Study

As much as I enjoy playing about in Photoshop,  I seem to prefer trying different ways to re-photograph things.  I suppose I’m not as techie minded as I used to be.  I like messing about with light and photographing things through other things.

 

This image is a photograph taken with an old photographic plate on top.  I’m using it as a study for something new.  I’m supposed to be organising my photographs…I’m very easily distracted!

 

New Work

 

 

I had intended to re-stock my online shops this weekend.  However as much as I like my old stuff and it is fun to see how your work changes over time,  I didn’t like any of it enough to sell anymore.  So, I’ve left the shops alone for now and gone back to basics.  Taken some simple ideas and found a couple of old book covers to collage on.

I like the restricted space and the grungy feel of the old covers.  I really like the cover on cover of the second picture – it gives it an almost framed look.

I think they need an extra element but I’m trying not to overthink at this point!  So for now I’m leaving them out ready for any ideas that may pop into my head…

Lainey x

Rebooting My System

Work in progress

 

Finding the time to sit and work has been a big, big issue in my house.  We’ve downsized so I don’t have a spare room to leave all my work and supplies out ready for action.  This has now proven to be a good thing.  As much as I would love a little studio, it would have to be space completely separate from the house.  A spare room to work in often  became a junk room and a black hole of lost items.

I’ve had to re-organise and now it turns out the whole house is my studio.  I have a small worktop in the tiny utility room along with some storage space.  Journals and art books are on a shelf in the bedroom and the materials for current projects are housed in  a couple of cute boxes tucked away in the dining room.  The dining table is now my office!

While making sense of my space, I was racking my brains about time to work.  I feel that I never have the time – which is not entirely true.  While I don’t really like to schedule my time,  I did do a mock up timetable to see how much time I had free.  While I can’t guarantee that I will be in the mood to work between the hours of 6am and 8am on a Monday morning, it’s proven that I potentially have 2 hours free on a Monday.  Getting my head around that and finding ways to keep the cat off my work has been very liberating!

I’m starting to get back into the swing of creating but I’ve said that before and only time will tell…

Anyway I’ve started the collage above, using some Japanese paper fragments, an old book cover, and a photograph I took of a vintage photograph through a negative.   It gave the image a pink effect that I really liked.  Not quite sure where she’s going from here yet.  However, I’ve got a bit of time to work that out.

Lainey x

Overthinking. Underworking.

Ever played 20 questions on your own?

Fun,  especially when 20 questions turns into 120 questions!

I’ve been too much in my head recently.  Obsessing over every tiny detail of my work and blogging.

I think this stems from my “blink and you miss it” time as a social media assistant – who’s reading this, what’s my brand/niche,  how am I marketing this, what’s my story/artist statement etc…

A Muse in the shape of my little sister helped me unclutter my brain this week.  Combined with a week off work where I mostly tidied up/pleased myself/spent time with my daughter – I feel like my brain has finally stopped asking it’s stupid questions.

I don’t have a brand – I have a job and my artwork is a hobby.  Maybe my Etsy shop will have sales one day, maybe not.

I don’t have a story – I’m living a fairly nice, normal life.  Albeit full of the stories we all have to face.

As for my “niche” – well you know what?  It’s my little corner of the internet and I’m going to blog about what I want (within reason!)

My favourite blogs to read are ones with humour, work, a bit of life, and some inspiration.  That’s me.  That’s my story.

So, I’m keeping it creativity based but I’m posting my work, inspirations, reviews, and maybe even  a bit of a rant of two.  (But nothing too negative…!)

Overthinking stops here…

Lainey x

 

Spring is in the Air…

It’s been over a week since I blogged but I have been plodding away.  Honest.

My gold leaf arrived and I’ve started sketching out a few ideas for new work.  There was something in the air though…I decided  to have a sort out in the kitchen in order to create a workspace in the utility room.  (Sounds a lot grander than it is – but any space is better than none!)

That very day hubby came home and said he felt it was time for us to put our own stamp on the house now.  We’ve been here over a year and not done anything to the place.  To be fair it didn’t need anything doing but we’d like some extra storage space and we would love to replace some furniture.  You know the type of thing – the cheap/passed down stuff that you had to “make do” with.   When it goes it will take a few crappy memories with it, lol.

On my personal shopping list ready for next payday is a tacking iron.

Well,  I have felt quite productive this weekend.  Except for the two hours I spent watching a terrible/awesome film about two people 50 years apart swapping letters through time via their chimney…!  Some days you just need a dose of daft.

 

Lainey x

 

My gold leaf and sketches.

My gold leaf and sketches.

Hello 2017

wanders

 

2016 saw me incredibly uninspired.  I had no interest in any creative work at all.  I tried a few things to get back into a creative flow but I just had nothing.   I spent the last year loving my new job and decompressing from  the bullying  I had endured from my previous job.  We were finally settling into our own home.  A perimenopausal malaise reared it’s ugly head and everytime I sat down to do something creative I just stared into space.

My mind wandered, and it wandered to paper.  I have been in love with Japanese paper since the 1980’s and spent a lot of time last year reading about Wabi Sabi which kind of ties in with my old work in paper conservation.

“Wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.” – Lifted from Wikipedia (!)

In paper conservation Japanese paper is used to repair book pages and documents.  It’s  very intricate and all consuming work. When repairs are finished you can see where the old and new mix, the imperfections of the paper becomes beautiful and a new piece of it’s story has been added.  I really miss it.  I miss the textures, layers, and fibres.

So I thought I might go back to collage and start creating Artists Books again.  It will combine the work I miss with my creative spirit. When I think of doing this, I really start to feel inspired. I already have a few ideas sketched out.  And – I’ve been shopping!  Started a new collection of Japanese papers.  Not a lot because it’s really pricey but enough to start out on some new work.

yame-kozo

One of my first purchases – yame kozo paper.

 

I have to string out my art purchases.  Paper this month and next payday will see some Gold Leaf and adhesives coming my way and I am ridiculously excited 🙂

I’m hoping to return fully to blogging – I’ve also missed that.

Lainey x

10 Things to do to Centre Yourself Now

lotus
I’ve been feeling a bit frazzled over the last few days.   A combination of a cold on it’s way, news stories, and a patch of brain fog!  I have started meditating again and had just let it lapse a bit over the weekend and  I really felt the difference.  This is a post I wrote a couple of years ago for someone when I was working from home and I found myself going back to it this week.  I think we all need a little tune up from time to time!
Lainey x
10 Things to do to Centre Yourself Now
We all get a bit overwhelmed in life.  Even those of us that think we are generally quite “Zen” like!
It’s nice to have a few little tips up your sleeve for days when it all gets too much and you haven’t the time to take a meditation/yoga class or if you’re in the middle in your weekly shop.
Here’s 10 things you can do to centre yourself quickly and easily, while busy at home or even while you’re out and about.

 
3 Count Breath

This is the easiest one to do while out and about.  Inhale to the count of 3.  Hold the breath to the count of 3.  Exhale to the count of 3.  This can help focus and slow down your breathing and help to feel a bit calmer.

Mantra or Affirmation

Just a quick, positive statement that you can focus on, again to just help bring a little calm. Something along the lines of “This will pass” or “I feel calm”.  Deceptively simple and effective.

Find Nature

Go for a little walk.  A local park is preferable but if there isn’t one close enough even a quick walk around the block can help.  You will still sense the air and feel the daylight.

Do a Mundane Task

Cleaning is such a pain.  Except when you’re thinking yourself around in circles over a problem or feeling stressed.  Get yourself out of your head by cleaning the bathroom, hoovering up or even de-cluttering a kitchen drawer.  A mundane job keeps your mind distracted giving your spirit a bit of a break!

Stretch

Stretching is awesome!  A great way to physically ground yourself and put your body back in touch with the spirit.

Write 

Sometimes, venting frustrations in writing is a great release.  Lists can also help focus you and help you feel a little bit more in control again.

Focus

Focus is probably the main feature in all the other things listed.  Focusing on something, takes you out of your head a bit. Whether it’s preparing a meal, writing or cleaning, it’s the focusing  that is the key.

Gratitude

Take a minute to mentally give thanks for something.  If you hate your shopping trip, think about why you are able to shop.  Focus (again!) on the things to be thankful for about it.  Having people to buy for, money for the trip, how lovely it’s going to be to get home!

Music

Sometimes when I feel scattered I put some “energising” music on…but that just makes me feel more agitated.  If you’re in that state of mind, find some slow, peaceful music to help bring you back to a more gentle state of mind.  I always have a particular CD handy for such times.

Find an App

This one is a bit “out there”.  There are lots of apps for your phone/tablet or computer that are a bit “zen” like.  Whether it’s a sound board of natural sounds or some peaceful music, they can help to introduce a sense of calm.  I have one called Buddhist Meditation.  It’s just a bell every few seconds for a certain amount of time.  Just a minute or two helps me feel centred again.

How about you?  Do you have a “go to” plan?  What do you do to help yourself centred?