The village we live in has been happily producing Advent Windows which, so far has been a huge success! We took the 3rd December and it was quite a task for me as we have the old fashioned 16 pane sach windows! I really wanted to do something with the 12 days of Christmas but the size of each pane just made that impossible, so i just went for it and chose to use papercuts, glass painting and tissue paper. I also decided to play with using recycled items, mostly plastic to make things to hang up. One idea I have had is proving a little problematic but I will eventually work through it! This will hopefully end up with a colourful character to display, so updates on that later! I always choose to make rather than buy as 1, I am a tight Yorkshirewoman, 2, I love to play with paper, paint etc, 3 I love to encourage others to have a go! Things dont have to be complicated, expensive or difficult, simple is often the best approach. Most of us have paper and sissors and computers have opened a world of ideas to us. So if you need inspiration look around you, paper snowflakes are great fun, lots of images and patterns are available to download and use, get a little eco friendly glitter glue and have a some time having some fun! Or even have a go at using items you would normally throw away! We love advising customers and giving help to make things, so if you need a little help pop in and I'm sure we can help with paper, tissue, glitter to help you along with your 'homemade Christmas'! Hopefully, we may see you soon, safely!
I have painted, drawn or created all my life, though sometimes it has been in a bit more unusal ways, for example recently painting on cakes! (a blog will follow on that later!) Sometimes though, it is hard to keep on track and focussed, things can easily stop me from working on time sensitive projects or commissions, I get excited about something I have seen or I have an idea for a painting or making an item and off my mind goes, desperate to give it a go! It is a never ending task to keep my mind on the straight and narrow as, at the end of the day, even though I love being a batty artist, I need to make money like everyone else! But that fine line between me expressing my creativity and making money from commissions is difficult to tread. At college, I explored all media, letting creativity flow through me, having fun and developing ideas through using media in wild and wonderful ways. ( this exploration did however give me a vast knowledge about materials and their uses!) I was however always fully aware the big bad world outside college would need me to work and earn money, even working to help myself get through college without all the debts many others had. We all struggle with time, tiredness, stress, children, pets,' LIFE!!', work, bills etc but if you really want to or love doing something you can find a way to achieve it. Finally, I do, in my own way, settle in and get my work done and am happy that my mind is always full of ideas, I just wish I would remember to use my sketch books to put all the chaos down in!
Another lockdown is upon us and unlike some, I have a list of things I would like to actually try or make! From getting back to my roots and doing some lino printing to trying to use my sewing machine. I very rarely have time where I can do my own thing without feeling guilty, although we will still be available to post out items and 'click and collect' frames, so i will still be doing a little work! Hopefully I will be able to post some ideas to keep young and old occupied using simple items and encourage everyone to have a go at making some homemade Christmas gifts. I enjoy making gifts as I had found Christmas was becoming more and more commercial, losing sight of its real reason. Yes, all us small businesses need (and cherish!) our local customers, so you can have a vibrant and interesting local market place to shop in but there is still a place for handmade gifts made by you for those special people in your life! Keep checking my blog and maybe I can give you that spark to have a go at something different! Stay safe!
We recently came across an old cd with images on and looking through them brought a rush of memories from such a long time ago! Every Saturday I used to teach 2 small classes of children a variety of arts and crafts, you name it we tried it! Gluing, sticking, painting, drawing and also projects I had tried as a child, which to my classes were very odd at times! I loved working out how to make things from card or offcut mountboard, both of which I had aplenty! ( so I was actually a recycler back then! ). Periscopes, moving figures with split pins, lots of paper play and simple 'sraperboard' using wax crayons, 3D projects with card and clay, concertina books and the pom poms with a couple of rings of card! Many children don't really get to get dirty, cut or stick and just create and I find that sad. Even all those years ago it surprised me that a child's attention span had dropped to around 15 minutes ( that was later to follow with adult art classes using a similar timescale ), things needed to be made and finished with little joy or experimentation. I was an avid reader and got lost with images in my mind from the words but many were becoming spoilt by films and the emergence of using computers, preferring to watch rather than use their imagination. Today we are looking at all the Arts being cut back from the education system and this, I think is not a good thing to do.
I thought it would be nice to look at an older piece of work I had done and explain my thoughts, the process of doing it and what I would change, with hindsight of course! The image I have chosen is a scraperboard, for those of you who don't know what scraperboard is, it's a board coated with a thin film of white china clay with a layer of black indian ink over it. Using sharp tools, you scrape off the black to leave a white mark. It can make very striking works of art, originally used by illustrators alot. It can look like lino prints. Some of you may have tried the very simple form at school where you used coloured wax crayons, covered it all over in black wax crayon and scarped bits off! The joy of this is, as long as you have a black crayon, you can keep going over and over it! I started using scraperboard as a child, selling small bird works to make pocket money! Although for me the fact the line you see is white, my funny brain doesn't see that as a distraction, where I know some find it hard to work out! When you first start, the simplest thing is to draw, or trace the image on the black surface with a white watercolour pencil ( because it will wipe off ), don't press hard as it may scratch the black off. This can be corrected by painting on a little black indian ink but too many errors will eventually show up. You can use special tools or try a craft tool, though that won't be quite as responsive. I will be putting together a small scraperboard project at a later date, with everything in it to get you started, so keep looking on my blog for the offer!
The village is having its annual Scarecrow display today and of course, it's pouring down! Guess who decided to make and paint a cardboard one!! Usually I miss the dates for taking part, plus I always seem to leave things until the last minute! Glue gun, brushes, scissors and paint scattered around yesterday and I was still glueing, cutting and sticking last night with Alan telling me to stop faffing!! Once I get going I think of more bits I can do or add, a tweak here, a dab there and of course, at that point I was hoping the weather forecast was good! This morning came and.... it's raining! Plan B is activated and out comes the double sided sticky tape, scissors and cling film, this is not going to end well! 20 minutes later, red faced, cling film in shreds, double sided tape attached to just about everything it wasn't intended for and one sort of waterproofed scarecrow! On the front door he goes, (sorry postie if you call today!!) and ready for inspection. He could become some bizarre performance art piece, of course and be a soggy heap of wet cardboard, paint and cling film by the time we get back but I'll look on the bright side and expect his cheery smile when we get home! After this strange year, I feel the scarecrows are somehow reflecting the vibrant community spirit that is in the village now, showing that behind all those closed doors there are a myriad of tremendously talented people happily glueing and sticking with a smile on their faces!! (or like me, spend the next 2 days removing paint and double sided tape from the most peculiar places!)