I have been invited to take part in the Creative Bloggers’ hop by my friend Lucy. We first met online, through the Thyme Machines forum we are both on, for our Cougar cutting machines, and soon discovered we lived fairly near each other, and then my hubby and I moved, and now live just up the road from her! We both suffer from M.E. and this restricts our activities quite a lot, so we don’t get together as often as we might, living so close.
Hop over to her blog:
to see what she gets up to. She is very skilful indeed in her use of markers to colour digi-stamps, and is a master at shading. Have a look, also at the work of her chosen nominees.
This is a continuous blog hop that will be every Monday, with lots of amazing and talented crafters and artists. Everyone who takes part answers four questions about their creativity. Here are my answers to these questions.
1. What am I working on?
Several things, as usual! (I am either a highly creative person or completely undisciplined…) The main project at the moment is a small album made entirely from recycled materials, and I have now got to the stage where I am decorating the pages with mixed media. I am also doing miniature Zentangle drawings on the marks left by drying teabags on watercolour paper, and am currently making a bereavement card which is a fairly complex project (no blog post yet, but watch this space!). I am busy saving and drying teabags ready for when I’ve got time to begin teabag art in earnest. I also have a major knitting project on the go. There are always videos of my work waiting to be edited, and I consider this part of the creative process, too.
2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
Impossible to answer that literally, because I don’t have any particular genre! This means that whatever genre I choose to specify as my own, I am different from others in that genre because I have many other genres as well. I have been told that I have a lot of patience, and attention to detail, and I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I also like to think outside the box and mix my disciplines, and use materials from other genres, and from outside the art world altogether – I get great satisfaction from getting equally good results from products from the building trade, for example, which are a lot cheaper, or free if you know the right people! I enjoy the challenge of recycling and upcycling and using materials that don’t cost anything, and which might otherwise be thrown away.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Simple answer: I can’t help myself. I have a hunger to be creative, and more ideas than I will ever have time to bring to fruition, even if I lived to be 300! Some projects have to be made out of necessity – I am not a card maker by choice, but have to make them when the need arises. I get the greatest enjoyment from simply playing – trying different techniques and materials, and asking, “What if…?”
4. How does my writing/creative process work?
I often get ideas out of the blue, or when I am feeding my Pinterest addiction, and from other sources online. When we go out and I get the opportunity to visit studios or galleries, I come back bursting with inspiration. I have even had ideas for projects, or solutions to problems, in dreams! Most ideas go on the back burner because I am determined to finish a few projects before embarking on new ones. That being said, I am the worst hoarder of UFOs (Un-Finished Objects). When I start a project I often spend time mulling it over, and I don’t rush, so that ideas and plans have a chance to mature, and after sleeping on it, I am often more certain how I am going to achieve the desired result. I tend to make rather ambitious projects that take a long time to complete. As for my actual work, I am rather an untidy worker because I find that tidying up interrupts the creative flow. Because of this I waste time looking for things that have got lost under heaps of other things. I am not always able to think far enough ahead to avoid making mistakes, but as they say, “In mixed media art, there are no mistakes – just more layers!”
Here are the three wonderful bloggers whom I have chosen to take part next week, and who have graciously agreed to participate. Each one has inspired me in one way or another, and I am grateful for that, and also for their friendship and encouragement. My hope is that this blog hop will expose their blogs to a new audience, who can be as inspired as I am! I have deliberately chosen people outside the card-making and papercrafting genre which my limited explorations into this blog hop so far, have revealed are the dominant themes – after all, the blog hop is a “Creative Blog Hop” and this could include all forms of creativity, maybe even extending to gardening, cooking, music, dance and the dramatic arts! Who know where this could take us?
Diana is a professionally trained mixed media and textile artist and photographer, living and working here in the UK. She normally works with very subtle colour blends, often in unusual combinations, and her work has a delicacy that is quite entrancing. She loves moths and butterflies and has an extensive vintage collection, which she incorporates into her work. Lately, she has been working on the “Index Card a Day” (ICAD) challenge, creating miniature works of art on index cards, and she has chosen to explore the theme of “decay and repair” which coincides nicely with her love of moths; she has used pieces of damaged antique lace, embroidery etc. She has a unique style which she has made her own. Whatever she does, I always find Diana’s work totally inspiring, and it touches me at an emotional level beyond words. She is a faithful follower of my blog, and has proved to be a lovely, supportive friend, and has frequently encouraged my own faltering approaches to mixed media art!
My other two nominees are from Australia.
Judy is a highly prolific textile artist delighting in the use of rich, bright colours and the variety of objects she creates – dolls, puppets, stuffies, flowers, mobiles, masks, bags, banners, you name it… I am bowled over by the level of her productivity – she must have tons of energy! She creates pieces for sale in her local museum shop, and has a couple of elderly relatives living in residential care for whom she makes beautiful things to brighten their rooms. Some time ago she and I did a flower swap; I made a collection of paper flowers for her, and in return she sent me a marvellous wallet full of glorious fabric flowers with dangly beads and sparkles – for some time I did not know how to use them to their best advantage, and then decided to incorporate them into a mixed media project I was working on – decorated spoke guards for my wheelchair! These provoke comment wherever I go, and I always point out the wonderful flowers made for me by a friend in Australia! (Have art, will travel lol!) Once I have completed my current major project I am intending to get my new sewing machine going, and I have to say that Judy is a major inspiration for the plans that I am mulling over for the future. Poor Judy has been experiencing awful problems with her blog recently and lost a whole lot of followers, so I am sure she would appreciate some new ones!
Vonny is a self-taught watercolour, oil and acrylic painter who is inspired and influenced by the sea life where she lives in Brisbane. Like Judy, she delights in bright colours, and wants her paintings to make people happy – they certainly have this effect on me! She also paints the most amazing birds – parrots and other exotic species, which are so lifelike I am surprised they stay on the canvas. She is often amusingly self-deprecating about her work, but the results are always stunning. I always appreciate the fact that she gives us the whole process of a piece, including the bits that don’t work so well – this is a great encouragement, and shows the creative process at work, and how one can remedy even the worst disasters! Like my other two nominees, she is a prolific worker and leaves me in the shade! Vonny also works in polymer clay, creating unique jewellery pieces, often in the form of sea life.
My blogging and creative life has been enriched by these three highly talented ladies, and I feel privileged to have met them online and been able to see their work at close quarters. I could have chosen any number of nominees who have influenced and encouraged me – there are so many! I hope my choice will inspire others to explore their own creativity, and maybe to start thinking outside the box.
I am blessed with a beautiful ARTHaven studio, fitted out to my own specifications, with a continuous, curving work surface around three of its walls. When I designed it, with different work zones for different disciplines (paper art, mixed media, textiles, etc.) I had no idea that the fluid layout would be so condusive to the blending of all disciplines. I would encourage everyone, even if they are not as fortunate as I am in their creative spaces, to push the boundaries of their creativity and spread their wings. I hope my choice of nominees for this blog hop will help them to do just that. Please sign up to follow their blogs and leave some comments to encourage them!
Thank you, Lucy, for inviting me on this exciting blog hop.