Sunday, 29 March 2009

Whip Up

I love all sorts of crafts, possibly to the point of addiction. Blame it on my need to be creative when I have writer's block, blame it on my parents sending me to Brownies from age 7 - my brown owl was virtually a pusher when it came to crafts.

Anyway, whatever it is, I'm sick, I have a room full of millions of pretty papers, wools, yarns, ribbons, beads, and anything else you can think of to make things from.

I don't think I'll be getting better anytime soon because I had the good/mis-fortune to find an amazing craft website which has page after page of new crafty ideas. It's called Whip Up - only check it if you have a lot of time on your hands, or if you don't but you're sick like me.

I found the site yesterday evening and went straight to my craft supplies to make a super-cute cupcake felt purse. I know it's wrong, but it felt so good!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

I've been out and about all week gathering lots of inspiration from a wide variety of Manchestery cultural things. As well as the reading on tuesday I've been to the Cube gallery and the Whitworth. Not sure I can cope with all the excitement, I think I'm going to just keep my head under the duvet all weekend.

The Cube was yesterday, I went to the preview of their Capture Manchester exhibition. It was about 600 different people's views of Manchester. Naturally there were lots of images that were virtually the same, but there were also some amazing photos that made me want to find the part of town they're taken in. In the main part of the gallery as you walk in there's also an exhibition by John Davies of his spectacular landscape shots, including some around Manchester. Davies has convinced me that it actually is grim up north, but I still love it.

The Whitworth was the day before. I went with a photographer friend who wanted to visit the Subversive Spaces exhibition, I didn't really know what to expect but I was totally floored. It is really inspiring to look at the work of the surrealists and see how they focused their ideas into what they felt was the essence of what was important and then put that into their art. It really made me want to just sit down and think about what I'm doing with my writing and why. It features a really interesting piece by Gregor Schneider called Kinderzimmer which I don't want to say too much about because I think it's best experienced with no expectations. I loved it, my photographer friend hated it and the third person with us was somewhere in between. We all agreed that no matter if you liked it or not it really made you think.

Well it has been a busy week so now I'm off to relax with some Marxist literary theory and be lulled into a sense of gentle indignation about how bourgeois everything is, apparently even historical fiction.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

readings and felting

Something about writing

Last night was the March outing of the incedibly popular No Point in Not Being Friends. Thanks to Chris Killen we had a slot for readings from Bewilderbliss, which went down well. If you want to read more about the night visit my blog ManchesterWriting.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Something personal

This is the first thing that I want to collect onto here - my etsy site:

I've been felting for about a year now and though I do a lot of crafts (to keep the creative part of my mind ticking over when I'm struggling to write) this one's my favourite. Maybe it's got something to do with how much I'd love to paint but how frustrating I find it to spend ages dabbing watercolours onto paper just to come out with something that looks like a five year old did it. Felting's a lot like painting in relation to the importance of colour and composition. It's also a lot more fun and hands on so I can work out the tension of writer's block.
If you want to know a little more about felting click here.