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Showing posts from 2016

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas. love Jill xx

What's cookin' in the studio today....

Jill xx

Sunday at the peg angel factory...

I hope you're having a lovely weekend. Jill xx

Peg angels...

I'm having some fun this week making peg angels...



Jill xx

100 days project

Today is day one of the 2016 100 days project.   As a participant in the 100 days project you choose something to do everyday for 100 days. This is the third year I've participated and this time I've entitled my project "Draw, print, paint"...basically because I had trouble deciding what I wanted to do!
I think I read that about 1700 people are taking part this year!
Today I tried painting with oils for the first time in decades. I bought a cheap pack of oil paints earlier today as I've wanted to try using oils for a while, and want this project to be about being a bit courageous and trying new things. Obviously a work in progress,,,,

The address of my project is http://www.100daysproject.co.nz/projects/100-days-2016/jill-butler-731
Jill xx

Cup of tea?

Right now I'm feeling a bit flat and lacking motivation. 
 I've just been through a period of feeling really creative, masses of ideas and lots of energy. When I'm like that I just want to work all the time. Then gradually I get more and more tired, until I need to stop.
So I stopped. And now I'm in that stage of wanting to get going again.
I think it's the hardest part of the creative cycle.
Over the years I've developed a few strategies to get past particular phase. The first thing is to recognize that it is just part of  my creative cycle. Often it takes me ages to cotton on to this and that makes it much harder to move through it. 
Something else I do is to write my daily morning pages (3 pages of longhand stream of consciousness writing) as prescribed by Julia Cameron in her wonderful book The Artist's Way.  So I did them this morning and already feel a bit better. I wish I could be more consistent in doing them!
Making sure I eat well and get enough …

A bit more personal....

As many of you know I have an online shop, hosted on the site called felt. Felt is an online market place for everything New Zealand made. This week the lovely people who run the felt website have kindly featured me on their blog as part of their series call 'meet the maker'. 

So if you would like read the post, go to https://felt.co.nz/blog/category/meet-the-maker/.



While you are on the site, take a look around some of the wonderful things that New Zealand crafts people and artists are making. Jill xx

Pine prints...

I've been printing on pine this afternoon. These will eventually (over the weekend perhaps), become teapot stands.


 I've just been on Facebook and there was a post saying that the 100 days project is starting again on August 24. I've been involved in doing this twice before and you can see what I have done previously here and here. The hundred days project is about choosing something creative that you want to do and then doing that for 100 days. If you are interested in doing a project yourself go to the official website http://100daysproject.co.nz/. Once you sign up you get a page of your own where you get to photograph what you accomplish daily. It's great if you want to immerse yourself in something creative for a while or want to get into the practice of living more creatively on a daily basis. I loved doing it past years, but have to admit I didn't complete the 100 days.
Perhaps this year I'll manage it :)
But what to do....? 

Jill xx

Playing cards...

I'm spending the evening sorting out some new card packs, various designs and color combinations. Then I will need to photograph them and load them for sale in my shop.
I've loaded a couple of sets (below) and I'll do the rest over the weekend.


But overall it's not been a particularly creative week. A lot of my time has been spent on the more boring part of having a business...books, tax,,, Oh well, there's no avoiding the boring stuff sometimes is there.
I did manage to do a bit of a doodle one evening... It was rather meditative and relaxing after spending hours adding up columns of figures.

Jill xx

Print, paste, cut...

The studio is full of color today as I settle in for a session of card making.



I hope you are having a lovely week! Jill xx

Finished at last!

Lately...as you may have read in previous posts, I've done a lot of starting, but not so much finishing.
Well, today I was determined to finish one of my projects. 
A couple of weeks ago I started playing around with making cosmetic bags and today I finished three, photographed them and loaded them in my online store.
So here they are! 




I've really enjoyed making them and yesterday bought some more fabric so more colours and designs will follow soon...

...though perhaps a little more finishing should take place before I start printing these new fabrics :)

Jill xx

Work in progress...

Just a quick hello...
I'm still beavering away at those unfinished projects...




Hopefully soon I'll have some photos of finished things, rather than these 'work in progress' photos. I hope you're having a lovely and productive week. Jill xx

New greeting cards...

In the past few weeks I seem to have been working in a haphazard sort of way, full of enthusiasm and ideas that I urgently wanted to begin...right then.
Now my studio is littered with half finished projects and the time has come to be a bit methodical and actually complete them!
So, this afternoon, I completed these fabric covered greeting cards, made from the first prints I made using my new circle screen. 

They are now available to buy in my shop.


So...what's next on my 'must finish' list....?
 Jill xx

In the sketch book this week....

I'd love to get into the habit of taking my sketchbook everywhere... I know it's the constant drawing, looking, doing, thinking...on a daily basis that brings new ideas.

So, in the last week I took my sketch book with me when I gardened, and I managed a few quick doodles and sketches during my lunch breaks.  They're very rough, and sometimes I just wasn't in the mood...

I earn most of my living from gardening and at times I don't manage to get to the studio enough in a week to keep a feeling of continuity and focus with what I'm trying to do there. 
But in this past week, by sketching during a few of my breaks, I was able to feel like I was still a fabric designer, even though at that time I had my gardeners hat on. 


So, next week my sketch book is going to be with me on the job again, and hopefully it turns into a habit.  Jill xx
Today I was rained out from a gardening job, so have spent a delicious day listening to podcasts while hand painting some fabric and updating this blog.I just adore these unexpected bonus days in the studio!

I hope you had a lovely day too! Jill xx

Hanging out to dry...

Yesterday, I did a little experimental printing using my new "birdseye" screen for the first time, 

I'm quite pleased with the results. It actually lined up in the way I wanted it to!.., to add a second color to the doily design and as a background to one of my flower screens.
Jill xx

Bullseye?

In  the past week I have been hand painting this screen. Not particularly interesting huh?

But I am excited! I have the idea that this could be just what I need to add a layer of color to a couple of screens I already have. I'll test that theory out over the weekend. I am itching to do it now but I have a full day of other work to do tomorrow (Friday), so I'll just have to be patient!
Jill xx

Color happy...

It's been a while since I used a lot of color in my designs.  Enjoying a small break from monochrome!
I'm also enjoying hand painting these designs. It feels like I am revisiting something I did years ago when I did a lot of batik, applying the designs with wax and hand painting  the dye to make silk scarves. Wow, that was a while ago! Last century :)
Jill xx

A diversion...

Today my task in the studio is to heat set the printing I did yesterday and start hand painting them. Eventually these bits of fabric will be made into cards similar to those I made over the weekend and blogged about here and here and here. So enough photos of roses for the time being! :) I don't want to bore you too much! 

So I thought I'd share some photos I took over the weekend when I went with some friends to visit the Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens north of Auckland.
For any of you living or travelling in the Auckland region, I highly recommend visiting the gardens. The sculptures change yearly, in December, so I am going to make a make sure I make an effort to get there each year.







There are masses more sculptures to see, but I don't want to spoil it for you if you do manage get there.
As you can see, the gardens are lovely. There is also a short bush walk, beyond the sculpture trail and on Saturday when we walked it we were lucky enough to see fantails, wood pigeo…