that I eventually completed as a wall hanging 5 years in the making or should I say gathering.




After writing out all my ideas, I then decided to put +’s  and -‘s beside each idea. Did I have the skills, materials, inspiration and motivation? Then on the back of each I wrote out how I could make it happen. My ideas included art journal making, wall quilting, jewellery, bags, paper making (as in the piece above), cushions (don’t you just love beautiful cushions), and learning more skills for my embroidery sewing machine.

These projects are purely for my own interest. I can’t make to order, I can only make unique individual pieces of work. I have wondered if an Etsy store would enable me to showcase and maybe even sell some of my pieces – see here I go again, rushing ahead of myself and further cluttering up my brain.

That led me to make a mind map. Have you ever tried one of these, as they are great fun? Tony Buzzan has written a few books on how to mind map. Basically it’s a creative way of getting your thoughts out on paper using lots of colour, images and one word links. Now armed with my mind map I can see the contents of my creative mind – it’s a little overwhelming still, but it has taken me to the planning stage.

Today I will plan out some of the projects. I can’t limit myself to one project as I get bored, so I will limit myself to 2 or 3 projects and mind map for each project with some weekly goals -not too big, easy to attain goals. My aim is to focus and maybe even achieve a complete piece of work.


Thoughts from a creative woman

I have spent many hours, weeks, years experimenting and creating art and crafts from all sorts of mediums.

It all started in earnest many years ago when my husband for Valentine’s Day made the mistake of buying a beading book called “The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving” by Carol Wilcox Wells. I say he made a mistake because I was absolutely and completely absorbed by this book, the beautiful, unique and complicated pieces of bead work. If he had romance in mind he was out of luck – I was lost in my own romance with beading.  So of course the next day I hot heeled to a local bead shop and stocked up on what I needed to start my journey into the world of beading.

The following year I was invited to a celebration for International Woman’s Day and asked to run beading workshops. What can I say? It was a challenging and wonderful experience, my workshops were full, I was given funds to buy beads and equipment – I was in heaven. The women who came to the workshop on the whole went away with one, two or three pieces of work, some of the group who were completely into the whole process left with a goody bag of beads and pliers – how could I not? I had older women with failing eyesight who were keen to have a go. Beads, humour and helpful advice was flying in all directions. My lasting memory was the tears of laughter and frustration that can only be found in a group of women mastering a new and fiddly skill.

Later on, after I had finished a university degree  in Complementary Therapies, I was kicking my heels and wanting a new challenge. I had a love of stitch developed as a young adult sitting with my mother in the kitchen in the evenings sewing and listening to radio Luxembourg, when I left home to get my own space, the first thing I bought was a Frister Rossmann sewing machine, this lasted me for many years, later I inherited my mothers first embroidery sewing machine.

So it was natural for me to re explore the art of stitch. I took myself off to college to do a City and Guild in Creative Embroidery, not sure what I was going to be doing and I started the course in complete ignorance. That was my next inspirational experience. I learned so much about fabric, embellishment, project work and art.

After the first year of this course we moved country, my husband got an early retirement deal, we couldn’t resist and left the rat race of Monday to Friday work and weekends recouping for the following week. City life, busy roads, even busier shops everyone rushing here and there.

Now I feel I am in the privileged position of having time on my hands, a craft room full of half finished projects, and materials to do more.

This potted history of my journey to this place today perhaps will explain my current confusion of ideas and half finished projects.

I am mainly self taught in many skills, getting inspiration from books written by wonderful fabric artists, paper makers and beaders, and from sharing ideas with friends and family and continuing to explore this amazing creative world.

But like I said on my main page, this is about the beginning, this is the time to clear thoughts and plan a route through my creative process, pull together ideas, things I love to do and ideas I would like to share. If you feel you are also in this space and would like to join me please come along for the journey. Share your ideas, your creative process and together we will learn and hopefully produce things we love.