Good evening from the UK everyone 🙂 Ever drawn a Shar Pei? Ever wanted to draw a dog that has loads of folds and flaps? My friend’s favourite dog is the Shar Pei. She hasn’t got the space to own her own pup, so instead she asked me if I’d draw her one to frame on her wall. I sketched an outline first in pencil and then began the lengthy task of filling in the spaces, yet still trying to maintain that Shar Pei look.
Trying out carving tiny motifs into household erasers proved a little challenging this evening (but then my daughter had fun colouring in the unprinted sections afterwards!).
When a colleague asked me to crochet or knit her a pair of wristies and gave me free reign over colours/style and pattern, I checked out a number of patterns and basically it evolved from 38 chain. I modelled the size around my own wrist and hand length. She hasn’t seen them yet (I said I’d have them ready by Friday), so hope she likes them now they’re finished. I enjoyed making them so much, I’m going to make myself a pair!
Well, it’s day 17 of the National Novel Writing Month where there challenge continues – to write a draft novel in 30 days – the month of November. To keep up the pace, the task is to try and write more than 1667 words a day for the whole month. I was, I admit feeling I’d run out of steam yesterday as I needed sleep and took a break, but then new life hit the story today and before I knew it, I’d written way more than the minimum word count! I’m finding the characters are beginning to set the scene and take over; they’ve become more than two dimensional and they have a purpose. There’s already been a death and an underground explosion in the subterranean world built out of metal cogs. Of course, it’s a rough draft, but I became excited by what was happening tonight as the characters are acting how they want to act. Oh, and I went with the name Damascus in the end. Someone on Facebook made me chuckle by suggesting I went with Damascus ‘brother to Remington’! when I called for suggestions on which name to go with out of a selection of five (Tyvek, Damascus Steel, Yew, MEK, or Glass). I had various reasons for choosing these five. The name Yew would have been interesting, depending on whether my potential novel was going to be read aloud or not as you have yew, you (singular), you (plural) all sounding the same, and yew relates to the tree which is used to make bowls, medicine and weapons. MEK referred to the chemical solvent methyl ethyl ketone (used in printing inks). Glass on the other hand can be smoked, hammered, clear, etched, melted, monoprinting traditionally was done on glass sheets when I was studying printing at college) and Tyvek can be printed on (and notoriously difficult to control on a printing press) and so strong that it can’t be ripped.
Now I’ve reached 26,200 words (still a long way to go for that 50,000 mark), I have a deliberately unnamed character. His anonymity is paramount for the safety of the rest of the characters. So, for all you budding writers out there, is it absolutely necessary (in your opinion) to name every character in story? What do you think?
Today was the day of the fair and we woke to thick fog. Pleased to say people braved the elements and came out to support the fair. both as stall holders and visitors. Yes, it could have been busier, but there were other craft and bazaar events on nearby all competing to sell their handmades. If anyone of you has ever done craft fairs before, you are often faced with people admiring the handicrafts and going away thinking that they can replicate what they’ve seen rather than depart with their money. I’ve also experienced how positive the effect is, if you can sit and demonstrate what you do, what you make and what you’re selling.
My DH shared part of my table today. It was only when he demonstrated how to use the items he was selling that people began to take an interest, then they became fascinated, then they parted with the money as happy customers. I believe this is the way forward for the survival of craft fairs. Crafters need to be prepared to demonstrate their skills and show that what they’ve created wasn’t done in five minutes flat, but has been built; made; created; drawn or designed with love and passion! Sadly, space today didn’t allow for me to demonstrate Gelliprinting as I’d hoped. There were too many stalls for that, yet one lady making lace sat diligently working on her next piece while her helper dealt with the sales. Gelliprinting needed more space so that no paint or ink could spash onto other stall holders’ goodies. The lace maker was the only stall holder actually doing any demonstrating. I had no choice but to keep my brayer and Gelliplate stored under the table, bringing the clean plate out only when there was call for an explanation to a potential customer. There’s always next time. The next venue is bigger (and if I can’t do it there, maybe it’s time to organised my own artisan fair).
Running this blog this year has given me opportunities to try my hand at a range of crafts including pyrography; pewter casting; decopatch; embroidery and so on. Some crafts have been difficult to master and taken many practise runs which may not necessarily be evident on the blog. Making a patchwork chicken as part of a competition was actually quite challenging. I’d never done patchwork before and I made at least six before I was happy to release one as a prize for the chicken run. Most crafters I’ve made are their own worst critics and will not think twice about screwing a drawing up into a tight ball and tossing it into the trash. I threw some of my patchwork away – to me, it just wasn’t good enough. I’m pleased with the crafts I had on offer today, but then I also know the journey I’ve been on to produce them in the first place 🙂 Thank you to all those who managed to make it today. We’re grateful.