Friday 31 January 2014

St Mungo's Woolly Hat Day

After the success of my first real knitting project I was wondering what to try next.
I wanted something that would be interesting to do, while helping me to learn more about knitting.
Then I stumbled upon the St Mungo's Woolly Hat day where they are supplying 3 hat patterns for you to make, all they ask is you send the first one you make to them to sell to raise money for the charity.  Perfect!
I loved 2 of the three designs so made two to send them, which meant I tried double ribbing and tried following my first patterns.  Both good learning experiences.  I liked the purple hat best, but the grey would have been fine if I hadn't made it a tad too long (I now have a row counter on my phone).
Now I am free to play with these patterns - I can feel some stripes coming on.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Bob Godfrey - animator

Last night we went to a talk at our local library about Bob Godfrey.  You might not recognize the name but if you are my age or older you will probably recognize his work.  Do you know Roobarb or Henry's cat?  Then you know Bob Godfrey.
James Walker gave the talk based on a collection in the UCA archive and although I might not have known many of the people he was talking about - mostly animators and actors etc form 1960's and 70's, it was really interesting.
I really love to hear about how other artists, from any medium, work, and how they got started etc.  It makes me feel more connected; maybe that's why I'm enjoying twitter so much - following all those arty people.  Doing creative things can be quite lonely so it is really nice to be able to see what others are doing - part of the joy of the monthly writers group maybe.  And maybe something you see or hear will spark some new thing for you, push you in a new direction, get you thinking.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

January's writers group

Over Christmas with a little time to myself I finally managed to finish a story.
The start was easy, as they so often are, but then I got a bit stuck.  My character takes his dog for a walk in the park and they find a footprint in the snow.  But who's footprint?
I put it to one side and did something else.  
Just before Christmas I re-read The Shining by Stephen King.  I particularly love the hedge animals and I suddenly realised that my footprint didn't have to be from a 'living' creature.  Suddenly everything became clear.
I read it out to the writers group today to be greeted by silence.  They didn't seem sure but all agreed that it was sinister, which is kinda what I was aiming for.
I must try and keep the momentum up and write something else for the next meeting.

This months homework:
Try writing two short stories which interlink; this could be with characters who appear in both, or an event which is experienced in each, for instance.  The link can be quite brief – just something to make your reader excited that they have spotted a link.

Many writers do this, my example was David Mitchell in Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Sketch books

When I was in the 6th Form doing A-Levels I spent most of my time with an A3 sketch book under one arm.  This was useful for deflecting lower school students when walking round to classes and for sitting on when the sun came out but the grass was still a bit wet.
Of course it was also useful for keeping arty stuff in too.
When I went to Art College I also had an A3 sketch book, this was full of drawing exercises and experiments.
As soon as I finished there the sketch books stopped and went into the loft, where I recently found them again.  So interesting to look through them.

Later I did some creative writing and on all three modules we were encouraged to keep a writing note pad, to jot down ideas and thoughts that might be useful later.  This is something that I've continued to do, although I've found that once an idea is written down I stop thinking about it and so never write the story.  Best to keep the really good ideas in my head for a bit.

Then last year I did a design module and we were encouraged to keep a sketch book again.  I had one but didn't really use it to its full potential.  It was a half hearted sketch book.

But now a year later I have bought myself a new sketch book, just a small A5 one, and some nice pens and I'm starting to jot down ideas and things that inspire me.  It is after all one thing to think about making paper and making books and creating 'art' and actually doing it. I hope that I can keep it up and find it useful.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Wedding flowers

With Christmas out of the way and the start of a new year, I don't really have an excuses for not thinking about the wedding anymore.
So to start I've been thinking about flowers.  I love flowers but think they normally look best while still attached to the plant they grew on.  I also hate the idea of the amount of money and resources used to grow and then deliver a bunch of flowers from some far flung land just for one day here.
So I have two choices, I can either grow my own or I can make some.  As I have plenty of time, and I love playing with paper, I thought I'd start by making some.  I came across Lia Griffith's DIY Paper Roses and just had to have a go.  They are pretty simple but look great - especially in a group.  Plus they won't care if its hot and I can keep them for as long as I want after the wedding.
I've seen other designs too and will be having a go at as many as I can, until I find the perfect bouquet.