My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday Musing 25 May 2015

Monday Musings

I think my blog is lacking a little bit in content.  I know I've said that before, but I still don't think I've remedied it.  So I'm thinking (musing, hence the title, but I like alliteration) that I should instigate a schedule of weekly posts with some sort of regular weekly content. 

I guess I've been musing about what I want to use my blog for.  This is related to my consolidation process that I'm going through.  It's nice to have a record about what I've been up to.  And I like that it gives me a venue to publicise my work and my classes.  But now that my kids are getting older I don't write much about them, so what else can I put here?  How can I use it to be a better artist?  Yes, the podcast is fun and I'll continue to do that, but is there more that this blog can offer me?  I think so, but I've been trying to work out exactly what that is.

I've been playing with the idea of starting some sort of creative practice project*.  I think one of the ways to keep strengthening my own style is just to make lots of work.  Have you ever read that story about a ceramics tutor who divided her class into two?  One half was to be marked on volume of work produced over the term, the other half had to produce only one single pot and be marked on that.  Guess which half produced the best work by the end of the term? 

 *A creative practice project it something creative done regularly - a journal quilt every month, a zentangle per day, you've probably seen or read examples of them as they seem pretty popular around the blogosphere in recent years.
So yes, I need to produce more work.  How can I use my blog to help me achieve that?  I do post what I'm working on quiltwise, but sometimes there are constraints about what you can publish if you are wanting to enter certain exhibitions.  And large, finished pieces of textile art take a lot of investment in terms of time, who wants to see similar photos of the same quilt week after week?  

So, is there a smaller creative practice project I could do? I've been tempted to join into other people's year long challenges or projects, but just haven't found the right one for me.  Yet I think it would be an enriching experience, a way to push through creative barriers, to do many small acts that add up to something in the end.

Any finished article takes a lot of investment, but what about something unfinished?  I listened to Meighan O'Toole's podcast where she interviewed Jen Hewett, a printmaker who did a 52 prints challenge (she's onto another 12 month long project now because she found her first one so worthwhile) and as I listened, I realised that she was not making finished items, but just committing to making a print per week.  Whether it got into a finished item or not was irrelevant.  A sketch, a print, lots of things come to mind for me, but what I keep coming back to is complex cloth - surface design but in layers so that it becomes complex and almost a piece of art itself.

And then I could tie my creative practice project back into the blog.  Being accountable to myself but also to you, dear readers.  I'd use my blog to muse about the process, I'd set up reminders to blog regularly about what it is I have learnt and by the end of the project I'd not only have a body of work, but I would also have process notes and journals, and ideas and feedback from others.  

I'm going to muse more about this idea for a little while, but thanks for reading my random musings, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on creative practice projects and if you're interested in starting up one too.


  1. Have you thought of postcards? I've been making very small scale works on a weekly basis in a variety of sizes depending on what bits I use. The smallest is about artist trading card size and the largest about a small postcard. I've used mixed media on most with anything from bits of painted paper to nets to coloured wool. Some have turned out spectacular and some.........not so much :) but it all adds to what I hope to achieve in my major works (exam next week.....!).


  2. Your musings are right on target, I'm going to ponder these ideas for awhile. I'm also interested in starting a creative process project. The first problem it's to figure out what the focus will be. I've seen some real interesting approaches online.

  3. Thanks Viv and Linda. Sometimes I think 'ugh, I shouldn't have posted all of that' so it's nice to know there was someone listening and finding a bit of value in it!

  4. I planned on doing an art card each month but the other "to do's" in my creative life took over. I'm also not sure if it was the right project for me at this time. Keep on musing. I know I use my blog as a journal of my creative process and progress.


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