Thursday, 29 January 2009

Day thirty-nine: throat infections and genie bottles

Genie Bottle after

Thanks to a nasty throat infection I haven't been able to go to work for the last three days. I'm not being a total wimp; the drugs I take make me more susceptible to infection, taking them also means it's hard for me to fight infection, so I need to rest up if I get one. I need to shake it before my next dose, else no dose, and that would be no fun at all. Pffft. I digress. The point is that because I have been at home I have had something I don't normally have: time.

Therefore I managed to finish my genie bottle for the flickr mosaic challenge. I never had a particular plan for the design of my bottle - actually I did, but I completely ignored it and did something entirely different! I am still trying to work out if I prefer the "freestyle" method of working or a more planned method. I guess it depends on what I am doing, but on the whole I prefer an organic* approach.
For the bottle I used one of two I got on ebay for a couple of quid. I covered the main body of the bottle in vitreous glass tiles (green with gold flecks), grouted in black. Then I beaded some 'ribbons' to tie around the bottle, and clasped it with a garish pendant prised off a necklace I rescued from Petticoat Lane market. I covered the stopper with fimo, then baked it and covered it with pre-mixed grout, which I molded into a genie-like wispy shape, then covered in a little more beady bling.

I also baked some lemon cookies because I fancied something sweet, then ate one and felt sicker than ever.

Lemon cookies

So no more cookies for a while. Well a little while...

Thirty-nine days a go I promised myself to do at least a little bit of creative work each day, and I have stuck to that. It has opened up a side of me I haven't seen since I was about 17 years old - I am getting a little braver. Remember when you thought you were indestructible? Well it's like a tiny dose of that feeling: Does that tile look exactly right there? Who the hell cares, stick it down!

* making it up as I go along!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Days twenty-six to thirty-two: Emotional Wreck

I have just finished reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Good grief! I've been through half a box of tissues and I am still sniffling now.

I need a dose of Mamma Mia now to cheer me up.

The last week has involved rather a lot of sniffling actually. Not sure if it's January, the drugs, or the doom and gloom of the recession, but I have been feeling somewhat glum overall.

I have surprised myself though in that I have still managed, if only for half an hour, to get some creativity into each day. Mainly it has been my mosaics, I have been working on about three simultaneously and I am slowly teaching myself to be less cautious and more willing to jump in feet first. If the end result isn’t what I intended so what, I take those lessons and I move on. Who knows maybe the end result will be better than I intended.

In addition to mosaics I am working on a movie for my sister’s 30th birthday; a collection of video clips and photos, plus a version of Peter Kay’s Is This the Way to Amarillo video that I can barely edit without crying with laughter.

A month into my creative journey I am already finding that it is getting easier to find the time to do the things I really enjoy and that absorb me totally. It’s a form of meditation in a way, and I know it’s helping me cope with the challenges life brings in a way that can only get bigger and better.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Days nine to twenty five: At last!

Well that was a good start to the new year and my new blog: I completely forgot my blog password. Easy enough to solve if you don't then find you registered with the incorrect email address - I used the wrong ".xx" extension or something. So for two weeks I have been racking my brains to remember, then this morning it came to me in a flash! I won't say what it is of course but lets just say my inspiration came from my daughter's favourite episode of Dora the Explorer, which we discussing at length this morning (when we should have been putting our coats and scarves on, my daughter is an expert in the distraction technique.)

All is sorted now - email and password are corrected and duly noted. So there should be no more yawning gaps in service (save for holidays and general laziness.)

So what creativity has the days seen? Well surprisingly quite a lot - I have got lots done on the flickr cool/warm challenge mosaic. Unfortunately I don't have pics to upload today.

I have also managed to paint my bathroom at last. So it is now a rather fetching shade of delicate almond.

I have started on the flickr genie bottle challenge as well, though I mainly just stare at my chosen bottles and wonder what on earth I am going to do with them. I did buy silicone glue I suppose, so that counts towards actually doing something on this one right?

It can be challenging trying to fit in my creations with working full-time as well as being a full-time* mum and look after an very old house that is in need of many repairs. But I find that by making it part of my,even our, way of life it's easier. I leave my half finished mosaic on the table so I can play about with it if I am passing and get an idea, or my daughter picks up the beads, and embellishements and unbroken tiles and sorts them into pots and colours, my husband makes sure he wears slippers when I am cutting, I read books on colour and compostion whilst I am hooked up to the IV every 6-8 weeks, and we have a new addition to the family - a handheld cordless hoover for clearing up mosaic fragments at the end of each day.

I still struggle to get back to artistic freedom I used to when I was younger, before I was a "grown-up", a wife, a mother and a homeowner. I am too careful these days, and I care too much about what others will think of the finished product before I have even stuck on one piece of tess. I know I need to loosen up and trust my instincts again, but that will come.

* I work full-time, well four days a week. Like other working mothers, motherhood is my number one job and my work takes a seat waaaaaaay behind. Full-time mummy, part-time worker.