Creating something useful

I’ve needed something to keep myself busy recently, to take my mind off things. I think I showed you the beginning of this project, back in March.

It’s the handles of a tote bag. I put it to one side, did a bit of crochet instead.

Then sewed the body of the bag.

This weekend I plucked up the courage to rivet the handles to the bag – scary as I’ve never done it before and they had to be in exactly the right position.

Not bad for me, I’m not keen on measuring, I’d rather do things by eye.

I added some pretty danglies.

Because it’s a simple sack, I decided to make this to put bits and bobs in today.

So here it is, my first attempt at a leather bag. I could never have done this without my friend Lindy’s help, she is a really good leather worker, I’m just a dabbler, especially where tools are involved.

Thanks Lindy!

A Crafty Day

It began with a walk on the beach at Beer, and a photo

shells
or two.
pebbles
Followed by an edit using Pixlr Express, to make a collage.
coastalcollage
Which appeared on my blog and then sat in a dusty computer folder for months.
Then I felt a need and found some paper
signatures
I cropped and printed the collage and stuck it to some card, the size of a shorthand notebook
covers
front cover
I ironed on some plastic coating. It would have been easier if I’d done that before, but hey, sometimes you have to learn the hard way!
With a little help from a friend with way more skill and experience than I have, thank you Lindy, I stitched it all together with Coptic stitch.
coptic stitch
So now I have a new notebook that’s very light, created to my own specifications, that no one else has.
finished
Tah-dah!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

 

I’ve always considered myself a creative person and can turn my hand to many things, but I’m a Gilly of all trades mistress of none. I can take pleasing photos, but even though I know how to use my camera on manual settings, I most often use it on auto settings. I can knit and sew but I don’t finish things off neatly. I can cook but I don’t follow recipes, I can write but I’m a bit lazy about punctuation etc.

I’ve always wished I could draw, play an instrument and sing but I can’t do any of that!

Here are some of my creations, I try to express my creativity with a mix of photo editing and haiku that I’ve photographed and edited.

Striving
Striving

 

Leaves
Leaves
My haiku
My haiku

How do you express yourself? Can you express yourself in a WordPress post? This is for the Weekly Photo Challenge and you can join in here, https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/express-yourself/

Staying in the shadows . . .

. . . Not any more, these days I’m far more confident about sharing something I create. A few years ago, I began the first of several creative writing modules with the Open University, and I was petrified about sending my work off to a tutor for assessment. I was convinced she would hate it, that it was hopeless and nothing that I could write would ever be worth reading.

It wasn’t hopeless though, apparently it was rather good and so were my grades. Slowly, slowly I started to believe in myself, not everyone who read my work could be humouring me with compliments could they, why would they bother?

Now, my writing might not be the best, I’m not fortunate enough to be able to invest the time I’d like to improve it yet, but those days will come. Meanwhile I’ll send little bits of poetry, flash fiction and scraps of real life out into Lucid Gypsy’s world, and that gives me great pleasure.

I’ve always been a creative, as a very small girl I’d collect any odd pieces of fabric I could to make dolls clothes. I treasure the memory of my grandmother letting me sit at her treadle sewing machine, trying to reach with my little legs and sew a straight line. A little later she acquired a Singer hand machine and then at ten years old I made my first dress. I remember choosing the pattern and fabric, a white cotton covered with little blue flowers, and proudly wearing it to school that summer. By the time I went to high school, needlework classes  were really easy for me.

For a whole lot of reasons I stopped sewing a good twenty five years ago, but I did a little crochet and knitting at times. At evening classes I tried making Honiton lace – too painstaking and slow – pottery – too many people in the class to learn anything and even water colour painting! I am not enthusiastic enough about painting and drawing though, and even if I put in enough practice I doubt I would achieve the results I’d like.

So am I a perfectionist? No, far from it, attention to detail is a weak area in many things I do. I think it’s more a question of wanting to try to learn many, many things. Recently I’ve craved textiles, I yearn to buy yards of gorgeous material and yarn, to run my fingers over it, to see how it drapes and falls. I’ve restrained myself because when am I going to find time?

Myfanwy Hart is a lovely blogging friend that I’ve followed for a couple of years. She posts about her work, creating stunning art with fabric and yarns that she has dyed by hand. For 2014, she has begun a project to inspire others to create, even if it’s for fifteen minutes, and this weekend she is posting prompts to help us along the way. This post is the result of one of her prompts, number 14, which she concludes by telling us that everyone’s work is good enough.

            I wish I’d been able to believe that way before I did!

 

If you’re looking for some inspiration go and visit Myfanwy here, http://createaday2014.wordpress.com/ and you will also find a link to a Facebook group, where we post our creations – if we’re brave enough!

Christmas Card Design

In most recent years I have tried to make a few cards myself. Not all of the ones I send but  just for a few people who either I love enough to bother with or who don’t match the cards I have bought – or if I’ve just plain run out! Sometimes I don’t like the results enough to give to the people I love the most, they are just too rubbish. Of course that’s the same old issues with not believing I can create anything anyone would want to own, I still can’t believe that real people actually take the time to read my blog and comment on it! Anyway last week I thought I would get onto it. Result, failure. My mojo once again had deserted me so I threw a tantrum and started writing the shop bought ones. Then this week a neighbour delivered a beautiful lino print card she had made and that inspired me to try again. I have used the odd robin photo in the past for Christmas cards but most often  I used sticking on things! Yesterday I went rummaging through my photos looking for I didn’t know what. I’ve just finished a photography course which quite frankly has made my photography worse not better but I found something from earlier in the year and this is the result of a little photo-shopping.

Now I know its not very Christmasy- but I’m not a very Christmasy person, but I have printed them on hand made paper (jamming the printer up in the process) and they  have just the tiniest amount of very fine glitter as well. I like the result, what do you think?