I couldn’t decide on what combination I would use so preceded to gather all the necessary accoutrements that I could find. I found some scrap pieces of felt – synthetic and natural, some wadding, wool tops, embroidery thread, an assortment of beads and various pieces of synthetic organza. I finally decided to group them in threes so that each canvas would have three smaller canvases of a similar colour and design. By using similar techniques and theme on all three sets it would bring it all together. I decided to use the free machine embroidery sandwich technique, laying down a base piece of a solid colour to enhance the depth of the colours above. Next you lay down any wool tops, threads, yarns, other pieces of fabric, or any think you can think of to give you colour and or texture. Then cover all of the layers with a sheer fabric, in this case I’m going to use the synthetic organza. After some very tricky pinning I will stitch the base design and create texture and colour blending through the layers. Finally I will beat it to enhance and complement the underlying stitching.
The first set has a base of white wadding, and then a layer of brown and beige wools covered with white organza, stitched with tricolour metallic embroidery thread and beaded with tiny glass beads and shell pieces. The three embroidery patterns represent sand, shelves, and the bubbles created a at surfs edge.
The second set has a background of black felt, a layer of fairy organza, then the blue and green of Nancy’s Monsoon wool tops, all covered with a green organza and stitched in a deep blue metallic thread. As this set will hang in the middle of the three I chose not to bead it and to use the images of living things; fish faces, a giant clam, and a fan coral.
The third set has a bottom layer of blue felt, covered in a layer of blue wool tops, silk threads and throwers waste, topped off with a pale organza and embroidered with silver metallic thread. All three of these pieces are stitched with water themes; a swirling whirlpool, raindrops, and flowing water. Then beaded with glass beads and tiny little fish.
I sat at the table in my new sparklingly clean and organised
studio and thought “where the hell is everything?” First of all, I
couldn’t find my design book or even a pencil, then as the ideas began to flow
for my new bathroom project, I had no idea where anything was. Ideas would pop
into my head prompted by the creative side of my brain, but then the practical side
of my brain would say, “where did I put that?” This happened over and
over again. Finally I came to terms with the loss of my wonderful collection of
stuff, I had to be the new minimalist me and only use what I kept. There was no
point in racing downstairs to the garage, rummaging through the boxes marked
for the garage sale looking for that piece of frou-frou that I knew I had. Had
being the operative word. I have to let go of the things that won’t fit into my
new studio, I have to be content in the knowledge that this precious collection
of frou-frou will go to good homes and be cherished as much as they were by me.
So I got down to the job of designing my new bathroom
project, three canvases with three small square canvases on each where the photographs
once sat. This gives me three sets of three, nine in total to do something
with; lots of options to choose, three of the same on each canvas, three of the
same but one of each on each canvas, nine completely different, or nine all the
same. Continuing with the water theme seemed important, some of the ideas I
came up with, fish stars coral, water patterns, sea creatures, shells, and
tropical themes. In the end I chose to do three canvases with three different
patterns and colours but all tied together with the water theme and the
techniques used. One canvas will have water patterns stitched over sand colours
and beaded with shells and glass beads, the next we’ll have water patterns
stitched over ocean colours and beaded with pearls and glass beads, the last
one would have fish silhouettes stitched over metallic colours and beaded with glass
That is of course as long as I can find my sewing machine!
Apparently Larry King is credited with this quote he was
talking about getting his house in order to reduce the confusion, a direct
reference to personal organisation. It dawned on me that that is exactly what I
needed to do, after I started cleaning my studio the cleaning frenzy took over
and before I knew it, I had cleaned out, sorted, organised, and rearranged
every square inch of our house. I sorted out our wardrobes (the salvos did
really well out of that), I cleaned out the kitchen cupboards, I went through
the linen press, the music room got a going over, we read wired the house with
cat five cable, and I reorganised all of our object d’art. Then I set my sights
on the office; the tax records got a going over, I upgraded software, I started
scanning old resources, I took an inventory of everything we own (including
photos), I bought Dragon Dictate (dictation software to help with my RSI
problems), there was nothing left untouched.
Once the turmoil subsided and looked out upon my vastly
improved, and clean house and office I felt I was ready to be creative again.
First project up will be the new artwork throughout the upstairs bathroom. When
we first renovated bathroom are created three pieces which featured photographs
I had taken of various seaweed from around our vast coastline. Unfortunately
the UV has got to them and faded them badly, so I have a plan to stitch my way
out of my block. And of course share my project through my blog.
I haven’t written anything in my blog for a couple of months
now as I’ve had a massive creative block.
My creative juices were flowing freely until after we got back from
Europe, I came down with a virus which put everything on hold. Not just my uni
studies, but house work, office work, absolutely everything. My precious
Vauxhall Gardens has even come to a stop but luckily I have created the
majority of the structures and plants needed to complete the project. On top of
this, my son’s childhood friend is returning to live with us in a couple of months’
time. Which means the boys (well not really boys they’re nearly 20) will need
more room than just Tom’s bedroom to hang out and have fun, so I am giving up
my beloved studio for them. But this means I have to move out of my studio into
a room that is only one third of the size say on top of being unwell creatively
blocked I now had the prospect of moving 10 years’ worth of collected fabrics
paint craft items and sundry stuff into a room one third of the size. No wonder
I can’t be creative.
In my writing unit of the first semester, we spoke about
creative block or writers block as they call it, and the ways in which you can
get around or remove it. We discussed many ideas like; exercising, taking a
shower, going out, or cleaning the house. I usually find that my creative
blocks are caused by unfinished business, yet I couldn’t quite put my finger on
what it was that was bothering me. So determined, I plunged into moving my studio
into the smaller room. Creating havoc and mayhem in my house, and uncovering
long lost treasures buried deep within the boxes and draws of the gathered
stuff. Luckily, my gorgeous son was a willing participant in helping his poor
old mum sort through and rationalise the mountain like piles dotted around the
house. A garage sale this weekend should sort most of that out.
It was while I was cleaning up after myself, but I realised
my creative block was at my own doing; I had things that needed completing, I
had procrastinated about many things before we went to Europe, doing the
typical Aussie thing, “she’ll be right mate”. When in reality they
Singapore and Melaka were fabbo, we had a great time and I did buy 5 saris of which I will felt later. But I have neglected my blog, second life and housework. I’m not too worried about the last one but the other two are concerning. So here I am. My head is completely torn in two at the moment as both my Uni units are excellent! I have already spoken of my Georgian period experince in Second Life and will continue that thread but I haven’t spoken of my Creative Writing unit. Its the last one to complete my Minor and it is the Project – a 6000 word short story.
I have always approached writing creatively as I would any other creative process but today I realised that with writing you get loads of chances to make it just how you want it. In my normal practice I plan a project with enough detail to ensure the outcome is within my expectations but still allowing for necessary changes along the way. But with a felting or painting project, once you start the process, there is no rewrite. The result you get is it. There’s no do over – but in writing you can edit your work as many times as you wish.
I think this is a luxury, a creative luxury. Which ties up nicely with a reading I have just done for the History unit. Its about the roots of consumerism in Geogorgian England. The reading asks the question what is luxury? Is it brand names and expensive items? I don’t think so – I think luxury is anything that you would pay a price for. For some it could be an experience, for some it is Prada or Armani, for others it is as basic as eating. Luxury depends on your need. And the price is variable too. For some it is money, it could be time, it may even be integrity. But it is always a personal choice.