10 June 2012

Moving on

I've been taking a break from the blog for a while, as I've had a revelation of sorts - a new focus has taken over.

I have been working through 'The Artist's Way' (see my sidebar link) recommended to me by my closest friend Bell. I'm heading into Week 10 of the 12-week creative self-discovery course and the past few months have reignited a long-lost passion of mine... writing.

It came as quite a surprise to me - I thought I was fulfilling this outlet through blogging, however it seems blogging has been competing for my attention, rather than aiding it. It was only hinting at my true desire, while inadvertently keeping me from it. 

I've had the most incredible few months re-aquainting myself with the humble pen and paper, attending workshops, and learning about the fear of failure, and the fear of success. It's a difficult thing to admit that my true interest is not the thing that I've been expending all my wordy time on. And it has taken a lot of courage to admit I need to let go of something in the present for the sake of something bigger and better in the future.

So I'm winding it down here online... I'm still making things, playing with my new DSLR (love!), attending crafty festivals (and one Tim Holtz class at the end of July...). However I am putting all my words on paper now, rather than the interwebs. It's the first courageous step of many that I'll need to take to see my real dreams come to life; let's see where it takes me.

Thanks for reading! 

Jen.


09 June 2012

Inspired by: writing


I am inspired by writing today, and have constructed this large manilla tag with visual reminders of my love of writing.

There's a Darkroom Door filmstrip photo of a Parisian street. The deserted street, the old lamp post and the many doorways and windows uniformly lining the pavement take me away on daydreams of romance and mystery. It's the perfect visual prompt.

For the keener eye, I have used more Darkroom Door products - the 'Postcards' background stamp. I've used a Red Lead PaperWorks stamp for the row of pencils (love this stamp) and the text is courtesy of a Typo sticker kit. I finished the tage with a sentiment about my love of the written word: 'always in my heart'.




13 April 2012

Friday find: Tokyo Milk

















I discovered Tokyo Milk's travel candles in Myer last Christmas and wanted to take them all home. I love their packaging and sweet designs. What I didn't know is that they have a whole array of other products like cards, cosmetic totes and soaps. Gorgeous.

Happy Friday!

09 April 2012

Inspired by: 'One Day'

Something I hadn't noticed before today: I like reading more than one book at a time. Usually one novel and a random amount of non-fictions and a whole bunch of magazines. Explains why there is a pile of reading material in every room in the house, despite M's objections.

To be honest, it has been a long time since a novel has really captured my attention like this one has. I'm two chapters in and already attuned to the characters, fascinated by the plot and the whole concept of time travel, in the sense that the narrative covers one day of the year, spanning twenty years.


Emma and Dexter remind me of my University days and the people and all the false freedoms that went with it. They are crossing over from the safety net of academic years into the unknown world of work and travel and trying to 'make a difference'. So many of us remember these moments whether it was Uni or high school. Some of you may be in the thick of it now, or find that years on into adulthood, those times seem so inconsequential now... yet still familiar.

That notion of 'making a difference' is one that stays with us. It's part of being human - wanting to learn and grow and be remembered, or acknowledged in a way that makes us feel that it was all worth it. And yet we never really know why we need this validation - we just do.

"The trick of it, she told herself is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at... something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible. Eat sensibly. Stuff like that."
                       
  'One Day' by David Nicholls, pp.12-13.

Substitute the Smith Corona for a laptop and here we are, feeling the same way and wanting the same things. I suspect I'm going to read about a few failed romances, witness unfulfilled desires and imagine beautiful words unwritten while not eating all that sensibly. Maybe there will be a trauma, and people around Emma will not live up to her expectations. There will be sadness and there will be moments of laughing out loud. There will be the other character - Dexter - who will experience all these things too, though I'll witness events from his unique perspective.

I have high hopes for all of these things playing out in 'One Day'. Let's see if my assumptions are right.

My excitement over this story has inspired an art journal page. It's not quite finished yet but I wanted lots of painted dark hues and circles, and a little orange bird in the middle.


I've divided the page in half, with a few cross-overs. Up the top are a few references to Emma (the English / History degree, her insecurities about romance and being with Dexter):


And the lower section is inspired by Dexter - his need to enjoy, to be stylish, to not know every lover's name and to simply let life happen:


This was a great prompt for a bit of art-time. Perhaps I'll do another one as the story continues.




07 April 2012

12 Tags of 2012: April

The 'Tim Holtz 12 tags of 2012' is a great source of creativity for a monthly "crafternoon" with Bell. There's a new tag to make every month and I think this is my favourite one so far. I'm in love with the blend of distress inks (Wild Honey, Broken China and Frayed Burlap). And a new technique this month involved stamping some script text directly onto the inside of an embossing folder, then embossing the tag... the end result (if you look carefully) is the stamped script text on the background only, missing all the raised swirly bits. Fabulous. It really makes the embossed sections pop.

Imagine a plain manilla tag... that has been embossed with a gorgeous swirl, adorned with a little blue robin, a tiny bronze key and a simple message:

Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2012: April

I'm not replicating the Tim Holtz example tags each time, mostly due to the insane amount of 'new' supplies he uses every month. Instead I'm being liberal with the supplies I have (or shared with Bell) and this way, I am also putting my own little twist on them.

Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2012: April

Like the sentiment (from The Artistic Outpost 'Typography' stamp collection): 'Do small things greatly'. I needed some text that was small enough to fit my little punch and this one stood out for me as it's a simple statement and it matches the imagery of my little robin adorned with a silver crown. I imagine him doing a lot of small things greatly:

Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2012: April

It's also a reminder to do things more simply. Small steps... and being more mindful of each step as I take it.

30 March 2012

Giving in

Hmm... it's nearly midnight.

I'm messing around in iTunes, making playlists for a little get-together tomorrow night.  And I'm wondering why I leave these things to the very last minute. Just like I have with the Lisette sew-along. You see, here is where I am at with it:


A bit of a mess really; not too much to show. The pattern is out of the envelope, the pieces are cut and the fabric is pre-washed - two different kinds, I must add. And that's about where it ends.

Not only am I confused about the finished size (and I recall that it's best to follow the sizes printed on the tissue paper, not the back of the envelope), but the pieces appear rather small. I also don't know which fabric to hack into. 

But wait, there is more... I have been studying the neckline of this pattern, together with the overall shape and I've convinced myself that it is going to hang off me in the style of a nice potato-sack. It's the chest thing. And because of this, I really do hesitate with cutting into my divine cotton sateen... the pretty red one like on the pattern. I know, I know - go get some cheap fabric and just make the thing, then tweak and remake in the nicer stuff.

I give in... for now. Sometimes it is better to accept limitations and let something go. Temporarily, so as not to lose interest in it completely. Looking at some other people's creations is very inspiring, and I have basically made the dress in my head. However, Lisette must shuffle herself into April (sorry Curlypops! Bit off more than I could chew).

On the plus, the past month has been filled with fabulous films, and I'm finally digging into my sketching and watercolor workshops. And it is almost the weekend. Happy about that!

29 March 2012

12 Tags of 2012: March

Just in time, and thanks to Bell for the reminder yesterday, I have posted my tag for March:

TH Tag March 2012_20120329

I've embossed the background rather than using a stamp and went with my favourite quote from a Darkroom Door stamp set. I'd love to provide more detail here and now, however I have homemade pizza waiting and the last eps of Dexter (series 5) to watch with my hubby on our 9 year wedding anniversary. Yep, celebrating in style.

Back with more crafting goodness real soon. I have a ridiculous amount of stuff to post and not enough time at the keyboard (or camera) to put it all together. Stay tuned.
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