Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Festive thoughts & my addiction to glitter....

 It is the season for celebrating. Whether you celebrate Christmas, the Winter solstice or any other wintertime festive occasions: I wish you all a very Happy Holiday, Happy Christmas & A Happy New Year 2015!
 As you can see from the photos, the last couple of months my creativity has been primarily focused on making jewellery, beaded cards, bookmarks & lots of sparkly things :-)

 I have been blessed, this second half of the year, to be well enough to really grow my little home jewellery design & craft business. It does mean that I have been a little slack with my blogging & for that I apologise. I have kept in touch a bit more on my facebook pages CreativelyWellCreations & WrightStory. I also now regularly post on my Creativelywell Instagram page. But blogging is my first love and I hope to blog more regularly again in the New Year.

Other than jewellery & crafts the recent weeks have been full of Birthday celebrations & Christmassy events. This year was my son's last primary school nativity & carol service. Very emotional to come to the end of a special era. Yet as they grow they are involved in new beautiful things. For instance my daughter singing carols for the elderly & my son playing his guitar for the first time in public at a candlelit service. 
 One of the best parts of this time of year is time spent with friends. Games evenings, craft sessions, sitting around an open fire and having everyone over for dinners, drinks etc....  Lots of people have Christmas parties to go to and some of these photos show items made to match people's dresses. I love designing things especially to suit an occasion and/or outfit. The best bit is when people are happy & enjoy wearing my creations as much as I enjoy making them.

 I like making fun festive wear too - like Christmas charm bracelets or the jingly bells earrings below. They always seems to encourage a smile and a giggle.

Christmas Eve tomorrow and the excitement level is increasing in my home. I'm looking forward to us all giving each other our full attention over board games, dinners, cards, crafts and winter beach/coastal visits. Those times with the children are precious and make lovely memories. I also love having the house decorated. I am a glitter & bling addict, like a magpie attracted to the pretties! I do think fairy lights and a decorated tree are magical. And yes, I still believe in Santa.

What ever & however you celebrate this winter festive season, I wish you happiness, warmth and love. I also wish you lots of opportunities to be creative.

Kat XX

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Inspired by Henri Matisse (MJJ2014)

The last journal in this year's Magical Journal Journey swap belongs to Lisa Wright who chose Henri Matisse as her inspiration. As you can probably tell, I struggled to capture Matisse's style. However, I did relate to and enjoy his love & bold use of colour, pattern and the idea that one could throw the rule book out the window. Matisse also went through a period of time where he used paper cut outs to create art. Above is my version of this. I spent time painting and creating pattern on one piece of canvas paper. Then on another I blended greens and metallics to create a background. With a sci-fi fantasy story in my head whilst I did all these pages, I cut out shapes and glued them into an arrangement that pleased me. I do think it has a sci-fi fantasy feel to it. 

Matisse often used unexpected colours in his landscapes and portraits, choosing not to conform to the expected colours of nature. This gave me a story idea that included travel to parallel worlds, one of which had a very different coloured sun and subsequently an alternative natural colour pallette.

Having studied Matisse's landscape paintings I tried to emulate his use of large bold brush strokes of colour. The result was far from resembling his style but the inspiration encouraged me to try to work in a different way. It is good to stretch myself and try different ways of painting.

The next painting was inspired by a couple of Matisses's painting of women in hats and his love of the feminine form. Once again I attempted to recreate bold use of colour and brush strokes. I attempted to use alternative colours in my shading of her skin in a similar to the way he did. It was a lot harder than it looked. Unfortunately the proportions of this girls face went wrong but I decided not to assign this painting to the bin; there was something I was pleased with in the use of colour in this.

This lady doesn't feature in my story but the characters in my fictional world do have a faint violet tinge to their skin, hair and eyes caused by their exposure to the very different sun, in a similar way to this lady's own blue shading. As always, if you'd like to read the story just send me an email and I can send you a copy to read.

During this swap we have all been collaborating on the journal covers. I decorated the back inside cover with this use of bright colour and example of pattern.

 So another Magical Journal Journey comes to an end. I have just received my journal back from its travels. It is absolutely gorgeous and I completely adore every page that has been created for me. I shall share my journal with you in a blog post coming soon.

I feel so lucky that as a group we have all grown close as friends. The bond we have all formed is special in a way that we couldn't have predicted three years ago, even though we were already online friends. The connections we make with some people in our lives have a profound and powerful effect on us. For me, life is about the connections we have with the other people who share our journey through life. The fun thing is that we never know when, how and who we'll meet.

  • Who has inspired you recently? 
  • What connections have you made that have altered your creative life?

Wishing you a happy, inspiring & creative weekend!
Kat :-) x

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Thursday, 2 October 2014

The joy of creating daily and new achievements...

Happily I've been able to create most days this past couple of weeks which has brought me plenty of joy. Creating seems to calm me and ignite my spirit all at the same time. It continues to be a magical way of boosting my wellbeing.

In addition, for the first time in many years I was well enough to attend a craft fair with my jewellery.

My friend took this photo half way throught the sale so there are a few gaps. I decided to set up & do a little jewellery making in between serving customers. I found that people liked to see the jewellery being made. I was so nervous at the beginning of the day but quite quickly I relaxed and began to enjoy. It felt a worthwhile achievement to have managed to have my own stall. I have to say I wouldn't have managed without the support and help of my husband and children who were fabulous.

I managed quite a few sales and a few custom orders. Even better was the boost to my confidence and the pleasure of meeting some lovely people; fellow stall holders and customers.

I was wiped out for a few days afterwards, so I wouldn't think of doing these sales regularly, but I'd like the chance to do another craft fair and maybe a jewellery party before the end of the year.

  • Have you tried something new recently that made you nervous but turned out to be beneficial and/or enjoyable?
  • When is the last time you pushed your creative life in a direction that took you out of your comfort zone? What was the result?
On the way to the craft fair, at one point, I was tempted to turn back and chicken out. I'm so glad I didn't. Its hard to publically display things you've created because you are then open to opinion and judgement. Over the past year I've discovered that the rewards are worth the aprehension. I get a real buzz when someone enjoys something I have created. Whether a picture on a wall or a bracelet being worn, spreading a little enjoyment and joy feels good.

Wishing you a Happy and Creative week/weekend!
Kat :-) x

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Inspired by Duy Huynh (MJJ)....

The penultimate journal in this years Magical Journal Journey belongs to Tammy who chose Duy Huynh (pronounced yee wun) as her artist to be inspired by. I fell in love with Duy Huynh. I'd encourage you to view his paintings. They're full of imagination, fantasy, symbolism and layered meanings but even if you could ignore all those his art is just fascinatingly beautiful. So, probably more than any artist so far I would've loved to successfully emulate his skill and style. However, despite having the vivid imagination needed I lacked the art skills. I had fun trying though :-)

The painting above and the double spread below are my imagination trying to express itself. I also took on board Duy Huynh's use of travel, boats, music and artists in his work.

Below I've copied the back page where I wrote about the first painting and created a poem to explain my thoughts about the second.

In this swap we have each been contributing to the covers of the journals. However, very little had been done to these covers so I was unsure whether I was meant to or not. In the end I decided a boat that told a little about Duy Huynh and his life may look nice on the front cover. I hope I did the right thing & Tammy likes it. She has my permission to paint over it if she doesn't.

I spent many many hours painting and repainting whilst living in my imagination. Duy Huynh is so suited to my character but I've a long way to go before I can do my imagination justice through painting. Oh to close the gap between idea and finished piece...... But like all creative skills the only way to improve and develop is to keep showing up and having a go. Meanwhile I keep myself creatively well!

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative week!
Kat :-) xx

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Monday, 18 August 2014

Inspired by Anahata Katkin.....

Kim chose Anahata Katkin as her chosen artist for this year's Magical Journal Journey. Kim's journal was already full of gorgeous art and after sitting with her for the past couple of weeks I have fallen in love with Anahata's work. In the above painting I borrowed her way of using black and white areas in her paintings, of having flowers in ladies hair and tattoo type markings on their faces. Other than that I just went where my imagination led me. This double spread was a labour of love and much time that I found really therapeutic. I named her 'Anatola' and wrote about her (more of that later).

Below: the painting on this page was inspired by Anahata's painting "ROOTS":

Anahata Katkin has a series of paintings on rolls of wall paper and so in keeping with this idea, I painted and collaged on to wallpaper for the last page:

The large heart is actually the cover of a little book which tells the story of Anatola whose name is the feminine version of Anatolius that means sunrise in Latin. As my lady helps to wake the world at sunrise I thought this an appropriate name :-) It also struck me as similar to Anahata which was a happy coincidence. If you want to read more about her, I'm happy to email her story to you. Just ask.

Now this last piece is actually the back inside cover. It was still blank when I received it and so I painted and collaged on it. The paint affect is nicer in real life but alas was difficut to capture on camera/scanner. As we are collaborating on our covers, someone else can now add to this.

Yet again I've been stretched artistically, helped further my skills and added to my experience. It is a really fun way to enjoy and develop our creativity.

Amongst the busy summer, this art journaling is a havan amongst the chaos. Another example of me keeping 'Creatively Well'. Thanks Kim for choosing such a fun artist to inspire your journal.

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative week!
Kat :-) x

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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Keeping Creatively Well with personalised jewellery and card orders...

After a few days of ill health last month I got behind with everything and when I went back to work I had to take it a bit easier. However, since then I've been catching up with lots of personalised jewellery and card orders. It has been so much fun designing pretty things to suit individual briefs. Not to say it isn't a challenge when working around health and the busy/noisy school summer holidays. But being creative keeps me well and I get such a buzz when people are happy with their creations. I won't bore you with all I've been doing but here are a few recent makes. Above was actually a design I recently drew/painted for a Cornish friend's Birthday. I forgot to take a photo of the finished card before I gave it to her but this was the main part of the design. I then used the same design in minature along with a few other details to make the background paper.

This was a necklace I was commisioned to create. I used beautiful purple Czech glass beads, silver plated celtic knots and most of my energy making the multiple fiddly connections ;-) 

The card below was a commission from a customer who wanted a Marilyn Monroe themed card for a male 70th Birthday......

Apparently I made the recipient of the card cry which I think (hope) was a positive thing, lol :-) I know my customer was pleased and it is great when people enjoy something I create. It feels nice to spread a bit of happy!

Below was another bespoke order from a customer who wanted a coral bracelet and necklace set. What I didn't realise at first was that coral can come in a few shades. I enjoyed making this and it was well received. The magnetic flower clasp I used was also gratefully received because the customer had a problem fastening jewellery due to a hand/wrist injury. The beads I used were a mix of natural coral (the smaller beads) and quality shell-coated glass.

Finally, I recently designed the earrings and bracelet below as a set that could be versatile with neutral colours to match many outfits. It was also a little more delicate and I think it is suitable to wear on casual or dressy occassions. The beads used here were non-magnetic hematite.

 My daughter kindly modelled the bracelet for me....

That is a little of what I've been creating recently. If you're interested in seeing more of my jewellery or cards then you can find them on my facebook page CreativelyWellCreations. Please do visit, perhaps 'like' and if you have anything you'd like me to make you can send me a facebook message. Eventually I will get a website and have started looking at having a monthly newsletter with updates of designs and offers. 
  • How have you been creative recently?
  • Do you find that being creative helps keep you happy and well?
Please do share your news and experiences, I love to hear from you.

Wishing you all a Happy & Creative week!
Kat :-) x

Friday, 18 July 2014

Inspired by Chagall (MJJ2014)

I'm a bit late posting my latest Magical Journal Journey pages but in June I hosted the gorgeous house shaped journal belonging to Stephanie whose chosen artist was Marc Chagall. I had difficulty emulating his style but felt in tune with his love of music, folklore and imagination and so focused my art on these elements. Above is the middle spread and below is the front page.

Both paintings are based on the accompanying story I wrote about a girl who loses her inspiration and love of life after her best friend dies. A magical sequence of events leads her to receive a charm necklace the helps her rediscover what she's lost.

On this Magical Journal Journey we are all contributing to the art journal covers. Below is my contribution to a side that was previously painted orange. I'm getting to like drawing/painting whimsical villages....

I've got a little behind due to a problem with a spell of vision headaches but I have lots of jewellery and card orders to do ( CreativelyWellCreations) and am starting to get back on top of things starting with this blog post.  Feeling positive and enjoying being creative :-)

I've discovered a love of creating whimsical villages & town - what new subject/skill have you discovered a joy for using in your creations? Perhaps a new paint or a newfound inspiration.....

Wishing you all a Happy & Creative Weekend!
Kat :-)

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Sunday, 15 June 2014

My creations for sale have their own facebook page 'Creatively Well Creations'

Creatively Well Creations

As you may have noticed my blog and facebook pages have a new web banner. This was the result of many frustrating hours trying to learn how to use Photoshop :-) It is all part of a set of changes & updates I'm slowing implementing online. Another is the creation of a new facebook page entitled 'Creatively Well Creations' on which I shall post some of the creations I sell.

For a long while my efforts to keep well using creative activities has resulted in many gifts for loved ones but also some creations that I sell locally. People have repeatedly suggested I make a facebook page to showcase the kind of creations I sell - personalised cards, bespoke jewellery, paintings, mandalas & various crafty gifts. Anyhow, I finally did it!

To celebrate the launch of this page I shall soon be running a prize draw. So, if you're on facebook, please like my new page & keep an eye out for the prize draw I plan to launch on there this next week.

  • What new projects, ideas or creations have you been working on recently?
  • Or/and what ideas fill your dreams for the future?

My head is always full of ideas and dreams but one that I'd like to bring into reality sooner rather than later is my 'Creatively Well' book. I have it in rough form but I really want to work it into a publishable, hopefully useful and enjoyable read soon. 

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative Week!
Kat :-) x

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

"The Difference a Flower Can Make" MJJ2014

Gemma's chosen artist for our Magical Journal Journey 2014 is Georgia O'Keefe , a prolific artist that inspired me to spend my time studying flowers and plants in fine detail. Georgia O'Keefe also enjoyed painting her surroundings at whichever locatioon she was at therefore above is my painted interpretation of the abundant Cornish grass topped granite cliffs. This is the photo I took of the local lanscape that provided the inspiration:

The photo of my painting doesn't seem to do it justice because it doesn't reproduce the colours and texture very well but it gives you an idea. Although I tried to paint this cliff side in the style of Georgia O'Keeffe I wasn't successful. Yet her influence is in there....you may just have to take my word for it ;-)

For the middle spread I used this photo of flowers in my garden as inspiration:

And this was my interpretation of the flowers (again not a great photo):

I kept in mind Georgia O'Keeffe's way of painting flowers large and in close up.

I spent many happy hours painting this spread which is around A3 in size but felt quite sad when I finished because it ended up so much less than I imagined. However, a few kind friends gave me a telling off about being too self-critical and I reminded myself that the process had been full of joy which was what mattered most. With that in mind I started to look upon the painting with kinder eyes. I hope Gemma will see the love that's gone into its creation.

On the final page I Painted a bright pink gerbera:

This then decorated a large pocket in which I put a short story (email me if you'd like a copy to read) in book form and tag:

I'm not sure that I've managed any of Georgia O'Keeffe's painting style but I was certainly inspired by her love of flowers and nature. Again, it stretched me out of my comfort zone encouraging me to practice new skills. Thank you Gemma: great choice of artist!

Oooh nearly forgot, we also had to contribute to the journal's inside cover art work:

I wrote the Georgia O'Keeffe quote: "I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty" along one of the swirly lines of paint someone had created and added decoration to the top right and middle right.

Hope you all have had a joy filled week that has inspired and stretched you in a positive way.

Kat :-)

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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Outside my comfort zone with Jose Merello....

In April & early May I worked in Maggie's journal. Maggie's chosen artist was Jose Merello. I didn't know anything about Mr Merello and so I spent quite a long while researching, sketching & collating ideas. When it came to painting in his style I have to admit I struggled. Therefore for my first painting, a double paged spread I concentrated on incorporating all the things I felt associated with Merello especially his love of Spain and bright colours. And as if this didn't stretch me enough I braved a second attempt at painting a face, something I braved for the first time just weeks ago.

Besides a little use of light pencil I didn't allow myself any pen work to form the lady (Maria), instead forcing myself to rely on a paintbrush as much as possible. Despite my love of using mixed media I encouraged myself to experiment with what I could achieve with only paint. Well....many hours later this lady I named Maria is the result and I'll leave you to make your own opinion.

I learnt a lot by doing; through my mistakes and successes. The hair was difficult as was trying to create the effect of solid shape. I'm glad I tried though because I had a lot of fun.

Not one to be easily beaten I came across this Merello painting:

Merello's Painting

and decided to paint my own version, not as a copy but as a nod to the original:

My Painting

I mounted my vase painting on a page painted with a Spanish flag in order to continue my theme. Success was acheived when my brutally honest twelve year old said she liked my vase painting better thank Merellos :-)! Of course I wouldn't agree but it was nice she thought so.

Next, I wanted to write a story about Maria and to go with it I needed another painting. I painted with everything I'd gleaned about Merello in mind, borrowing a couple of the symbols he used and trying to use his style/technique/preferences.

Struggling with Merello's style for quite some time I finally let go a little and just went with the general feeling I had for Merello and Spain. This painting then became the cover to my mini book:

If you'd like to read Maria's story I'm happy to email it to you if you email me via my google profile. It is around a 1000 words in length.

Finally, I had to add my contribution to Maggie's cover. PritiLisa had added a picture of Merello in the centre of the inside front cover & so I decided to add some panels of images to surround it. I had big problems with paint soaking into the cover and not getting the finish I wanted but here is the end result:

By the time I completed my contribution in Maggie's Merello themed journal I had learnt about another artist but had learnt even more about my own skills. It is good to step outside of our comfort zone but also incredibly scary. However, it proves worth taking the leap and pushing forward past the fear into the new. I certainly feel like I've grown and developed my skills. Even if I don't continue to paint in this style - what I've gained this month will help me in my own art, creative work and confidence.

  • Have you learnt anything new recently? Or/and pushed yourself outside of your normal comfort zone in your creative work? How did it feel? What were the results?

Wishing you all a Happy and Creative Week ahead!
Kat :-) x

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