As I mentioned in my previous post: Planning My Time, I now have a work studio all of my very own. It’s been in the planning stages for years and a couple of times we got close to building but then it got snatched away for other (very important) reasons. But finally, with help from various wonderful family members, I now have my own space!
As you can see in the above photos, various dogs have helped us along the way and now I am using my space, all visiting doggies spend part of their day “at work” with me. I still have some shelves and hooks to put up and no doubt, the organisation of my supplies will change but for now, it is working just fine and it’s bliss!
In my last blog post (Catching Up), I mentioned about planning my time much more wisely and focusing on what really matters to me. I’ve made a rough plan, this may change and evolve over the next year but in order to hold myself accountable so that I keep going forward, I’ve decided to list them here so I can come back and tell you all how I did!
1. Reducing time on Social Media and making it work better for me – I do social media for a few groups, this is a commitment I can’t give up but neither do I want to give it up at this moment in time. But I do need to make my own Social Media work better for me so I spend less time faffing! So I have decided to delete the Textile Explorations Facebook page, I much prefer Instagram for quick photo posts and blogging for anything which needs more work. If you follow me on FB, please come and follow me on IG but if you really really prefer FB then send me a friend request for my personal page – just be aware it is much quieter than IG!
2. Sorting out my workspace – This has been in the planning for many years but thanks to a wonderful family, we started work last summer and I am now this -><- close to having my own tiny studio! I’ll show you more in a future post.
3. Working on my personal work practice – It’s taken me quite a while to get to the point that I am at now, it’s been a lot of hard work – both practically and mentally (I’m a big thinker – everything gets cogitated over and over!). I am currently doing a series of group and individual mentoring sessions at the Windsor School of Textile Art with Amarjeet Nhandra, this has helped me make huge strides in my work practice and in developing my own voice. The sessions finish soon and I am starting to ponder my next steps. No decisions have been made but I am wondering about taking a break from ongoing courses and focusing on putting what I have learned into practice. There are advantages and disadvantages of whatever I choose to do so I’ll let you know what I finally decide!
4. Photography Skills – I take a lot of photos, the in-progress photos tend to be quick snaps taken close-up. I find these really helpful when I am figuring out my next steps with a piece of work and I also use these a lot on Instagram. But taking photos of finished pieces of work is proving so much harder! How do I show the whole piece but not loose all the detail? So I need to sort out a basic set photography set up and work on my “photographing textiles” skills. Anyone know of a good photographer of textiles who might do a ‘how to’ session?!
5. Exhibiting – I am a member of two exhibiting groups. I joined Traverse in 2018 and have just done my first exhibition with them at The Quilt and Stitch Show, Uttoxeter. Traverse was formed in 2017 by some of the ladies who were on the Experimental Textiles course with me in 2016-2017. After the course finished, I went on to an Advanced Textiles course so it has been great to rejoin these ladies and see how all our work has developed. The second group is much more local to me, I joined the Bath Textile Artists in January 2018 and have just finished my second exhibition with them. Both groups bring different experiences and both help me keep moving on with my work, providing challenges and support as needed. I’m keen to keep working with both groups and use the challenges and support in helping me continue developing my personal work practice.
I’ve blogged about the response to my work at The Quilt and Stitch Show on the Traverse blog, do have a read!
Well, that’s been rather long gap since my last blog post.. I really didn’t intend not to blog but with one thing and another, blogging fell to the bottom of my to-do list! But I am back now and decided I’ll do a quick catch up!
As you can see if you have a look around, I’ve had a bit of a change. A huge Fibromyalgia/CFS flare up last summer gave me plenty of thinking time (not always a good thing!) and led me to do a bit of re-evaluating. As a result, I’ve made some changes, not just here on the website but in my life too. Fibro/CFS forces limits what I can do, I have to carefully plan my time to make sure I have plenty of rest time. This doesn’t mean looking at each day individually but looking at the bigger picture ie if I do this high energy event then I need x amount of time before and after to rest up recover. Even spur of the moment events are carefully considered.. so not really spur of the moment at all!
As a result of all this thinking time, I’ve realised that I need to focus on what truly matters to me. I’m not talking about the obvious important matters such as family, that goes without saying but choosing how I fill my time wisely.
I really enjoy running workshops, bringing good tutors and classes to those wanting to learn. I don’t really enjoy dealing with the money side of things! Nor do I like coping with the nasty comments some people feel they have to give out but having spoken to other workshop providers, this seems par for the course. But thankfully, the nice people are in a much greater number and the support received from them was much appreciated, so thank you – you know who you are! But the reality is that the physical work of organising workshops is one of my flare triggers and the negative effects of the flare-up far outweigh any benefits of the workshops for me. So, sadly I have decided to stop running workshops. I won’t say never again but for now, it’s not in the plans.
Thank you to all those lovely people who have supported me and came to do a workshop. Thanks also to all the tutors who trusted me to sort everything out so that they could teach! I really appreciate each and every one of you and hope you will continue to follow me on my textile art journey!
Just received an email from one of the students who attended last week’s workshop, Barbara carried on with the exercises that Julia gave us and then went on to create new designs. Fantastic!
I love to see all the work created from the workshops, if you’ve attended one of Textile Explorations Workshops and went on to create more work, please send me a photo!