Monday, April 17, 2017

Eggstra all about it!

So here we are in April and I've not managed a blog post since January! I do manage to surprise myself with my inconsistent blogging, but what does it matter really. The years do pass in a bit of a blur, I have to stop and think about what has happened so far!

The main events in February being Maddox's 6th birthday, Elaine and Dave's wedding and a 90th Birthday Party. I managed to lose my bestest woven shawl, then found it the next day! There was weaving, I made a really wide warp in fine cotton and wove yardage in Noro sekku! I'm hoping to turn it into some kind of tunic one day!

March saw me join a new facebook weaving group (Weaving Chat UK) and immediately sign up for a weaving challenge where you exchanged details with another weaver and sent them some wool and they sent you some wool and you wove something with the wool! Here is what I made:

I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

Then the end of March saw me warp up for another quick scarf, all cotton this time....

April arrived! Not got much done as it's Easter holidays but I have managed to finish a sewing project for my sister which needed to be done and out the way, and I've finally cast on some knitting! Only handwarmers, but a good park project for when Maddox is off playing!

Speaking of handwarmers....I ran my first 10k last Sunday (9th April) and my dear husband lost one of my Scrunchie Handwarmers while I was running. Yep these:

I'd been thinking of knitting some more anyway but when I checked Ravelry to see how long I had,  had them I knitted them in December 2007, they did have a good life, didn't they! Trekking don't make this colourway any more or I could reknit a new one!

I'm still finding a little time for spinning! I've just finished off some bfl I've been spinning for a couple of weeks, and there's always a little doodling going on in the background.

So that's me all caught up for now, I do try and keep my Instagram up to date with my current projects and I've got a pile of fibre to put in my etsy shop and I need to make a new warp, so off I trot....till next time X

Friday, January 20, 2017

Just start!

I'm just starting a post here about beginning to draw! Some of my facebook friends have said they can't draw, and some have said they would like to draw, so this is just a little guide about how to start. I for one believe that everyone is creative, no matter how much some people protest. We all had that joy of expression as children. I used to love Maddox's scribbles, and colouring outside the lines, now he has become a perfectionist and gets upset if a picture isn't quite as perfect as he wants it to be.

This drawing on the right is one of my first Zentangle patterns from 2014, I think that's when I first came across it. It's not big, about 9 cm square I think. You can buy zentangle kits which have pens and 'tiles' in but I just read up on it on the web and cut some paper down to tile size. You draw a tangle in pencil, which is the outline shape, then fill it with patterns. You can make up your own patterns but if you look at Instagram and Pinterest there are hundreds of patterns. There are even YouTube videos too, there's a good example to get you started here

  All you need is a pen, pencil and paper. As these are small scale I like to use a 0.1 Fineliner, although I have a set of pens ranging from 0.1 to 0.7 and the more I draw, the more I experiment with different pens and materials,

I did the drawing on the left last week. I knew I was going to be doing this post and took a before picture of the pencil outline, now I can't find the camera. It's also a good example of a picture I don't really 'like' much but I stuck with it.

I mean don't get me wrong, if a drawing is really making you unhappy don't persevere with it, but part of the process is recording and drawing and then looking at what you think works and doesn't work.

I'm reading The Creative License by Danny Gregory at the moment. It's a book I've had for a few years in my quest to 'draw'.

I think it's important to remember these points from page 43:
there are no bad drawings
drawings are experiences, the more you draw the more experienced you'll get
you will learn more from bad, weird or unpredictable experiences than from those that go exactly as you hoped.
release your ego's desire for perfection
take risks
create as much as you can whenever you can

I don't seem to have had much time for drawing this week, or much else for that matter! I really need to find time to work on my time management!

I did finish this new heart off and I was experimenting with my watercolour crayons in the background.

I really like the way this turned out but my husband thought the background looked untidy....its subjective anyway this art thing and that's what you have to remember.

You don't have to show anyone what you do. It's not what it's about. Just pick up a pen and take it for a walk see where you end up!

Guilty of tearing this one out of my sketchbook! I feel like I ruined it with colour,but I have managed not to throw it away and keep it to demonstrate what I mean!

On a final note it doesn't matter what you draw, that's where the abstract shapes and patterns really help me. KEEP IT SIMPLE! just explore and have fun!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Happy 2017 (I had hoped for a witty pun for a title but nothing rhymed)

I did consider migrating myself over to a new blog. I had a quick skim of Wordpress but some of the time, (ok a lot of the time) I cling on to the old for now I will stay here.

I haven't managed a post since Woolfest 2015! How time flies! Well a quick round up of 2016 is in order and then we can put it behind us! In October 2015 I started a part-time job....making posh sofas! I loved this job, but it did mean my time management was challenged when it came to crafts! 2016 was a challenging year for most of us, politically and personally! I left a job, moved away from Hastings, and got married all in a short space of time, and went from living with just Maddox to what is now a family of 5. There was Brexit, then Trump....a lot going on, but things are settling down now.

So my knitting mojo seemed to wane a bit. In 2016 I managed to knit a Matchmaker (Martina Behm) and 3 pairs of socks and finally sewed some buttons onto a cardigan! I did find my way back to my looms once we were settled into our new home and finished off a project that had sat at the loom for far too long. Infact I haven't quite finished the ends off yet! I shall add it to the list of things that need doing!

Next I put a beautiful handspun merino gifted warp on the loom. (thankyou Yarnspider). I'd quietly been spinning up purples knowing such a beautiful warp needed handspun weft.

 It took me a week just to get it all threaded on (it was just a busy week). The weaving went by effortlessly. I worried it would be too long, too wide, too woolly, but at the end of the day I just wove as it came, intuitively and it turned out perfect. I am very happy with this piece. You can see all the photos on my Rav project page here. I didn't fret about the fringe twisting either, I get very frustrated trying to get the fringe all twisted and the same perfect length, but from now on I'm going to be perfectly happy with imperfect fringes!

The next chapter....

I found Zentangle back in 2014, I'm not sure how or why but I had some pens and paper and drew a couple of tangles, I knew it was cool, I just didn't make any time for it. 2014/ 2015 also saw the rise of adult colouring books, I even bought a few .In early 2016 I had bought a Zentangle magazine from WHSmith, it was still lurking in the back of my mind. Every year I say I'm going to get back to working in a sketchbook, drawing every day, making art for arts sake. But it's only with the move and the craziness of life that I found sitting down with pen and paper to doodle calming.

I did a few pages of my sketchbook, and there's a simplicity to doodling. To taking the pen for a walk and not worrying about the finished result...because that's the key. That's what all the how to draw books tell you, let loose, don't worry about the results and that's what happens when you doodle.

 Don't get me wrong, I spent 4 years at art college, but I've never been very confident about drawing. I remember being at school and drawing every day....I used to draw and I used to read, and yet when I got to college and we had to do life drawing and produce sketchbooks, I lost my confidence at drawing. I could produce a piece of work but I didn't really feel I could draw....not in the sit in front of me and I will draw a portrait of you kind of a way. I can draw a face, a figure, a hand, I can draw things, I can shade, I can see, but none of that really matters any more because I can doodle.

It's about simplicity and spontaneity and learning to incorporate a mistake into a drawing, or start over with a new idea if you just don't like where it's going. You can keep your ideas in your sketchbook or you can share them with the world. Infact there's a lot of artists and doodlers and illustrators out there working, drawing and showing their work. But it's not just about jumping onto a bandwagon, it's about a personal journey, creating calmness, drawing practice, creates confidence, lines start to flow with more fluidity. I used to do everything in pencil, I used to be afraid of making mistakes.

I used to be afraid of blog writing. Maybe I think it's self indulgent and by writing stuff down I then open myself up to criticism from anyone who reads it. It doesn't matter any more. It never really mattered how many people read it. It never really mattered what anyone thinks, I always knew that, and if I feel like it, I will keep on sharing and writing and showing off. Most of my pretty pictures will be on Instagram but if I have more to say I will post here!

I'm hoping to do something creative everyday in 2017, at the moment it's drawing but there will be more sewing, spinning and weaving too, watch this space!