I never really consider January to be the start of my year. I think maybe this could be partly because the Christmas decorations are still up at the beginning of the month and we’re still wading through the cheese, chocolate and other naughty but tasty treats left over. January in the garden is a bit of a nothing month on the whole. If I get a dry-ish day I’ll get out and cut down or tidy up but the garden is mostly devoid of any colour or beauty. February however is when the garden is starting to wake up, nature is coming to life, the inspiration is flowing and Spring isn’t too far away. Yesterday 2nd February was liichtmessdag here, also known as Candlemas. Small children go door to door with lanterns bringing in the light and singing their song in return for sweets.
On my afternoon dog walk I can see one of my favourite little late winter flowers, the snowdrop. I’m very lucky indeed to live in a village with a beautiful castle with a well loved garden. The snowdrop display under the trees is one of my favourite sites to visit.
I’ve photographed them often but I don’t think I’ve ever sketched them let alone painted them. Since one of my goals for this year is to paint more I decided I’d better right this wrong.
I was given some Winsor & Newton paint tubes for Christmas so I’ve been itching to try them out. I usually use paint pans so tubes are new to me. The colours in this particular set are beautiful and vibrant. Mixing them is a dream. I don’t know why I’ve been so reluctant to use tubes in the past. They’re so easy to use.
I look forward to the shift in the season with all the inspiration which comes with it.
You may have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet here over the past few months as I’ve been spending more time with my family and less on my little business. I’ve decided to slim things down a bit and simplify Basement Studio. This slimmed down version of Basement Studio will allow me to dedicate my time to the family while spending a couple of days a week in the studio creating without pressure. I love doing what I do so I won’t be going anywhere in a hurry.
This means I am having a big clearance sale of many craft items, some from past workshops but most of it is craft materials which I have left on the shelves.
SALE LASTS UNTIL NOVEMBER 30TH
To make things easier I’ve bundled lots of items together in art boxes and packages. These offer amazing value with at least half price savings on many craft products.
I’ve also decided to include a few mystery boxes. For only 20€ these boxes will give you amazing value for money as well as a fantastic surprise on the doorstep. You can’t choose a box or its contents but if you’re willing to take the chance I guarantee you’ll be getting at least 50% off most items. In fact by the time I’ve finished putting things in the box its value will be even more!
Everything has to go so don’t miss out on a fantastic bargain!
The clearance will last until December so not long really.
We all experience them at one time or another. It’s like a wall of fatigue which stands in the way of anything creative allowing self doubt to creep in along with a general can’t be bothered attitude. I know because I’m in the middle of one right now. I want to sit on the sofa in pj’s and stare out of the window, the place which usually gives me so much inspiration, and eat crisps. I haven’t sketched anything for ages or made anything either, I’ve no inclination to go into my basement and do anything yet in a strange way my hands and my brain are itching to do something creative. The question is what?
Over the past few months I’ve spent quite a bit of money on online courses from urban sketching and watercolour to digital painting in the hope it’ll kick-start some crafty cogs into working again, and while I’ve learned a lot I just don’t seem to be happy with anything I’ve done.
I suppose at this time of year I’d be spending much more time outside in the garden dead heading and weeding which keeps me busy but with the intense dryness this year my garden is looking more like scrubland with a few crispy plant stalks sticking out to add emphasis to its sorry state. This is my haven, my inspiration, place of joy. I know it’ll come back next year, hopefully, but right now it’s not helping my mood.
I did have a sort out and got rid of a few things which I didn’t use. This made me feel better for a while. It was quite satisfying to clear out hoarded papers and old neglected stamps. I moved other things around to fill the spaces so I wouldn’t be tempted to just buy more. It’s much less chaotic now helping me to move forward and hopefully I’ve made someone’s day with the bits I’ve taken to the recycling shop.
I’ve asked around and it seems that focussing on something completely different is the key. Where I would normally be gardening, I’ve taken out the crochet again and I think it’s working. It’s giving my hands something creative to do and while I’m concentrating I’m not thinking about anything else. This morning I picked up one of those on-line courses again to finish it off and decided to give it another go.
Happy day – the fog is lifting all be it slowly. Maybe I just need to wait it out.
I’ve put together some stamping kits for my stand at KUKI which include one of my Town House stamps. I decided I’d better make a few samples to go with the card kits so that’s what I spent this morning doing. It was quite nice actually to simply do a bit bit of colouring in, I can’t remember the last time I did that.
This is what the front of the instruction sheet looks like.
I laid everything out yesterday and mocked up my table. It doesn’t look much here but I’m hoping on the day I can make it look better.
I have a couple of ideas to make it look better on Sunday as I’m very aware it has to look good from outside the tent to entice people in.
Anyway, once I’d taken a few photos I packed it all up again ready.
I’ll tell you next week how it went. I think the only thing worrying me at the moment is the weather.