Tag Archives: creative

Unexplained Absence – Explained!

So you will have noticed that I have not been using the internet for work stuff recently. Well, the reason is two-fold….

Firstly, I have been trying to make changes to my blog/website. The aim was to incorporate everything onto one site, and this is the chosen one. however, it’s not as easy as one might think (well, not as easypeasy as I thought it would be. S I am waiting for the domain name thingy to work – apparently it can take up to 60 days to clear….I’m not really sure why it is so long, all I can tell you is that I am not very good at being kept waiting and its driving me a little bit crazy (more than normal!) So……nothing is happening so far….

Onto the second reason – I am not supposed to be working more than two hours a day at the moment because of my bipolar diagnosis. I had foolishly thought that I would be able to grasp this bipolar thing quite quickly but my case worker has had to remind me that it is only 6 weeks since my ‘manic episode’ and so to take things one day at a time. Now that is something definitely much easier said than done. So, I have been tinkering about with a few little projects, but not really getting much done. The medication I am on has given me creative block – well, I get a few ideas, but actually following through with them is proving problematic, especially trying to use a scalpel with shakey hands (side effect of the bipolar meds).

So, there you go – that’s why I have been somewhat off the radar recently.

Oh, there is one thing I have done – I have signed up for the year to do the monthly market at The Fold in Bransford. I love doing this market as there are so many creative people to chat to. If you are in the area on the fourth Sunday of each month I would love to see you, so pop on down and say hello!

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Thursday Showcase No. 13 Leaff Design Ltd.

Hi there, and welcome to the 13th Thursday showcase! Unlucky for some, but I have always loved the number thirteen.Today is a funny one as it is a company based less than a mile away from my front door! But I did actually find them on the internet, not in person – but who knows, maybe I will actually get to meet the real world version one day! Also, before you start reading, please accept my apologies for the terrible formating/layout of this post – for some reason it has all gone nuts and is refusing to do what I want it to (definitely not operator error, I assure you…ahem….). Anyway, enough of the waffling and on with the show(case)!

1. Whats yer name and where d’ya come from?!

My name is Kate, and I’m originally from hilly south Wales, having moved to Worcester around 5 years ago. I am the co-owner of Leaff Design, along with my amazing husband, Jay.

2. How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you get into it?
I have been practising Graphic Design since school, when I chose it as one of my options for my final years. I then went onto college and eventually University, where I gained my degree. Since then, I have worked in the field through a small number of jobs, a spot of freelancing, and eventually Leaff was launched! Leaff is just over 2 years old.
3. What is the hardest part of your work?
This is actually quite easy to answer. When a client has a great appreciation of quality and design, their projects have heaps of potential, but their budget cannot support the full potential of what the project could reach. We always bend over backwards to accommodate client’s budgets as much as we can, but sometimes it is painful to see how big things could get, if only there was the budget to make that a reality.
4. And what is the most rewarding?
That is easily the client’s reaction to a finished project. There is nothing that compares to that. It is particularly satisfying to get the very best out of a budget, and exceeding expectations of what can be achieved within that budget.

5. What do you class yourself as – artist, designer/maker, crafter, creative?

A designer, since that is my job title, though both myself and Jay are very creative people in so many other ways too – it doesn’t stop at design.
6. Who from the creative world do you admire?
So many people! First and foremost I would say the array of people and businesses that we meet on a daily basis, but to be more specific, there are a few really great creatives that I draw so much inspiration from.
I find American designer Joy (Oh Joy!) very inspirational, as a female designer, and as a new mum now successfully juggling her business. Then there are people like the Australian artist Rilla Alexander, for her amazing craft, and creative Katie Sokoler (Color me Katie) for her huge amounts of creative energy.

7. Where does your inspiration come from?

Everywhere! I’m a very visual person, and so it is the simple things really. The weather and seasons have a massive effect on me, as does all forms of nature. I love my books, paper and texture, music, and fantasy films such as those by Tim Burton. These things inspire me massively, even if they are completely unrelated to a project.
8. Do you listen to music/watch TV whilst you are working, and if so, what?
I listen to music, yes. When Jay isn’t in the studio with me I tend to listen to 6 music for company, but when he is with me or if I just get fed up with the music on 6 then we listen to our playlists on iTunes. These include groups such as Minus The Bear, Thrice, Arcade Fire, Agnes Obel, Bloc Party, City and Colour, Fleet Foxes and Menomena to name but a few.
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In our new studio in our dream location – where Leaff is thriving of course! We have huge dreams for our next studio.
10. What sacrifices have you made for your art?!
That is a tough one. All of our savings have gone into Leaff, and our lives have been somewhat restrained since Leaff begun because of that. We’ve had to be very frugal with our money, though I find it hard not to see the positives in this too. Controlling and managing your money in itself is a huge lesson, and learning how to make it go further and further for your needs is an even bigger lesson. I wouldn’t say it has changed how we feel about our lives, even though it has been hard at times, so I’m not sure it feels such a sacrifice. On the contrary, we appreciate every single thing that we have, and how lucky we are to be working for ourselves and together, so in that sense it is a blessing.

And so now you will be keen to find out more….. well for starters, check out the blog – well worth a read for a great insight on how they work with clients, but also more about the team and the company plus local news, other artists, visits and photography. You should also check out the following….

follow them on Twitter

like them on Facebook

check out their awesome website

and of course Shop!

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Thursday Showcase No. 10 Divine Choice Creations

Wowzers – the tenth in the series! Amd I am so excited to be able to inroduce you to the lovely Pearletta Wilson of Divine Choice Creations. I met Pearletta on twitter thanks to #cbuk chat – a weekly meeting of bloggers who blog about their crafts. She is a warm, kind hearted soul with a real passion for her work. Her she is, on Olympic Torch day, showing her support for St Lucia, Jamaic and the UK all at once!

And her is a little bit more about her…

1.Whats yer name and where d’ya come from?!

My name is Pearletta and I create and craft under the name DivineChoice Creations. I was born in London and have always lived here. I grew up in North London then moved to East London more than 30 years ago. I have to include St Lucia in an answer about where I come from as that is my family homeland and although I am British by birth I am also St Lucian.

2. How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you get into it?

Making cards using various media started five years ago. I’ve always been a creative person and when I was admitted to hospital and knew that it would be a long stay I decided that I needed something to keep my mind occupied. Luckily I found something in the hospital shop that fitted the bill – a cross stitch kit. I was bit rubbish and didn’t do it very well but my mum then brought me some cross stitch cards kits and some other crafty stuff. There were some nurses from the Philippines who were expert stitchers so they showed me how to work better and so it was only natural that I gave one of the cards I made to them as a thank you when I left.

During my recovery I discovered card making magazines with paper and embellishments included and so I started following the designs and made cards for family and friends to say thank you and for celebrations. That is really how it all started as it led to my own designs and creations.

As I said I’ve always been a creative person so in recent years I have picked up skills that were lying dormant and incorporated them into my crafting.

3. What is the hardest part of your work?

Maintaining my creativity during difficult times e.g. when my health is not good or when coping with other emotional issues is the hardest part of my work as my creativity is inevitably affected. It is partly why I switch from card making to knitting or stitching and back again so there is always something I can make to fit my current circumstance.

4. And what is the most rewarding?

The most rewarding thing is receiving a positive response to one of my creatons whether online or off but I also get a huge amount of satisfaction from seeing a design develop and completed well.

5. What do you class yourself as – artist, designer/maker, crafter, creative?

Oooh that’s a tough one…mmmm.

Well I’d probably say all of the above. Is that allowed?

6. Who from the creative world do you admire?

One of the first handmade items I ever bought online was made by a knitter and stitcher whose work I both admire and am inspired by – Julie Cartwright of Life in Stitches. I also admire the work of Stacy Ann Cole of Creativesque – her work is so distinctive. I admire the yarn creations of Penny Graham-Jones of Planet Penny too as I get the most repins when I pin her work on Pinterest. Seriously though these are just a few names that spring to mind but I could name lots of people.

Besides the talent in the their craft I also admire crafters who have great blogs and are getting into the media and doing well at craft fairs – they ‘re all so organised!

7. Where does your inspiration come from?

I am inspired by nature, children, art, especially African art, TV, even the urban landscape … can’t really put my finger on one thing specifically. Some ideas just pop into my head as if from nowhere.  I am like a little kid sometimes finding beauty and pleasure in the simplest of things – a pink summer evening sky, the twinkle of dew on the lawn or in a spiders web, the first strawberry of the season…

8. Do you listen to music/watch TV whilst you are working, and if so, what?

Yes I do all those things. If I am listening to music I like to shuffle my mp3 player so I hear everything from roots reggae, to r&b, rap, and gospel. If I am watching TV I enjoy football or programmes like LA Ink (not into tattoos I just admire the art and the ideas they come up with), food programmes (Nigella, Saturday Kitchen Live…) or something factual like ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, The Empire or some true life tale. Sometimes when I work I’ll listen to a drama or comedy on digital radio. I especially like Agatha Christie even though I’ve heard or seen all the stories more than once. I’m the same with Columbo. Oh yeah and I am a fan of the Archers. My mum used to listen to it when I was little and I thought it was so boring except for the theme tune. I got into it about 20 years ago when I ‘discovered’ spoken radio and I’ve listened ever since.

9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I would like to think that I will be making fantastic cards with a wider range using more of my own artwork, be a much better knitter and stitcher with my own website including a shop and a blog in one. I expect to be an old hand at craft markets and even venture out of London once in a while to pursue my creative endeavours. I’d also like to have a community project encouraging people to make stuff and have fun doing it.

10. What sacrifices have you made for your art?!

That’s a bit deep unless you mean the hours I’ve sacrificed sleep because I must see a spark of an idea through to the end even if that means staying up until the birds start singing or the neighbourhood cockerel (yes even in the heart of London we have a cockerel) starts crowing his head off. Or what about the house cleaning I sacrifice because I just have to complete a drawing, card or knitting project?  Yes these are the sacrifices I’ve made for my art 😉

See, what a lovely lady- I bet you are glad you have met her! Here is some of her work…

You can find Pearletta in a number of places, just click on the links below….

Divine Choice Creations on Twitter

Divine Choice Creations Blog

So pop on over and say hello, and have a look at what else Pearletta has been up to!

See you again next week x


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Thursday Showcase No. 4 Shiny Pigeon

Well hello there, and welcome to number four – so glad you are still with me – well, who wouldn’t be, all these interesting people to meet! I have a real treat for you today – a lovely young bird who is crafty in many ways and highly entertaining!

1. Whats yer name and where d’ya come from?!

Hello! My name is Bex, and I blog as Shinypigeon over at Musings from the Pigeon’s Nest. I live in the South East of England, in a teeny tiny rented nest.
2. How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you get into it?
I honestly cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t creating something….fabric and wool just happen to be my current medium. I have a grasshopper mind, and fabric is something I have been playing with for around 6 months.
My little online shop has been open for about 4 months now, and I am loving creating and my creations getting out there!
3. What is the hardest part of your work?
Finding the time to actually create. I work full time and I wish I could sit and make all day instead! Also not having an actual craft space really is a pain! My living room lighting SUCKS for close up work and I honestly take over my entire 3 seater sofa when I am working. I cannot wait until we buy our house next year and I can have a designated craft area!
4. And what is the most rewarding?
When people receive their items and they send me piccies of them in situ! I love hearing how happy people are with the things they buy. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
5. What do you class yourself as – artist, designer/maker, crafter, creative?
I would class myself as a crafter, but I guess I also fall into the designer/maker catergory. The problem I have is sticking to one medium! 😀
6. Who from the creative world do you admire?
Anyone who can do something I can’t. There are some amazing makers out there, especially in the facebook and blogging community!
7. Where des your inspiration come from?
I make things I want to buy. I originally began making things for myself, and as more and more people asked about them I began thinking about creating them to sell.
8. Do you listen to music/watch TV whilst you are working, and if so, what?
I am epically addicted to TV series. Currently it is True Blood, but next week who knows… I am very lucky to have an endless supply of TV available! I do find that I tend to listen to the classics (Jane Eyre, Pride and Predjudice etc) in audiobook format when I am using my sewing machine, mainly because I can’t look up!
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years time I would love to be doing this full time, stocking my own physical shelves with my own and others fabulous creations. We can dream big right?!
10. What sacrifices have you made for your art?!
My biggest sacrifice is time. Time is becoming my most valuble commodity, and I do sometimes find myself crafting more than I should.

So for more pigeon business, check out her fab vlogs, he wonderous blog, her tweets, her facebook page, and, um, well, there you have it! Somewhare in there you will find the most lovely little treasures to buy and keep for yourself (or give to a very nice friend)


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New Directions

I have been so wrapped up in my lampshades and a load of commissions lately that I was feeling towards the end of last week like I had lost my creative direction somehow – like I had stifled my own creativity by limiting my work. As if often the case, the root of the problem is that there are just not enough hours in the day, and so any non-essential creativity has been on hold for a while. Not good when my New Years Resolution was to do at least one creative thing every day! I suppose one could argue that my work is creative, but I think I had in mind something more organic in nature.

Anyway, this weekend I redressed the balance and did some sketching with the scalpel. Of course I made that little card for Immy (see post below) and then in a few snatched moments here and there I did a bit of experimenting to see what would happen, in two areas that have been at the back of my mind for some time.

The first was to try to cut in very fine detail. There are some amazing paper cutters out there who do this brilliantly, and I wanted to see if I could get anywhere close. The most amazing of these is Hina Aoyama

As you can see by the pictures at the bottom, although the work is a lot finer than my normal stuff, I have a very long way to go to get close to that level of intricacy.

The second experiment was to see if I could cut felt. I have been thinking about this for some time, but never at a moment where I am sat near some felt and a scalpel with half an hour to spare! But, I managed to do it at the weekend, and I am rather pleased to find that it is possible to do, and not as difficult as I thought it would be. I am now looking forward to my next trip to the fabric shop so that I can buy a meter or two of felt and see what happens!




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