1/4 of a year in

Oops, sorry for the radio silence there! Blame the post house move exhaustion! On that note, the house is looking fab, pictures are up, spare room is habitable and I’ve found most of my belongings again. And am never ever doing that again!

So we’re a quarter of the way through 2016 (I know, ridiculous right?!) which seems like an excellent time to check in and see how projects, goals, resolutions etc are going.

I set out a few creative projects that I’d like to work on alongside my journaling :

  • Trees: A year long study.  Having started well and collected lots of ideas, this stalled for a while until the last couple of weeks.  I’ve decided I want to pull my research and techniques into four pieces.  The first of these is going to be a canvas which focusses on May Day or Beltain and the related traditions, colours, pollination, leaves etc.  To help narrow down ideas and images, I have created a book made from paper leaves.
  • image




  • Blue journal. Not started on this yet.
  • Nature.  Unfortunately I’ve been housebound this year so I’m hoping this will come to life once I can get out.  That said, I’ve been including nature in my tree project obviously and have tried out some eco dying techniques with the limited plants I can access.
  • Writing.  I’ve written an article about friends and chronic pain which will hopefully be included in the HMSA newsletter.  That and my blogs is about it so far.  Although I did have an idea for a poem the other day which was great.  My pain has been bad which makes it hard to type which makes it hard to write.  Also, my head was stuffed full of moving thoughts for about a month, leaving little space for anything else.
  • Wanderlust – see upcoming post for more info but this is going really well, although I want to do all the projects which is hard given the pain and exhaustion but they’re getting added to my creative ideas list.

I’ve started a “creative ideas list” of things I want to explore or projects I want to get stuck into because I realised I was jumping all over the place trying to do all the ideas and not doing any of them which was unsatisfying and a bit stressful.



Creative projects for 2016

I like projects.  I like having a focus and working with limits such as theme or colour can be helpful at getting the creativity flowing.  I’ve got a few projects in mind for this year…

Trees: a year long study

This is essentially what it says.  I want to spend the year using art, photography and other mediums to explore the topic of trees.  A key reason for choosing trees is that they are common.  I can lean out my window and see one.  When I move, I am sure I will be able to see a tree.  When I’m out and about, I will see trees.  I don’t have to go out my way to get inspiration and to take photographs etc.  Given my physical limitations, this was really important.  If I went for something more specific such as… bridges… I’d not be able to do as much ‘in the field’ work.  Keep this in mind if you’re thinking of your own long term project – if it’s accessible, it’s harder to make excuses.  I knew I was going with trees from the start but other possibilities that I might pick up in the future include streetlamps, doors, windows, letter boxes…

At the moment, this project consists of a sketchbook which is being filled with pages, each focusing on different parts of the theme eg colour, texture, uses for trees, types of trees, the little bits of a tree which make up the whole.  Once a theme or an idea starts to form from that I will then work towards a piece of art/photography/other that captures that.  In an ideal world, I’d like to make one piece per season to reflect the changes throughout the year but at this stage I can’t say because I don’t know what my direction will be (although I am quite interested in the use of trees in language and mythology…).  And I love that the centre of the tree trunk is called heartwood.  Do you have any interesting tree facts?!


On a day without internet (eek), I passed the time by making a journal.  It has eight pages (at present, I may add more) and is made from cardboard from amazon packaging.  The theme of the journal will be blue.  I’ve wanted to do this for a while – complete a journal using one colour set.  So I’ve got my book, I’ve started collecting and keeping an eye out for blue things for the pages and when it feels like the right time, I’ll get it out start putting it together.  This is partly an exercise in restraint.  I feel like everything is so instant that you don’t get the satisfaction and excitement of waiting very much.  So I’m waiting.



Probably as a result of being stuck in the house for a week, I have a longing to reconnect with nature.  And I was thinking that creating mandalas from natural material would be a deeper way to do this.  It would bring me more peace and focus and connection than just standing and admiring.  It would make me look at things differently, and that is what I love about creating; looking at things differently.


and I want to get back into writing… but this is on the back burner for now.  If/when I give up work, I may look for a writing class to replace that social interaction, routine and focus.


Do you have any projects for the year ahead?