archive for 'blogs'
i’m never going to take a good picture in artificial light.
nor am i going to get this bodice out of a meter of fabric. i wonder if the shop’s open tomorrow…
newness: sewing vintage. well, vintish. this is on its way to becoming vogue 1044, ’50s design but modern instructions and a multisized pattern (although apparently not resized for modern underpinnings, i may need to make a few alterations).
and on this topic a whole new world of reading material, not least sew retro – a group blog for vintage sewists – and gertie’s new blog for better sewing – where our intrepid heroine attempts to sew a complete ’50s wardrobe.
see, i don’t really know when to quit
having dropped the 365 i appear to have talked myself into a new self-imposed regime: a sketch every sunday (posted, rather than necessarily drawn, on sunday). i’m resurrecting my diy art school after spending an inordinate amount of time mooching around mithi’s blog over the last week. you prolly all saw her embroidery hoops on whipup, did you delve any deeper?
it’s rekindled my urge to
ponce about retrain at art school. there’s a course local to me that looks like the perfect fit, but that wouldn’t be possible until G is at school, so a few years away still. in the mean time i’d like to broaden my basic knowledge and skills foundation-course-stylee, and mithi’s blog will be a great help since she posts many of her assignments in detail, so i can try my hand at a few.
i prefer the stylistic distinction between blanket and horse in the first version – the horse with more detail, more lifelike shading, and the blanket more sketchy, but this one’s more lively which is what i’m looking to develop in my drawings, i think i naturally tend towards overworking which can make them flat.
i only just discovered that jude hill of spirit cloth has another blog: what if where she details her experiments. surprisingly, i think these experimental pieces in themselves appeal to me even more than her finished work.
partly it’s that their simplicity appeals to me aesthetically, more so than the super-elaborate layer-upon-layer approach. but, less superficially, i think it also reflects the stage that i’m at with my craft. i’m very much still serving my apprenticeship, experimenting with fabric and stitch. and while i know that experimentation never stops, there comes a point where it begins to crystalise into accomplished, coherent work, and i know i’m nowhere near that stage yet. so the more basic, unfinished, developing work appeals directly to me at an unconscious level.
i love following the work of women who have a totally different aesthetic sense to mine.
i feel that it goes some way towards protecting me from the unconscious copying we all fall prey to sometimes. something striking lodges deep inside your mind and when it re-emerges in your work you forget where it came from – until, that is, you realise everyone else is mysteriously doing exactly the same i tend to shy away from some of the bigger craft blogs for just that reason – particularly those that seem to share my aesthetic – for fear of my own little voice becoming overwhelmed.
and that’s leaving aside the conscious copying that goes on, particularly on the commercial side. as soon as someone talented becomes successful a whole raft of copies seems to flood the market (i.e. etsy, lol). i find it hard to understand how anyone can really enjoy making totally derivative work (leaving aside the ethical issues). it’s even not as though there’s any money in it, surely, especially since the copyists always undercut the originators. i guess they’ve totally convinced themselves that being “inspired” by something and copying it with the odd tweak here and there are actually the same thing.
which brings me back to inspiration – the inspiration i draw from people like jude and shannon is as much to do with process as with product. the way they approach their work is honest and individual, it emerges organically from ideas and memories, rather than superficially, looking like something else they saw somewhere.
i’m setting out to strive for that kind of authentic voice (or at least be transparent about my sources when i am blatantly ripping off). coincidentally, it’s lovely to see manda developing creatively too, and finding satisfaction in it.
inspiring women, all.
i’ve been unsure about the photography content here for a long time. i think almost all my regular visitors are here for the crafting, and while there has been precious little of that of late i know its time will come again. i wanted to keep the blog active over the hiatus of having a new baby and minimal crafting time and i figured the pictures would do that. but i’m not comfortable with the way they’ve elbowed the craft content out of the way so thoroughly.
so they now have a home of their own: click. do go over and have a look, and let me know what you think, i’d really appreciate some feedback on splitting the content and how you find the new site. the lack of response to my 365 posts is one of the things that’s convinced me that the photography doesn’t belong here.
edit: one thing i’d like feedback on is whether it’s clear enough that there’s all the usual chat to go with the pics, it’s just cunningly hidden in the “words” link on every photo page. my photos definitely don’t speak for themselves, i often need to explain myself, especially with my dodgy cameraphone “scans” of late.
on a side issue i searched and searched for a wordpress photoblogging theme that i liked and just couldn’t find one. so for click i’ve jumped ship to pixelpost. the backend is laughably primitive, but the frontend does what i want so it will do for the moment (the designer of my oh-so-slick template which tempted me to make the jump is working on something for wordpress so when that’s out it’s possible i may revert back as i do miss how damned civilised wordpress is behind the scenes). at some point i hope to move all my existing photography posts over to click to clear some space around here, but not sure when i’ll get the time
via wee wonderfuls but josie’s work. i went searching for ideas on quilting patterns for my current wip and found this recent post. i have a strangely overwhelming craving for yellow at the moment, it’s grabbing me like nothing else, and i just adore this orange too. will have a good root around at mr monkeysuit later on.
eta: blimey is this really my first post this month? slap wrists, bad blogger
eta: heh, there must be something in the air, manda over at treefall’s got it too it was her yellow apron set in this post that jumped off the page at me the other day and convinced me i need more yellow in my life.
i love reading blogs, really i do. i love reading blogs that are packed with beautiful, skillful, inspirational projects presented in an attractive, professional way, really i do. i don’t long for the days when every homepage was hand coded, with attendant blinking text and pictures that looked as though they’d been taken underwater, really i don’t. but lately i find reading all the beautiful, skilfull, inspirational, attractive, professional blogs can be as dispiriting as encouraging.
i find myself thinking, well i could take pictures that looked that good if i had a Â£2000 camera or a studio setup or a climate where the sun shone more than 2 weeks a year. i could make fabulous quilts if i had a stash the size of a planet, a dedicated sewing room and a fancy sewing machine. i could build a wonderful stash if i had access to quilting shop on every corner and a yarn shop on every other instead of having to double the price of everything with shipping. i envy all these talented bloggers their time, space and money.
we have one quilting shop and no (really, not one) yarn shops in a city with a population of over 300,000. the choice of fabrics in the uk – even online – is very limited and mostly dreary and/or extortionately priced. we seem to have lost any make it yourself culture we may have had in the past, so the raw materials just aren’t available. this is changing in the yarn world i think, but only at prices that exclude the vast majority. to buy internationally adds not only shipping but often customs and duty fees too. i chose to give up work when M was born and while we’re by no means badly off we have limited means and live in a 2-up 2-down. all my crafting is done on the kitchen table/sofa, my materials are crammed under beds and chairs and into any spare space i can find.
the one luxury i have gained through all of this is time, although not as much as you might think. having M at home full time up until september meant that my crafting was still squeezed in after bedtime, although i was able to get some of the household chores out of the way while she was around, giving me that evening free time. since she started nursery school i have 3 afternoon sessions of 2 1/4 hours to call my own. and now i’m close to handing over the voluntary paperwork that often occupied this spot i feel i have a huge horizon opening before me
and after all this whinging i do remember to count my blessings. i don’t believe for a minute that the glossy surface of a blog reflects the whole of the blogger’s life, and i wouldn’t swap my life for anyone’s. as a family we’ve benefited greatly from my choice to stay at home in many areas. it gave me the impetus to start this whole crafting gig in the first place, and i like to think that necessity is the mother of invention. there is a certain kind of identikit style that stalks the craft blogland, a unifying aesthetic, the same fabrics pop up over and again, the original ideas are adopted/adapted by many and quickly lose their impact.
which is why i’m drawn back more and more to blogs like shannon’s that plough their own furrow and inspire through force of originality and determination rather than purchasing power. i was sad to see the end of thriftcraft as the one thing i have in abundance nearby is charity shops and i welcome inspiration for repurposing materials that are available, affordable and unique. although given the huge following that hillary lang (deservedly) has i guess rashes of similar if not identical thrifted projects were likely to spring up across the globe too. can’t win i guess
can anyone suggest any good thrifting blogs or blogs-of-limited-means-but-unlimited-aspirations that i may have missed?
i’ve just been shopping again, this time for fabrics for a single quilt for madam (lowering my sights somewhat and postponing the planned queen sized until i’ve had a bit
more of practice). i’m suffering from fabric dazzle. i.e. picking fabrics that i adore without much thought to how they will work in a quilt. never having made one i’d say that’s probably understandable, just hope it won’t take too many expensive mistakes before i start to get the hang of it.
as it is i have a bunch of generally large-scale prints that coordinate beautifully, but i’m left seeking a bold pattern with fairly large areas of a single fabric to make the most of them. i’m particularly drawn to bold geometric designs on white as here and here. i don’t think either specific design would work for my fabrics, but it’s definitely a style i aim to work towards.
yay! lovely uk blog, guess who else has been shopping at cia’s palette:)
and in case anyone was wondering about the lack of activity here the redecorating took slightly longer than expected (as in more than twice as long). so no crafting and barely any hooter time to be had for over 2 whole weeks
we’re hoping to have everything just about finished for a certain person’s third (!) birthday party tomorrow. if we make it through without acquiring any additional, um, embellishment – in felt tip – again – i’ll try to take some pictures to prove i haven’t just been drinking gin for a fortnight (although a sanity-preserving amount of that has indeed been going on). after extensive trials it turns out i attain optimum painting ability after exactly one and a half drinks.
lisa call: new work and inspiration: love her work, thoroughly looking forward to reading through the archives at length.
again worth a trip through the archives i reckon.
oh lordy. i do not not not want to weave! but i just can’t resist sara lamb’s work. can i sub for the spinning and dyeing if i promise to just peek through my fingers at the weaving content? it’s well worth trawling through the archives here when i have a free moment.
i found woven throughts through a search for korsnäs sweaters triggered by the entry on the book “decorative crocheting” on blogdogblog (it looked like this was an ex-blog but there’s a single recent post so maybe it’s back in service). which in turn i found from a tapestry crochet search (there’s surprisingly little info out there, i seem to have found the main sources already).
i’m seriously considering ordering both the book and a fantabulous mitten kit from nordic fiber arts, if they’ll ship to me here. if i start the mittens now i might even have them finished by next winter.
the interweb has a lot to answer for…
ooooh new blog. i’m really looking forward to seeing how whip up shapes up.
i’m not a huge reader of blogs, i track a few in bloglines, but in general i don’t do the whole blog thing. this site was conceived as a stand-alone craft journal before i really knew what blogs were, and i just don’t have the time or inclination to follow the whole social side of blogging.
but as a fan of everything on topic i have to say whip up looks unmissable. i’ve had a very pleasant afternoon meandering between the contributors’ various sites and i’ve taken some form of inspiration from every one. i particularly love the fact that it’s international, hopefully that should give an interesting interaction of perspectives.
so far the pick of the bunch for me is yarnstorm: great pictures (and easily navigated galleries), relevant chat, uk based and – something i see on so few blogs – she has categories. i can’t emphasise enough how important that is to me, it makes the site a permanent resource rather than something ephemeral. i challenge anyone to explore a blog just by trolling through the archives month by month – it’s tedious and you give up after a page or two of tatting or whatever else it is that blogger does that goes straight over your head. give me some categories and i can happily scamper back and forth for hours, and then come back and look again when suddenly i see the light and realise that tatting is what i’ve been waiting for all along.
and on that subject we now have a blogs category. i’m hoping that when i eventually go back and recategorise all the past posts it doesn’t haul them all back to the top in bloglines.