2020 – So long… farewell

You know you’ve been away from your website for a long time when you don’t recognize any of the screens because the system has updated (probably multiple times). Sigh. I’ll try to do better.

At the start of a new year, reflection on the past year is almost inevitable, as is looking forward. We all know that 2020 has been a truly strange year that has impacted people in so many different and profound ways. In a year that found me spending more time at home than ever before, I would have expected a burst of productivity and creativity, but it has been completely the opposite. I feel the need to change that.

I’ve always had a fear of sketchbooks – really any notebook. That first pen mark felt so important – if my name was not written just right, it tainted the whole book and I didn’t want to use it (yes, I have many empty notebooks with only my name in them). Sketchbooks were a double whammy – I didn’t just worry over the first pen mark, but trying to get past insecurities over my lack of drawing skills.

In past years I have participated in several Instagram challenges for jewellery making, but I rarely finish them. This year I thought I would go a different route. I noticed that a lots of artists choose a word or concept to focus on or guide them through their year of creativity.

I’ve been working my way through a series of free mini classes from Carla Sonheim’s Presents online classes site – they are the “Best of” Lessons from their teachers, celebrating their 10 year anniversary. I first learned about the site from an artist at a show I participated in, and I like the quirkiness, lightness, and even silliness of many of the offered classes (several are free). As I watch, the word that keeps jumping into my brain is play. Sounds so easy, but I find it tricky. 

I watched Lynn Whipple’s List Painting class (part of the 10 year anniversary class), and decided the exercise she taught would be a good way to focus my thoughts on the word(s) I would choose. I have not yet created the painting, but I have been brainstorming on what is creatively important to me right now.

Could I narrow this collection of words down to just one for the year? Nope – I like lists, and I’m always over-wordy. So my list:

  • Abandon – as in “to create with abandon”
  • Permission – permission to play – not everything has to be perfect or ready for sale – playing is important
  • Mark-making – just make marks – there are no wrong marks – I will not break the sketchbook
  • Exploration / Experimentation – I put these together as they feel similar – explore new mediums – experiment with layers and how different mediums work together. Add and subtract materials, stop worrying about the end result – enjoy the journey
  • Learning – watch and learn from what others do, take classes (online these days). Don’t just watch, do!
  • Play – that had to be part of the list – just have fun with it all!

I’m always thinking about jewellery/artwork I could post on social media (for me that is just Instagram) to keep my page current and engaging. I find that limiting, as it changes my reasons for creating, and I start stressing about what people will think. This list, while it will impact the work I share, is focused on the work that is not shared – what I do to increase my confidence, skills and knowledge creatively, while having fun.

As I have done nothing artsy, I have nothing to share, but I will include a picture of my cat, because why wouldn’t I?? Sadly I lost my beautiful dear Smudge at the beginning of this year, and by mid-March I was going a bit crazy without feline companionship. Happily I was able to bring Sally into my home just as the pandemic was shutting everything down – she can be a monster, but I love her.

I wish you creative days and all the good things that are out there, and hope this year brings everyone some joy – it’s well deserved.

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Fall Workshops

It has been a very long time since my last post – whoops! But I’m happy to let you know that there are two autumn needle felting workshops scheduled at the Beehive Wool Shop, located at 1700 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC. These workshops are for beginners – no experience required. All supplies will be provided.

The first will be on Sunday, October 20, from 10:30am – 12:30pm, and we will be making a needle felted pumpkin.

The second workshop will be on Sunday, November 17, from 10:30am – 12:30pm, and we will be making a fox.

You can sign up for the classes via the Beehive website. Hope to see you there!

Pumpkins

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Upcoming Show

Exciting news – I have a show coming up! If you’re in my list of contacts, you’ll probably see this twice… sorry about that…

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Upcoming Fibre Market

It’s almost time for the fall Island Knits Yarn and Fibre Market – yay!  I’m happy to be participating again – it’s such a lovely day of talented makers and gorgeous colours and textures.  I should also mention the incredibly yummy food available from the vendor restaurants at the Victoria Public Market.

I’d love to see you on November 10th!

 

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I’m pickin’ up good Fibrations

You’re probably thinking “boy is she bad at spelling – she’s made a spelling error in the title.”  Nope – it’s correct.  Have you heard of Fibrations?  It’s a yearly community-based celebration of fibre, and this year I’m going to be part of the market – yikes!  It’s a bit terrifying as it is a larger market than any I’ve done before, and I have will have much more space than my usual 3×6 table.  I’ve vowed to myself that I’m not going to leave everything until the last minute (like I usually do), and I’ve already started working on some jewellery and wet felting.  Fingers crossed I can keep it up or I will be one stressed Dee in August!

Here are the details:

Fibrations 2018

When: Sunday, August 19, 2018, from 10-4

Where: The Fairfield Gonzales Community Place, 1330 Fairfield Road, Victoria, BC

Ryan and Stephanie, owners of Knotty By Nature, are the organizers of the event.  To help keep costs low for the artists/vendors, they organize a fundraising raffle – the vendors all contribute handmade items, fibre, yarns or tools to be raffled.

On the day of the event you can buy your raffle tickets at the raffle table for $2 each.  With your ticket(s) you get to choose which prize(s) you might win.  There is a strong fibre arts community in Victoria, and it definitely shows in the potential prizes.

You can find the Fibrations website here, and I’m quite sure you’ll be hearing a lot more about this market from me.

Here’s a picture of me and the neighbour cat – he visited while I was wet felting – we had quite the conversation!

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