Tuesday 30 January 2018

Unlocking the Mystery of Creative Play

I had the privilege last week of spending 5 days at Drewshearne Barn Studio taking part in a workshop called Unlocking the Mystery of Creative Play led by Leslie Morgan.  I was going to blog about it day by day but I've decided to do it by project.

This collage started with the above.  The piece of paper had been cut from the page of a book I made.  I'll blog about the book another time!   I suppose I could have left it at that and maybe stitched into it but i decided to echo the negative space flames but in a different size and colour.

I used some painted paper thast I had taken with me.   The rest of the photos show how I tried out different layouts until I came up with the one I liked best.

And when I had found the design I liked I used an orange Sharpie to put in the faux stitching.

Which one of the layouts did you like best?

Thanks for joining me today.

Wednesday 24 January 2018

A short update

Just a short post - and only one this week.

Here are the pages from my Everyday Journal.

I have found it very satisfying to list 3 things to do each day and then tick them off.  I know it might look as though I'm cheating by putting Creative Jumpstart in every day but at lease I've remembered to watch the video each day.  Last year I forgot that I was signed up for it!

This week I'm going to Committed to Cloth to do a 5 day course: Unlocking the Mystery of Creative Play.  I am by turns thrilled to be going and very apprehensive.  I am planning to write about each day on the right hand page.

I'm still writing things that I am thankful for.

I am considering adding another word for my year:  Joy.  Either instead of Gratitude or to run alongside it.  I'll let you know what I decide.

Have you got a word for this year?  If so, how are you getting on with it?

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 20 January 2018

Art Cloth update

In November I told you how I had cut up my art cloth and then pieced it back together with some bought fabric.

I took it with me to Littleheath Barn and used a thermofax screen to print over the whole thing to try to blend the bought fabric into the made fabric.

I had enlarged a Michelle Ward stencil on my computer and then traced over the images with unwanted dress pattern tissue.

I laid out the tissue stencils on the art cloth. Sorry about the quality of the photo.  I was standing on a chair using my phone!   Now it's ready to sew.

Here each of the large stencils have been stitched on one of the circles to the cloth.

A closeup of the pattern completely stitched.

And here the stitching with the tissue pattern removed.

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Another journal update

Our Everyday Journals - Living Your Word of the Year group on Facebook is going from strength to strength.  A lovely bunch of people who are very supportive of each other.

These are my pages for the last week.

I found a picture of the Canterbury Bells online and printed them out and cut round them and stuck them in my book.  I did consider trying to draw them myself but as you can see I didn't!

I shall probably put some more quotes in next month.

You can see how Mary and Valeire are getting on with their journals on their blogs.
Mary: Found on Brighton
Valerie: Valerie Sjodin

Thanks for joining me today.

Friday 12 January 2018

Month by month 2017

I thought I would do apost showing one photo from each month in 2017.  It was actually harder to do than I imagined.  There were a couple of months when I hardly took a photo.  Shock horror!













Thanks for joining me today.

Monday 8 January 2018

A quick update

I have almost completed a week in my Everyday Journal.  My pages are coming along and I am feeling a sense of satisfaction.   The Journal may not be as fancy as some others you will see on Social Media but this is me.  Maybe as I practise through the year the pages will become more decorative.  Or maybe the total opposite!

I did a title page for my word of the year: Gratitude.  I used Gelatos and a small French Curves.

I finished off my calendar page using Gelatos through a stencil and added some washi tape.

I set out to complete a minimum of three things a day.  I managed that most days.  I did do other things that didn't get listed!

I journaled on this page.

And at the end of each day I wrote down three things I was thankful for.

Just off to take down the Christmas tree and then I need to sit down and plan this coming week.

Thanks for joining me today.

Friday 5 January 2018

Being Continually Thankful

This post first appeared on the Jubilee Church blog yesterday.

We are a few days into the New Year and already many of the resolutions people made on January 1st will have been broken. I don’t make resolutions. I choose a word for the year that describes what I want to see more of in my life. Last year’s word was ‘connect’ because I wanted to have more connection to my family and friends, to my creative work and to God.

This year’s word is gratitude or thankfulness.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday of November. Recently the whole month of November has become synonymous with thankfulness and people have been encouraged to keep a gratitude journal. But thankfulness should be a year-long habit – a lifestyle – not something we keep on one day or for one month.

There have been many studies done on the value of being thankful. It turns out that gratitude is good for our mental health.

We don’t need to keep a gratitude journal although writing things down always helps. (There are also Apps available.) One thing we can all do at the end of the day is think of 3 things that we are thankful for. We could start the day that way too. And having thought of the things, we can thank God for them.

Thanking God in prayer is powerful. We can thank him for what he has given us already and we can thank him for things he has yet to do in our lives. We can thank him for the promises he has made us that are not yet fulfilled.

You might like to do a study of the words thank, thanks, or thanksgiving in the Bible. There are many examples. Let’s ‘Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name’. Psalm 100:4

New Year’s resolutions or contemplation of lifestyle changes almost always consist of activities we must do or change usually around diet and exercise. We say to ourselves: ‘This is THE year when we will lose that weight or improve our core strength’! But thankfulness is a habit we can easily incorporate into our lives. And instead of rushing to add even more activities to our hectic lives why not quiet down and be thankful. Becky Webb recently shared with us about incorporating rest into our lives - here's the link to the podcast.

We can be thankful as we rest. Let’s make 2018 the year we learn to be continually thankful.

Thanks for joining me today.  And thank you for your support last year.  I hope you will keep visiting my blog through 2018.

PS: You can follow my journey with my word of the year here on my blog.  If God gives you a word for 2018 why not join us in the Everyday Journals # Living Your Word of the Year Facebook group.

Monday 1 January 2018

Ready for 2018

Happy New Year!

Does a new year fill you with excitement of what is to come?  Or a sense of same old, same old?  Time passes and we have no control over its passing.  But we do have control of what we spend the time doing.

Last year I spent a lot of time thinking (or is that procrastinating?) and a lot of time on Facebook and other websites.   I've watched lots of creative videos on YouTube, a few clips from The Ellen Show  and a fair number of dog rescue videos.  (Hope for Paws do some great work!)

What I found myself thinking quite often at the end of a day was how little I had accomplished.  I realised (derr!) that I felt like that because I don't have a plan for the day.  I think this is partly to do with when I was a teacher and then working as a church administrator that days were full and planned.  I wanted to break away from that feeling of over-structure.  But what has happened is that I'm at the other extreme now with no structure.  And to be honest it's just as stressful - but a different kind of stress.

So really, in terms of what I wanted from an Everyday Journal, was an ability to put some structure into my days, weeks and months and to be able to look back and say 'Yes.  I did this!  I achieved that!'  I asked myself questions about what I wanted to have in this journal and originally I wasn't going to have weekly pages but quickly realised that was exactly what I DID need.

So I have come up with pages like this above, where there are 3 boxes for each day.  By the side of the boxes I shall write 3 things to do that day and then be able to put a tick in the little turquoise box on completion.  At the end of January I shall review how this has worked for me and may come up with a different way to work through February.

I have completed general pages in my Leuchtturm1917 journal and prepared for January.

The index page

2018 and 2019 at a glance

Month by month commitments.  I also have a calendar on my phone but it helps me to see it written down as well.

I don't want to have many lists in my journal but I did think it would be useful to know what I've signed up for (right) and what technique videos are available to me (left) rather than keeping the list in my head.  Writing all this down frees up space in my brain!

During 2017 I decided I shouldn't sign up for so many online courses (hah - like that worked!) and it would be better to do in-person workshops.  I have put the details of the courses here.  And have realised that I have missed off the Art Cloth workshop I'm doing at Littleheath Barn.

I belong to a textile group and we have two exhibitions coming up in March and April so I have set up pages to record what I am making and what is left to be done.  The photos on the left hand page are the finished pieces.  They are only attached at the top of the photo so that I can write on the page underneath.

The next page in the journal is the January calendar

And then my pages for January.  Between each week I have left a blank double page spread for notes and journaling or whatever comes to mind!

Every two weeks I have put a page like this.  My plan is to write down 3 things everyday that I am thankful for.  This is one way of being able to keep my word of the year - gratitude - in sharp focus.

It has occurred to me that maybe there's not enough room for any journaling but we'll see.  Perhaps I only need a single page rather than a double page for a week.

Thanks for joining me today.