Monday, 1 May 2017


Monday is the day I commit to doing my weekly art project exercise.

Yesterday was Monday.

Monday comes around REALLY quickly!

It was grey, wet, freezing and I did not want to leave my flannelette sheets in the morning!  I was also completely uninspired, distracted by other things happening in my life, frustrated that everything I do seems to take soooooooooo long to get done & generally....I was feeling stroppy!

All the inspirational & encouraging quotes floating around in the ether kept prodding at my attitude & phrases like 'just do it' & 'you have to show up' were guilt tripping me into AT LEAST making an effort.

So I did.

I donned my purple ugg boots, went out into the garden & took some photos of my dark purple salvia before the rain came in again.

If you have followed my weekly art project exercises from the start, you may have noticed that I have quite a few purple flowering plants!  That's because purple is my favourite colour!!  We also have a lot of red flowering plants too, which is my husband's favourite colour.  The yellow flowering ones are those we inherited from previous owners, the pinks are planted around my daughter's room & the whites are the neutral that go with everything!!

After printing off the photos which I felt provided most inspiration to proceed with, I began the process of visual note taking. Nothing I drew excited me or pinged any sort of real "oh WOW, this could work" reactions.  The next step to help prod those creative juices was to make a small view finder & start exploring differently!  I find this a helpful mechanism when I'm stuck.  Sure enough it gave me a few directions to wander off to...!

One direction was colour choice.  The printed photo included a reddish purple, which, although not true to the real flower, was none the less INTERESTING!  I fiddled around with a design possibility, taking far longer than I wanted & then rummaged through the purple fabric stash.  You'd think that someone who liked purple would have a really impressive purple stash! Alas...not me! Nothing seemed right...not purples, not greens, not greys, not black & whites!

Grump, grump, grumble grump!!

I pulled my self  together & just made do with what I had. Then I made a START!
I laid down the foundation/background first.  Very simple & basic contemporary reverse applique.
There were a few more layers to manage with the next 'sandwich' of fabrics, which I carefully placed, pinned & began to sew the outline through in the next stage.

The first lot of cutting back began.  I really like those lines.  I also like that an image like this gives no real idea of how the finished piece will be.

More cutting back & more stitching through.

At last the design revealed itself.
And I wasn't happy. It was too heavy in the base & the black didn't relate to the buds & flower.  The black & white fabric perfectly replicates the salvia's leaf pattern, which is why I wanted to use it.  Sigh! What was I going to do to try & get a more cohesive balance.

I began by adding black stitching into the stem & flower features.
 It still needed something.

I unpicked part of the black outline from the base fabric & cut the fabric along it's irregular line.  This softened the appearance.

I cropped it with a frame to see whether removing more of the heavy black would improve it & I believe it does.

This is where I left it, as the day had slipped rapidly away & I needed to get on with other tasks.

This is not an outcome that excites me.

However, what I did with it next does!  Using my mobile phone and a handy little app called 'Layout', this boring little piece inspired by salvia became.....

...this!  I LIKE this! WOW!  What an energetic & interesting repeat pattern this has become.

Goodbye Mrs Stroppy!  I am much h-APP-ier!!

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