Blog hop – creativity

Sticker covered notebook I’ve been invited to take part in my first blog hop by Sabrina from Wolves in London. The questions are about blogging and creativity and I’ll be nominating a couple of other bloggers at the end of this post. If you’re not familiar with Wolves in London, Sabrina blogs about all of my favourite things; gardening, craft projects and nature. I have a particular soft spot for her beautifully curated garden moodboards. Thanks for nominating me Sabrina! So here are the questions!

#1

What have been the doings/makings/scribblings at your desk over the past week or so?

This is my desk. Although if I’m honest, most of my creative activity happens on the sofa whilst watching crime series like Fargo, The Wire and Breaking Bad.

Dark wood desk

I still have the sketches from my Manneskjur illustration sitting on the desk. Although the project is finished I like looking at them so I’m not ready to put them away just yet.

Black and white sketches

This week I finally finished my Triangel Scarf. I’m normally pretty speedy with knitting projects but for some reason this has taken me quite a while.

Knitted cream triangle scarf

And I’ve just finished sewing buttons eyes on the owls jumper I’ve made for Scott’s Nan.

Buttons for eyes on owls jumper

#2

Where are you currently finding your inspiration?

Draw of inspirational things

I have a drawer full of things I’ve collected like old packaging, labels, wrapping paper… anything that takes my fancy. Some of it I’ve had for years so most fresh inspiration comes from the rural area I live in and blogs like these:

Bright Bazaar – a blog about colour. It’s full of photos of interior design, travel and objects. You never know what you’ll find, which is why I like it.

Wood and Wool Stool – I’ve been following Wood and Wool Stool for quite a few years now and it never fails to inspire me. Ingrid visits beautiful places, makes beautiful things and has a beautiful home.

Whole Larder Love – I love this blog – the photos, the food, did I mention the food? It reminds me to appreciate the simple things in life.

#3

How important is being creative to you & how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?

Being creative is extremely important to me so I try to fill my spare time with hobbies where I can. If I have a few days where I can’t create anything, even if it’s just a few photos, I feel restless. In her book Knitting 24/7, Anouk Avery sums up how I feel about creativity and crafts, perfectly.

“In fact, I always take a project with me wherever I go, just in case I am able to find a few minutes to work a few rows. The truth is I’d like to be knitting 24/7 – that is, all the time. When I have a project in my bag, I don’t even mind a long commute or having to wait in line”. Anouk Avery

I try and squeeze in little activities whenever I can. I generally do knitting/crochet or a quick bit of sketching on the bus in the morning. And although it’s only a 10 minute journey, it’s enough to satisfy my creative appetite for a while. Small traffic buildups are a blessing because they give me just enough time to knit a bonus row or finish jotting down an idea for an icon or illustration.

Knitting has been a great hobby for me because it keeps my hands busy but lets my mind wander. I logged into my Ravelry account today and realised I’ve been knitting for 8 years now! 8 years! On one hand I feel like I should be a much better knitter by now but on the other hand, I’ve finally reached the stage where I can knit without shouting ‘bugger’ every 5 seconds or knitting with my mouth open. I let my hands do the work and my mind wanders to all sorts of places. I’ve read a few articles about knitting having meditative qualities and I really believe this to be true for me. Until I get my wool tangled and the obscenities start.

I’m also very lucky to have a partner who understands what it’s like to have a project occupy your mind (aka ignore everything but the project in hand). We both get carried away sometimes.

Sewing and electronics projects

Although the only downside is when we’re both preoccupied at the same time, go pale with hunger and need a third party to intervene with food. Not long ago I forgot to put trousers on for a whole day (at home I should add). But when the mood strikes, you gotta do what you gotta do!

My nominations

Manneskur

Manneskjur is one of my favourite blogs. Annie is super creative and her photos always put a smile on my face. She also runs the How Does Your Garden Grow linky, which is how Sabrina and I discovered each others blogs.

Cloudberry

I’ve nominated Hege from Cloudberry because she’s the knitter I aspire to be! She makes so many fantastic socks (a soft spot of mine) and I always come away from her blog with another project idea.

10 Comments

  1. Great to read your answers Gemma, and so pleased to see you’ve nominated Annie as well, will be brilliant to read hers too. I haven’t come across Cloudberry before, but I am going to head over and do some knitting-ogling right now!

    Your knitting-on-the-bus comments reminded me that that is about the only thing I miss about commuting, now I’m a full time Mum. I always used to sit on the London Overground from Dalston to Canary Wharf, clacking away on my needles, with all these Canary Wharf business-suited types looking at me as if I was the oddest thing in the world. But it was so great getting a little bit of creativity in before a day in the office — and I too used to actually welcome delays, as my knitting got faster and faster towards the end of the journey to desperately try and finish a row!

    Sabrina xx

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who races to finish a row. I probably have a very serious look on my face when I reach this stage of my journey! Commuting is a great time to squeeze some ‘you’ time in the day, as long as you aren’t stuck in traffic furiously beeping a horn 🙂

  2. Huzzah! Thank you for nominating me! I’ll give my answers a lot of though this week.
    Knitting is something I want to learn how to do, I did try learning form YouTube last year but failed miserably. I have the biggest pile of knitting needles here, left to me my my late grandmother-in-law, plus I have the biggest crush on pretty balls of wool. Must learn soon- I crave an offline distraction.
    I love your drawer of inspiration – I have more of a pile-of-inspiration, I really should get more organised shouldn’t I?!
    One thing I need to ask you – what scanner do you use? I have an old one, passed on to me by another blogger when she upgraded a couple of years ago – but it scans in terribly! I’ve been sketching lots and am very keen to get them ‘on the poooooter’ 🙂

    • I also have a big pile of knitting needles I inherited. They were all mixed up and I quite enjoyed sorting them into pairs (sad I know!). If you get stuck with knitting, give me a shout. We had a real hoo-ha trying to find a good scanner. In the end we settled for the Canon MG6350. It’s a nice printer and has good colour reproduction without graining – scans sketches well.

  3. Great post!
    Looking forward to see your owl swater when it’s finished.
    I really need to knit that pattern soon 😉
    Now I’m off to check out some of those blogs you mentioned.

    • It’s a really great pattern – hence why I’ve made 3 🙂 Must try something else soon, haha!

  4. What a great post – I love the photo of your spewing machine next to your husband’s project stuff – it reminds me of our house, with bike stuff next to gardening stuff next to sketching stuff…etc, etc.

    I ADORE the work you did for Annie’s blog, I’ve loved it ever since I first clapped eyes on it, so it makes me very happy to have found you to congratulate you in person and then to see what else you create 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment 🙂 It was a lot of fun to work on with Annie. If there’s a pile of clutter in the house it’s usually mine.

  5. Gemma, Everything on your blog is beautiful! I’m so glad you left a comment on my weekly yarn along post because now I found you!!! Gorgeous. All of it. I’ll be following…..
    -Leanne

    • Thanks so much Leanne! I’m following your blog now too, it’s full of nice things 🙂

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