Saturday, 13 July 2019

TGIF on a Saturday #1

I recently found a new TGIF meme on This West London Life blog.   Most of us would recognise TGIF as Thank God (or Goodness) It’s Friday, but for BrenĂ© Brown it stands for Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun.   In light of my recent post Notice the small things I thought I might join in with the meme - but on a Saturday.

What things have I noticed in these areas?

Trust:
Trusting the amazing massage skills of Helena who looks after my back and removed the many aches and pains I had this week.

Gratitude:
Grateful for a loving and supportive husband

Inspiration:
Inspired by the teaching and work of Leah Higgins
(c) Leah Higgins

Fun:
Spending 5 days printing fabrics at Leah's studio (more about this in my next post).

What things have you noticed this week?

Thanks for joining me today.
Bernice



Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Notice the small things

In our Living Your Word of the Year group we are using a fortnightly (bi-weekly) A-Z challenge throughout the year to help us focus on our word and live it out.

Because of the way I have made my journal it's a case of going with the flow of what background the pages have when I turn to them.  As with the page for M I had a page full of stars.

When I was on the Tactile Notebook workshop, one of the first things that Sandra Brownlee talked about was: notice what you notice and she gave us a brown paper bag with those words printed on, which I stuck into my notebook.

I've been thinking a lot about this phrase since and decided I would use notice for N in my A-Z journal.  I put the N sticker on the little insert page.

I used some photos from this year to demonstrate noticing the small things.  The centre of flowers, the raindrops on the petals, the rust and decay I spotted on the railings where we were queueing to get on a boat.


I thought about the meaning of the word notice and looked up a dictionary definition.  Synonyms of notice included observe, observant and pay attention.  I used these words to look up verse using BibleGateway.  I printed out the verses that I though most went with my word of the year - [Commit].

I put a small strip of washi tape to link this page to the M page.


Valerie's post for N is about Nature.  In her blog she challenges us to:
'Go for a walk in nature.  Notice special things in your everyday life as if you are on an adventurous journey… because you are!   As you walk, imagine Jesus walking next to you. Ask him a question like what are you thinking about? Or What is on your heart? Or What do you want to say to me right now? Or if you have something heavy or big on your mind, ask him what he has to say to you about that thing. Then listen'.

My challenge is to notice the small things.  In nature or elsewhere.   Notice the small things people go out of their way to do for you.  Notice the small things that people go out of their way to do for others.  And then thank them.  Encourage them.  As you encourage others, you will be encouraged to do small things for other people too.

Thanks for joining me today.
Bernice




Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year
Join Mary Brack, Valerie Sjodin and I in our Facebook group where we are giving participants the opportunity to live out an A-Z of their own word throughout 2019.  Mary explains what we are doing in her blog post.  We don't like a lot of rules, so we will have suggestions and options to spark creativity, and to help in recording and exploring our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. We will each blog about our experiences and our art.

Hashtags on Instagram:  #livingyourword2019

Check out the other blogs:
Mary: www.foundonbrighton.com
Valerie: www.valeriesjodin.com/blog

To ensure you get updates from Valerie, Mary & I why not subscribe to our blogs.





Saturday, 6 July 2019

Some differing approaches to design

This post first appeared on Traverse Textile Art.

There are many ways of approaching design work for textiles and mixed media pieces.  I thought we might look at the various ways I have tried in the past - often on workshops.

Counterchange
I attended a Gillian Travis workshop where we worked on counterchange. This is where you cut out shapes - in this example circles in paper squares - and exchange them so that the colours are in different places.  I continued with the large heart and then the small heart.

Working in fabric I only changed one heart with another but started with several different coloured squares.

In this version there were three different pear shapes.

Taking a shape
Another way to play with design is to take a shape and cut into it and expand it.


In the examples above the shapes cut out were glued down on the outside of the original shape.  In the example below the rectangle was cut into different shapes and glued down with different intervals to expand the shape.

You can see the quilts made by Claire Higgott using this method on her website.  Click on Split Shapes in her Portfolio.


Drawing
You can take part of a photograph or part of your own drawing and make a physical stamp or digital stamp and produce various patterns.

This can lead to a piece of stitched textile.

I went on a Jean Draper workshop where we drew a small object and then expanded it on a photocopier.  This can inform structures, work on paper and fabric.  I wrote about this on my blog.

Non-visual inspiration for design
Not all inspiration has to be visual.  You could use a poem or a piece of music to inspire your work.  Earlier this year I used the poem 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost to produce a concertina book.  My starting point was the text and unusually for me through various stages of the design process I ended up with this:


Playing
Of course, there's always just letting the fabric 'speak' to you and coming up with a piece of work that results from playing with ideas without planning.  Just go with the flow and see where it takes you.

Some of my Venice pieces came from playing. I printed with stamps and thermofax screens randomly on a large piece of cotton using thickened dyes and fabric paints.

I played again with stencils and screens to make a further piece of fabric which eventually became this set of 9 Venice Tiles.

And finally in this post,  there's thinking!

Thinking
Lots of textile artists use sketchbooks and workbooks, experiment and make samples, I tend to think.  Instead of making several samples I think through what each once might be, ask the 'what if ...' questions and then disregard the ideas.  I might write a list of all the possibilities so that I have the capacity to think through each option - rather than hold the list in my head.  Maybe I miss out on some ideas by not doing samples.  I don't know. What I do  know, is that I produce pieces that work for me and really that's all that counts.

How do you design your work?

Thanks for joining me today
Bernice


Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Word of the Year Half-year Review

We are half way through our A-Z challenge in our Word of the Year Facebook group.  My word for 2019 is [Commit].  And I feel I'm not doing well with it.

'What?' you may be saying if you follow me regularly and see that I am up-to-date with my journal pages.  But those are just pages.  I don't feel I'm living up to my word.   In the very first post this year about my word I listed 6 things that I felt I needed for this and to be very honest I've managed about 5%.

Habits are really difficult to make - it takes time, it takes persistence.  As I've reviewed the last 6 months I have felt I have let myself down in terms of commitment.  But so often I only look at the negative.  I saw this on Facebook the other day.

I'm not sure 'wisened' is a word!

I don't think I've looked back at the year in terms of how I've grown.  I don't know where I would start to be honest.   I think the value of journaling - which I don't do - is that you can look back through your journals and see where you've come from.  I do know though, that I can be very hard on myself.

I was looking back through some of my blog posts and these thoughts have come up time and again.  It's not a new topic!  I wrote about Creativity & Vulnerability two years ago.  And found that I had used the same piece of artwork I was planning to use here.   In fact this blog post began with finding this journal page.

There was a follow-up blog post Creativity and Vulnerability Revisited where I wrote 'Quite often I feel as though I live on the periphery of my own life.  Commitment and vulnerability applies to all areas of life not just creativity.  But I am getting there.  Especially if I stop saying negative things to myself.'

Sadly I don't feel that I have moved on much in the two years since I wrote that.   Perhaps that's why this year's word is Commitment.

I recently found this blog post: How to get past the fear to do really hard things and realised that actually what I need is persistence.

I'm currently re-reading Christine Caine's book: Unstoppable.  The opening chapter is about the US 4x100 metres women's relay teams from  2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.  Whilst the teams weren't necessarily made up of the same women, it was nevertheless persistence that got these women in the teams, through the heats and finally in 2012 to win with a new world record.  The US team failed in their 3 previous attempts.  On a world stage!  In front of millions!  But there was still the desire to win.  To persist!  And the reward came in 2012.  And again in 2016.

But I'm not on a world stage.  I don't have millions of readers.  Except for the odd post like this where I share my feelings, (and they are few and far between), I mostly only share my successes and occasionally my finished pieces.  And lots of photos!

I shall continue to mull over the difference between commitment and persistence.

If you have a word for this year, how are you getting on with it?

Thanks for joining me today.
Bernice




Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year
Join Mary Brack, Valerie Sjodin and I in our Facebook group where we are giving participants the opportunity to live out an A-Z of their own word throughout 2019.  Mary explains what we are doing in her blog post.  We don't like a lot of rules, so we will have suggestions and options to spark creativity, and to help in recording and exploring our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. We will each blog about our experiences and our art.

Hashtags on Instagram:  #livingyourword2019

Check out the other blogs:
Mary: www.foundonbrighton.com
Valerie: www.valeriesjodin.com/blog

To ensure you get updates from Valerie, Mary & I why not subscribe to our blogs.


Saturday, 29 June 2019

Confetti Fields

I found out about the confetti fields last year but if you remember I tripped over and broke my fingers - so we didn't go.   I planned that we would go this year instead.   And then it rained!  And rained!  The fields only open to the public for 10 days in the year and because it rained, the fields were closed for two days this week.

But the rain stopped.  Hooray.

And so we were able to visit.   The white flowers hadn't opened but there was plenty of colour.



 





 



  

 



 
 

The poppies were an added extra and won't be picked to be used as confetti.  However as you can tell I rather liked having the splash of colour.

Thanks for joining me today.
Bernice


Tuesday, 25 June 2019

M is for Motivation

In our Living Your Word of the Year group we are using a fortnightly (bi-weekly) A-Z challenge throughout the year to help us focus on our word and live it out.

Because of the way I have made my journal it's a case of going with the flow of what background the pages have when I turn to them.  This was a double spread of starred paper with some gesso wiped over it.  There's also some smaller pages sewn in between.

Ironically, this page has been really difficult.  I couldn't find any motivation for starting it.  In the end I put pieces of some new washi tape on the left hand side.  I know!  I'm supposed to be using up what I have already, but I could resist these new ones from London Gifties.  The small rectangular card came as part of the parcel.

I stuck down the letter stickers to make the word MOVE because that's what I was going to do the page about - the motivation to move.

However, when I searched on Bible Gateway, I found these two verses and decided I would use these instead.

I moved MOVE to the other side of the page and asked myself: What can I do to motivate myself to move?

I don't have an answer for that.  At the beginning of the year I said that I was committed to losing weight and to getting fit but I have done nothing towards it.  I set myself two goals of walking or exercising 4 times per week and to lose 3" off my waist by December 31st.  Unless something changes - it's not happening!

Thanks for joining me today.
Bernice



Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year
Join Mary Brack, Valerie Sjodin and I in our Facebook group where we are giving participants the opportunity to live out an A-Z of their own word throughout 2019.  Mary explains what we are doing in her blog post.  We don't like a lot of rules, so we will have suggestions and options to spark creativity, and to help in recording and exploring our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. We will each blog about our experiences and our art.

Hashtags on Instagram:  #livingyourword2019

Check out the other blogs:
Mary: www.foundonbrighton.com
Valerie: www.valeriesjodin.com/blog

To ensure you get updates from Valerie, Mary & I why not subscribe to our blogs.