Changing something unwanted and uncherished into an item much loved and appreciated. That’s my definition of Altered Art.
Today it was the turn of a small set of shelves which I took a shine to at a car boot sale last year and purchased for 50 pence. They have been sitting in my garage for over 6 months waiting for the right moment and today was their lucky day! It was their turn to be altered, up-cycled and given a new life.
I woke up this morning feeling very tired, frazzled and unrested which led me to I think that the past few weeks have finally caught up with me just as I knew they would. My mood is grumpy and wavers between teary and angry. I am generally unsettled and frustrated with feeling out of sorts.
I know that it will pass and that I need to be patient. I have to rest and ensure that I sleep well and not fret about things that I have no control over. Easier said than done but needs must.
Today I have therefore abandoned the mountain of ironing, consigned the Hoover to the corner and left the washing in the basket. Instead, I have swapped being a “Domestic Goddess” for being an “Artiste”. I have been making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) mainly because these take no time at all to complete and they are perfect for me to do in my current state of flux. Flux for me means that my concentration levels are poor and as I can’t face starting any bigger projects I now have more ATCs to add to my collection.
I laugh at myself as the point of ATCs is to trade them with other craft-bunnies but I haven’t got round to that yet and so they are accumulating in piles around my workspace.
I used to be creative. At school I was good at art and remember having a stern argument with the Headmaster when I told him that I wanted to drop the subject at 14. We battled for quite a while in his study whilst going through my end-of-term report but he finally gave in realising that I was determined not to have to wear those silly blue and white checked aprons any more. I have to admit that he got his own back when devising a punishment for one of my (many) misdemeanours. (I was horrible at 14). He made me paint a picture depicting my offence which I can assure you was non too easy as I was caught swinging from a chandelier in the main hallway overlooking his study brandishing my hockey stick. I didn’t realise that he was in-situ as unlike the Queen, there was no standard raised to indicate his presence. He kept the painting, presumably an hilarious reminder of what rebellious 14-year-old schoolgirls get up to when bored.
Anyway, I’m sure that this incident left me with a subconscious determination not to be creative and together with other reasons, creativity went to the bottom of the pile.
I had spells where I would go to dress-making classes, make patchwork quilts and knit “Mrs Weesley” jumpers for nieces and nephews but nothing lasted long. But now I have scrapbooking and other forms of papercraft to occupy me and I seem to have found my niche.
My latest wheeze is making mini-albums with folded pages which make hidden pockets. The albums can be decorated and embellished as much or as little as you like, and can be used for a multitude of purposes. Recipes, seed packets, photos, memorabilia, birthdays and special occasions, all can be stored in these albums. I am getting quite a collection simply because I enjoy making them. Lovely papers, buttons, lace and flowers. Tags and stamps, ribbons and brads all go together to create an album or notebook. I’m lucky that I have a binding machine which finishes the books off nicely but binding rings can be used instead.
I haven’t done any “crafting” this week as I have been on Jury Service. It was very disturbing and unsettling at times so that relaxing was difficult. I couldn’t sit down and absorb myself in a project and so it has been an unusually barren week for makes but in good old-fashioned Blue Peter tradition, here’s one I made earlier. It’s a 12 pocket album made of envelopes which I am going to use as a birthday/special occasion journal.