Friday, 15 March 2019

Philosophy in Five - on Friday

I've spent a lot of the last few weeks making cards - endless cards! I've made close to 100 handmade, stitched cards for sale at the Ramster embroidery exhibition taking place over the next two weeks, and also for my stand at Brockenhurst in April. I've been on a roll, making these little miniatures, as well as a few larger unframed pieces for the browsers.

So it's inevitable that having delivered my work to Ramster on Monday, I came a bit unstuck as to what to do next. It's not that there's nothing I should be doing, I've just lost the momentum of preparing for an imminent deadline.

At times like this, I tend to flit from one task to another, and all I can do is stick with it, keep doing, and eventually something will gather enough momentum to hold my attention for more than a day and then I'm off again.

So here's what I've been doing - and by writing them down, I realise that yeah, maybe they are more linked than random, and together I think they sum up my creative philosophy quite nicely:

1. Use what you have

In my general pottering about the studio, picking things up and putting them down again, I bought a new box of tissues. I was about to recycle the old box but I was struck by the patterns (it was no accident that I chose that brand and that box at the time). So I rummaged in my little heap of scraps for some things I could combine and had a little play. I'm not sure what happens next, but I think it'll involve punching stitching holes and using bright thread.

2. Just because something is broken and discarded doesn't mean it isn't beautiful

I've also been working my way through my growing collection of broken jewellery and beads - removing findings, cleaning up, cutting strings to get at the little lovelies. I've been starting to edge some of my embroideries with beads and dangles, and want to do more. I'll package up the surplus beads with fabrics (see below).

3. Second-hand fabric is nearly always more interesting than new

And I've been having a high old time, creating huge messes on the floor, cutting the selvedges and cuffs and collars off my stash of second-hand goodies.

I even save the little strips from folded cuffs and hems - perfect for cards and miniatures.

These fabrics will all find their way into my creations, and the surplus will go into more Creativity Packs. I made some packs a while ago (too long ago - I love doing it, so I don't know why I haven't done any more!) and they flew out of the Etsy shop - so these next packs will be for sale at Brockenhurst.

4. Buy one get one free - don't overlook the freebies - also known as Use Everything

Cutting up clothes yields buttons and trims, and I've now got a new cowl/scarf because I bought it for the lacy edge (now removed and stowed in the stash) and kept the rest! I'm wearing it today, and it's my new favourite thing.

Also, the scraps from cutting up every little bit will go back to the charity shop, because they can get money from selling rag. The best selvedges I will save and use - for tying boxes shut, tying bundles, making cords, or using in embroideries.

5. Colour is wonderful

I also took some time yesterday (OK, all day) to cut skeins of white cotton thread (from a massive cone I found in a charity shop years ago) and dye it. I dyed some cotton fabric at the same time, to mop up the excess dye. I am not an expert dyer, and I don't do it frequently enough to have a good system - which is why it takes so long! - but I'm loving the results. Again, these will be on my stand at Brockenhurst in some form or other - in my embroidery, in miniatures/cards, or for sale separately or in the Creativity Packs.