Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The Well and Back Again

(sign created using 'RedKid Net')

Lordy! I didn't realise it had been such a long time since my last blog: how rude of me, to expect you all to comment and then I just bugger off ('Come to my party! I'm just off to the cinema!)

What have I been up to? Well, not as much as I should have been. Sometimes, when things are going well, I like to shoot myself in the foot. Is it because I am so used to having (or making) an excuse for not working that I can't quite get used to the idea that this may just succeed? That with a little effort and creativity, I may finally be able to carve a career for myself? Its at this point that I fall into what John Gray calls 'the well' and I beat myself up that I am not good enough, who the hell do I think I am, I couldn't possibly achieve anything, I'm not original, I have no talent, I've squandered my education, I'm too old, and my current favourite self-put downs: I am useless and pointless. If I'm going down, I like to make the most of it and usually pack a picnic and a change of clothes. But I have installed a trampoline in my well and I soon bounce back again, because life is too short and the kids will be home from school and they'll be hungry.
I also think how I would react if my Mum felt like that, or my daughter and that kicks the perspective back into place.
One of my problems is my own narrow concept of design that I'm trying to break free of, where I have had a tendency to believe that good design needs to be completely original and complex. Firstly, how can 'original' be defined? True originality comes along very rarely because we are all influenced by what our senses absorb and this affects our own creative processes. (I'm not talking about plagiarism here: that's just wrong) But to strive for 'originality' is surely a quest doomed to failure. I think its best to plough through a list of ideas, trying out those 'what if?'s and see what happens: to unlimit ourselves from the burden of 'it must be different'. Because, and this is how my brain works, if we are truly individuals, with our own ideas, likes, dislikes, perversions etc, if we are true to ourselves, if we are self-indulgent in our creativity and feel free to just try it, surely something different and good will result?
Secondly, design does not need to be complicated. I used to think that for a design to be a success, it should confound the viewer: 'How the hell did they do that?!' If you've ever read Crafts magazine, you'll understand my point. But stop and absorb what things move you: are they the highly polished complex pieces or are they the simple things? Probably a mixture of the two. What objects make you go for your purse? I've been using this idea recently whilst out and about and have come to the conclusion: yes, I would buy my own products. My bags may not be the most complex, but the fabrics are gorgeous and they are very practical. They sometimes have only one pocket in them and that's because I've had bags in the past with millions of pockets and I couldn't find a thing. I personally like having one big space to rummage through, knowing full well that what I am looking for will not be tucked away, hiding in a tiny pocket. You're also not going to accumulate a load of fluff: a pocket accumulates its own corner fluff, therefore the less pockets, the less corner fluff! (should I use that as a selling point...)

In between all this mental congitatation, I've also made some stuff, which is available for your buying pleeeesher over at Etsy:

I've sold something on Etsy! Hurrah!

I went to my beloved button lady just before the flea market closed for the day and purchased these gems:

But I'm a bit of a craft slapper and for one day only got my loving elsewhere:

well, needs must...

I also got a copy of my favourite self-help book, plus another that I've always fancied reading , from a lovely charity shop:

May I insist that you read Tony Hawks' magnificent book: it will keep you from the well for ages.

Did you read this article from the Observer (Sunday 10th June)?

Its worth reading because what they say is spot on: I'm so used to images of teeny weeny models and actors that these women seemed absolutely massive:
But then you get used to them and you see that they are gorgeous and sexy.

They aren't pie-crazed women, out to shag what they can because they are grateful, they are real, strong, gorgeous women. Then I noticed something familiar: although taller, they are my size. It was refreshing to see women of this size photographed like 'normal' models: usually they are photographed looking jolly ('I'm fat and happy: besides, if I laugh enough, the jiggling of my breasts will detract you from my inner loathing') or naked, lying on their stomachs. ('I'm sexy, but only in parts'). Unpatronising photos of real women: how subversive!

I draw the line at this swimsuit:

but I have taken to sitting on stools in this fashion:

Though a tad uncomfortable, the ventilation more than makes up for it.

I have been working on,
and have now finished, a commission for my lovely chum Marina. She wanted a fabric Fender Stratocaster for her hubs, Gareth, as a wee minding for his 40th birthday. Despite thinking she should get him something unusual (!?) I ploughed ahead regardless:

what do you think?

I'm particularly proud of the whammy bar, because if you can't have a bit of reverb on your birthday, what the hell is the point?!

It doesn't have strings, you may have noticed: I didn't want to offend Gareth by installing what could, unbeknownst to me, be an inferior brand...

Despite this drawback, my son took it for a test drive....
Forget Angus Young: meet, from up coming rock band R2/D2, Hamish Young!

Speaking of music, I've been procrastinating like the beeeyatch I am on this Flickr group. Here's mine. What songs would you chose? I warn you now: it will suck you in.

My wondrous chum Andrea, Goddess of the Free Ticket, rang me up one Saturday night: the consequence was we ended up here, seeing this guy the next night and seeing this image, which has burnt itself onto my retinas:

Mr Bush, misunderstanding the phrase 'Give the dog a bone'.
(photo from George

Suffice to say, although not a massive fan, I sang along with gusto, joy and of course panache to all but one of his songs. Hubs resisted my advances during 'Careless Whisper' (ahh, memories of school discos, all mullets, rubber bracelets and kitten heels...) so I had a smooch with the girls instead.

Gazastock is looming on the horizon and I have a million and one (ok, about 30) things to finish. I am very excited, and if I sell anything, that will be even better.

Till next time...


Hazel Nicholls said...

I really love your blog, It brought a smile to my face. Love your work too. - Good luck with selling your wares on etsy - it's such a great site, i've spent many a day procrastinating there and wishing i'd come up with so many of those ideas.

Raggy Rat said...

heeey - you do have a blog - duh was i daft the other day saying it would be great if you had one? i liked reading about your first sale on a stall - i remember mine, sniff, and that a top guitar ...
i love fabric stashes too - but i think mine might be bigger then yours doll ... thanks for the sexy women too only i wish i was that smooth - ive had twins so theres no chance! trade blog links with ya? cat xxxx

yumptatious said...

Hazell: awww, thanks! Welcome to my world!

Cat: Welcome! Glad you sniffed me out. I've put you in my blog roll: may you be very happy there!