Sunday, 8 January 2012

All work and no play ...

this part of the landscape took my fancy - I so love winter trees; you can do so much with images such as these
Last weekend, Raymond and I went for a winter picnic; I journaled a word-whisper and sketched; and posted about the experience. It was a revelation, had me determined that I would play a little each evening, creating hand-made books of these special moments, for even essential and much-loved office work can pall when there is never enough time to stop. That was last Sunday, and we decided this morning to drive out with another picnic - only a few miles; find a gateway in which to park the car and out with the journal and pen. 

Cropped from the main image, played with in Photoshop
(when we arrived home), I could zoom in closer, a machine-embroidered image, perhaps
Last week was spur of the moment. This, today, felt forced, rushed. But I was determined. Down local lanes somewhere in forty years we had never driven. "If we don't stop now, it will be dark," I said. So we did, and I looked at the landscape: bare trees, a field, a far-off and somewhat insipid view. My muse had vanished, or were we so  hungry, 2.30pm of a Sunday afternoon that home-made bread, salad, prawns and ham, with a flask of hot, hot tea overtook me? First, whilst the light was right, I took a photo, and started writing, visualising the textile page that would emerge: word-spill transferred to fabric, photograph patchworked and stitched, embellishments added from my stash (collected and hand-made).

And so we sat, and ate; I played with my camera, and words fell out of nowhere; and I found I was somehow absorbing the landscape, the sky, the silence; and the task I had set myself was done. 

And I have to explain that I so very nearly abandoned this, my Journaling blog, at the end of last year, felt I was going nowhere with my paper and textile creations, my experimental pieces, and all the finished pieces for which they were but forerunners. I felt I would never have the time to achieve all that was in my heart and mind.

But after the village art exhibition in October 2011, some of us talked about participating in Warwickshire Art Week Open Studios in June of this year; and I thought, "yes, I'm ready for this." So any spare time is now devoted to working-notes on what I will make and hopefully sell, from map-trails to quilt-journeys to textile poem-spills - and actually creating them. My journaling / sketchbook pages progress (must do, or I forget how to pull it all together), and thus this blog WILL continue, and I will post thoughts and sketch pages and finished keepsakes; and I hope the Sunday picnics will become the norm and a happy escape, and the catalyst for a portfolio of pieces.


  1. I am so glad you did not give up on journaling or sketching and exploring. I applaud your husband as well for being supportive of these Sunday Jaunts. That is what I would like to be doing as well.

  2. Your recent post on WSC had me pondering and concerned. [I couldn't access your comment form for some days, so my initial thoughts have somewhat slipped away.]
    I've been considering the worth of time spent on my modest writing and quilt-making at this time of life [I'll be 68 soon] whether creating is a good use of my energies.
    My crafting, other than the years working at a quilt shop, is not a matter of livlihood, nor do I feel I am working with genuine originality--although surely the stories I write are my own expression.
    Hours at the sewing machine take a more pronounced physical toll these days and I realize I need to reserve energy for the things that truly want doing as my share of household/garden work.
    Still, when it comes down to it, creating--from fabric--or paint or photos--or with words--or with sugar and flour and such is part of who many of us are--we get 'high' I suppose on the satisfaction of seeing something made with our own hands.
    I hope you'll continue to share your projects--as well as voicing the frustrations and solutions that come out of your dedication to making lovely things.

  3. So glad you have decided to continue the blog. I do enjoy seeing your creative processes as well as your finished works.

  4. I agree with MM - we have to set time aside for that fraction that is really "us" - the creative bit, the bit which feels so satisfied when it has achieved something - however small. You have given me such inspiration recently - be true to yourself.

  5. Ann,
    Just wanting to note that your blogs are in my list of those which are giving problems with the comments--bloggers more clever than I pointed out that if we have imbedded comments [such as your blogs] everything gets 'stuck.'
    If you go into your settings and choose 'comment box' or 'full page' options the issue seems to be resolved.