Helen B.

I loved this weeks theme, I have had a bit of a head start though as I already had the CST book and had been working through it prior to Christmas.

I seem to be unable to work in my studio if its full of clutter and untidy so over the passed couple of months I have been going through things and cleaning them up.  I have taken a couple of car loads to the charity shops which is such a freeing experience, moving things on to someone else who will use it.

Reorganising stuff is really rewarding because you always find something you forgot you had which I did, so it was kind of like getting a surprise.  I have also been packaging stuff up to sell, I go to an art forum around Easter for a week and you are able to have a stall.  So I have made up bags of ephemera and also fabric that I have collected so I can sell them.

I find it liberating having limitations set it seems to free up your mind and you don’t worry about the bargain you might have missed out on at the craft store.

A few years ago I set myself a challenge of not buying any new clothes, I could make them from fabric in my stash or repurpose old clothes but I couldn’t buy anything new.  It was great, the time I saved by not shopping or looking on the Internet or reading the hundreds of emails from clothing stores about the bargains was amazing.  I lasted a whole year, much to everyone’s shock.

I agree with you Jane its all too easy to think we can’t do something unless we have the latest product when in actual fact its just a distraction.  Impulse buying can be a real problem for me when it comes to art stuff, we only have one art store and a chain store selling fabric and craft so when I’m away I tend to think if I don’t get it now ill miss out.  Silly really I never miss it if I don’t buy it and rarely do I really need it.

The pieces of art that I have reused are the prints that haven’t worked (I do lino cuts and etching).  When you do an edition of prints you always have some that don’t work, not enough ink, too much ink, registration off etc.

The paper is quite expensive so I don’t like to waste it so I decided I would Eco dye them with gum leaves and other vegetation.  I cut the prints into the page size I wanted and then ecco dyed the paper, when it was dry I oiled the paper with bees wax and then bound the pages into a book.