Saturday 27 January 2024

Material Musings: Weaving Big and Dyeing with Wax Resist


Welcome to Material Musings! This week, we're diving into two exciting textile adventures: a larger weaving project and wax resist dyeing with tea and clay.

Weaving in a Bigger Way

I originally created a series of smaller looms and wanted to increase the size so created a larger one from the wood from a canvas frame.  When weaving on a larger scale you can explore the possibilities that come with using a wider loom and thicker yarns. I have used the yarn I currently have and found ways to increase the size which you will see.  I hope you are inspired to try some of the techniques for yourself.

Wax Resist

I have been experimenting with wax resist techniques for a while now and I will show you an easy way to apply it to your fabric in various patterns and creates a barrier that prevents dye from reaching certain areas. You can create stunning designs, and unexpected color combinations.

Wax resist and clay dyed

We'll be using natural and readily available materials like tea and clay as our dyes! This allows you to experiment with unique color palettes and textures. from the earthy browns from the tea and clay, and shades of pink from avocado pits – the options and combinations are endless!

Join the Fun!

Come join me in this Material Musings adventure!  Be inspired, learn new skills, and create something truly unique and beautiful.

So, grab your favorite cup of tea (or maybe some clay!), and get ready to join me in Material Musings! I can't wait to share this journey with you, and don't forget to share your own textile creations with me on social media . I'd love to see what you come up with!

Saturday 20 January 2024

8 Ways to Recharge your Creativity

How have you been feeling creatively?  We can sometimes feel creatively parched and need a spark to help us 'refill the wells'.  Are you looking for ways to jumpstart your creativity and hit the ground running with new and innovative ideas? Here are some 8 tips to help you get started:

1. Set your sights. Whether it's a new creative idea, a writing challenge, or simply picking up a new skill, having a goal guides your creative compass. Try something new. There are usually quite a few online challenges for you to sink your teeth into, I will also be sharing a Free 12 week course called 'Kickstart Your Creativity Series' in a couple of weeks so sign up to my course platform to be notified. Sign up HERE

2. Make time for daydreaming. Schedule dedicated brain-sparking sessions. Brainstorm in the morning light, doodle during your lunch break, or let your mind wander after dark. In my latest Arts and Wellness Cafe I look at one of the Words for the Month - Stillness In our stillness we can find treasures.

3. Shake things up. Ditch the familiar. Try a new art form, write with a different voice, or explore a tool you've never touched. New experiences unlock hidden creative talents.

4. Find your inspiration tribe. Soak up the creative energy of others. Follow inspiring artists, attend workshops, or join a local group of fellow dreamers. Join us in the Creative Community on the course platform - Check it out HERE

5. Disconnect to reconnect. Sometimes, the best ideas bloom in the quiet. Take a digital detox, go for a nature walk, or lose yourself in a good book. Unplug and let your mind wander. Read that book that you have been promising yourself.

6. Tame the mental chatter. Mindfulness practices like meditation can help you focus and quiet your inner critic. A calm mind is a fertile ground for creativity. Take out your needles and thread and do some slow stitching - You can pick up some inspiration in Material Musings

7. Embrace the unknown. Step outside your comfort zone. Learn a new dance, travel to a new place, or take a class in something totally unfamiliar. New experiences jumpstart innovation.

8. Just start. Perfectionism is the creativity killer. Don't overthink it, just dive in. Pick up a pen, play with some paint supplies, doodle, create with recycled materials, do some slow stitching. The act of creation itself is the magic spark that ignites imagination.

Remember, creativity is a journey, not a destination. Keep experimenting, keep exploring, and keep feeding your curiosity. The well of wonder is always waiting to be refilled, and the greatest creations start with a single step. Now go forth and create!

Check out my course Filling the Creative Well for more creative inspiration

Wednesday 17 January 2024

Cultivating Creativity and Reflection: A Visit to the Arts and Wellness Cafe

Welcome to the Arts and Wellness Cafe, a place for those seeking inspiration to unleash their creativity and unlock their hidden talent. Today, let's embark on a journey that delves into the importance of spending time being creative and finding moments for reflection.

Word for the Month: Stillness

Our chosen word for the month is "Stillness, while I do have additional words that I will use alongside they help me to focus on areas of my life that might need attention.  Consider the idea of carving out moments of quiet in your day. It might be a few minutes of meditation, a stroll in nature, or simply sitting with your thoughts. Stillness provides the space for creativity to blossom and ideas to take root.  

Take a moment to reflect on how you can incorporate this word into your daily activities. Whether it's through art, writing, or any other creative outlet, allow yourself to reflect and be still.

Tip and Question of the Week: Balancing Act

Our tip of the week encourages you to strike a balance between productivity and relaxation. When engrossed in a project, set aside specific breaks to recharge your mind. Ask yourself: "Am I allowing myself enough time to rest and rejuvenate?" Finding this balance is key to sustained creativity and well-being.

Art Journal Process

Dive into the art journal process as a form of self-expression. Capture your thoughts, dreams, and emotions through a mix of colors, textures, and words.  I have used magazine images for inspiration and created a collage.  I also look at how you would adapt the activity for a carer, and ways to make the most of the activity. Let your creativity flow without judgment. Your art journal can become a place to explore and discover hidden parts of yourself.

Mixed Media idea for creating a collage - looking at colors and words that connect with you and creating a collage. It can be adapted for the one you are caring for.

Stitched Projects: Weaving Stories Through Craft

In the video we look at a variety of stitched projects that I have worked on.  I feel that each of them tells a story in their own way with the stitches, and the colors of the fabric and additional embellishments. These activities provide a therapeutic escape. Take the time to create something beautiful with your hands, allowing your mind to unwind and unravel the complexities of daily life.

This piece was created in Material Musings, you can check out its progress HERE

As you embrace your word of the month, seek stillness in the midst of chaos, and find the delicate balance between work and rest. Enjoy the video and let me know what your word for the month is and how you are incorporating it into your new year so far.

Before You Go

Check out my Poetry book - Sometimes I write poetry, - Learn more HERE

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