Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Golly gosh. There were lots of responses to my last post. Clearly we are all afflicted with craftstipation at one time or another. Thank you, I found the empathy and advice most helpful.
I thought I should collate the wisdom that was imparted in the comments and feed it back to you all. So, here's what you had to say!!
Warning: longish post. Have moved from craftstipation to bloggarrhoea it seems!
Top tips for curing craftstipation:
1. Write some lists!
It's all about the lists, baby. This seems obvious, but actually I needed the reminder that getting things out of the head and down on paper can stop those overwhelming feelings of fear and directionlessness as I approach the craft zone, or the concern that if I don't start something new NOW I'll forget it (thanks to Curlypops, and Nikki the resident schoolmarm!). Of course, writing one big long jumbled of every creative urge and project is not helpful, so I've also taken on board the suggestion to categorize. I've now separated out my various creative lists into these categories:
*'TO DO' LIST: for the things I have promised and/or should be done to a deadline.
*'ON HOLD' LIST: for things that have been started but are not essential to finish or can wait a while (thanks Dillpickle). Some of these may move up onto the 'TO DO' LIST, or they may end up being chucked (if I can be ruthless like Mim!).
*The 'PRACTICAL CRAFT' LIST: for the mending, home-decorating or home-improvement creative projects. And for me, Wardrobe Refashioning goes here.
*The 'INSPIRATION/DREAMING' LIST: for the zillion things I find in my blog/book travels and would like to try one day (but not right now).
2. Limit your main projects list.
A really long list is not very motivating. Some very helpful advice came from Cherie of willywagtail who suggested a 'mini list' of just THREE projects, which you put in order and give yourself 'all the time in the world' to do. I think this is great advice. For me, the 'perceived pressure' (rather than actual pressure) can cause me to stall. I've combined this with Ellie of petalplum's suggestion to put time frames on things.
So now, my 'TO DO' LIST has just three items on it, all broken down into a few small steps so that I know what I'm up to and can even just do a little bit next time I make the time to craft. This already feels a lot better, and I'm looking forward to getting out my sewing machine tonight, as I know what I will be doing.
Oh, and I may well join in with 'Target Tuesday' over at Woolywotnots. For the accountability.
3. Don't promise things to people.
I'm a bit of a compulsive giver, and now a compulsive maker-for-others. Sounds like a few of us are in the same boat - turning our passion into obligation, promising things to friends and family then feeling like we can't deliver!
Leonie of Raglan Guld is onto a good thing I think with her advice - just stop promising things to people. Ellie suggested the same. This doesn't mean stop making anything for others - that's what I DO! - but keeping it a surprise takes away obligation and means there is an 'out'. So I'm going to try really hard to stop piping up with the phrase 'oh, I could make you one of those' or 'hey, I'm making you a little something'.
4. Do something creative for yourself.
This must be especially difficult for those who craft for business as well as pleasure I imagine. But I'm guilty of it, as Jenaveve of August Street identified! I'm going to take on board the suggestion from Bek of Red Chocolate and alternate between my lists. Now that I've separated things out a bit, I think I might be able to do that, and have a play around with some things on my INSPIRATION LIST without feeling like I've lost my way with my TO DO LIST.
There was a great post I read a while ago (was it from you, Jenaveve?) which described crafting without judging. Giving myself permission to potter with new materials and techniques without it having to become a new full-blown 'project' might help fulfil some of those creative urges and stop the stagnation.
5. Remember it's cyclical!
This reminder from M* was helpful. We're going to fluctuate and have down times. And as Linda at two pink possums said, you can't force the mojo! Be kind to myself. Eat chocolate (strong theme there people!). Browse blogland for inspiration and encouragement.
Despite my feelings of frustration, I have actually found this craft hiatus a very good time for some of the bigger-picture decluttering/creative recluttering that I'm trying to do. The fruits of which will appear in blog posts in the near future... yep, I think bloggarrhoea might be setting in for good!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Do you ever get all chocked up with projects that don't want to budge? I believe the technical term for this predicament is called craftstipation. Are you a sufferer? What brings it on? What helps you to get things moving again?
I've been getting a little 'stuck' on pretty much everything I'm trying to do craft-wise at the moment. I could blame lots of things but I know what the real problem is. I've loaded myself with too many projects, set the bar too high, and now I'm procrastinating because I feel overwhelmed. Even though this is a hobby and a passion, sometimes I turn it into an obligation in my own head.
Some of the projects in my 'have started, must finish' basket include:
- The scarf that I promised in my recent giveaway (sorry dillpickle!)
- Five softies
- Woodland cap for a friend's babe
- A felted jumper-vest creation for a friend
- A denim skirt modification for a friend
- Felted wrist warmers
Unfortunately for me, procrastination involves FURTHER CRAFTING. So now not only do I have a list of things that I've started and really ought to finish, I also have an ever-growing list of ridiculous projects that I feel I must try or I will never be a complete person. These include:
- Resin-casting some old doilies
- Making a bean-bag out of old jeans
- Making a run of fabric brooches. Yes, that's right, a run, couldn't possibly just make ONE.
- More 'fashion aprons'
- Printing on fabric (with lino-cuts, stencils, and potatoes)
- Quilt from vintage sheeting
This is totally the tip of the iceberg and doesn't include my pile of mending, my wardrobe refashion ideas or my desire to make some clothing for me and the boys from scratch.
Help! Any tips on how to keep regular?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Today the parcel delivery guy came a-knockin', and he handed me a wonderful surprise package from Liesl of Hoppo Bumpo, containing the contraptions you see above - knitting looms!
Liesl recently 'commissioned' a Swiney for the virologist in her life, and has very generously bestowed me with this loom set in return, following my fawning admiration of her loom-inous scarf.
As someone who seems to be allergic to knitting needles, I'm thrilled by this acquisition!! Thanks Liesl! I spent a good deal of this afternoon checking out some loom knitting on YouTube.
Another little family member was also quite excited by the new gadgets, which quickly became instruments of entrapment and torture:
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Donned an oversized old t-shirt. Asked the Beloved (in breathy voice) to wrap me in packing-tape. He was less interested when he realised it was a craft-related project, but by then he was committed.
Why yes, I do feel highly attractive, thanks for asking. And no, I don't know where my waist went, either, but if you see it, tell it to come home...
Stuffed Mrs Doubtfire (and all her devastatingly exposed lumps and bumps) with fabric scraps and an old pillow, trying to replicate my own figure and resisting the urge to just pinch the waist in a few inches, or flatten out those abs...
We made the mount out of a coat hanger and an old extendable duster handle, and inserted it into the base of a freestanding fan.
Decided to preserve Mrs D's modesty somewhat with a singlet. Oh, and her waist needed cinching in a bit, hence the belt.
I do hope Mrs D will be helpful in my refashioning endeavours, and get me over some of those procrastination hurdles. Meanwhile, she makes a fine coat stand. Personally, I'm just chuffed to have put my money where my mouth is, and made something new and useful out of some of the junk already cluttering up my home.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This picture was taken far too early this morning - we arise well before light in this house, thanks to an overactive toddler. I was surreptitiously doing some mental crafting with these fabrics whilst building walls with Wilski-bear. He's a little precocious for a 2-year-old, but sadly can't read, or he may have taken the not-so-subtle hint I left him and put the kettle on!!
The check-themed fabrics - thrifted blanket, thrifted, felted jumper and scrap-bin find - are destined to become a 'woodland cap' for a newborn baby, and a new softie of some description, for a friend.
Speaking of softies, I'm delighted to finally show you the results of my creative space endeavours of a few weeks ago:
A happy combination of felted jumper, eco-fi, old pillowcases and stash fabrics resulted in these creations (all based on items from the book More Softies). My first ever softies, they were destined for my Pay-It-Forward recipients, and I'm happy to report that each has now found its new home.
1. Vernon the Robot Bear left his brother Bertrand behind (with my Beloved, who wouldn't part with him!!) and was dropped in to the lovely Mim at Olive Grove Studios yesterday;
2. Polly travelled over the waters to Lauren and her little owlets who promptly made her feel at home;
3. Elsie the lumpy, lopsided, loveable pup has settled in nicely with Tricia and Little Eco in her new digs up north.
Anyway, I'm off to check out some more creative spaces via kootoyoo... wanna come?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The first Swiney goes to no8, Tania (of Myrtle & Eunice fame). Tania, I wonder what might befall a certain store if you pin a Swiney to your newest creation. The mind boggles!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Sitting outside next to Hudson our Christiania bike, waiting for the little Pudding to wake from his nap, looking at this pattern and wondering where on earth to start. In line with my Wardrobe Refashion pledge, and inspired by the efforts of Jenaveve of August Street and Bek of Red Chocolate, I'm going to make me a skirt from scratch. Using a pattern, even. Well, we'll see how far I get with that...
Other creative spaces via kootoyoo.
PS if you're interested in winning yourself a little something, pop down here and enter my no-strings-attached, just-for-the-heck-of-it Wintry Giveaway. There's a scarf and two Swineys up for grabs...
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Each week I'm enjoying participating in kootoyoo's Creative Spaces. There are some truly beautiful spaces and creations happening around the place, and I enjoy checking out Kirsty's favourite space each week too.
As for mine... well, it's all a bit ugly really. As per my last post, I'm currently occupied with making more Swineys for my beloved's work colleagues. So the above bits and bobs are waiting to become this little swine 'flu softie:
Monday, June 1, 2009
Made me a nice little swine 'flu virus mini-softie last night. I wanted something to hand-sew whilst watching the TV with my Beloved. As a doctor working in the field of infectious diseases, he's up to his eyeballs in all things swine 'flu, so he pulled up this cross-section virus diagram and asked me to replicate it:
What with the swine 'flu cases in Melbourne ramping up, things are busier at work and hubby figured a bit of humour wouldn't go astray. He loves it because it's virologically accurate, from the cute green neuraminidases and swanky red haemagglutinin right down to the 8 strands of RNA in the middle.
The Beloved wore 'Swiney' pinned to his shirt today, and apparently now the orders are flooding in from his nerdy colleagues. Who knows, this could be my portal to fame and fortune. Or not...