31 January 2011

Exciting New Giveaway!!!

I'm excited to announce a new giveaway on my blog! I have been sewing for my We Will Fly shop and made some smaller vintage fabric creatures called the Mini Muses. They are a little family of creatures, named after the Muses - the goddesses of music, song and dance. 
Aoide, the muse of song, is already listed in my shop if you'd like to buy her, but Mneme, the muse of memory is available to win right here! She loves to help you remember those important dates and snippets of information! Mneme measures approximately 7" (18cm) by 7.5" (19cm). She has her wings embroidered on her back.

Mneme was lovingly handmade by me (We Will Fly) from repurposed and upcycled fabrics where possible, and contains safe polyester fibre stuffing.

To enter the giveaway you must:
a) be a follower of my blog, and
b) leave a comment on this post, including your email address
...before 09:00 (GMT) on Monday 7th February. The winner will be determined using the True Random Number Generator (from Random.org) and announced on  Tuesday 8th February.
Good luck!!

29 January 2011

MCP Project 52 Week 4/52 - Soothing Repetition

For the theme of soothing repetition I chose something that most represents calm and relaxation to me - candles. I shot this on my mantle piece where I do keep a whole host of candles, and the only manipulation I had to do afterwards was to round the corners. For a topic that I thought would be very difficult, the actual photo was pretty easy in the end. No rejects this time as this shot was my favourite by far!

25 January 2011

Word of the Year 2011

As part of the Big Dreams, Small Wonders e-course, we were encouraged to find a word for the year; to represent our dreams and ambitions for the coming year. There was a similar idea in a prompt for New Year, New You - to create a "one word mantra" for 2011; one word to remember, one word to live by, one word to focus on this year. So, my chosen word of the year is.......


It applies to everything I want to achieve - I won't get anywhere without motivation, and I tend to lack it at times. I mean it particularly applied to my fitness goals and creative goals, but it can easily mean just being motivated to do the housework as soon as it needs doing and not put things off just because I can't be bothered!

22 January 2011

MCP Project 52 Week 3/52 - Shades of Grey

This one was a chance photo I caught walking home from work. I loved how the TV's were abandoned alone on the pavement (a sign of the times!) and how everything in the shot was grey. It didn't really need to be made into a black and white shot at all. I played about with cropping the photo and then added a Holga /vignette efefct using Picnik, which I thought made it look a little like an old TV image and framed the photo well.

I toyed between adding this as my photo this week or a couple of shots I took of some steps in sunlight. See my reject photos to see if I made the right choice:

I has a tough time choosing my photo this week as I really like the stark look of this one, and the fact it is such a simple shot. It also means something more to me because I walk up and down these steps twice a day on my way to and from work, and have never seen them looking the way they do here (hard to explain what I mean!). Something so familiar looking so different.

Another shot of the same steps, but this one hopefully leads the eye upwards more, as if your embarking on a journey.

20 January 2011

The 365 Scientist - Days 171 - 174

Day 171

A day of chilling out and playing with our presents. The 365 Scientist enjoyed reading the latest Bunny Suicides book I got in my stocking! 
Day 172

Christmas is all about games so the 365 Scientist and I had a couple of games of Scrabble this evening - it was one game all so we'll have to have a decider soon!
Day 173

A nice close-up of the 365 Scientist exploring in the garden with his magnifying glass (from his Christmas cracker) and wearing his new scarf to keep him warm!
Day 174

The 365 Scientist starts his new year countdown a little early!

17 January 2011

How much is too much?

I love creating things – plush creatures, sketches, paintings, journal pages, photographs, ...the list goes on. The problem I am finding at the moment is that I have way too many things I want to do. It seems there are suddenly a hundred and one e-courses I want to do, photo and sketching projects popping up left, right and centre, and many projects I’ve already started needing my attention; and I just can’t say no to any of them! 

I only have a limited amount of time and I know that I can’t really fit everything in, but I don’t want to give up on any of the different mediums. How do other people fit in more than one creative hobby? Should I try alternating days, weeks? Or just do whatever I feel like at the time? I don’t want to make it too structured as it is supposed to be free time, but I feel it is running away from me and I often end up feeling frustrated that I haven’t achieved more.

I need to start sewing properly again and making new plush creatures for my shop, but I have 2 e-courses going until the end of January which involve journalling and creating vision boards etc, so I have spent most of my creative time on that. I have been doing some experimental drawing from the Drawing Lab book too, and my photography projects (365 Scientist and Project 52), but no sewing. Then there is exercise and going to the gym to fit in too..... aaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhhh. At the start of February I have a painting e-course starting, and I’m tempted to sign up to another e-course about painting and colour which runs at the same time (but lasts longer). I know I shouldn’t, but I want to do both. 

I want to magically have enough time to effortlessly get all my course assignments done, create art for the projects I’ve signed up to, improve my photography with the unlimted time courses I bought, take on new photo projects, do my drawing lab projects, create new designs for my shops, sew new creatures and list new products, make repeats of sold items to resell, and still have time to relax.

I guess I need to learn how to take on a couple of things at a time, but that isn’t an option right now as I’m already signed up to EVERYTHING! If I break it down into small chunks and goals for each week, I’m sure there won’t be as much as I think. After all, I have to be enjoying it too, else there really is no point.

I’d love to hear anyone else’s opinions or thoughts on how to fit in more than 1 creative hobby!    

15 January 2011

Project 52 - Week 2

The theme this week was 'Illustrate a Song'. I had a tough time with this one. I eventually came up with a few ideas but I found I had hardly any time when it was light outside to try to get the right shot. On the final day though I managed to pull it out of the bag and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

The song I chose was Under the Wheels from one of my favourite bands, My Vitriol.

I actually found the crushed red bull can in the road near my house and thought the bright colours were perfect to contrast with the dull road colour, so I picked it up and took it to work with me! Then I found the perfect spot on a road to take the photo - I like the leaf in the background too which was chosen to be there on purpose. This is one of the first photos that I have actively thought about the composition and staged the whole thing.

I did add a few effects afterwards using Picnik, although it looked good as it was too - I added a slight colour boost, a bit of cross-processing effect, a small vignette and rounded corners. I can be very particular about all this altering - I made loads of versions!!! Here are a few rejects:

10 January 2011

Project 52 - Week 1

I just stumbled across another new project to take part in - the MCP Project 52. It is, as the name suggests, a photo-a-week project rather than a 365 photo-a-day one. I've got so many ideas for 365 projects but I just can't take on another one until my 365 Scientist one is complete, so this project is perfect. There should be no excuses. The best bit is that there are themes each week to try to capture in a picture so it adds an extra challenge. See the flickr group here.

I only found this yesterday after the first week was already over, but luckily I had taken a few pictures on New Years Day of my Christmas tree covered in the string from party poppers so I could use one of those as my week 1 photo for the theme 'Something Around the House'.

I took this with my Canon PowerShot A480 because it has a fantastic super macro feature. I played around with the photo afterwards (just using Windows Live Photo Gallery), making the colours brighter or duller and changing the exposure, but decided that the black and white image looked best. To me this is quite a sad photo because it is taken after all the festivities are over and everything has to go back to normal.

09 January 2011

New Year, New You - Prompts 1-8

My first week of journalling prompts, and I've actually kept up!

Prompt 1

The welcome page for my journal. The item I wouldn't normally use is the party popper paper (from my midnight celebrations!) - I thought it was appropriate.

Prompt 2

Prompt 3a

These are the things I am having to be to try to achieve my goals. Used the cut-out technique to create windows and a 3 page prompt.

Prompt 4

To show I don't have to be defined by my preconceived ideas, reservedness and what other's expect, I used a page from a book to write on. Ripping a page out of a book and writing on it still feels wrong to me, but I'm trying to get over it! It was a rescued book from a charity shop bought to use for art so it's OK really! Added the fabric in the same colour as the book print for some added interest.

Prompt 5

Starting my new season of creativity. Hoping to keep up all these techniques and achieve these goals this year. Used the masking tape technique which I think works really well.

Prompt 6

One of my goals for 2011 is to improve my fitness and keep going to the gym/doing lots of exercise.  So, towards that goal this week, I went to the gym (twice) and did a massive workout!

For this page I used tracing paper and mounted some cutouts behind it and some on top. I used the sewing machine to stitch a matching pink border all the way round.
Prompt 7

My mantra word for this year. It applies to everything I want to achieve - I won't get anywhere without motivation, and I tend to lack it at times.

And I've been working on creating new handwritten fonts this week, so trying a few out here.

Prompt 8

I finally managed to use the given 'dirty dozen' words to create this page. It was quite challenging!

I really like this picture (taken out of the Toast catalogue) as I can imagine standing there by the sea with the warm sun shining down and a slight breeze. Being by the sea is my favourite place and I do my best thinking there! Shame I don't live by the coast really.

08 January 2011

The 365 Scientist - Days 167 - 170

Day 167

The excitement is building and it's time for the 365 Scientist to put out the bits and bobs for Santa and his reindeer - a carrot for Rudolph (and the others), a mince pie for Santa, and a choice of milk or Apricot Brandy! That ought to keep Santa happy.

Day 168

Woo hoo, it's Christmas Day! The 365 Scientist got an awful lot of presents from Santa and me today - a stocking full of gold coins, a scarf, the list goes on....

Day 169

It's Boxing Day and the 365 Scientist found a new friend on the top of the Christmas tree at my mum's house. What a lovely couple!

Day 170

It's leftover day and the 365 Scientist and I settle down with a yummy buffet of bits and bobs. He still doesn't want to take his hat off!

05 January 2011

Hello 2011

Well I am a little late with my New Year wishes but Happy New Year anyway! There hadn't been an awful lot of creating going on over the festive period but now things are getting back to some vague sort of routine, I have time to create again. I did manage to make a vision board for 2011 and a specific January vision board journal page, and am feeling more-or-less ready to face the year.
I have joined up to do 2 e-courses so far this January, both of which are now underway: the journalling class New Year, New You run by Janel, and Big Dreams, Small Wonders from Louise Gale. Found loads of other online courses I want to join too but don’t want to do too many all at once! I tend to take on too much then panic about when to fit things in so much that nothing actually gets done!

There is also the obligatory diet and exercise drive that follows Christmas – no matter how hard I try and how much I say that this year I won’t eat my own body weight in food every day, I always do just that and start the new year feeling bloated, flabby and lethargic. Well, I’m off to the gym tonight and tomorrow and the new exercise DVD is ordered (and space cleared in the lounge ready!) so no excuses. The annoying thing is I know it’ll only take 3 or 4 weeks of eating healthily and doing exercise 3 or 4 times a week to feel comfortable again – it’s just telling myself that when I’m tucking into a Christmas choccy or 2 in the evening. 

I will run another blog giveaway here soon, and will make sure I keep up my regular posting. Please feel free to comment on any of my posts!
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