Tag Archives: craft

Cubes of creativity create musings.

start something cubes

Being creative is a bit lost on me at present. I have been so busy with setting up my website, preparing for my first ever fair, fixing other collected paintings for the fantail collection, planning and making “start something” creativity packs, dealing with suppliers and endless paperwork… and planning some visits to other places….(where maybe you may join me for a good discussion over a wine or coffee…?)…well, there really hasn’t been much creativity going on in my life (apart from a few photographs) of late.

So today as I was making up some sample packs, I just had to use two of the cute little wooden blocks and some of my collection of mixed media bits and papers and just “play”. I sat with my son on the floor and we made a creative cube each…. It felt great! And I realised it has been far too long!

I am ready to get back to creating art and (I hope) inspiring others to be creative. I have missed it.

Creating on a lazy sunday…

remarkable world

It was the first time in seemingly ages – that I had some time to get out my journal/mixed media supplies/paper collections, and just open my journal and play around. I let my mind wander, and I was trying to not over-think anything and just see what developed. This photo is part of an entire page, but I especially like this little composition.



Time for a new journal…

new journal 2013

As you may know, I am a big fan of journals…I carry one or two with me at all times to jot down ideas, words, thoughts, musings, and as a place to store tokens of things I come across and the like…

Over the weekend I decided to have a go at making my own personal journal, using an old novel and some old magazines. I wanted to make something that felt like “me” and would inspire me to continue to add to it my musings. Here is what I came up with.

Its relatively simple to copy, just be sure to use magazines or other found papers that are not glossy (or you wont be able to write/draw over it). I chose to be a bit discriminating and removed any obvious advertising, but I was also quite open to randomness. I was quite happy with the effect of just glueing down a loose magazine page then tearing it to fit the book and seeing what was left of the image in my “new” journal. You could instead use old maps, old letters, fancy scrap-booking papers, wallpaper (?) and the like…

This is just the base layer, it will look different again with my words, images and assorted paraphernalia filling it up in time. The best bit is I am looking forward to adding to it now…

Green is Good at Christmas.

Christmas Alphabet - Letter G

I’m dreaming of a Greener Christmas.

Support artisans and crafts people. Recycle. Reuse. Up-cycle. Think Vintage. Buy a bike. Buy someone a bike. Make something. Offer a service instead of a thing as a gift. Donate to a charity. Wrap gifts with recycled papers or material. Give a tree.

Buy what is in season and organically grown. Support local market-places. Share food. Use everything. Compost. Grow and make some of your own food.

Learn where things come from. Walk more. Reduce plastic and excess packaging. Be careful with our trees and waterways. Teach children to care for our planet.

In the spirit of Giving, a touch of Green is Good.

Christmas creativity in November…

It was wet and cold on Sunday, so after a visit to our local tertiary institute to check out the recent photography/art/design graduates final exhibition, I filled our dining table with various papers and creative tools. This included old Christmas cards, used wrapping papers, various paper bags, old postcards, ink stamps, pages from old books, stickers, pens, ribbon and string. The children all got busy making their own special things and while they were so busy, I starting making some of my own Christmas decorations using a shape I have had for ages of a dove/angel. I layered lots of assorted found papers, glued them, cut out my angel/dove shape, then finished them off with words I found or made about Christmas.

As I don’t have a tree yet, I strung mine with an old bead necklace that had fallen apart, and attached them to my vintage lamp stand. It turned out rather well, I thought. They move gently with the breeze so you can see both sides, and the light in the evening makes them look especially pretty. They are not perfect. But they are made from the heart and with love, with things from my home. The children’s decorations are equally as charming, although saved for pride of place on the christmas tree!


Books, birds and text – playing with books.

Once I got over the seemingly shocking idea of altering an antique book, which I confess seems rather destructive and insensitive initially, I have been altering a tiny broken antique book with some additional text and images. I think its a start, rather than a completed “thing”.

I do, however, like the contrast between the tiny, original and formal print and the larger, more random text I have added. The new images a nod to the common thread of fragility of old books and tiny birds.

As seen through the eye of a needle…

I have been thinking about material, fabric, and handmade textiles and how words related to textiles are used in our everyday language. They are familiar yet not. Then I started playing around with some of the words and I made a little image of this in my journal. I liked seeing the connection between common sayings and the possible cloth-related origin of them. But the more I played with the textile related words, other words and sayings started coming into my head so I jotted them down on paper…maybe it’s all for a future art project? Please add any you can think of…I am sure I have missed some obvious ones.

Given that I can barely sew a button on a shirt I am not sure why the interest in material/sewing/textiles but I have always collected vintage bits and bobs and paraphernalia related to sewing, including an ancient singer sewing machine that found its way to me. I collect antique linens, have a collection of tissue paper patterns, jars of old buttons, a few old material cutting scissors, cotton reels..) yet I have no purpose for it all. It is strange.

My mother was a dressmaker & seamstress. So maybe it is a legacy thing?

The art of journalling or journals as art?


I know I posted this image already – It’s a collage of some snippets from my some of journals…but I was just thinking about my new studio space and how while I was cleaning and sorting it recently, I found myself reflecting on old bits of art and old journals and it became apparent I could see how far I have come already. I see all the things that I tried that did not work, the improvements I have made in techniques, and the evidence from things that no longer exist in their original form. It was interesting to pick up threads of pieces that I had started and not finished, I could see themes where I had seen none before (a definite penchant for symbols, words, text  and vessels/vases/bowls… I noticed…). I could also see old scraps/papers/ephemera in a new light – things that could be useful used in different ways…as a result, I now have 4 new, small, mixed media pieces underway…(photo to follow once finished), all  just from the inspiration found from relooking at existing things in a new light.

But back to the journals – I cannot imagine not having one with me…I  jot down ideas, quotes, words, phrases, notes about something interesting i noticed, I sketch (rather badly), I try to note down any ideas/inspiration, and i also collect things and i stick them in my journal – cards, bits of paper, tickets, ribbon, photos, and flyers…anything that grabs my attention for its colour, a word, a memory, a shape… and when I do feel stuck in a creative vacuum, i find my journals always seem to open onto a page with something to relook at…

Clean up and clear out…day two

I am a big believer that your personal space can affect your mood. Take a look – around you..Do you like what you see? Do you feel inspired? Does the immediate space around you feel like “you”? Would the space you are in right now, reflect you, if you were to take a photo of you sitting there right now? My wish is that when someone came into my studio – my space – they know it is my space (that it defines me) and they feel me in it…they also feel welcome in the space and personally inspired.

 I looked at my studio/shed  recently and knew the reason why I had not painted for 3 months wasn’t only all about stuff happening on the home front. Or perhaps more accurately, what was going on in my personal life was definitely reflected in my physical space. How could I be creative, inspired, motivated when the very space I rely on to do that,  “my space” was so full of junk and crap that  could hardly sit down. 

So, I am a woman on a mission. A “clear out, clean up, sort out my studio” kind of mission.Now, the problem is that I am a  bit of a collector of things that I might need “just in case”, especially for mixed media art – you never know what you may need, or be inspired by…so I am a bit of a hoarder of bits of paper and “finds” from the beach, street, second-hand shops, etc…etc…but, this really is a joke. There was crap everywhere!!! And instead of feeling inspired, I felt overwhelmed and flat, and did not want to go into my space. So, in the spirit of the new year and a new start, a massive effort started last night that I AM finishing it tonight.

Already progress is good. i haven’t actually thrown out so much yet, but sorted, filed, made order, rearranged, culled,  shifted some bookcase and boxes,and now where there was chaos…it looks better already.

By tomorrow it will look like a new space again. New but old, familiar, quirky, arty and inspiring and, importantly,  ready for the next step on my journey.

If you feel how I did when I stopped and really “looked” at my creative space, then maybe its time for a new look at your creative space too? Sometimes old and familiar is good, buts sometimes it stifles creativity and overwhelms…Let me know how you get on. Me….I better get onto it…. 


a collection of some of my words…

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