Monday, 5 May 2014

The slow, slow progress of the work in progress...

This one doesn't quite take the title of art work taking the longest to completion (that honour goes to a painting which took TWO YEARS! Whilst in no way looking like two years worth of work), but it's one I've been dibbing in and out of for a while. I don't think I've quite picked up momentum yet. Also I keep getting side-tracked by the rediscovered ability to knit, by fabric flowers (they are just so quick -almost instant gratification!), and thinking I am a seamstress. I am NOT a seamstress. I am embarrassed to show my attempt at a very basic top.

Anyway, seeing as the sun was out today allowing not too shabby photographs, I thought I'd show how I'm getting on with said assemblage...

Just need to figure out what I'm doing with the front now methinks.

(It just took me an ashamedly long time to figure that Blogger had decided it was no longer compatible with my browser, and that for that reason it didn't want to upload these pics. I am not made for the internet. I am of a simpler time. There goes my bank holiday...!)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

We need to chalk...

So far since breaking my candy fast I've indulged in 2 sour apples, a pear drop, a foam shrimp and a foam banana. And a teeny tiny bit of Alex's Easter egg (he didn't get me one!) It's funny how now sweets aren't banned I'm not even that bothered!

For the few days before Easter, Mother dearest and me went to Spring Harvest at Skegness (more info here!)

Basically it's a Christian festival (not quite like the one on 'Peepshow' as my charming husband suggested!). Mum used to take us as children, and the last time I went was when I was like 15 (that's 17 years ago!!!). We had the most amazing time, and if anyone wants to know more about it I've got loads to tell...

Anyway, the main reason I'm blogging is that one of the myriad experiences on offer was an abstract art workshop (I simply had to!). I didn't know what to expect, but I like the idea of exploring spirituality through art (without wanting to insult the many greats who have done so in history -far, far better than I ever could!).

We were hosted by Chris Gilbert 'The Art & Soul Man' (Chris' website), and the brief was...brief! Taking the theme of the day which was 'The Holy Spirit', we were given a choice of 3 different media -paint (too messy -I was wearing my bespoke eyeball dress), cut paper (I'm always cutting and sticking anyway), or pastel -and were let loose to give visual representation to what we'd learned, encountered and been inspired by over the preceding days.

Our studio: a darkened Butlins cabaret bar. My easel: a spot sprawled on the floor, half-on/half-off the plastic sheeting barely protecting the venue from getting too grubby for the next workshop...

And so I played! I realised I hadn't run riot with chalk pastels since my art foundation course 14 or 15 years ago. Although the results seem to me more aesthetically pleasing than any of the automatic drawing/mark-making to music attempts of my college days, I not sure that they are quite masterpieces. Kandinsky's crown isn't exactly being contested just yet...!

So this was my first effort. I'm concerned on reflection that the little crosses/figures look a bit more Blair Witch than Biblical...
Followed by...
This one is definitely a mountain. I am not sure why it is pink and purple (maybe it's heather?!) Or indeed what the bits flying off it represent. Mum said I could sell it -she's always been artistically challenged bless her!
I remembered my GCSE art teacher saying that if you look at something in the same way for too long you can lose sight of what it actually looks like, and a good way to see it with fresh eyes is to look at it upside down. So I wondered if my scribblings might look better another way up...
Perhaps not. Or framed...
'You've Been Framed' more like. But there was such child-like joy in getting covered in chalk dust.
And then there's the whole exploring psychology through art thing. I think we'll leave that idea on hold just for now...!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sweet Sacrifice

I have given up sweets for Lent. This may seem rather juvenile, indeed almost an insult to the sacrifice our Good Lord made for us, but it is practically killing me!

I am a woman of very few vices. I haven't drunk for over 3 years, I hate gambling (I even had to think about how to spell that!), I usually choose the low fat options. I am neither as 'Rock', nor as 'Roll' as I like to pretend I am. So it appears that taking away my sweeties is denying me the tiny pieces of sugary decadence I have left! A Strangelord without sweets is a picture of misery.

I'm not like a normal girl (in quite a few ways actually!) -I can take or leave chocolate. Confectionery heaven for me is a nostalgic boiled sweet -cola cubes, sour apples, rhubarb n custard..., or jellies (although controversially I'm really not that bothered about Haribo). Give me midget gems or sports mix back before they changed the black ones from liquorice flavour to blackcurrant, and I'm yours! Or pretty much anything from Swizzels Matlow. Parma Violets are a bit weird though, aren't they?!

So to get me through the next week of my Lenten abstention, I've made do with perusing Folksy for these candy-coated concoctions (of a craftier variety).

Clockwise from top left...

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Work In Progress (it's been a long time coming...!)



I have been desperate, but without the time to, stick things to this what I think was once a first aid cabinet, that I claimed from my father-in-law, waaay before he was my father-in-law (a couple of summers ago). It's so useful and most inspiring having contacts in house-clearance!
So I made a start the other weekend. I'm going with a primary colour scheme and basically taking it from there. I'm all about the random ways my collages emerge.
I'm pleased with how this miniature collage turned out as a piece in its own right. I've used a little thimble display case that I picked up in a chazza shop in Bridlington when I visited my Mum recently. I like the way that the different objects are compartmentalised, and therefore made to look like they're something special, even though they're junk. It is my intention that it will become part of the bigger cabinet collage.

In about 3 years' time when I finally get around to finishing it! I'm not sure I'll be quite ready for the Great Sheffield Art Show this year.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Rabbitting on.

So, when the urge to scratch that creative itch returned a couple of weeks ago, I was in need of minimal planning and instant gratification. The ideal opportunity to crack open a lovely gift from the gorgeous Stacey Leng (she'll always be Grimey to me).
Part of my Birthday gift was a DIY bunny kit by Sass and Belle. It'd been stashed in my craft cave ever since, but it seemed like just the thing to ease me back in.
The pink pom-pom tail was my own added touch. He should have had a ribbon tail.
In my head I believe I'm part 8 yr old, part elderly lady. A few months back a sweet lady came to speak to us at my church ladies group (punk as) from Samaritan's Purse UK, one of the charities that appeal for shoeboxes of gifts for children in deprived countries (Operation Christmas Child). So inspired was I, that I now cannot go on a shopping trip without looking for multipacks of childrens' toothbrushes, notebooks, crayons, you name it. I've even sorted through my hoards and been able to salvage some unopened trinkets, and I've become a dab hand at origami gift boxes.
So straight away I thought, I can donate this lovingly handcrafted, one of a kind, stuffed friend to one of those poor lonely children.
They'll either be over joyed, or gravely disappointed!


But either way, now I've got the templates, and an abundance of felt and fabric scraps, I don't think there'll be any stopping me!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The mysterious disappearance of Strangelord...

Almost 18 months ago now my life got extremely busy. And all my making energies were channelled into cross stitch invitations, lavender heart favours, fabric flower table centre pieces, bridesmaids' hair ornaments, bunting, drilling plates to make tiered cakes stands (it seemed like such a good idea at the time...!), a brooch bouquet, playlists...and all this alongside trying to make myself radiant (thank you Elemis) and sadly at times my husband-to-be's life a misery! I wish I wasn't such a control freak! I found it hard to entrust any tasks to anyone else.

So anyway, it kind of meant putting my personal creative dalliances on hold to choreograph and perform in the event I've dreamed of every day of my life. And now the dust has settled I can safely say it was worth it.

My fingers have just about regained feeling from so many marathon hand-stitching sessions, and I've ventured into my craft cupboard once more. It's comforting to get collaging again, so hopefully soon I'll be able to share some works in progress.

Still as strange, but now an Edwards-Lord.