Welcome to the art of curiosity; my personal amble through the worlds of art, crafts, books & all manner of other curiosities. You'll find examples of my jewellery & art work plus an account of how I'm attempting to confound depression & my bipolarity by pursuing my creativity. There's a lot of whimsy too; my mind set is distinctly frivolous at times!

So, Dear Reader, won't you join me on my journey?

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Time for a revamp!

I swear the red & greeness of my blog gave me the migraine tremors so some time soon, I hope to overhaul it and make this into a lighter, more inviting space to pay a visit to. I have half a mind (as all my friends will tell you, I really do have only half a mind) to start sharing some entries from my sketchbook & maybe my art journal too. However the latter is quite personal & who, for example, would want to see in my lingerie drawer? ( Oh Jennifer, do stop telling fibs! It's a mismatched knicker drawer with accumulated love & baby tokens hidden between the lace, cotton & elastic! I wonder; where, dear reader, do you keep your own love tokens, baby booties & mementoes of sweeter times?)

In the meantime, here is one of my favourite Hiroshige prints; art to dispel my misconception about red & green ;-)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

My heart has been stole-n!

I love the zig-zag stoles I've knitted!! I can fit two of my babes under one so we sit cuddling on the sofa with the wings tucked around us; I'm like a bird in a nest with my brood. It's a little bit of heaven!

The pattern is the easiest in the world - it's just an incredibly long, zig-zag shaped length of stocking stitch - but the yarn I used is what it makes it look & feel special. It's called 'Fandango' ( though 'Isis' is equally excellent - I just prefer cotton) from the Welsh company, Colinette Yarns.

I've made five (!!?!!) of these stoles so far ( Florentina, Adonis Blue, Jay, Zebra & Sweet Dreams, the latter being for 11 year old Ellie) , got one on the go ( Pagan) and have another waiting in the shopping cart. For those of you who know Lula, this may come as a shock, but Lula........wants one too! Yes, Lula the tomboy, she of the mini-tractor & dirt patch fame, wants a stole of her own! She's dithering between October Afternoon & Heavens Above, though there are a couple more that have grabbed her attention. Ideally she'd like four, but as I knit as slowly as a sloth, I've explained that she may not get all of these until she's grown up & got children of her own.

I think the key to this stole's charm, and thus its huge appeal to Lula, is its cuddle-ability. I unfurl one in bed whilst reading or drape one around me on the school run or when dashing down to my Shack studio. I primped our sitting room using Wabi Sabi principles, but it can be cold in winter so we cuddle up together with two babes plus me all under one stole. It's also an anxiety soother. If I'm out in a crowd & that familiar feeling of panic starts quaking, I've got a stole to pull around me; I guess it's a similar principle to baby wrapping & it certainly helps me. Why, somedays, I can actually manage to go shopping with just a stole & Bach's Rescue Remedy for company ;-)

I've been knitting scarves for years ( for which I have Nicki Epstein to thank), but my heart's been stolen by stoles. Not shawls, but lovely, long, drapery, pinned up or just coiled round.

The pattern, 'Elderflower', can be found in Colinette's booklet, 'Isis'.

Monday, 26 April 2010

A fill in!

Something for you to colour in :-) You can find some more here!

I've just scrawled an entry all over Facebook which properly belongs over here. Here's a copy:

" Time for ‘the art of curiosity’. I’ve taken a deep breath and looked at my blog & website for the first time in an eon. Oh boy, do I have a lot of work to do! But have I the energy & determination to do it?

Thanks to bipolar blips, I’ve never been able to truly run with the concept of ‘the art of curiosity,’ but after this last big bad wolf of a bout, I feel an odd sensation of renewal & recovery this time. What could possibly have caused this change? I put it down to the humble pencil. By using my creativity to help do battle with the dragon, I feel as if I put more of myself into the fight this time & I think this self-knowledge may be the source of my more positive viewpoint today. Even on the worst days, when waking was a scream of anguish at my still having to live in my brain & immobile body, this time I managed to drive marks onto a pad of paper which I kept by my bed. Marks which looked like a scrawl to everyone else, but which were actually helping to anchor me.

I couldn’t have functioned without medication and the people who cared for me, but my pads & subsequent journals of marks allowed me to remain in contact with myself. Rather then being adrift in mire, these marks, which became more lucid & fluid when I had moments of feeling human, which ultimately calmed into meditative drawings and notations of what was around me, charted my days & I was able to see that not every hour was a heartrending scream. They helped me to start comforting myself and this simple act of being kind to myself kick-started something in my brain.

But enough! This is no place to bore you. This should be in a blog: henceforth meanderings about this, that, life, art & all manner of curiosities will – with luck – be contained once more in ‘the art of curiosity blog’.

I thank you! "

Sunday, 25 April 2010

This blog needs..

more than a tidy up. I've got to dust it off, buff it up and then starting adding my favourite things to it. And if this last bipolar blight really has decided to let me be, perhaps I can truly start working & taking photos of the results again.

To be free.....that's my desire. And to sail again and let optimism fill the spinnaker. And if it works out, may be I can shake my boring, mummified website up too!!

My first task was to change the poem in 'Life's Candle' to Carol Ann Duffy's marvelous poem, 'Prayer'. Now I'm rummaging through the places that I visit when I'm feeling curious. This is down on the right hand side. I've got friends & marvelous places to add so if you're watching, I'm working on it.

Monday, 19 April 2010

New post...new life?

My computer went bang taking my life with it and as this coincided with a foul bipolar blip ( so much for medicated control!), I appear to have absented myself from life for a long, long time. Things have changed. I haven't made jewellery in an eon. Instead I draw, paint, make marks; trying to make art out of just looking. It's an absorbing way to live and a much better aid to recovery than just pills & therapy.

So here I am, taking baby steps along the road to recovery. Time to move on. Time to live again.