Sunday, 26 January 2014

Decision, Indecision

You know what it's like, don't you, being confronted with a blank page that needs filling, be it with writing or drawing or designing or listing? It sits there, that blank page, saying, 'Go on, I dare you. I dare you to make a mark on my pristine cleanness.' And the Power of the Paper is strong! And you sit there, pen/crayon/pencil/insert collage material of your choice hovering above and that paper is goading you, daring you and if you lack courage (as I do) because you are scared of making mistakes, the Power of the Paper provides too strong and you give up and go and do something you feel safe with, like the ironing, for instance, or making a cake or wrestling with a cat. 

But this is no longer an option for me for I have decided that I am going to study textiles and textile design. I have furnished myself with a couple of books and read one of them twice to familiarise myself with 'How To Make A Start,' and it has been an inspirational read x 2. The other book has been inspirational, too, but also scary, so I have slid it carefully to one side of my work station and there it will stay for the moment, being a bit scary. 

The first thing the non-scary book says to do is to make yourself a work space where you can shut yourself away to work. Well, as you know, I already have an arty-crafty writing room but I was standing in it yesterday surveying its layout and thinking, 'This is a room layout which errs towards writing, not textiles.' 

So I set about moving furniture, redesigning the layout if you like. Tybalt and FBM were incredibly unhelpful in this task, darting around my table and desk, tangling themselves in computer cables and kicking the shelves from my bookcase. How they did not become squished like bugs I do not know. I also took the opportunity to have a bit of a clear out and remove my vast (I kid you not) collection of drama teaching books up into the loft as I need the shelf space and am no longer a drama teacher. And now the bookcase and my desk are where the big table was, and the big table is in front of the window and the wall where the book case and desk were situated is now a clear, wide space all ready and waiting to become a 'Mood Board!' Well, there is a painting of Pandora Kitten still hanging on it, but I think I shall leave her there in order to oversee the creative process. 

The next thing I need to do, says the book, is to learn how to create a sketchbook, or notebook, or idea journal, or collage collection, or whatever else you decide to call it. Like Stanley, maybe. I think i shall call mine Stanley. And in order to do that, I need to choose a Theme. 

And here is where I have ground to a halt. I am angst-ridden. What shall be my Theme for this, my inaugural textile project? (And you will be unsurprised to hear that I immediately went off to participate in a displacement activity, but to be fair it was knitting, so still textile based!)

The book makes suggestions in case you get stuck. Like 'Architecture' or 'Nature' or 'Clothing.' Which seem a bit broad and all-encompassing, don't you think? Luckily, the book has picked up on potential broad-panic wavering and narrows the ideas down to specific titles, like 'Organic Formations' or 'Feasts and Festivals' or 'Folds and Creases.' It also suggests single words like 'Identity' or 'Layers' or 'Decay,' which, as you can imagine,cheered me no end given the week I've had. (Irony alert!) 

So, in the light of the book suggestions, and with much thinking and walking and pondering this weekend, I have come up with this list of possible 'Themes' :

1) Sonnet
2) Silhouettes
3) Fur and Feather
4) Overlap and Tesselate
5) Language of Fans (the Georgian lady flirty type, not the Justin Beiber One Direction type.)

I felt this list was a tad more sophisticated and less predictable than my original list which was:

1) Cats and Kittens
2) Hens and Eggs
3) Bees and Flowers
4) Cake and Its Greatness
5) Why I Hate Rain in Winter on My Leaky Roof

I need to settle on my chosen theme before I can move on to the next stage which is 'Gathering Source Material.' I also need to buy some new fine liner pens for my notebook because I took my last set to school and my students have turned them into wretches of their former selves with their heavy-handed scratchy ways of colouring and drawing. 

And now I am being called to test some of today's Bake Off training, which is focaccia. The Bake Off Trainee, aka Andy, is currently contemplating his first show-stopper. He thinks it will be some sort of strudel and has been causing simultaneously salivation and repulsion with his suggestions of fillings, because it can't be apple, it has to be show-stopper! 

And finally, thank you to all of you who have contacted me with words of support and humour after what has been a horrid week. You got me through - thank you, you amazing shiny-stars of people. Xxx


Olly said...

Fur and feathers, surely!

Denise said...

Fur and feathers is really a very transparent disguise for 'Cats and Hens' as you probably noticed, Olly, being the highly intelligent Scorpio person you are! If I go with that option I shall have some easy source materials at hand!

Countryside Tales said...

Now, my favourites are: silhouettes and bees and flowers.

I'm intrigued as to the fillings Andy has suggested. I do a strudel with red berries but that probably isn't 'show-stopping' enough for the GBBO.

Maybe your theme should be bread and biscuits, then you and A could work together....X

Janice said...

I love the idea of 'Language of Fans' from Geisha's to Burlesque! Can't wait to see what you decide.

Denise said...

CT, now you full well know that Bread and Biscuits would be a massive disaster. Neither of us need encouraging on the biscuit front PLUS their inclusion in my sketchbook would render it unnecessarily soggy!

Oooh, Janice - now you see you have given me a couple of freebie ideas! Geisha and burlesque!!! I hadn't got beyond Regency but then I have been Regency focused of late with all my Regency reading. Thank you! What a helpful blogging chum you are!

Countryside Tales said...

Can you tell Andy from me I tried to leave him a comment on his blog but it chucked me out because I don't have a wordpress account. I suggested you might not mind if I were to borrow him as my husband once a month to get the benefit of his delicious-looking cooking. M does a mean chilli and plum tart by way of exchange. XX