Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Creative Space: Inspiration, WIPs and Results

Inspiration can come in many forms. As with many people, I find much of it in nature and most specifically in flowers. I was fortunate to grow up in a climate that had something flowering most of the year and to be the daughter of a passionate gardener. Living in the climate that I do now has required a lot of readjustment. We have lived in Ottawa for over 18 years and I have learned that I require indoor flowers through the winter and into the spring just to survive. You cannot beat nature for use of colour and design.

When I started making felt purses I thought first of flowers. The nature of the material does not allow for realistic representation like can be achieved with silk but the sculptural qualities of wool can create some surprising results. Graphic design such as this beautiful gift wrap can help translate the suggestion of the flowers more suited to the ability of the wool or maybe just my abilities.

Sometimes my frustration with my work will prompt me to abandon the project. I was attempting to create white lilac on this piece and my dissatisfaction with the result caused me to drop it while still in progress. Last springs weather and the garden beckoned me outside. It is not difficult for a mother of four to be pulled away to other duties. Now that my studio is so well organized and pleasing to be in, I am looking again at some of my WIP's(work in progress) that were temporarily dropped. My critical eye with this piece has softened enough for me to take it up again and I hope to finish it soon. The handle of the bag is being formed by splicing hand rolled felt tubes that are braided so it is an intensive part of the making that can only be done a little at a time.

I have been delighted to see birds used in decorative home accessories and patterns for home decor fabrics. When I first looked at the sweater used here, I thought of a robin even before I taken the garment apart. I used natural roving for the branch and bits of the sweater to create the robin. I dropped it as a project when I was commissioned to make another purse and have yet to figure out the construction of the bag. Usually the size or shape of the original sweater influences my decision along with handle options and the weight of the felt.

The old adage of necessity being the mother of invention is certainly true as shown in this cosy for my cell phone. Using some of the felt leftover from my first purse, I fashioned this with a little needle felting, applied cut-out and shell button. It was such a small project that it was finished before it had a chance to be abandoned. The phone is new (after at least 4 years with the old one) and I hope to keep it happy and new looking for as long as possible with the help of its cosy.

Of course not all projects find themselves abandoned. This purse is one that I have used almost daily since I made it. The process flowed
easily and I do not remember too much questioning along the way. Take a look at the creative process at Kristy's blog.


littlelovelies said...

hello jenifir...

you are one of the winners of my giveaway!!!!!
please email me your full name & address to


x nadine
little lovelies

Fine Hand said...

that is beautiful gift wrap...i will post a picture of a paper gift bag i have quite similar..check it out

julie thompson said...

I love your purse...and the fact that if went together without problems (love it when that happens!)