Yes and No

Hand and machine stitched intuitive art textile by Maggie Winnall at Sewin Studio
Yes and No © Maggie Winnall. Machine and hand stitched art textile

Yes! I’m happy to say that I completed my project, #100 Day Result, finishing up on July 27th or thereabouts. I stitched one hundred Applique fabric letters.  My sense of self and artist self merged into one. I became an artist.
I maintained my daily practice through one hundred days. It felt good. A new process emerged from the experiments, or even multiple processes as I tried hand and machine stitching in differing ways.  I was riding the crest of the wave and keen to continue, I made a start on supplementing the missing alphabet letters. I call this project #44lettersmore.

Then along comes the ‘no’ part of the blog title.The ‘no’ represents a pause, the delay in daily stitching. I slip back into resistance, I deny myself the pleasure of making. As I write now, I see I am concentrating on the negative but it ( this negative) has to be acknowledged. It is a pattern of mine, a recurring theme. I will be going happily along then I stop suddenly and drift away from my intention, for no apparent reason. It then takes ages before I realise I’m off the beaten track.  Much has been written about this, I know because I have All of the books !  So I have gleaned an insight as to why I behave in this way.. But it is a battle, a silent stealth that creeps back.

Do Your Best

Do. Your. Best.

Mum’s maxim still rings in my ears, even after all this time. The power of words to linger, to imprint in your mind, to guide, to remind.

‘do’ is hand stitched.  I’ve taken the stitches across the letters here, to echo the background. I love to hand stitch. I love machine stitching also. There’s no need to choose one above the other, just enjoy each process.

As this project develops, I notice I am searching for specific letters to complete a word. There are no ‘b’s’ left, so I reversed a ‘d’ instead. I could expand the lexicon but will stick to the plan and only use the remaining letters. Keep some boundaries, test some limits. It will only be a problem if I want to spell.

Word games

The letters are growing in number. It’s time for a little fun, (or pun !) time for a word game and this is what I came up with. I especially like the vibrancy of ‘opens’.

Trying again

I have one hundred 3″ cloth squares in various colours and a number of random letters left over from another project. Each day I will stitch one letter to one square and post it on Instagram and blog about the process here. This is to get into a habit of making and to make a micro system of recording my projects.  In keeping it small, and keeping it simple is to get myself a modest result and most of all to finish.

Because in last year”s #100 day project I was going along happily, then stopped for no apparent reason. I failed and took so long to recover. Really. This is a pattern of mine. When I am making something and feel good about it, I halt. There has been plenty of time for reflection as to why.

There were several contributing factors ( some might say excuses ) such as external circumstances and all manner of mindset games (generally known as the ‘inner critic’ ) that played in my head to divert me to ‘not’ doing. It is quite staggering the way the brain works to prevent a person ( that is, me ) to fulfill a simple aim, to make art for one hundred days. And when it didn’t happen, the consequences were drastic, to the extent that my grand daughter observed that my studio looked abandoned..
Some lessons learned from last time.
1. to focus only on the task, to finish the daily task. I found that I started to include other things that were not about the project, like celebrating my yoga days for example. Nothing to do with one hundred beautiful words.
2. There is what I call ‘force fixing ‘ mentally shaping the outcome – what it would look like, what would happen as a result, etc etc. Who knows what will happen as a result of 100 days of making or what it will look like. I have to just stitch each day, it will reveal itself as we go along.
3. When I’m doing something i love, ideas flow freely and open up the potential for bigger things, my mind becomes distracted, ambitious and gets carried far away from the task at hand.
4. Then there were the external circumstances, life showed up in the form of family drama and of course I dropped tools to help. There was no need for me to give up my project though, I just did.

So here, I am trying again, this time with a refined plan. To keep the whole process simple to execute, simple to record and simple to finish. To complete daily, to stitch over and over each day for 100 days. I’m hoping also to establish a routine that will lodge in my brain, for onward use into other endeavours. This is the intention ( after doing my daily stitching that is )

Faith Renewed

Contemporary Art Textile with text and hand stitching and quilting.
#100 Days of Beautiful Words by Maggie Winnall -Day 20

I’m on Day 20 of #100 Days of Beautiful Words. You can see the words and colours  growing up the front of the dress. It amounts to one fifth of the total area and I’m hoping there will be enough space for the full lexicon. The schedule however is on Day 22, so some extra stitching is required, I’m  playing catch up already. The words will get done but this is not really the point…the learning is that I have lost 2 days and that working little and often, is the best way.

Angel

 

Day five of #100 Days of Beautiful Words and I am starting to flag already !

The ‘inner critic’ works it’s spell by making me vague and forgetful, I almost forgot yoga as well as delaying my start on today’s word.

I chose ‘Angel’ today to call on help with the above phenomina.

Message from the Universe…

Watercolour painting with a New Age theme, featuring text and pure colour values.
Message from the Universe © Maggie Winnall
Watercolour on paper

 

I fell…was falling, slipping, sliding, going through the air.

The cup of tea in my right hand dropped, tea splattered everywhere and BA BOOM…I’m on the floor. I hold my left arm and wait..sit and wait as I assess body pain, register sensations, whilst around me my girl and grand girls rush to help. My left leg is sore..not sure yet about my left  arm. I hold it close to me to avoid my fear..it’s pain free at the moment, once I move it, the pain will arrive.

This was last friday evening. There was more drama afterwards, an ambulance was called, I was carted off to A&E where they diagnosed a fractured left elbow. A big thanks goes to The kind and helpful A&E team at St. Thomas’ Hospital for their fantastic care.

So today is right hand day no.3, using the left side of my brain, as I navigate through with one hand. I have been able to draw and write though, so have taken up watercolour. Stitching is out right now, no needle threading or cutting intricate curves and serifs, no little letters. I’m making my letters in biro and paint.

Still In Love…

…….with colour and like all the best love affairs requires the qualities of honesty, reflection, hope, joy,  to name but a few.

So I’ve been reflecting on how I use colour presently, looking honestly at what I aim to achieve.

As a child I responded to colours set out before me, as an adult I choose  colour and try to take charge of it’s effect.

Saturated colour is my preferred palette and lemon yellow is currently catching my eye, but it is the interaction between the tints & tones ,

hot & cool that makes for interesting discoveries and engages me in the process.

With my appliqued affirmations I am using colour in small amounts, in the form of thread, to create interplay between the coloured letters and the ground fabric.

Hoping to create a vibrant effect, hoping to enhance the message.

How do you like to use colour? What is today’s favourite colour ?

Express Yourself: Decided

Express Yourself_13©201_Affirmative applique couture Hope In Your Handbag™wearable art purse,machine pieced and quilted textile with hand embellished letters in pink,red,white font with a kisslock frame and multicoloured stripes..JPGInstead of unpicking the white letters I added more, which adds a raised dimension and sets the letters in relief. I used a plain weave white cloth and stitched coloured thread to soften the edges. I made a feature of the ‘Y’ using  gingham and a different font , notice how the new yellow stitches around the ‘e’ accentuates it.

For a lucid approach to decision making check out this

Express Yourself

Express Yourself_6/detail©2013MaggieWinnall_Affirmative applique_Hope In Your Handbag™_purse_machine pieced and quilted textile_hand embellished applique_pink_red_white font_kisslock frame_stripes_orange_multicolour_redIT looks like I will have to unpick

yourself‘, the white twill cloth is fraying and this is not the look I want. I may even change the font while I’m at it…sometimes when you have invested time and energy, it’s hard to admit the results aren’t working and make the changes…..but once you do…it releases stuck energy, you feel better. Are you convinced?Express Yourself_5 © 2013MaggieWinnall_Affirmative applique_Hope In Your Handbag™_purse_machine pieced and quilted textile_hand embellished applique_pink_red_white font_kisslock frame_stripes_orange_multicolour_red