Works-In-Progress

Playing with Colour and Pattern

Lately, to relax, I’ve been puttering.  Creatively puttering, that is.  It is difficult for me to just sit and play with art and craft materials without an end product in mind, because I think I need to be productive – must. produce. something (or must tend to some urgent task)!  And yet, children creatively putter all the time, just for the sake of it.  The feel of the materials in their hands, the delight in seeing multiple colours, the joy in figuring out a particular skill; someone suggested to me that I try this and just play and remember what it was like to do that as a kid.

So, I’ve been playing!  This is my workspace; featured is my trusty turquoise Singer sewing machine from the 1960s, a pair of jeans in need of repair, colourful crewel wool threads (because I’m totally inspired by Kristin Nicholas!!), some Mystical Lanterns ogee shape motifs, crocheted flowers, drawings I made and coloured, and painted sea shells picked from Nova Scotia’s Blue Sea Beach.

colourful painted seashells Mystical Lantern motifs crewel thread black outline drawings Sharpie markers workspace where women work
colourful painted seashells Mystical Lantern motifs crewel thread black outline drawings Sharpie markers workspace where women work

This is a closeup of the ogee pattern.  It tessellates perfectly!  I don’t know if these will end up in a finished product (because this post is all about playing!), but I sure had fun mastering the pattern and making some of these.  I love the sunburst of colour, and then the shock of the blue border.  The collection looks like a sunset.

Mystical Lanterns motif oranges blue sunset colours
Mystical Lanterns motif oranges blue sunset colours

Next up, I just decided one day to go crazy making these flowers.  I just kept picking out colours to go with the off-white and white yarns, and crocheted to my heart’s content.  I love this pattern, too – it’s challenging and interesting, but not so complicated that I lose interest.  I’d like to make more paisleys, but I need to somehow tweak this pattern – somehow it just seems off to me.  And see the yellow frilly wool flower?  I made a bunch of those a few years ago and combined the wool with silk for a bunch of beautiful brooches.  The red item on the right will become a decorated poppy (so, play, but product – I started it before my play project).

colourful crochet flowers paisley frilly wool floral red poppy
colourful crochet flowers paisley frilly wool floral red poppy

I am positively swooning over this next photo!  I had collected sea shells last summer from a Nova Scotia beach.  During Christmas break this past December, I bought a bunch of semi gloss latex paint sample jars to use for home decorating.  I starting painting shells the other night, and got caught up in adding polka dots to each one, too.  Which is your favourite?  I have three:  the red with white dots, orange with purple dots, and turquoise green with pink dots.

colourful painted sea shells polka dots
colourful painted sea shells polka dots

Voila, the paint jars!  Supplies are everything to crafters and artists!!!!!  I was reading some essays by artists the other day, and I decided I would not feel guilty anymore about my current supply stash.  Compared to many other people, my stash is small (all kept on one tall bookshelf).  But it’s full of quality supplies I do use.

colourful semi gloss latex paints for fine art and house decorating
colourful semi gloss latex paints for fine art and house decorating

The next four photos are of black outline drawings I made on watercolour paper and then coloured in with Sharpie markers (love my Sharpie supply).  I just love drawing stylized flowers and colouring them.  Usually I add more details and use these drawings for notecards, but again, this was about play and not a finished product.  I admit I hesitated to post these photos (“they aren’t finished!!”), but I had to tell myself, “Play.”  As you can see, I am starting to play around with drawing paisleys, too.

black outline drawings flowers floral paisley colourful Sharpie markers
black outline drawings flowers floral paisley colourful Sharpie markers
black outline drawing flowers leaves colourful Sharpie markers
black outline drawing flowers leaves colourful Sharpie markers
black outline drawing flower colourful Sharpie markers
black outline drawing flower colourful Sharpie markers
black outline drawing flower leaves colourful Sharpie markers
black outline drawing flower leaves colourful Sharpie markers

On a slightly different note to finish off this post, remember the colourful canvas slipcover I made for my couch?  About a month before finishing that project, I also tackled a project I have wanted to do for years, and that is paint the fireplace brick facade white.  I was soooooo tired of feeling closed in to our otherwise bright living room (thanks to a huge picture window that faces south) by this huge brick THING on the wall.  Armed with a can of Zinsser primer and one of white semi gloss paint, I finished this project over a series of a few days.  It’s still a (pleasant) shock to walk into the living room and not be confronted by the heavy-looking brick, but rather a white surface that bounces more light around the room.  I was really happy to hang up my handmade Christmas banner and Advent calendar this year, because they actually show up now!

white painted brick fireplace facade red Christmas bunting Advent calendar
white painted brick fireplace facade red Christmas bunting Advent calendar

What are you doing for simple play with your arts and crafts supplies and talents?

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