Monday, April 29, 2013

stalling, stuck? Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition

Do you ever feel a sudden dip in confidence after you begin an exciting new creative project? In the studio on Friday I started on some new artwork I have been thinking about for a long time, but about an hour in an uneasy sinking feeling and thoughts of' 'this isn't working','this doesn't look as good as I thought it would' crept in; oooh I know this feeling I've had it before.

I thought others out there entering the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition this year may have experienced this feeling; after all it is a challenge and it isn't easy if you are really keen to push the design limits of what you can do with our littlest pieces of fabric.  Additionally you will be putting your work out there for all to see, people that you don't know will be looking; take a look at our judges this year; it can be intimidating!

Of all the packets of Trimmings we sell only a percentage of our dear customers will make it through with their packet to actually enter.

Back to that raw feeling, like the floor has dropped, I have had to train myself to recognise it and keep going, keep pushing and keep making THROUGH it.  Despite the instinct to drop what I am creating and bin the lot I know that this feeling just means I'm doing something new (even if its just new to me) that there are no maps or directions or even a destination I will recognise or even the certainty of 'arriving' anywhere.

Aptly put by Monet:

'When asked for advice on painting, Claude Monet told people not to fear mistakes. The discipline of art requires constant experimentation, wherein errors are harbingers of original ideas because they introduce new directions for expression.  The mistake is outside the intended course of action and it may present something that we never saw before, something unexpected and contradictory, something that may be put to use'. (Shaun McNiff's  Trust the Process An Artist's Guide to Letting Go)

Carly and I have come across a few bloggers saying they were nervous to enter the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition which surprised us but then we remember that 'feeling' and know why.  So if you have had your packet of Trimmings out looking at you, or started making/doing something only to shove them quietly back into a drawer; we encourage you to get those fabric pieces back out and look again with fresh eyes.

We celebrate every entry whether 'beginner' or 'professional' and so do our judges who have all 'been' there; the most intimidating & severe judge is probably you!

So with all those things in mind we reckon break out your Trimmings, break out in a sweat if you have to, remember to have fun and most of all show us and yourself what you can do!!!

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making
mistakes, and having fun.” - Mary Lou Cook


  1. AWESOME post .Yep im def one of those people.being a beginner sewer and teaching my self i have those moments ALL the time.It took me along time to even try a project that required a Zip! ive just brought my trimmings pack and im sure i will stare at it and freak out haha.
    Love your blog ,love your work
    hugs xo

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Amy! Honestly, I keep having other projects cross my desk and the packet keeps hiding under the pile. I need to get it out this week and get moving. :)

    1. Totally :-) You make lovely things over at your place!

  3. Oh, that was me on the weekend! I started my Trimmings project and three quarters of the way through it, my heart sank - it wasn't what I was expecting. Ahhhh, but now I will soldier on and get it to you anyway! Thanks for the encouragement. x

  4. Perfectly timed :) We are all hardest on ourselves right?

  5. Thanks for the pep talk. Off to finish off my project.