A Reason to Write.

20 May

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I remember when I was at Uni we were asked why do you write?  This was a question we were often asked by visiting lecturers. Each time I tried to improve my answer to this question as I was also growing and discovering all the reasons why I loved to write…

One seminar our visiting lecturer, in his crisp clean white shirt, asked us this very same question. Why do you write? This time I thought about it. Like I really thought about it, so when it was my time to answer I said; I like to write because I would like to bring some positive change, or add/give something positive to the world.

All our answers were being scribbled across the white board as we went around the room; it makes me happy, I love telling stories, I like playing God (this last reason was a popular choice).Once we had all given our motives the lecturer took a step back from the board and skimmed through the list. Once he had finished, he popped the lid back on the marker and turned around to face the class. Who said something about writing to bring something positive to the world?

I smiled and raised my hand, me.

I revised my answer in my head and thought about my hopes and dreams of one day being a positive inspiration. Then I started to dream of how, if I were recognised one day in the near future, that I would love my stories to live on positively even after I have gone.

Hmm…he said with his face scrunched up like a piece of paper.

He repeated my reason for writing very quickly and compared it to some literature and then a handful of writers who managed to accomplish this and then finally took a breath of air. But really, this isn’t a REAL reason to write. He uncrossed his arms and erased my answer from the board. That was it. Gone.

My purpose stood tall and proud alongside the crowd of reasons to write and then suddenly it was swept away by the waves of unacceptance. The lecturer continued to pick out other reasons from the long list on the board and agreed with these motives for writing. I couldn’t hear him clearly as I was still listening to the waves, they had drawn in closer now and I was questioning whether my reason to write was, well, real?

Despite the invisibility of my motive to write I continued to believe in my passion for it. I had faith that if I stayed true to my purpose of writing that it will outshine the disagreements.

This was a memory I had forgotten about, it had been washed away with time, but then why am I discussing it today? Currently, I am reading Ed Catmull (with Amy Wallace), Creativity,  Inc. I am enjoying the journey of an inspirational man and company who were driven by their dreams and their futuristic ambitions.

I can reveal that it is this book that jogged my memory of that particular seminar at University. In fact it was the following line that triggered this blog post:

“My hope was to make this culture so vigorous that it would survive when Pixar’s founding members were long gone, enabling the company to continue producing original films that made money, yes, but also contributed positively to the world.” Creativity, Inc.

Reading this line made me smile because it reassured me that whatever my, or your reason to write is, no one will be able to stop you. If you are on a train with a ticket you’ve worked hard for and a head full of clear, focused and positive thoughts, then surely you will reach your destination. Thanks Ed for the reminder.

Creative Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

8 Mar

Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy International Women’s Day, what a great day to celebrate Mothers, sisters, daughters, granddaughters and even your friends. Women are truly strong individuals who have inner and outer strength.

With Mother’s Day coming up I thought I should share some creative ideas with my followers, whether you’re struggling with finding a gift to give or simply need inspiration. I hope my ideas will help!

FootprintsInButter’s 3D Memories! Oooo

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I was inspired to make a small 3D picture frame for my Mum when I came across a photo of her on an old scooter from her teens.

I loved the colours in the original Polaroid, the layers and the way the picture was taken.

If you have a favourite picture of your Mum or Grandma get it ready!

  1. Do not cut the original photograph.
  2. Phew…glad you listened.
  3. Scan in the picture of your choice.
  4. Decide on the frame size you want. (The frame I used was purchased at Wilkinson-they have a range of sizes available to suit your project)
  5. Print the picture to the desired size and enough copies for the amount of layers you would like to use. (I used 4 layers)
  6. When the pictures have printed, place one print as it is to one side. Using the remaining prints figure out which areas you would like to create a 3D effect with.
  7. Once you have decided which areas of the picture you would like to stand-out, decide on the sequence of layering i.e. in the forefront of my frame there is half of my aunt and the scooter. The second layer consists of my Mum on the scooter and my other aunt standing on a path. The third layer focuses on the leaves from the bushes in the background. Then finally the fourth layer is the uncut (whole) picture.
  8. Having decided on your layering pattern it’s time to cut out the areas you have chosen. Now before cutting out the chosen area think carefully of the positing within the 3D frame and where it will sit. Bearing this in mind, create a tab for your chosen area before cutting out. The tab will later be folded (hidden) and attached to clear acetate which will hold the different layers in place in your frame.
  9. Once you have cut out the chosen areas of the first layer, begin to fold on the tabs and glue to the clear acetate. Position the layer in the desired area inside the frame and glue the acetate in place, ensuring the layer is stable and will not move out of its position.
  10. Hold the frame away from you to check whether you are pleased with the positing of the different areas. Ensure the tabs do not show and are firmly glued to the inside edge of the frame. If you don’t keep check, you’ll realise after the layers build up that something is out of place or glued in wrong, and that will not be fun…believe me.
  11. The clear acetate you’re using will give you a neat fixing as it will not be seen. Much like puppet strings…well…most of the time…
  12. Once you have positioned and glued all the different layers in place within the frame. It’s time to place the final layer, which is the picture which we had left to one side; acting as the backdrop and bringing your picture to life.
  13. Place the picture behind all the layers, if needed glue the picture to the backing of the frame to hold it in place.
  14. Hold the frame away from you to check to see if you’re happy. Happy?
  15. If so, place the backing of the frame securely. Polish the glass on that frame and bam!
  16. There you have it! You have made a beautiful memory come to life!

If that idea sounded like a bit too much work…well I have another arty idea which is simpler! Especially for the ones who claim “I can’t draw to save my life…” well this might be for you!

FootprintsInButter’s Montage Moments!

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When looking through a photo album of our family trip to Paris I was intrigued by a photograph of my Mum and Dad siting in Disneyland waiting for the parade to start. In the picture my Dad seems to be pointing something out to my Mum whilst they both snack on some chicken nuggets. Since we can’t see the reason why my Dad has a cheeky look on his face it made me curious. I wanted to zoom in and isolate this moment. 

So I did!

I decided to recreate the world around my parents using newspaper and magazine cuttings, along with some paint and tracing paper reading a Rocky quote which reminds me of my parent’s relationship. I also used fine liners to create a sketchy effect over the print-out. Then only colouring in details like the bag, cup and chicken nuggets so they stand out against the black and white.

Time to make your own! Remember no drawing required if drawing is not your thing.

  1. Choose a picture you would like to use. Either scan it in or if it’s on your computer then great!
  2. Crop and enlarge the image of i.e. your Grandma, and print it out to the size you wish.
  3. Cut around the image and leave to one side. Discard the background.
  4. Using a larger sheet of paper, maybe A3 if your image is A4, position where you would like the picture of Grandma to be.
  5. Lightly outline the area and mark it ‘place grandma here’ to remind yourself not to decorate this space.
  6. On your A3 sheet of paper decide how you want your background to look, do you like lots of colour? Do you want to create a black and white background? If so decide on the colours and textures you want to use in this piece.
  7. Once you have decided, collect the materials you need, using newspaper cuttings, old magazines, tissue paper, nail varnish …yes I said nail varnish…, paint etc. (I used one side of corrugated cardboard dipped in white paint to create the effect of the cobbled Disney floor in my piece. Printing different shaped cardboard dipped in various shades of maroon for the floor created a camouflage effect; maybe you could give that a go?)
  8. Once you have glued, painted and created your abstract background, or like me, have exaggerated the original background, you are ready to position Grandma in the piece once the A3 page is dry.
  9. When the A3 sheet is dry glue the picture of Grandma in place.
  10. Step away from the piece and decide whether you are happy with how it looks… If you want a sketch-drawing like effect, then continue reading the next step!
  11. Using a fine liner; sketch around Grandma’s features and shade areas lightly using cross hatching, or other techniques, to achieve the look you desire. Use the natural shading in the picture to guide you. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then have a practice before gluing the picture down. When you feel you sketched over one picture better than another choose the best one and glue it in place.
  12. Take a step back are you happy? If so sign and date it, maybe frame it? And there you go your very own Montage Moment ready to wrap and give on Mother’s Day.

I hope my simple ideas have got your creative juices flowing! Please go and create! Give your loving Mum, Nana and/or Grandma a gift to remember this Mother’s Day by giving great pictures a new life and energy!

If you feel you’ve got it in you to draw then please go ahead! Woo hoo! Here’s a portrait I drew for my Grandparent’s last Christmas:

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The reaction was all worth it! Good luck creating! Please let me know how you get on in the comments section below? Or maybe post a pic of your creation! I look forward to it!

Have a Happy Mother’s Day! I hope my ideas have helped!

Change

4 Feb

Hey everyone!

I haven’t blogged in a while-blogged with words I mean… It’s mostly been my web-comic.

A lot has changed for me in the past year, especially during the last part of 2012 and early 2013. Things didn’t go as planned and before you knew it my world was falling apart rapidly in most areas of my life and to add to other pressures, my Nan passed away the day after my birthday…

I’m not going to relive negative moments of late 2012 and early 2013 with you, no…I am going to discuss the effects of change…for me personally.

Change has been one of those funny things that I found always stopped me in my tracks and made me wonder…then I’d wonder for days, weeks! Change was something I used to find difficult to decode, but what I have learned quickly from 2012 is to take my ultimate approach; “just go with it!”

Since letting go, I have decided to just go with change, for some reason things have become clearer and my mind feels like I am no longer weighed down by projects, people, ‘friends’, ‘family’ anymore. I feel freer as a person.

No new year’s resolution for the past two years… I think I’m moving forward with the flow of change, working hard and hoping that one day all the blood, sweat and tears will make my dreams, and career, a living success.

Welcome life! Welcome new experiences!

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