Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Suffering for It

I've had this crazy idea in my head for ages and when I realised Hazel's birthday was coming up I decided it needed to come out of there. Card making is all the rage around here and over in the US as well, I gather, but I've never been that excited about making cards with paper. I much prefer the tactile qualities of fabrics and I had some vague ideas about using fabric to make a birthday greeting.

For Hazel, who is good at making me laugh, I wanted bright cheery colours. I decided on the wording. I thought about flowers or other decorations, but decided to Keep It Simple. I looked at all the fonts in
Word and chose

the ones I liked best either because the shapes were pretty or because I thought they were practical; you might guess that the latter won out in the end. (Ever thought about how squirmy the letter 'e' is?)

I wanted to use the sewing machine but didn't trust that I could make it do what I wanted. The hand sewing didn't take much longer than sew-rip out, sew-rip out in the end. The shiny silk crepe and the thick cotton velvet turned out to be just as difficult as ever to work with. I wasn't confident about putting together the whole thing -- I have no 3-D brain function and so I had a number of false starts. Even the skill about which I was most confident -- embroidery -- didn't serve me as well as I hoped; it's been at least 10 years since I did any and trying to write the words on the shiny fabric was a nightmare.

For a while I questioned whether Hazel was just going to get a store bought paper card after all. It was useful to remember why I wanted to make this for Hazel: she's lovely and funny, not the picky critical type at all. I knew she would see the love and the work that went into the project. The worst that could happen is that she would laugh at it -- not a bad thing at all, making someone laugh on their birthday -- and so I persevered.

On the day it needed to be done and delivered -- no way was I trusting this baby to Royal Mail -- I woke up with ideas for some improvements. I made them in a step-wise fashion so that I could change my mind and put it back the way it was originally finished. I would do a 'tutorial' on this -- like you see on crafty blogs -- but at this stage I think it would be more of a 'notu-torial'.

As I knew I would, I learned a lot doing this and would take a totally different approach on the next one -- if there is a next one...

One thing I will remember: once I gave up on the concept of 'elegant' and moved on to 'fun', it got a lot easier. I decided I wasn't doing craft, this was ART -- and we all know what rubbish artists get away with!


Anonymous said...

You did good! Wonderful use for all that fabric you brought back from the US!


Shelley said...

Thank you, ma'am.