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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Plan - drum roll please...

Since my last post I have been happily rummaging through stash and books to organise my plan for 2010. I was going to set myself a challenge for each month, but in the end I have settled for 11, given that something is guaranteed to put a spanner in the works at some point! Plus, there is a 12th one really, that I will try to do some of each month.

I am not going to get stressed if things don't pan out, they are more suggestions to encourage me to be more organised next year.

(All book links to Amazon. It;s easier).

In no particular order:

Work my way through The creative Entrepreneur, Lisa Sonora Beam, at least one 2 page spread per month.

Experiment with the glass fusing materials, and microwave kiln, that I bought at a craft fair earlier this year (and took a workshop in).

Experiment with the resin bracelet making kit that I bought at a later craft fair.

Attempt at least one technique from Stitched Jewels, Marthe Le Van

Experiment with at least one technique from Design and Make Mixed Media Jewellery, Joanne Haywood

Experiment with at least one technique from Origami Jewellery, Nyako Brodek

Read the book thoroughly, and do a piece inspired by Exhibition 36, Susan Tuttle

Use techniques from A Charming Exchange, Kelly Snelling and Ruth Rae, to create a collection of charms

Use techniques from Fabric Beads, Kristal Wick, to create a collection of beads

Male at least one garment using my stash of patterns and fabrics, that fits and that I will actually wear

Gain enough confidence with my overlocker to make at least one wearable garment using stretch fabric, not necessarily for me

Experiment with at least one technique from Mixed Mania, Debbie Crane and Cheryl Prater

The idea with all of this is to encourage myself to use books, equipment and materials that I already have (though not precluding buying more stuff if ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, enlarging the range of techniques I have in crafting, and giving next year some structure. I will not beat myself up if things do not get done off this list, or if my experiments fail. I will blog about all of them, however. (Unless the failures are just too embarassing for words!) And pictures will accompany blogging wherever possible.

Monday, December 07, 2009

I have a cunning plan...

I have been reading about Paisley Womble's idea of knitting from her book stash. She chose six knitting books that she had not made any projects from, and picked a project from each to knit during the year.

I haven't had a 'plan' this year, not really. At the start of the year I was recovering mentally from finishing three years of studying for the Studio Stitch Diploma (now more appropriately named Diploma of Textile Art), and then preparing for the exhibition at the Substation in Newport. After that I sort of slumped, coping with family issues (like Baby Bear coming down with Post Viral Syndrome and having six months either not attending school at all or attending half-time) and pootling around making textile jewellery which I have not had the energy to put up on Etsy.

I did have one 'plan', which is under control, sort of. I was going to reread all of the Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan, one a month, until the final one was released in November/December. That was going fine until a couple of hiccups along the way - in November I realised that I had borrowed far too many library books, most of which looked too interesting to return unread, and missed my November fix of WOT while working my way through them. I still have three of them to go but then will read Volume 11. And I will certainly read Volume 12 in the near future after that, though it may be January holiday reading. The other 'minor' hiccup is that Volume 12 is not, after all, the final one - there will be 13 next year and 14 the year after! So much for the trilogy he planned some time in the 1990s. (Oh, and the last three are being written by someone else, using his copious notes, 'cos the sod went and died before finishing it!!)

So my plan for next year - I considered doing projects from books, but I don't really do that any more. (Except for some knitting patterns). So I have decided to trawl through my books (of which there are altogether far too many!) and choose 12 techniques or 'things' that I want to work on over next year. Hopefully each attempt will produce at least one finished item that is worth displaying. I have already chosen two of them, and they aren't from books - at various times this year I have bought a microwave kiln and glass for doing glass fusing; I did a workshop so technically I have already 'done' the technique and produced a rather nice brooch, but I want to work on it at home and see what I can come up with. So that's one of them. And I have also bought a kit containing a bracelet mould and resin and instructions and I want to have a good play with that. In the meantime I am looking through books thinking about things. A full list will appear either late this month or early in the New Year. I wonder if I can carry it through!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


After barely knitting any socks for ages (or anything else, really) I have had a sudden urge to take up tiny needles again. These are the result. The top pair are knitted in a cheap Spotlight sock wool that turned out very nicely indeed. It was the usual wool/nylon mix and the colours are lovely. It felt a little bit coarse as I was knittingt, but not enough to hurt the fingers, and it softened up immediately after the first wash. These ones are for George, hence them looking too big for Baby Bear who is modelling them.

The second pair are also possibly a cheap Spotlight brand, I lost the band immediately after starting them. Again, nice colours and knitted up beautifully. These ones fit her perfectly, I am glad to say! I winged the heel a bit - I have George's pattern off by heart and it fits him, but she has smaller legs and feet and I had to guess a bit about the exact heel placement, but it worked very well and she is deligted with them.

I currently have another pair for her on the needles. This time a proper Opal yarn which I admit is nicer to knit with. However I am very pleased with the Spotlight yarns, which are about half the price (and yes, I know all about their terrible labour practices and the fact that these yarns were probably made by slaves in third world countries).

George's are matched perfectly, they just look a little skew-whiff because they are on smaller feet. Baby Bear's are too, but she has rolled one foot slightly so they also look off in the photo. (To be fair she was taking the photos herself and it is hard to keep the feet perfectly perpendicular while in that position AND photographing them!).

Please excuse the disgusting carpet. It is far too old and, although clean, permanently stained with too many things to bear thinking about!
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