Diary 2014

Dec '13: One year on reflection:
  • more digital work has taken place - both on computer & on-line
  • iPad mini purchased with view for more imagery/computer enhancements
  • 2 magazine articles written - one ready & sent off for 2014
  • initial experiments using textiles, plastics, lighting
  • contact made with small number of local retail outlets & teaching venues
Jan '14: Usual end-of-year computer updates etc. to do + on reflection, more of my 'artwork' is being continued on computer. Is this a specific direction for the future? 21/1: Flip book tested on FlipSnack & sample web page as entry for CiCi - Creations. 22/1: Another FlipBook of design concepts uploaded for "Interspection".

Feb '14: Almost all back ups completed & few updates to blogs. Whilst doing this I've also added "Patterns in My Life" to CS Narrates & come across definition of " Monomyth "(17 stages of Hero's journey) & may be able to use it! 20/2: As I've been looking at blogs & webs to date, I've decided to add Favicons as well as get better links to one another. Especially helpful to the understanding & reading of 'Patterns in my Life' - also been amended & enhanced. 26/2: I've now added myself to Pinterest although I'm not sure whether it will add to my on-line 'presences' - I hope so. It appears to be helpful for me to quickly see 'where I am' so for the time being I'll be using it mainly for this.

Mar '14: Pinterest giving me a few inspirational thoughts although it tends to be rather addictive with so many images to find! 5/3: Arranged another 2hr "session" in Hobbycraft (for next week) - this is the 5th one I've done. Has been good PR exercise as well as finding out about 'textile crafters' habits etc in the shop (hopefully next week will be able to arrange for a class to start). 11/3: I'm finding I'm currently "switching" between starting a textile stitchery & then adding it to the computer designs - either to be enhanced or more designing! 31/3: Next month arranged to be in Hobbycraft "advising" about textile crafts - hopefully an interesting session. Decorating my 'creative room' in the house has been on-going so unable to get to the computer. Lack of 'creative work' a result of this - hopefully back on track when tidied up & organised. One main problem after moving counties - plenty of 'getting everything back on track'. Currently staring me in the face are several pairs of curtains waiting to be finished & hung - they were sorted into order last week ready to start so must try & get them underway!

Apr '14: Have begun a self-portrait series of designs are beginning to form - hopefully leading to techniques for "Interspection". 9/4: One problem I'm always facing is "lack of time" to keep ideas flowing in a continued stream - presumably because of constantly "chopping & changing" routines & daily plans. Just as I appear to get focussed on one idea, something happens to change my 'time allocated' & it usually gets left for another day. I'm hoping that when all house redecoration is complete (hopefully a few months away), this will change & I can become more structed in my approach. Also, with the studio not in immediate vicinity, many times I haven't got equipment & designs to hand when time is available! For that reason I end up on the computer & tend to go along that creative route instead of a more tactile textile one! 23/4: I've started on stitching the 'cell' project - a mesh-style cover will be                          encasing it & it's this I'm working on at the moment. Hopefully it will be this that will develop later for use in the self-portrait.

May '14: Finally I've begun the first of my samples regarding the cell project! 9/4: Some samples of the current work can be seen if you visit the Stitcherydoodaa stitching blog. I'm very pleased on how the samples pieces are working - especially for the objectives I'm hoping to achieve.

June '14:  Although beginning the cell sample, I've been 'waylaid' with other more menial jobs. 2/6:  One of these has been making curtains (for myself) & although taking some time but I'm pleased with the results. Going back periodically to the 'cell sample' creates a temporary problem to continue stitching, as getting back into the earlier 'mind set' often takes a little while to trigger. However, its slowly taking shape but the camera's been forgotten to take pix! 20/6:  The 'cell sample' is slowly coming along esp. after a session with a heat-gun! Pix have been taken & uploaded & looking at them both on-screen & in-the-hand, I'm pleased with the current results. I've also resurrected using one of my textile 'tools' & once more using it rather unconventionally! I've also enhanced Cylex details as well as using one of their free web-sites - very impressed with the latter!

July '14: I've had little spare time for my 'sample' as I've been busy with customer work - predominantly dressmaking & some alterations. 11/7: For the time being, I've named my 'cell sample' as BLACK CELL as I feel as if I've been working somewhat in the dark although I know what I want to see! This is possibly the result of reading Jean Draper's book 'Stitch & Structure' which opened up some creative avenues for me! 16/7: While working on the cell today, I decided to finally entitle it "I started life as a cell" - it seemed appropriate especially as use of the different threads with the specific technique enabled my earlier 'mind's eye vision' to now be seen. I also thought it could be the 'first' of the 'personal story' I am hoping to create. 25/7: Stitching of the cell piece is complete (for the time-being) & I'm onto the next part that involves PVAing it!! An interesting exercise that has also produced an unusual skin-like "fabric" although what it will be like when dry I'm not sure!!

Aug '14: It's almost the end of this month & the first opportunity I've had to update here. The 'cell' piece is just as I had hoped when dry & is ready for its next stage of being put into a display frame. I've had a few 'stitching jobs' arrive on the scene (one a lovely wedding dress), so these have taken some of my time. 25/8:  I've been spending some time once again on the computer either updating or (the main activity!) getting used to "123reg" & my latest dedicated website /web builder. This came about after declining an opportunity for a retail shop which, after serious thought, I felt would be too similar to one I'd had in the past. Although I felt inclined to say yes, I didn't want to spend all my time again in a shop & with other commitments about to 'come on board', decided against it in preference to a website. Following this idea, I found myself in a cycle shop, enquired if they had an old bike wheel & voila - a black (almost new) wheel was next in my hand ready for my stitched cell piece! Now in between various other work, I'll be continuing with this. Additionally, I keep thinking of the piece as "Threads of an Idea" & wondering if this may be included in its title.

Sep '14: It's the first of the month so perfect as the first entry here! Whenever I get on a computer, it always seems to accelerate ideas - especially with designs as either artistic ones or computerised ones. The website idea over the past few weeks is slowly coming together - at the moment I'm going to use it as an advertising medium for all the computing side of things & go-back to my original web domain/business name. That should then join up all my various links under one banner (I know what I mean !!). That will be now be an on-going job (running in the background) which I'll periodically mention. Taking on a few stitchery commissions also means that I must re-think the studio ie. its layout etc - this too will be on-going over the next few months too in quieter moments. 10/9:  A few sewing jobs have arrived on the scene (one an inspirational wedding dress) & have taken some of my time. The studio is being 'tidied' up as well as I'm hoping to occasionally sell items from it - the display window area is needing some 'props' introduced. 23/9:  The first part of the 'studio' enhancement is to cover the book-shelving with plain white fabric - also to hang some fine voile ones possibly half-way down the room's length. I'm also considering covering the metal cabinets (either in paper or fabric - perhaps mosaic-style?) although I'll have to find out if the doors can be removed as it may make the task easier. As Xmas is approaching, I'm hoping to sell a few 'gifts' by having them on display in the window. The wedding dress now has a boned bodice - made to take the weight of all the layers & also ensure the dress 'moves' as it should.

Oct '14: It's already the 10th & with stitching the wedding dress for its Halloween debut, time seems to be speeding! It's been a lovely project to take on board but lengthier than originally anticipated. Fittings have gone brilliantly especially when the bride is still losing weight ... haven't lost any of my stitchery magic touch!! A trip to the Knitting & Stitching Show @ Ally Pally yesterday was good although not tempted to buy much - the embroidery designers section was superb & helped enthuse ideas re my cell project .... when I next get back to it! I've also been having a look at some of my "boxed-up items" in the studio & deciding what to do with them - many textile/garments etc which need a good airing & investigation for ideas! I've spent a few days on this but not much of a conclusion so far. 17/10: Only two weeks left until the wedding dress is finished & some nice personalised finished have been added to it - these will be mentioned once the dress is handed over! Have decided to have the 'making of the dress' as a feature-piece on one of the blogs as lots of hints & tips have arisen from it. I've also resurrected my egg-cells idea & an initial pattern has been made + some of my 'period garments' have now been cleaned & inspected ready for their next stages. Nearing the end of this year, not quite what I had hoped for but different ... the best of my 'artistic designs' being the wedding dress!

Nov '14: Now the 6th & the dress went on its way for a Halloween wedding - initial images here. I'm once again in the throes of the first part of 'computer updating' ready for end of year improvements etc. as well as trying to get to grips with some 'ecommerce' ideas!

Dec '14:  Already the 4th - apart from some Stitcherydoodaa stitching, most of my computer time has been spent uploading & updating m5stitch (ie. the dedicated website) + writing the sewing information about the wedding dress on a corresponding Google website, CiCi Designs. Cylex details which were updated in June are starting to bring in enquiries etc which I'm pleased about & that's now linking through to m5stitch on a Google search. Good news so far!!! Have also made a start on clearing out 'unnecessary clutter etc' in the studio & must think of this in greater detail for next year. 16/12: & heading into New Year fast! Much of my varied on-line site & blogs now running as planned & linking together although I think they could do with updating somewhat ... possibly a job for 2015. A few basic stitcheries slowly coming on-board - hopefully next year better!