It has been a while since I have been able to fully think and do the creative projects that I would like to do, uninterrupted. You know how it is, you get this great idea for a project- especially if, like me, this is how you have a thousand different irons in the fire , which makes for major distractions during the creative process.
Above is one work in progress, an experiment, since I'm not fully satisfied with it. A small hassock/ottoman using some of the leftover fabric from my 1:6 scale Bespaq wingchairs I designed. Here is the premiere wingchair, Red Dragon (these are no longer available). Hinamatsuri is coming up on March 3rd, and one of my projects is to do a more indepth scene for the Japanese girls' day festival, which my dolls look forward to.
Today was experimentation day. It has been so long since I made a prototype, or built anything of any substance- a few years in fact, it was a couple of hours thinking of how to construct it before I began to assemble what materials I had on hand. This piece needs more embellishment, cord, and some tassels. I am thinking this might be a good height for a chair, but an ottoman or hassock should be about an inch lower. Great height for the picture to put a tea tray on it. This chair was one of the first ones I designed in collaboration with Bespaq, and is dear to my heart for that reason. Alot of planning went into that piece,before its debut, in 2007-2008.
Here the stool is with a Barbie Basics in kimono bending over it to put the tea tray on it, (she is a hybrid doll transplanted onto a LIV doll body) along with IT seasons W club Spring doll sitting on the hassock.
That was the 2nd project I worked on today- wasn't entirely satisfied with it, but it is a start.
My second project was a prop for a future photo session, the wood door for the dugout scene for my Little House characters, when they first see the dugout in On the Banks of Plum Creek.
Here is Pa and Laura modeling the door. I could have probably made it wider, but I know when the set is built, it is not going to be scale-exact but just enough to achieve the look. That project build is on the slate for a much more warmer and sunnier day then has been had lately- we have had snow, severe freezing temperatures- freezing rain this evening and in the early morning. Depressing- I hate snow and ice, impossible to get anything done.
As to thoughts....I have been down in the dumps because I am at a turning point, I feel, as an artist. Many do not know with the recent upheavals in my personal and professional life- family ups and downs with family members my husband and I have to work through, plus financial problems. I opened my shop, which had already been in business for several years at shows and on the internet, in April of 2009 and had to close in January 2011. The overhead was just too much, and our location, though nice was not as great as it could have been. I hope never to live through another year as horrible as 2010. Much of the stress and worry with my business as well as my husband's business, LeoPaul and Associates, took its toll, predictably on my health.
Fortunately, We were able to work thru that. Now my biggest problem is my business is slacking a bit, we are coming to a huge take off on my hubby's boiler company, which I am finding I am having to devote much time to in the office. I know more about industrial equipment and boiler parts than any woman needs to! Though I am extremely grateful for being able to spend so much time with my husband in a working environment, and am able to make my own schedule, I miss my shop, and designing for the dolls. One of the biggest problems for me in the last few years which took a toll on my creativity was my frenetic pace...this takes a severe toll on creativity- with the ability to vision, create, build, sculpt, etc. It sapped me at the shop to the point I had no desire to do any custom work on 1:12 scale dollhouses, though I enjoyed working with clients in classes, etc.
So what does all of this mean? I am one who does not make New Year's resolutions,more like goals..... but I thought long and hard what direction I wanted to move towards. I want to devote myself to 1:6 scale, but how? what do I create? what do I dream up next?
And there it is...I also realized in thinking back on these past 2-3 years, I had also lost my passion. Not my passion for the hobby, but the business part had somewhat sapped my strength/creativity on several levels.
So 2013 is going to be a hectic year. I have already devoted myself to helping more with my favorite charity, and fundraising, for the Shriner's Childrens' Hospitals which my husband and I devote much time to the events, the fundraisers, and parades. It is fun, but is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time, to know that a child is getting help they need and cannot afford to pay. But I have decided that besides this, I will focus this year on my spare time with no pressure on myself on the business end, but on the creativity end. I want to challenge myself to create again. So I am going thru the lists, and deciding on what I want to create, and hopefully, I will be getting 'my mojo back' so to speak, lol. So hopefully my creative skills will be spent this year getting back from being derailed so long. Skills I had that were effortless when I was doing this non stop and on deadlines are full of effort and draining...while other skills have never left but are more sharpened, such as measuring and figuring out the design quickly. Things I shied away from (such as sewing, upholstery, etc.) I now jump into with both feet and usually do better than usual, to my astonishment. Mind I am not trying to sell anything, but push myself towards working on deadlines again and hopefully, coming up with something new.
All for now, more pics to come on the ottoman when I finish the embellishments for it.