There are times when I just can’t sleep. When that happens, sometimes I read a book. Sometimes, I clean out my email inbox or Google reader (mind-numbing, right?) Sometimes, I just lie in bed and toss and turn.
Other times, I do things like this:
I can only imagine what it would have looked like to any early riser to see me traipsing back and forth over our lawn in my bare feet, on the wet grass, with guitar and camera in hand, at 5:30 in the morning…the things we do for art!
Are there things in your life you have lost and regained again?
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~e.e. cummings
One of my favourite types of art, is art created by children. Perhaps this is because I spend so much of my day with kids, or because I have spent so much time studying creativity and art in education, but perhaps it is just that their wonderful imaginations shine through their artwork, and it is truly amazing.
And one of my favourite things to do with children’s art is to bring their creations to life.
What began as Christmas gift for the students in my class a few years ago has now become part of my business.
And although it is often challenging, it never feels like work.
Today I had the pleasure of giving life to this awesome fire-breathing dinosaur:
It seems I was a bit ambitious when I decided that not only would I create art every day, but I would post it on this blog every day too! In my head, I always imagine that I will have time enough for everything, but in the end the day is over, and there is always items on my to-do list left over. This week, art happened, but blogging about it did not.
I started to beat myself up over this, and then I remembered the reason I joined Art Every Day. To make art. To join in with others who think art and creativity are important. To enjoy the process.
So that is what I am going to do. Create art. Every day. And sometimes I will post it here, and sometimes I won’t. And I will be ok with that. This is supposed to be fun, right?
Here are a few of the projects I worked on this week:
Some of the rainbow fabrics I had fun playing with on Day 5 became a fun rainbow pencil roll. (The pink fabric was chosen by a mom who wanted a roll for her pink-loving daughter. Cute, isn’t it?)
More playing with fabric as I cut circles and squares of Christmas prints for more flowers. I can’t wait to start sewing them together!
My students and I studied cave painting and then went outside and mixed up our own mud paint and created drawings on the playground pavement, with our hands! What fun we had!
And I started working on a pattern for a sweater dinosaur. My patterns aren’t much to look at, but here is what I drew for his friendly face. (It will look much better when he comes to life, it always does!)
For the first, I got to play around with creating fabric rainbows for pencil rolls. I love diving into the scrap bin and finding just the right fabrics , and no two rainbows are exactly alike. I made four different variations today, but here is my favourite:
And since I was playing with scraps, and the holidays are quickly approaching, I decided to work on a project I wanted to make last year, and never got around to. The first step: create a pile of fabric flowers. Here are the first two:
They look even better in real life – night time photography is not my specialty, but I always seem to be working on these projects when there is no natural light available!
I am loving the opportunity to create art every day, and also to appreciate the art that others are making, too. Take a look at some of the other participants and be inspired!
Yesterday was a full day of sewing. Hubby and I were off to a costume party last night and needed some medieval-type garb. Due to a date mix-up on my part, as of yesterday morning our costumes were just fabric pieces lying on the sewing room floor. But it’s amazing what one can do with a sewing machine in 6 hours!
Hubby got a long grey tunic, based on McCall’s 3789. The black cape almost didn’t happen. I had the fabric, but not the time (or so I thought.) But he seemed so disappointed that a cape would not be forthcoming that I did a quick Google search, discovered this tutorial, and had this little puppy done in 20 minutes (I think that must be a record!) Now, it’s not up to my usual standards, as I left all of the edges unfinished, but for one night’s wear, it was perfect, and was a much-needed accessory for a thief.
I did a lot of Internet reading on medieval/renaissance dressmaking in preparation for making my costume. I learned a lot about historical garb and fitting techniques that was truly fascinating, but for simplicity’s sake decided to make my costume from a pattern and chose Butterick 4827. The dress is not 100 percent historically accurate, but it certainly suited our purposes. I have to admit, I was a little worried about sewing this dress, especially with a short time limit! I have never made a dress with princess seams before, had never had to hem a curvy train, and have limited experience with grommets. However, I was really impressed with the pattern instructions, and was surprised at how easy it all was. I did have to make one change to the original pattern. After trying the dress on, I had to add a centre seam to keep the front from gaping open. It’s not ideal, but it worked for a quick solution and with the princess seams in front as well it doesn’t look out of place.
The lacing in the back is one of my favourite parts of this dress!
So, although this is a bit more “craft” than “art,” I did spend almost the entire day sewing, and that is art enough for me!
After yesterday’s success, I decided to play around with a little more embroidery today. This is pure doodle, like the kind of things I used to sketch in the margins of my note paper in university, or the things I absentmindedly draw when I am talking on the phone for awhile. It’s nothing amazing, but it was fun, and I am enjoying becoming more comfortable with stitching this way.
I think one of the important things about this challenge is to remember that sometimes the process if making art is more important than what is produced. Sometimes it is refreshing to allow yourself the luxury of creating something just for the sake of creating, and being gentle with yourself when it doesn’t turn out like you had imagined.
It is OK to not create a masterpiece every time. It is OK just to play, and to have fun, and to let your creativity have free rein.
Today I decided to try my hand at something I have been wanting to do for awhile – embroidery. I first decided I wanted to try something like this when I inherited a large amount of embroidery floss from my grandmother. A few weeks ago I was excited to find a few hoops at the local thrift store and have been waiting to “have the time” to get started ever since. Well, today was the day! This is one of the reasons why I love challenges like this. It forces me to get out of my comfort zone and to take the time to try something new.
I know there are lots of patterns for embroidery out there, but I decided instead to try something more freehand. I’m pretty pleased for my first attempt, and definitely think I’ll be doing more of this in the future!
Creating art, for me, is often about the words. I dance, I create music, I sew fabrics into quilts, I collage papers into artwork, and sometimes (but rarely) I even draw, and yet the words always shine through.
So, for this first day of November and Art Every Day I created a piece that is really, all about the words.
Welcome to my new home on the web! Although there is still some hammer and nailing going on in the background, and a few changes to come over the next few months, I am excited to be in my new home!
And what better way to christen a new blogging home than with some new projects?
This month I will be participating in the “Art Every Day Month” challenge, hosted by Creative Every Day. The goal is to create once piece of art every day (which is both exciting and scary!) I am looking forward to all that I will learn and create over the next few weeks and will, of course, post it all here.
November is also “Handmade Holidays” month on Sew, Mama, Sew, and although most of my sewing energy is going towards items for the shop, I am sure I will also squeeze in some time to make some handmade gifts of my own (or, at the very least, find lots of inspiration and add to my ever-expanding “to sew” list!)
It’s always so exciting to have new projects on the horizon, isn’t it? What will you be working on this month?