Wednesday 31 May 2017

April in Pictures: a Creative Challenge and the Perils of Perfectionism

Better late than never, it's time for my April Instagram update!

April got off to a great start, with a couple of days of gloriously warm weather. The English weather in spring (especially on the coast) can be notoriously unpredictable, so I've been trying to make the most of the good weather when we've had it.

I'm continuing to go on lots of walks exploring my new neighbourhood, sharing photos on my Weston-super-Magic account (I post rather erratically there but it's great not worrying about when I "should" post or how my follower count is doing - it's purely a little collection of some of my favourite snaps from my walks).

Sadly it was rather chilly later in the month for the latest Made by Mrs M Photowalk, but we all had lots of fun regardless and took approximately a gazillion photos of London along the way. I still haven't edited most of my photos, but Kate's shared lots of awesome ones over on her blog.

This is definitely my favourite shot from the day - the sun came out just in time for our visit to the Barbican, which was looking as wonderful as ever. The Barbican is one of those love it or hate it bits of architecture, and I am firmly in camp "love it". 

Back at home, I had fun playing with threads...


... jazzed up a gift with some simple paper polkadots...

... and designed the latest wreath in my series for The Village Haberdashery: a fabric-wrapped wreath bursting with bright spring flowers.


I also decided to take part in The 100 Day Project: a global challenge where people do a creative task every day for 100 days and share the results on Instagram. I thought long and hard about what to do for this challenge and eventually chose #100DaysofFeltStuff, recreating one "real world" object in felt each day.

If you've been following me on Instagram you'll know that I've not kept up with the daily part of this challenge at all, but I'm pleased with the results so far - both the finished pieces I've made and what I've learned from the process.

I'll be honest with you guys, I regretted starting this challenge almost immediately. I loved making my first felt object (a slightly ridiculous felt washing up sponge) but photographing it was a nightmare. I realised that as well as giving myself the (difficult, and time-consuming) challenge of making a 3D object each day I'd also voluntarily signed up for the utter stress-fest of taking decent photos of the blinking things.

Frustrated tears were cried. There may have been a bit of sulking. I definitely considered scrapping the whole plan altogether - either backing out of the whole challenge or downgrading it to something much simpler that I could do with less effort. But I decided that I was more interested in the creative challenge of making these objects than in having a daily photo to share so I'd try to make things when I could, and then have a little photoshoot for the finished pieces when I had the time and some decent light (and when I'd worked out the best way to photograph them).

On Day One, I made a felt washing-up sponge, which made me laugh a lot:


On Day Two, I made a felt jaffa cake - I gave up trying to photograph this one and took a video of it instead. I mistook this for the real thing several times, which was very pleasing! You know you've succeeded in recreating a bit of food if you're actually tempted to eat it.

On Day Three, I made a felt lipsalve and discovered another challenging part of this project: sharing pieces which normally wouldn't see the light of day as I'd consider them flawed prototypes. My perfectionist tendencies were being tested - in a good way, I think!

At the time I was slightly mortified having to share this and could have given you a long list of what was "wrong" with it but now I look at it and just think "a felt lipsalve! how fun!"

On Day Four, I made a felt highlighter pen.


On Days Five and Six, I made an empty embroidery thread bobbin and one wrapped with felt "thread".

I then decided to mix things up a bit, adding some of the 2D pictures that are more my usual style. (3D objects are hard, guys! I also wanted a bit more variety, and to use this challenge as an opportunity to get a few old designs out of my sketchbooks and into felt-y reality).

So, for Days Seven and Eight I made a duck and a goose.

For Day Nine, I made an eraser.

Day Ten, a Barn Owl.

And Day Eleven, (my favourite so far) a Kingfisher.

I was (and still am) delighted with how all these turned out! I don't know what, if anything, I'm going to do with them all but the process of designing and making and sharing them has been very worthwhile.

Unfortunately I then got sick (ugh) and other life stuff intervened and I ended up pressing "pause" on the project for the moment, but more on that another day...

Want more colourful, crafty updates? I'm lauralupinhoward on Instagram - click here to visit my page and follow me. You'll also find me on Facebook and Twitter.


Jennifer said...

I've fallen off the instagram wagon, so missed your 3d felt project. Glad you shared it here, because it is so fun! Never would have thought of making a felt highlighter and such.

Littlelamb said...

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing g these projects. Love the owl.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Jennifer - thanks for that lovely comment! It's so easy to miss stuff on social media, even if you're on there a lot (those pesky algorithms don't help), it all goes by so quickly. I love having my own space to keep a record of this stuff, and to be able to write a bit more than a quick caption :)

Littlelamb - thanks! The owl is definitely one of my faves so far.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I love those objects! Your felt skills are incredible! The Jaffa cake made me hungry. :) BTW, following your last post about the walk I checked your location on the map (I'm not from the UK) and got a big smile to see you are across from Barry; Gavin and Stacy enthusiast here.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Anon - thank you! :) Every time I see that felt jaffa cake it makes me want to go buy some more, I have had to pack it away in a box ;)

And yup, we can see Wales across the water on a clear day! I think one day I have to take a trip to that bit of the Welsh coast so I can look back at Weston...