Designing for Christmas!

It might sound strange but come August Christmas card designs for private clients started!

Researching trends and colours for this year and design ideas resulted in one of the designs: Christmas in a Bottle. Work in progress… 🎅🏻

One of the Christmas card designs showing work in progress, 2020

Come October I will be encouraging students to create their own designs to send out to their loved ones 💕 🎄

I found myself digging!

I thought I had gotten over the need to dig in my garden in order to escape! It’s only now that I’m sitting down inside that I realise I’ve done it again!

Does it matter? I’ve seen many people on Twitter write that they find it difficult to concentrate or that they have a good day followed by a down day. Would this be true anyway, back in the recent past when everything was normal? Does anyone consistently have good days?

Yesterday was excellent! An essential trip to the shop, followed by a call on a neighbour, with a relaxed local dog walk before lunch. A lovely morning! I must have felt sufficiently assured after such a pleasant morning to spend 3 and a half hours on unpaid work on the computer, my head was spinning! I’m so unused to sitting still, staring at a screen! I came away from it having learned about Wakelet, a little about composing a new form or quiz in Outlook Forms, how to attach video links in Teams! My head was buzzing! I had a real sense of achievement though which was so good in amongst this crazy time! This is a challenge I’m really enjoying! Let’s hope the students enjoy what I create in their new online classes!

Part of me fears that this could lead to a change in the way we teach for ever. I remember in my PGCE training being asked if we could hazard a guess into what the future could hold for teaching post 16’s! I said I saw a Star Wars scenario where a lesson is transmitted into the centre of a class, the classrooms would be circular and a TA is there to keep law and order! I hope I’m wrong but you might see where I was coming from?!

As most of my students are adults and some older people I will see how many wish to take part online. Many will struggle with setting up a college email and finding their initial password. I hope they move through this to finding the right apps to download and sign in for. It’s a lot to ask. Many of my students are intelligent retirees who use the internet but are not sufficiently IT lit to know and understand the technical jargon. It’s a big ask! I hope this doesn’t exclude some, there’s enough isolation at the moment!

A week later

One week later, it hasn’t changed much! Unbelievably our Prime Minister is himself struggling with the virus. What a great deal he, and his ministers have had to face, I would not be in their shoes!

I have managed to curb my need to run off out into the garden at last! Helped by the good ol’ English weather turning grey and wet! Looking for an up side on even the smallest things helps this national curfew!

It has been amazing to see and hear how the wildlife has started tiptoeing back into villages and towns. Seeing an image of a group of deer lying in someone’s front lawn in Scotland brought a smile! The pollution levels are said to have dropped, how many more natural positives are coming to light? Perhaps this is a time to give a new sense of value?

With these inspirational images of wildlife coming – it must have given me a new start. A dry felted squirrel, a goose, and many animals to come. Thank you to the beautiful wildlife of Britain!

What can I say?

In years to come I will look back at this winter and now spring and ask: did that really happen?

When we were all enjoying Christmas and then celebrated New Year we had no idea what lay in store for all of us! Someone on my Twitter feed suggested writing a journal for this Coronavirus 19 period. I started writing mine on the 4th of March 2020. I have put the year lest this strange time slide into the next year. I’ve already looked back and seen it unfold. Part of it is only just sinking in now, 22 days later.

I can tell you that my love of art has taken me through many difficult times in my life. It is helping me now too. I have so many projects crying out for my attention that instead I have run into the garden and dug! Dug for victory, dug for food, dug to escape. I had thought of buying chickens! I was too late! Boris Johnson’s unprecedented restrictions halted my action. I have abided by his statement. “Stay at home.” “Protect the NHS.” “Save lives.” I have decided to embrace this life changing world wide event. It is futile not too. I must stop running away and do my artwork! I am in total admiration for those parents with school aged children. I find it hard to put my head down to work on things I love, how do they and their children feel? It’s a very confusing time and frightening too.

For the part of me that is not teaching art and craft I am a self employed artist who can’t help herself but use many media in my artwork. One idea, colour, or texture sparks off another idea in another area of my work. As I write this blog I wait to hear if the self-employed will receive help from the government. From our land of freedom and free spirit We have become socialists overnight. Here the state have worked on so many different aspects of our differing lives to help ensure that Britain and her people may continue as much as possible. They have effectively nationalised the railways, issued welfare to employees and had to plan for an unseen event. Let alone create new laws as some employers wish to escape their duty of care, and those who wish to profit.

I know an answer. I must timetable my days. I have a But! But I didn’t think it would last this long, but I thought it would all disappear, but I thought the scientists were magicians. The sand has disappeared and now is the time to write my programme of works! After all, this morning I received an enquiry about my work for sale on my website. He wishes to buy a piece for his wife as it’s their anniversary. It’s heart warming! I’ve never met you but “Happy anniversary!” x

Working our way to Christmas 🎄

The weeks are trotting by, gathering pace all the time!

New finished craft pieces have been delivered to the shops and galleries and finally I find myself designing Christmas cards! The influence of William Morris seems to be a large presence in my designs this year. His work always had such grace of both movement in his designs and colours. The Pre-Raphaelite’s work is still hugely influential to me even though I also love the modernist and contemporary movements. Some things have never been beaten!