Friday, 28 February 2014

Making Time for Creativity :: Appliqued Bookmarks

The second visit to Snibston last week, over half term, was a delight.  As you may remember, we were making Baroque appliqued bookmarks inspired by the Charles Jennens exhibition that is on at the museum at the moment. 

Whilst running the workshop, I took the time to encourage, not only the children but, the grown ups to sit down and make something.  It's is rather interesting to see the children throw themselves into the task with great gusto but the grown ups seem a little more reluctant to take part and need lots of encouragement to make those first steps.  Often I hear, "Oh. I'm not very good at crafts" or "Isn't it for the children.  Are you sure I can have a go?".  The words that I find really hard to hear are "Nobody has really had the patience to show me how to sew because I find it difficult".  I often wonder if people have been put off creative pursuits because the person showing them have been less than patient.  Sometimes it can be about making the time, and having the right resources, to be creative.   This is not always possible, because life can be everso busy, so running workshops, like this, provide the ideal setting for people to take a moment and sit down and discover something different that is both relaxing and great for wellbeing.

Some people do need a little extra time to pick up craft skills, like sewing, but I love to help them release their potential and I hope that I come across as both calm and patient.

It was great to see whole families working together on their creations at Snibston. At one point, I glanced down the table and just had to grab my camera...
 It was great to see the relaxed concentration that creativity brings.  It's almost like meditation and wonderful things grow from a relaxed state of mind...
 A grown up braiding with wool left over from the Lionheart Project...
 More braiding with wool scraps and cardboard...

 Ta daaaa.  Just look at these lovely pieces of work...
 This young lad decided to make a gift for mothers day and made his mum sit away from him so she would not see what he was making...
This young girl and her dad spent about an hour on their creation.  I felt so pleased when he came over and thanked me for the opportunity.  He said he had never sewn before and throughly enjoyed the whole experience.  That made my day!
 And to top it all off, those wonderful lions gazing down on us!


Monday, 17 February 2014

World Community Arts Day :: appliqued Baroque bookmarks

Today is World Community Arts day and what a great day it was for being creative.  I was invited back to the Snibston Discovery Museum to sit again under the watchful eye of those massive crocheted creations that are the Lionheart Project.  Regular readers will remember that I ran a finger knitting workshop at Snibston late last year.  This time the workshop was appliqued Baroque bookmark making.  The workshop was inspired by their current exhibition on Charles Jennens, the man behind Handels Messiah.  Without Jennens, their would be no Messiah.

For the workshop, we used felt to create bookmarks and letters and added braids an to given them that classic Baroque feel.

Some chose to stitch the initial of their first name to their book mark...
Others made use of my tangled tub of wool to make braids.  I have a simple cardboard cutout for this simple but effective craft.  We made use of the wool left over from the Lionheart project to weave into the braids making their bookmarks even more special...
One creative mum did a bit of hair weaving with Lionheart wool whilst her daughters made their braids...
And what beautiful bookmarks were made...
 
Over 50 peeps had a go at making bookmarks today.  I absolutely loved running this workshop, so much so, that I will be back again later this week.  If you are able, perhaps you would like to join us at Snibston for a bit of Baroque creative making, under the watchful gaze of the biggest crochet sculpture in the world.








Friday, 7 February 2014

Granny Blankets and Buntings

I've just spent the last two Thursday evenings, in the company of some delightful ladies, at Cross Corners Community Arts Centre where my studio is based.

The aim was to discover how to make a 'Granny Square' to make blankets and bunting.

From the pictures below you will see that everyone achieved that goal and more...
Also some variations on the granny square theme - granny triangles including some mini pompoms made with a dinner fork...
But the most important part about creative making, is to ensure that your energy levels are kept topped up with a lovely bit of cake.  Little Red Hen made ours.  We had delicious pumpkin, orange and ginger cake followed by scones and jam.  Yum...
I really love showing people how to crochet.  It looks impossible but it is not too difficult.  The best part is meeting new people and seeing their enthusiam and delight when they realise they have cracked a new skill.  It's wonderful and I cherish every moment of self discovery that I witness.