Where does time go? I say that EVERY year but still it seems like only yesterday that it was the last day of 2012. Do you make resolutions when it comes to 1st January? I admit that I don't... I try to achieve something every day - even if it's a tiny little thing. Less pressure and a helluva lot more success and happiness to be had that way. I'm not sure that major goals are the key to achieving ANYthing...especially when you consider that life changes so dramatically at the drop of the proverbial hat - how can anyone plan that far ahead? Here are my daily goals:
* Don't be so hard on myself.
* Consider someone else before myself.
* Learn something new.
* Remember to smile.
* Listen to music, make art, or enjoy a beautiful view - if you can do all three, so much the better.
* Achieve something - even if it's just washing the dishes when I really can't be bothered!
I find that small things and little successes are what get me through, even when things are tough, and they build up and make me feel stronger and more confident so that when life throws a curve-ball, I'm set up to deal with it.
I do have a really big decision this year - personally, that is. I have to decide whether to pursue art as a full-time career. It would mean focussing all my time on being an artist, which is a bit scary.... It's a lot easier to make the jump if there's money to fund it, but the prospect of losing everything is a worry; I think it's important to make the decision though - if I don't give 100%, how can I expect to know whether anything will work out? Same with any job I guess! I'll think about it all this week and hopefully the inspiration fairy will guide me as to which way to jump! Wish me luck!
The prompt for this decision comes after an art-intensive month painting and making stuff for Christmas - I am OH so sure you know what I mean! As promised, in this post I'll be showing you my hand-painted wrapping paper. I know... I mean, there're SO many gorgeous designs released by gift companies EVERY year - and they're all pretty darned cheap, if I'm honest, but I REALLY like making my own gift wrap. I don't know why! It adds a LOT of work to an already busy schedule, but when it's done it makes the gift completely original-looking and that makes me happy...so I guess it's worthwhile! I used to decorate paper with stamped images... then I drew patterns like snowflakes, or holly leaves and stuff... then I went a bit mental and, well, I ended up with these:
These are painted - with very little planning, I'm afraid, onto the heavy duty kraft paper that I use for my mail order sales. Once they're dry I give them a quick 'foof' with laquer spray then crumple the heck outta the paper. When it's flattened out again it leaves all the scrumptious peakes and wrinkles that I highlight with golden gilding wax. It FEELS like a kind of heavy duty fabric which is weird but also awesome! I paint the designs to fit the parcel so that when it's done I can get most of the picture showing on the front, with space for decoration.
You can see the crumples a bit better on this one - the first two were photographed hastily as they were scheduled to be wrapped around pressies and sent THAT DAY to my wonderful friend down in London - before his Christmas work rush started again! I've also made HEAVY use of the Winsor and Newton gold ink this Christmas - it dries a LOT like gold leaf and has a really classy shimmer to it.
The plain kraft paper colour is FINE once the parcel's wrapped - it looks kinda rustic, and ya knows I'm all abouts the vintage, baby! I do like things looking rumpled and loved.
I also opted to use the theme of 'Christmas baubles' throughout my art and my wrapping this year and decided that I wanted to make pom-pom baubles to adorn the pressie boxes. I was OB-SESSED with pom-pom making as a kid - must have driven everyone mad! I still had immense fun making some HUGE pom-pom decorations and as a bonus, I got a mahoosive bag of off-cuts (from trimming them to even them out) which will make THE most excellent toy stuffing - lookee:
Foofy! Once the pom-poms were all done I added some stickles for sparkle-ness (now a word, thank you) and tied some pretty enamel jingly bells into them - they looked so pretty! And I KNOW my mum - she'll never ever put a present decoration away...OH no! They're all hanging round her house - so these had to be pretty enough for that. See - proof that she hangs stuff everywhere...:
...Not that I'm any better - I do exactly the same thing...
Back to the paper - here are a few more piccies I took to show you - hope you like them!
I think my love of colour and texture takes over. I managed to incorporate everything I'd wanted to - the rustic kraft paper combined with bright festive colours, tartan patterns and bows, pom-poms, foxes (very awesome are foxes) and, of course, Santa and his elf helpers!! I made that Santa bag from the kraft paper with gusseted sides and a piece of card in the base to strengthen it - it was mum's Christmas 'stocking'! I think they all came out ok....
The holly patterned bag with sticks poking out is a bunch of chocolate-coated marshmallows - ideal for hot chocolate and REALLY easy to make. It's a very affordable Christmas gift for friends and neighbours and looks really quite lovely when you add a little pretty ribbon and a gift tag.
Ok - that's my latest festive arty instalment and some thoughts on new year. I'm off now to open a lovely bottle of red wine and attempt NOT to fall asleep before midnight. I'll be off in the Land of Nod by 10pm..... I know it!
I'd like to send you all the very best of all lovely sparkly wishes for a WONDERFUL journey into 2014 - may the year bring all of us happiness, success and peace. And some cash. And possibly a flying pony. You know - the basics! Love and hugs to all! - Shroo :) xxx
HAPPY NEW YEAR!