Easter Bunny using a Knitted Square – Video Tutorial

It’s nearly Easter and the bunnies want to come out to play! This project takes about 1 or 2 hours (max), assuming you’ve already got a knitted square.

Ingredients:
Knitted square (mine was approx 7” x 7”, but any size will do)
Yarn needle
sewing needle
3 x pins
masking or sticky tape
2 x buttons or eyes
scissors
thread for sewing on eyes
light coloured yarn for tail
cardboard
pen
stuffing
length of ribbon for neck bow

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Let Go of What’s “Right”

When learning to fly, we learn to let go

When I was 12 I was asked to leave the art class, as I was deemed “not good enough” at making art. This was a young person who had scribbled, and coloured, and created with her hands from the moment she had the opportunity to do so, and LOVED making. I believed the teacher’s hype.As luck would have it (if you believe such a thing exists) we moved house to our place on the mountain in Pembrokeshire and I went to the High School in Fishguard (bit of a change having spent several years at a convent school – and I loved it!). I had the opportunity to do art again and I grasped it with both hands.

 

Jonathon Cramp was a skilled artist and was our teacher. Wow! What an eye opener – and he liked what I did. Then he retired – I was filled with trepidation as I knew my life was incomplete without art and I knew I wanted to study Fine Art when I left school. Cue Huw Thomas – also a talented artist, but was also a brilliant teacher, dedicated to encouraging artistry and creativity from his charges.

Bloody ‘ell! How lucky was I? I learned SO much from him and my desire became a BURNING desire to follow art. Unfortunately, my Pop reiterated “you’ll never earn a living as an artist”, which I interpreted as “you ain’t good enough to do this. Do something else.”. What he meant was that earning a living making art requires a certain drive, regardless of talent, and wasn’t a reflection on my ability.

I digress.

Doing A’level art I learned how to create images that were from my heart and inspired by the topics or titles we were supplied with, but they had to be within parameters as they were being assessed for my A’level. When I went to art college, the same thing applied, but slightly less so (in my head). BBC’s Big Painting Challenge left me yelling at the telly because they were leading the contestants a merry dance with their expectations, and doing little to encourage self-expression.

It struck me this morning how stilted my imagination has been. My confidence in my ability to produce something for JUST ME has eroded over the years, and if asked to produce something I’ve checked in very carefully with “how it’s supposed to look”.

STOP IT! Just stop it.

What is the point of creating something when it’s not authentic?

There are times when it’s appropriate to follow “the rules”, like when making a garment or following a recipe, but what happens to our authentic souls when we change the rules to state, “the rules are – follow your heart and your intuition”?

Be authentic.

Be true to yourself.

I’m currently fine tuning a mindfulness exercise which involves creating something, and it’s been a temptation to show how I’ve done it. Knowing that I’m not alone in being so heavily influenced by others and “how it’s meant to look” that I’m going to present it where my finished piece will remain unseen.

I want each individual to tap into their own authenticity, without worrying about others assessments, or judgements. It will be a truly original manifestation of the person, as opposed to a facsimile of what was perceived as “expected”.

It can be a little like being in free fall, but sometimes when we are learning to fly, we have to let go of the branch.

 

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Caution – Black Dog at Work

When life knocks you down, roll over andIt’s interesting how some illnesses can be worn almost like a badge of honour – flu, mumps, gastroenteritis, pneumonia and so on all have a certain credibility; yet mental illness still has a stigma to it. “I’m not coming out tonight as my depression makes me want to stay away from people, sit in a cosy armchair and just stare at the TV”. “No, I won’t do the shopping as I’ve burst into tears in the dairy aisle once too often, and I can never remember what I went for.”.

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Patience takes Trust!

Listen to the whispers-2My first (and loudest) experience of receiving a message was the day I had been persuaded to go to the college chapel service one Sunday. A little background is required here; I spent a mostly happy time at a convent school until I was 14, and it gave me a rather skewed view of religion. I was cured of religion. It damaged my faith somewhat too (they are two separate entities in my book), but it turned out to be more resilient than I realised. Going to chapel on this Sunday was not quite a “kicking and screaming” occasion, but I felt it was important to go, regardless of how resistant I felt.

Long story short, the minister raised his head (mid-contemplation), looked me straight in the eye, and said, somewhat loudly I thought, “BE PATIENT”.

Simple as that. Be patient.
Simple? Continue reading

Just Do It!

Whatever creative thing you are thinking of doing now –

Just Do It!

We spend too much time over-thinking things. Stop it!

Take 5 minutes and have a play with something that makes your heart sing.

Rachael x

How to make a zipped, lined bag – video tutorial

You will need:-

2 pieces of cotton fabric 9″ x 8″ (outer)
2 pieces of cotton fabric 9″ x 8″ (lining)
4 pieces of light interfacing 9″ x 8″
1 x 9″ zip
Matching thread
Scissors
Sewing machine

Cat (optional)

and about an hour to make.

I love this little bag, and I hope you do too. Have fun with it!

Rachael

Tote Bags Galore

If you are anything like me, you will find yourself at the shop and realise you have no bags in which to put your shopping! Bugger! There is a stuff hole in the kitchen which is vomiting bags onto the floor, but they reluctantly remain at home.

This quick tutorial shows how easy it is to make a tote bag which you can roll up and keep in your handbag, and can make in different shapes and sizes according to your fancy.

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My African Hand Drumming Band – African Passport

Just to show you that I do more than textiles and dogs, I thought you’d like to see what I get up to in my spare time. I play the shekere on this piece called Yankadi – all very mellow and lovely.

Hope you enjoy it!

Me Time!

The Myth of Selfishness –

For as long as I can remember I have had a Sense of Purpose, but it’s been one of those senses which has created more questions than it answered. The most pressing has always been, “What exactly is this purpose?”! I had a space within me which yearned to be filled.

I discovered meditation as an 11 year old child and found an extraordinary sense of peace, one that I had never felt before and one which I yearned to have as my default every day. However, when I tried to discuss it with my friends, they looked at me slightly more askance than usual and gently steered the conversation away to something they could understand; probably ponies.

I decided to fly solo as a seeker.

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I’ve only gone and broken my favourite mug!

I admit it. I am a creature of habit. I have my favourite clothes, my favourite towel, my favourite bedding, and my favourite mug. Tea never tastes the same in another mug, so I use the same one, day in, day out.

I’ve had some mugs which needed to go for a re-bore. Others which got chipped and a little sad looking, but they were my friends and a little chip here and there wasn’t going to change how I felt about them.

Then I moved to Leeds with my lovely man. I had a beautiful bone china mug covered in deep blue flowers. It was special because it wasn’t one of those mean bone china mugs. No. This one had room for a drink which was still warm when I got to the bottom.

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