a doll a day

cat doll commission - 8 560Everybody says that the way to get things done is to set yourself targets and goals.

Well, it seems as though that’s what everyone says anyway. I freely admit I really do need to get things done that I have been putting off for too long and so I am trying to listen to such advice.

So, I have five dolls on the go at the moment. I am working on all of them at once, having procrastinated quite long enough.

I have decided to set myself a goal of getting them done and dusted at last.

This is one of the five, not quite finished yet, made entirely of vintage stuff from my own collections…

cat doll commission - 6 560My goal is to complete a doll a day for the next four days.

It’s half term next week, and life and lad tend to intrude on quiet making times during school holidays.

So by setting myself a do-able goal I am laying down a deadline and a challenge to myself to be disciplined.modflowers: cat doll commission - 1 560It’s all part of a necessary girding of my loins (what exactly loin-girding involves I’m not entirely sure, but it sounds impressive) and pulling myself up by my bootstraps.

I am determined to be miserable, lazy, procrastinating and defeatist no longer.

I have signed up for a proper business course, to teach me some financial skills I feel I currently lack.

Rather than let the things I don’t know make me fearful or tearful, I have decided to confront them head-on.
cat doll commission - 3 560Yesterday’s lovely bit of winter sunshine seemed like a nod and a wink that I was on the right track.

So, instead of lazing about or taking advantage of a lift, I took a lovely stomp down through the park, past burgeoning crocus flowers, to a previously-arranged lunch date with Jane of Goodlife Vintage and Maria of Sunshine – Lovely Vintage Stuff for You and Your Home.

It is early days, and these are but baby steps (albeit in the right direction.)

But I’m hopeful that, with a little help from my friends and a good attitude, a doll a day will keep the blues away. ♥

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easily led

modflowers: nibbles the sad clown-rabbitI remember, when I was a child, my mum used to say sometimes that I was “easily led”.

What she meant by that, I think, is that I had a tendency to behave as my friends behaved, and like what they liked, and my influences were easy to identify.

I didn’t agree with her of course. To my mind I just knew what I liked, and didn’t see any reason not to embrace it wholeheartedly. And usually I found out what I liked via the people I came into contact with.

I have often thought that life is a process of first learning to be led by others, followed by the exact opposite – learning to ignore or filter other voices and influences in order to become your true self.

modflowers: nibbles the sad clown-rabbitBecoming a maker or artist I think is a similar process. First, you see people doing stuff you like, so you start off trying to do something similar. Then gradually, you find your own methods, your own style, and your own way.

But we all still find what we like through the stuff we come into contact with.

And sometimes bits of that stuff pop up in work without intentionally putting them there.

In other words, that stuff becomes our inspirations and influences.

modflowers: nibbles the sad rabbit-clownA while ago I had a vague idea about making a creature or series of creatures with a circus theme. The lion started it I think.

But then I sort of forgot about it.

I started making a rabbit last week because I needed some hand-sewing to take to Stitch Club and I didn’t have anything else at the right stage. (Don’t ask me why a rabbit, Easter on the horizon, maybe?)

modflowers: nibbles the sad clown-rabbitAnyway, the circus-y thing popped up again when I was trying to decide on the rabbit’s nose. A red pom-pom happened to be to hand.

And I happened to have Smokey Robinson’s Tears of a Clown on the brain. And the rabbity nose-thing and the circus-y thing and the sad clown thing all got a bit mixed up.

And David Bowie has been all over the news, in his Ashes to Ashes-era Pierrot-clown outfit.

modflowers: nibbles the sad clown-rabbitAnd also, somewhere in the back of my mind, lurked a character from a much-loved book called That Pesky Rat, by Lauren Child, that I used to read to lad: a lop-eared rabbit, who works in a circus with a Mr Hoopla.

Out of all that, Nibbles the sad clown-rabbit was born. An amalgam of snippets and influences, gathered and steeped over years and then smooshed together in my head.

I didn’t consciously put those things there. I only recognised some of them when other people mentioned them. And when I sat down to write this post.

modflowers: nibbles the sad clown-rabbitSo perhaps mum was right after all and I was, and still am, easily led.

Although I think – I hope – that these days I have developed some filters, and that the journey I am led on goes down a slightly more twisty-turny path. ♥

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stitch club sparkle

modflowers: stitch clubIt’s a phrase often used as a mild insult.

Something said to people judged frivolous, punctilious or overly-pernickity, or who have too much time on their hands.

“You need to get out more” people trill, sarcastically. But the truth is, I do.

It’s something I resolved to act on after reading and responding to the comments on my “lost and confused” post.

Because as much as I like sitting in a warm kitchen, with the radio prattling on in the background and just my own company, I know it’s not healthy to spend all my days alone. The mind wanders sometimes to places that it shouldn’t really go, if you over-indulge in solitude.

I had met Michaela of Blue Stiggy at the Etsy Made Local fair at Christmas, and she struck me as someone you could have a jolly good natter with.

So when she invited me over to her neck of the woods in Lincoln to join in with her weekly Stitch Club, I thought “YES!”

modflowers: stitch clubSo on Wednesday I hopped on a train, and spent a happy morning at Stitch Club, working on a new creature in the very pleasant surroundings of the Angel Coffee House, which is located within St Swithin’s Old Vestry Hall.

Despite managing to forget my buttons and my special stuffing-prodder (an old chopstick).

There I met some really nice women, indulged in a good chat and a delicious lunch, and then got to visit a really lovely shop…

modflowers: stitch clubBirds Yard is halfway up Steep Hill, the ancient, winding street that goes up towards Lincoln Cathedral.

It is very picturesque, but I was chatting to Michaela on the way, so I forgot to take photos.

The shop is new – there is a sister shop in Sheffield – but already it looks pretty good to me…

modflowers: stitch clubmodflowers: stitch clubBirds Yard sells a quirky and interesting mix of handmade and new, including homewares, jewellery, kids stuff, accessories, clothing and… well, just good things of all types really…

modflowers: stitch clubI recommend a visit, if you find yourself in Lincoln.

I particularly coveted the beautiful till, although that wasn’t for sale, obviously…modflowers: stitch clubSo I settled on something smaller and a bit more affordable…

modflowers: stitch clubThose little pots of sparkle contain nail art stuff, glitter and – my favourite – sequins.

I couldn’t resist, and bought these three to take home with me…

modflowers: stitch clubBut I took home something else, too.

The feeling of a day well-spent, a mind refreshed, new connections made.

And afterwards, back at home, it wasn’t just the sequins that sparkled. ♥

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