You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.
As I grow older my memory gets worse, so I found myself this afternoon going through the last year of photo’s muttering “Was that this year? Really?” The above photo says a lot of what this year has brought. It’s easy to forget once it’s passed, where you’ve been and the fear and risks taken, but to end the year with six paintings in two local shows has been my biggest dream come true this year.
I stuck to my painting day like it was real work (tongue is in cheek there) and made it a habit. Out of that came all this painting and creativity and peace and sanity. I kept going and found I’d built a body of work which I could call a portfolio. I finally learnt how to use Photoshop and found endless possibilities open up. I approached a new gallery and continued to have selections for an exisiting one.
It would also appear that I make a lot of cakes! Some for birthday’s other just because I feel like the world is the right way up if there is cake in the tin to be eaten.
We moved house after eleven long years in a beautiful house which saw us bring up our babies. It was a wrench. But we moved only five minutes away and I’ve never looked back. This house has space in abundance, the woods on hand like an extra garden and so many opportunities for decorating (tongue back in cheek). I’d even forgotten the garden furniture fiasco (six days to paint with the wrong paint). Then there is my studio space which is the cherry, and icing and sprinkles, on top of the cake.
The support and love of friends and family is hard to document here as not many want their pic’s on the web but you underscore everything I am and do. Even our pets play a big part – with one miracle guinea-pig surviving the death knoll of the vet.
There has been an abundance of sewing (a new quilt made) trying to crochet, learning to crochet and then actual real, useable crochet!
And then there’s you. Some of whom I feel I know because we exchange comments online, my friends and family and those of you who drop by anonymously. Thank you for enjoying my blog, or using it or being inspired by it.
I wish all of you a light-filled, peaceful New Year. Claire x
I’m enjoying the quiet that these in-between days bring. Everyone is socialised, fed, tired and have new presents to distract them and I can disappear up to my studio. It seems like an age since I pottered and painted, pottered and thought, pottered and followed my creative flow. I’m like a pig in muck!
I caught up with my November sketchbook page. Some pressed leaves ( I need a tree identification book next!) and this chirpy little Robin. Not much to include as I’d missed the boat a bit on this month.
I found in my local Oxfam book shop this adorable Ladybird Third Book of British Birds printed in 1954. It has an inscription from Uncle Reg and Auntie Keira to Rose-Marie. Then on the next page in endearing child’s type she has written her own name; Rosemary Brookes. And if all of that wasn’t worth a few pounds to charity, then these stunning illustrations are.
I’m also learning all that I never knew (a lot) about birds. I love to see Robins in the garden. Such cheerful chappies, they remind me of Beatrix Potter’s Mr McGregor which in turn reminds me of many Mr McGregor games played with our eldest who adored the story and the naughty rabbits when he was younger. So I’m choosing to ignore my new-found fact that Robins fight each other a lot and instead indulge my nostalgic memories.
This Christmas will be remembered for enjoying many snowy walks and some toboganing, lots of cooking and even more eating, getting a whole still life full of Pip Studio china and fab new ‘fur’ lined slippers (can’t talk these up enough), playing many games of Scrabble, Apples to Apples and the Dirty Horse Racing Game, hanging out with family and finding a bit of time to reflect on past and present. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmases too. I love this in-between bit before New Year. I’m pottering in the studio, reading, clearing up, making plans and eating my way through our cheese mountain!
Sometimes its fatal to see an object in a shop with a princely price tag and utter the words “I could make that!”
Because maybe I could make that and it would be a lot of fun and apart from sending to America for Christmas fabric, it would be cheaper.
It might also lengthen the to do list in an unnecessary way and not get noticed by anyone who calls round!
Still I enjoyed making these little birdies helped this time by using the bird pattern in the back of Cath Kidston’s “Sew” book. (Last time I made birds they looked more related to dinosaurs and never made it to my blog – wonder why!)
It was worth the extra fuss to make wings for them even if it did contribute to breaking the sewing machine and cause the curtain making delay (which was a necessary job).
I think I might get away with leaving it up all year – what do you think?
I first got the idea for this Christmas banner whilst browsing at the Quilt Show a couple of years ago. It was on the dandeliondesigns stall. I just checked her website and it doesn’t seem to be there anymore (so I feel better about my inspired version!) but credit where credit is due.
I made mine with a good quality red felt (found online somewhere) and vintage mother of pearl buttons from my Grandma’s button box.
It was a joy to make and is a joy to look at!
A few weeks back I discovered this wonderful online store. http://www.equilter.com doesn’t wow you at first sight but it has a really cool function where by you can pinboard the fabrics you are choosing and view them all together to see how they match or contrast.
And that is how I came about this little stash of Christmas beauties.
I have been whizzing away making (I must confess, unnecessary, decorations) but aren’t they always the most fun.
But now the sewing machine has literally ground to a halt and stopped me in my tracks. So while it’s at the mender I am forced to spend my time on the necessities of Christmas! I’ll try to photograph what I’ve made and show you soon.
Sunday saw the opening of the new Christmas show at the Purple Gallery. I was so proud to have my work included in a group of wonderful work by artists such as Angela Harding and Ruth Green to name a few.
The gallery is jammed packed with great prints (at really good prices) and some lovely jewellery. Certainly worth a look if you’re in the area.
This is the first time that I have work in two shows at once and what a wonderful way to see out the year. I could pinch myself to believe it’s really happening.
Click here if you’d like to see my Purple Gallery artists page. I had a ‘moment’ when I saw it. One of those milestone moments when you awake mid dream to find it’s real. Happy days!
Happy Sunday! Thank you SO much for all the very lovely comments on my last Creative Tuesday post. I’ve been enjoying them and rapidly finishing our decorating projects (nearly there) and beginning to decorate for Christmas. I didn’t mean not to blog – I just got caught up!
So I thought that today would be a good day to enjoy looking at someone else’s lovely work. These are the textiles by screen printer SkinnyLaminx. She has a simple, restrained approach to her work which I find inspiring as I haven’t yet learnt that less is more!
Have a look at his link to watch a charming little video which shows you her gorgeous home in South Africa. Off to dream dreams now about living in the sunshine and having a screen print studio….
One reason I love taking part in the Creative Tuesdays is because it makes me push myself a little bit more than I would if left to my own devices. When it’s 9pm for example and bed a book sounds good, or when my studio is too messy to get paints out anywhere, or when I don’t have a ready idea of what to paint. But mostly I love how it makes me mull over a theme and get to the nub of it before I can visualise it on paper.
It was especially rewarding to think about the theme of Holidays. I could have communicated all my moans and groans; how much there is extra to do, how busy we get at school, the money that gets spent… but when I really thought about what it means to me simply, it was this; family, good food, present’s and in the middle of it all where He should be, a baby who came to bring his presence. Check out the above link to see what everyone else made of Holidays.