The big list of what’s holding you back…

It isn’t a big list. It’s one word. One bloody horrible short little word that can paralyse you.

Doubt. 

It is the enemy of every artist, crafter, maker whoever thought that they might be able to sell their work. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, it’s there. It feeds on your insecurities and niggles away at you like some irritating little gnat buzzing around your head. It’s always there and no amount of swatting at it will make it go away. Even if you do manage to kill the damn thing, there’s another one making a beeline straight for you.

I don’t have an answer. I can give you all the things I’ve tried or been told to try. Some will work but most won’t. I will tell you one thing though, how can anyone else love your work if you don’t? I think you already do love your work, otherwise you wouldn’t keep at it. You wouldn’t keep sketching or sewing or carving or painting if you didn’t love it. The trick is loving it. Loving it so much that you want others to love it too.

I make mice. Small cutesy little teeny tiny mice and the odd pig out of fabric. I used to make birds, some of which are really stunning, even if I do say so myself. The swans, the hummingbirds and the peacocks are some of my greatest pieces but my back problems put paid to that, the sitting/sewing position were just too much especially the hundreds of hours that I used to put into it.

swan-main.jpg

I am in love with my mice. My steampunk mice, my Cosplay mice, I love every damn one of them. They take hours to make and each one is better than the last. I make those tiny steampunk hats that measure about 1.5cm tall and every single time I make one, I get totally lost in it. When you buy one of my mice, you are buying my total attention focused on one thing, my love (that sounds bloody naff but it’s true) and my weird little brain and all it’s strange little thoughts.

Whenever I criticise myself or my work, my husband says ‘that’s my wife you’re talking about, quit it!’

He’s also the person who has convinced me into applying for Kirsty’s Handmade Christmas this year. Every year I watch it and think about applying but that absolute arse ‘Doubt’ sits there on my shoulder. It whispers and cajoles until finally my shoulders drop and I think ‘maybe next year’. Well, this is ‘next year’. If I don’t do it now, I’ll never bloody do it!

I shared the video appeal by Raise the Roof Productions and Kirsty, on my facebook page a couple of times as well as seeing it in a couple of the craft groups I’m a member of. On every occasion, there were incredibly talented people saying that they didn’t have the courage to do it. That’s why I wrote this post. I’m telling you that you do. You already have the courage it takes to share your beautiful and time consuming work with us on FB and in those groups, so why not just take a deep breath and apply? You might not go further than sending that email but you know what? You sent that email and that’s probably the biggest step of all for some of you, I know it was for me. The link to apply is here.

Put your big girl knickers on and do it. Or your big boy knickers for that matter!

I believe in you. Time for you to smash that buzzing gnat of doubt with your electrified tennis bat (we have one of those, it’s bloody awesome) and have some belief in yourself.

#biggirlknickers #bigboyknickers get them on!

Me and my big mouth…..

As I approached 2,000 likes on my Facebook page, I regarded it as  such a momentous number that I wanted to give something a little different than another one of my little birds. I did a post asking if there were any particular types of bird that someone would like to see me have a go at. I suggested Crane and it became very popular. So that was that, a crane it was.

The crane I had in mind was the lovely large white ones with the flash of black and red on the head an neck – see below 🙂

Japanese Crane

Isn’t he lovely? Anyway, I also offered an alternative bird, one of my small ones in a beautiful dark grey and cream, if they didn’t fancy this one.

black and cream give

Then I set to work. Three attempts later and after a lot of hair pulling and turning the air blue with words that would make an oil rigger blush. I had the basic bird…

Then I set to decorating.

So, here is the finished bird.

crane closer

Finished Crane

finished crane 2

finished crane 3

He stands at 30cms tall with a wing span of 40cm.

He’s stunning and I’m wishing I could keep him. Remember my wasp? The one I made and couldn’t bear to sell? Yes, that’s the feeling now. With my birds, I have worked and worked at getting them exactly how I want them to look but there’s no escaping the fact that they are made from someone else’s pattern. I know I say this every post about them but if you want to have a go, head over to http://www.annwoodhandmade.com and have a look through her patterns, you won’t be disappointed.

I love those little birds.

But this one is different. Do you know why? Because it’s the first one that I’ve made from a pattern I’ve created. I screwed up bits of paper, erased, redrew, shouted, redrew and then did practically the same with calico and thread. It was a labour of love. With my bugs, I’ve always made them up as I go along, every one is different, every one was made differently. I sort of got used to doing things that way.

The more I decorated this bird, the more time I put into it, the more I loved it. The giveaway runs until Sunday the 15th of February – 5pm – and if you want to enter, head to GIVEAWAY – there are currently 370 likes and 195 comments. You need to comment for me to be able to give you a number that will be entered into a random number generator. NO COMMENT NO ENTRY! So far there are going to be a lot of disappointed likers, you need to comment, not just like.

Whoever wins this beautiful bird is getting a piece of my heart, not to mention a lot of hours of work. Be gentle with it!

Next for me are two wedding commissions (I’ll show you photos in my next post or head to my page to have a look at the cover photo) and a large bird commission 🙂

Have a great week!