Project personification, and a strategy for the worthy


, , , , , , , ,

The problem to solve today is ‘what to work on?’. In my pied world things aren’t black and white. I have never begun a project, then finished that project to the exclusion of all others. Creative ventures are always full of beginning joy; then sometimes turn hard and nasty; then become worthy of push to completion, or not worthy but saved for ‘just in case’.

I know each creative thing in my life intimately. I know where each thing lives and I generally know its needs. It’s always just a question of worthiness—I do the rounds each day and have a little conversation with each project and it’s myriad of offspring—’are you the muse today’?

Since this blog is part disclosure and part strategy, I thought I would try to reveal the extent of my repository of incomplete and work some strategies for dealing.

Designing for…

Some of my work is design-oriented—cards, jewellery, bags, scarves, gloves, hair accessories, craft supplies and more. I have started on some simple sewing and have collected quite a bit of fabric. I would like to do some more fabric design so that I can sew with my own designed fabrics.

In the kikyo (balloon flower) images above I’ve superimposed the kikyomon with some sections of De Chirico images. I can see potential for fabric design. For this project to progress I need to further develop the individual kikyo, probably with my own images superimposed and then develop a repeat pattern ready for printing.

The line drawing above is part of a challenge that I’ve set myself to create separate images that can be placed in any pattern combination—images that can be flipped, mirrored, rotated and even staggered—they aren’t constrained by a single orientation. Here, I was trying fluid lines and marks to represent water and it sort of works with the 6 separate patterns created so far. I think I have to try something a bit simpler to nail the concept so my strategy is to go back to the drawing board with some graph paper and some straight lines.

Endless lovely fibre…

I’m expecting another yarn delivery today. It’s a feltable wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills and of course I have several plans in my head for felted bags. I get so excited about the potential of a ball of yarn or a spool of thread for braiding.

My kumihimo braids are forever worthy. So many patterns to explore and loads of potential for jewellery and sculptural objects. I have both 32 slot and 64 slot disks so there’s still a lot to explore. Wish list includes a wooden marudai and a takadai for more complex patterning. What stops me doing more is that it’s a very sedentary activity and time-consuming so when my half-complete 32-thread green python braid cries out to be picked as I pass, I have to validate it and tell it that it’s gorgeous, but seriously consider whether I can spend time with it today.

Knitting is sedentary too but it’s much easier to pick it up for short periods of time. It doesn’t require so much concentration.

I desperately need a strategy for completion here. Like tribbles, yarn stash and unfinished projects multiply. They are all fighting for space and screaming for attention and I can hear them! Some things really only require a few minutes to finish, but the bigger problem is that finishing (e.g.a pair of gloves) demands that I make another pair in a different colour scheme, stitch pattern, shape, length. So seductive they are! Perhaps I try the pomodoro technique here? Yes, OK, be disciplined, but surely there’s a more creative answer. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

1000 days…

My artwork is already strategised thanks to a commitment to create a substantive body of work by 22 July 2020.

Strategised, in the sense that there is some direction, a clear timeframe and some works in progress. I work in this space most days and each work takes its own sweet time. We work together if you like. I’ve always enjoyed collaborating.

I’m working in acrylics for smaller works and oils for larger works. Symbols and surfaces vie for attention. I’m still learning techniques as I collaborate with the work.

Today’s strategy, then…

Reading through this post leads me to a conclusion for today’s strategy. Working on my Reticulated pattern (yes, it was worthy enough to just be named) seems like a plan. The challenge is mathematical, which I enjoy, and it made me realise that virtually everything I am doing and trying to do is demanding mathematically.

All hail the mathematical muse!

Hmmm…the wool just arrived and it’s very beautiful…


Let them talk to each other


, , , , , , ,

I’ve started an Instagram account (yes, I know, +pie!).



I’m still struggling a bit with how to use Instagram and why to use it. Instagram is a branding and marketing tool but I don’t really want to use it as that at the moment. I like my progress so far regarding Etsy branding—that is, I have a logo of sorts and my Too Many Pies shop is consistently all over the shop when it comes to colour, style, materials and listings. Most reflective of ‘a finger in too many pies’. Tick.

And I don’t want to drive traffic to my shop quite yet. Most of my work is experimental. One-offs aren’t sustainable in a commercial sense. I don’t want to be beholden to ‘make’ for the ‘customer’. (Great gratitude to the people who have bought from my shop—I’m so thankful you have found my work just the same)

instagram is good for…

Instagram is good for capturing on-the-run images that support my process. In this space my little pies can ‘talk to each other’.

They can talk colour ‘whoa! same, same’ or ‘wow! you’re very different…’ or ‘do you really think you have to be purple?’

They can talk texture and form ‘you’re a five-petalled flower too!’ or ‘what does it feel like to be a fabric design?’ or ‘let’s talk mathematically’

They can talk together about the world and imagination and struggle and influence and serendipity.

Unlike Pinterest, Instagram facilitates that dialogue without all the visual noise. And that suits my purpose at the moment!

The mood is chintz


, , , , , , , ,

This morning’s pins include fashion and jewellery objects from the Victoria and Albert Museum – organic colours and shapes, and woven textures are the order of the day!

Those images made me think about why I love patterns, and in particular floral patterning in rich colours [beware a bit of rabbiting on here]. I saw the film Florence Foster Jenkins last week and it was very satisfying because it was full of over-exaggerated chintz (is that tautology?). That prompted me to look again at the origin of the word chintz—from the Hindi word chint or chitta meaning spotted or variegated, and of course I absolutely love spotted things, striped things, variegated colours and so on. Back to Florence, who wore a thumb ring ad sang about as well as I do. In tribute to her guts I made a thumb ring today with a variegated colour pattern. The blurry image below doesn’t do it justice—just a quick pic for the record. Thanks for the inspiration Florence!