First up, the Moviestar design challenge results are in and I came third, woohoo! Blogged here. I went with the cute felt badges thing again (I really cannot get enough of those things at the moment) and made a whole bundle of little pins...
First off I just kept thinking about stars all fortnight & ended up making a pile of simple star pins. They're not quite how I wanted them to be (I am still vaguely mulling over ideas for how to make what I actually wanted) but they are still quite cute. I loved the comment from someone (I forget who, sorry!) that they reminded them of fireworks:
Secondly, I was thinking about old fashioned moviestars and how modern actors and actresses are "celebrities" not "stars", they're just part of that big mass of "famous" people who are in the papers all the time. This rather made me think about all those 9 or 13 year olds who don't want to be nurses or teachers, astronauts or zookeepers, when they grow up but instead declare that they want to be "famous". So I made these:
Thinking about these different interpretations of the theme, and then seeing the other challenge entries and how everyone else had been inspired to go off in widely different directions from the same word "moviestars"... well, I have been thinking a lot about inspiration lately.
I have been spending a lot of my tea breaks looking at wonderful things on Flickr, and on Etsy and following up links to peoples blogs and online sketchbooks. I'm starting to think about my bookmarked blogs and "favourited" (what a non-word!) flickr photos as an online version of the scrapbooks of gorgeous and inspiring things I have been keeping for years.
I have never been able to throw away pictures, quotes and other oddments that fascinate me and I am in turn fascinated by how these things lodge themselves into my brain. Years later I remember a picture and dig it out from the appropriate scrapbook and it's just how I remembered it. I don't know that bookmarking etc can work in the same way, but I guess its fludity means I can keep track of the things I am currently interested in and watch them develop a little? Oh, I don't know. It's nice to think about these things, though.
Some blogs I have been looking at lately: Create Fabric Art (in German - my German is rather rusty - but the pictures! just wow); Medieval Silkwork (great historical textile stuff); Cupcakes for Clara (just the cutest things, found via flickr). I haunt an awful lot of textile-related groups on Flickr, too. Needlework & embroidery & all that jazz are easily my favourite crafts, they are perhaps even taking over as my favourite arts interest - I had far more moments of awe and engrossed contemplation at last year's Art of the Stitch than I've had at any art exhibition in a long time.
I've also been reading Maile's new blog, Breath by Breath & she has been making me think about happiness and contemplation, and because I'm not so good at thinking about more than one thing at once these ideas have been muddling themselves up with my musings on inspiration. Okay, so some of my flickring is just time-wasting when I don't want to do chores or reply to my emails or whatever... I will happily admit to this!... But:
I don't like just rushing around doing "stuff". I like to sit and think about things and look at things that are beautiful or fascinating, and I think of flickr etc as a part of this contemplative process. It's inspiring in the sense that it's refreshing and reinvigorating to see new things or to think deeply about something, but also in the sense that it gives me a lot of creative focus. Whenever I take the time to think about what I'm interested in, and what I've seen lately, and how these things might be connected, my brain just explodes with ideas as all these things combine. All these things help make me happy, too.
For example, I am totally in love with plants at the moment. I moved to a flat with - joy of joys! - sunny windowsills and have filled the house with plants. Watching them grow and planting seeds and bulbs and seeing them turn into seedlings and beautiful flowers is just so wonderful. Planting them and tending to them (well, trying to stop them dying) is in itself a very soothing process, but then I find myself looking up gardening groups on flickr and reading gardening pages in magazines and oh! so many wonderful plants!
Seeing everyone else's seeds makes me want to plant even more of my own (I am even trying vegetables now - fingers crossed!) .... and lots of flowers have been cropping up in my crafting lately (many blogged here), I've been loving flower-themed items everywhere, and the colours of spring have been haunting my colour choices in crafting & also in clothes. The time that I've been taking to quietly try and grow things has caused these ripples of happy flowery loveliness to flow through my life in these small ways, it's really rather marvellous.
I am going to shut up now though because (my goodness) I have really waffled on this time! Here are some pictures instead (spring bulbs on my balcony, and herbs & a tomato plant on my windowsill):