We’re well into the beginning of a new year and it’s taken until now for me to get back to writing again. As with any new year I’ve spent the time planning and preparing for any new challenges this year might bring as well as reflecting on the events and non events of last year.
2021 was another year of highs and lows but despite them all I have great hopes going forward. I’ve spent time recently tidying the studio which turned out to be an excercise in re-discovering things I’d completely forgotten about. For instance, I came across a box of lino cutting supplies which had been sadly neglected. I cleaned it out, threw away a few bits of manky dried out rubber, and after rearranging the tools back in their little holder I had the urge to have another go at it. The bottom of the box produced a few earlier fails but on the whole I’ve had a positive experience carving stamps. As I’ve been organising some workshop dates for 2022 and deciding on themes I think it might be nice to get the Mosaik group interested in stamp carving too. It’s a good reason to get back into it again anyway and It’ll be a nice complement to their mini books and scrapbook pages. The whole set is looking far too clean don’t you think?
Getting rid of things has helped me to thin out my shelves so now I can actually see what I have. It makes for a much more calming space now. I didn’t really need a box full of pipe cleaners and sparkly green bobbles anyway! It’s off to the recycling for me and time to break out the smelly candles and relaxing music!
Embracing the fails
The month of January has been Image Transfer month for the Messy Monday group on Facebook. Along with its members I’ve been demonstrating a few of my own hints and tips for making transfers on the gel plate. This is one technique where luck plays a big part in how well you can get a good transfer as well as lots and lots of practice. I think as a demonstrator I felt a huge amount of pressure to produce perfect prints every time which in reality I wasn’t getting, or at least it didn’t feel that way to me. I keep telling the group not to give up on their fails because anything can be salvaged so I think I should practice what I preach and stop being so negative. Once I stopped being so hard on myself I started to think, it is what it is, my idea of perfection has to come down a bit and… actually I really like my prints, faults and all. So with that in mind I posted in the group the good the bad and the downright ugly because that’s how life is and not everything will turn out the way we hope. I think the group apreciated the honesty so they could stop feeling like their own prints were fails too and embrace the little imperfections.
It’s all very well having a stack of prints but the question is what to do with them? I know this is something the group would be eager to find out so I’ve incorporated a few into some projects which you can see here.
Cropped and enhanced with pencils, pens or paint, they can look so much better.
That’s it for now, I’ll be back soon with some more news from the studio.
Last week I demonstrated how I created a simple and quick mini album using the contents of my monthly subscription box from Paper Pen and Plan with a cover made out of the cardboard box it all arrived in.
This week I can show you the finished mini all decorated and ready to go. I still need to fill its pages but it looks bright and cheery on my desk right now.
While I was at it I also made a little tag to put in it from some of the bits and pieces which also came in the box.
The strip of doily is actually the little piece which was trimmed from the book cover and turned over. So nothing is wasted.
I hope it’s sunny where you are? Spring is definitely here today at least so I’m off to do some garden chores.
We’re well into 2021 by now and here in the studio I’m trying to focus on anything which takes attention away from the on going pandemic blues.
My morning forest walks with Cooper are helping immensely and give me time to reflect and imagine new projects and ideas.
These New Year cards are in the shop at the moment in packs of 3 and are the perfect way to stay in touch with people who you can’t see right now. You can find them here by following this link.
Last summer I made this cute little art journal from a pile of geli prints but since then it’s been on my shelf and admired but not added to. I’ve decided to put that right this year and add a quick collage or piece of artwork once a week. Being so small it’s the perfect place to create something quick and with the backgrounds already painted, less intimidating and satisfies a need for me to create art in some way. I recommend it to anyone, get out your stash, make a mini journal and keep a few scraps in a box for collage, add a sticker and it’s done!
Usually about this time I’d be stressing about decorations, food, drinks and everything else which goes with this festive time of year. I’m a total Christmas control freak, everything has to be perfect. Turkey dinner is sacred. Even when we lived in the Middle East, I insisted we sourced a turkey, had stuffing and bread sauce sent from England and the year we were invited to have BBQ lobster on the beach, I made us go home afterwards to eat the obligatory turkey!
This Christmas will obviously be a very different one all round. Having a large family used to gathering together for sunday lunches, the rule of two visitors only is proving challenging. We’ve had to work out who is available when, so we can see each other over the holiday period. It’s all put a bit of a different spin on the festivities. I’m thinking we’ll break with tradition on Christmas day and all eat vegetarian. I seem to be the only one these days eating meat anyway so what the heck! I’m not sure yet what it’ll be but it won’t be a nut roast and it may involve a lobster!
With Christmas in sight that means a shiny new year is dawning and finally we get to draw a line under this dreadful year. In anticipation of this awaited event, I’ve started preparing my planner for the January hand over by creating the first dashboard. After a few months ago switching back to my ringed planner but using bullet journal pages, I’m sticking with this hybrid formula excited to start a brand new year in it.
I hope everyone has a good Christmas and a stress free journey into 2021.