Monday, May 1, 2023

April review

April has been a lot of time at home with school holidays. I am very lucky to work at a school so get good breaks and no longer have small children so I can be more flexible with my time. After a week of holidays, I was feeling a bit torn about my lack of finished creative projects and thought I would share some of an email I sent to a friend about this: 
I am still being creative but it seems to be a slow process and I'm not posting much completed stuff at the moment. I seem to be able to keep going with my stitched roll project - lovely to have something small and achievable each fortnight - and recently there was a special deal so I joined Wendy Solganik's Love your imperfect letters class which I am enjoying but there is a lot of ground work to do before it ends up in my journal. I am currently on school holidays so have been socialising with extended family and friends and getting some housework catch ups done (cleaning the oven, deadheading roses for final autumn flush), as well as some time for reading. All good stuff but there are only so many hours and we have to make choices. I sometimes feel despondent when I scroll on Instagram or FB and see others creating a lot. It's a tricky balance to be inspired rather than tipping the other way.
A top tip from me is to take photos of your creativity every day so that you notice that you ARE doing something and save them electronically to look back at. I have a folder on my computer where I keep a record of what I'm creating, reading and watching each month. Creating this monthly review on my blog also helps. We can be so hard on ourselves and some of the stories we tell ourselves - "I'm not being very creative" - are just not true. I've addressed this topic a few times on my blog in the past. There's a good summary of my philosophy here and I even have a link to all my posts on this topic if you want to explore more:  Finding time to create. Recently I've been re-inspired by Gretchen Rubin
Scheduling blocks of time in your day means you can make time for what matters to you. I hope you understand the dance of creative seasons and can give yourself some grace if you are not creating or finishing as much as you would like. 
I decided to use some of my holiday time to work on the altered photo project with Jane Chipp from March. See my full post about this project here. These are a couple of sneak peeks.
And I was also very lucky to have a play day with a couple of friends where we revisited some techniques from the lessons with Liz Constable in January. Still a lot to explore from her book too. 
You can still join us in Fodder School (that link will take you to both 1 and 2) plus there is going to be a Fodder School 3 and you can already register for the Free Fodder challenge 2023 event which introduces us to all the teachers in July. 
Progress on my stitched "Down the garden path" roll. This is a free youtube fortnightly prompt and demonstration. See the entire playlist HERE. One of the early prompts in January was Garden Gate. I did mine and then had to wait until I was inspired for something to go behind it. Inspired yet again by Jane Chipp's lessons, I decided to do a fabric transfer of my mum in her garden. I used a laser copy (reversed the photo) glued face down to a fabric serviette.
Left overnight so completely dry and then sprayed with a little water and gently rubbed off the paper layer leaving the image.
You need to keep letting it dry and then removing the rest of the paper gently. It will show up white once dry.  Inktense pencils, beads and stitching to finish.
April's prompts have been A Garden Seat or Bench and a Pond. I'll have to share the Pond next time since I've had a headcold for the last few days. I am very happy with my Garden bench and the extra visitor ♥ 
I hope there's lots more creative joy for all of us in May. 

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