Side Effects

“When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”

James Clear – Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

With yet another turn of the calendar there aren’t many weeks left in 2017.  17 in fact.  That’s 17 fresh starts.  Or 17 opportunities to choose, act, repeat, if you’re developing a new weekly habit.

And I am.

Every week, I intend to complete one ‘sewing’ task.  They will vary in magnitude, and distance from my current comfort zone.  But by the end of the year I should have 17 more items to wear, and a new set of sewing skills under my belt.  But it’s okay if I only complete one.  As long as I turn up for weekly practice.

Oddly, I feel more comfortable problem-solving with fabric and trying out new (and often complex) sewing techniques, than I am drawing with pencil on paper.  Yet there’s more at stake.  Maybe it’s the way I’m looking at things; I’ll be asking myself about that while I’m mindfully sewing.

The post Side Effects first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

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Small Packages of Joy

Sometimes it’s the small things that have the biggest impact.

A few weeks’ ago I rearranged my sock and undies drawers, having borrowed Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy from my local library.  The title intrigued me.  And The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up (also by Kondo) was on loan.

In summary, you decide what to keep, rather than what to part with; then store it away neatly in little rolls or packages of joy.  In my opinion (and depending on the garment), a few choice folds works fine, but if you have time to roll, roll away.  Nevertheless arranging them upright and by colour is genius, and a delight to look at.

Now that the inhabitants of my small items drawers are easy to see and select, I’m more thoughtful about what I wear every day.  Not only have I discovered that I own more pairs of opaque purple tights than I thought I did, my confidence has had an unexpected boost, as has my creative energy.

WordPress Prompt: Inhabit

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Where Are They Now?

April isn’t typically the time of year most people think about setting New Year Resolutions.  But with a spring birthday, it’s a perfect time for me to reflect and set my goals for the next year of my life.

For the past year I set out to: i) overhaul my wardrobe, and ii) become prolifically creative.  However, as I write this on the eve of my blog’s first birthday, it’s difficult to pinpoint any significant changes I’ve made to achieve either.

Wardrobe Architect

My wardrobe is (slowly) improving.  Having changed a few shirt buttons, I’ve made some progress.  I still have about half-a-rail of mending/adjusting awaiting my attention.  However, reminding myself of my passion for sewing seems to have flicked the right internal switch; I’ve since finished a couple of ‘difficult’ projects.  But my real passion is for dressmaking, and I’m a sucker for a nice sewing pattern.  So hopefully I’ll get to make some new clothes for myself rather than just making do and mending the pieces I can’t bear to part with.

Prolific Creativity

When I set this goal last year I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to achieve.  Roll forward a few months and I decided that, for me, prolific creativity meant more than drawing for ten minutes every day.  Having attempted several drawing challenges since last April, I’ve learned that there’s more to this than turning up to the page and making a few choice marks.  I want my own journey to have a purpose, and when I choose my next ‘first’ step, the next ‘second’ one will naturally follow.

So, all that’s left to say is ‘Happy Birthday, Filbert & Smudge’, and ‘Cheers!’ to year number 2!

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A Drawing Dilemma

If you had a year to teach yourself to draw and paint, how would you go about it?

Here’s the thing…

I love drawing. I understand the theory, and can draw pretty well with either my right or left hand (and which hand I choose usually depends on my mood).  I’ve even taught drawing in an informal way.  But if I was suddenly asked to draw or paint something in front of me, without any mental or emotional preparation, I’m not sure I could do it.  As I spend the majority of my drawing time in life-drawing class, in my own head I feel I would struggle to draw anything else.  And with a new blog year pending, I’d like to approach this art thing in a whole new way.

As a recently returned dressmaker, I’m pacing my re-learning by choosing projects according to the fabric I wish to sew and the techniques I want to practice. My map will be drawn out by my Wardrobe Architect, and the souvenirs of my journey will be the new outfits I have to wear.

However, with drawing I’m completely stuck.  My key objective is to pick any of my art materials at random and draw (or paint) whatever is in front of me, without having to do a mental warm-up first.  But as this is driven by technique the subjects aren’t as obvious.  And without a plan, this challenge would be meaningless.  I’ve started listing things to try, such as line, tonal values and shading over a three-dimensional surface, but at the moment my short list isn’t firing up my enthusiasm.  So, I need your help…

If you had a year (or less) to teach yourself to draw and paint, how would you go about it?

Please add a comment or ‘get in touch’ (via Menu).

WordPress prompt: Meaningless

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