Finding my sparkle

When a blog page has been dormant for a while, it’s quite a fun challenge to resurect it. .. and to find my own  sparkle again. So I thought I’d share a little about the cover for my  little gift book Sunflowers  – A Fairy Tale –  that I’m about to launch.   The cover was shown in the last post. It came out of a  painted and collaged screen  that  I created well  over  18 months ago.   Back then it was great fun getting messy with acrylic paint and paper.  I played with some amazing rainbow colours.  I used paint brushes, sponges and fingers.  I loved the golden yellow and aqua hues.  It just felt so right  for the screen. There was a small dragonfly  right at the corners edge when I first started to paint.  It was looking quite lost (see photo)   and so  I had to repaint it and you can see the difference in the book cover. It needed more sparkle.  I’m sure you’ll agree.  When the whole screen was finished it glowed .

I took that dragonfly  idea for my story  and added golden yellow sunflowers  – for my  book cover. Perfect for my fairy tale  ..  and it  made me  sparkle again.  The screen went to a family with a little girl.  They all LOVED it. Her bedroom looked delightful.

The book cover is looking good  too  –  in its own little  bag.

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Ready to go in 2018

It’s quite a few years since I have written on my blog. Much happened. I had an accident… a rather nasty accident to my head  / brain when a heavy ceramic sculpture fell on my head in 2014 .  I was home alone and unconscious  for over 2 hours.  It was along road back to recovery…  and now I am ready on a new an exciting path. Join me! 

So    here I am  in 2018 and ready to go again… and I am editing some of my children’s stories that I wrote  many years ago. I have just finished  Sunflowers  –    A fairy tale.  It will be sold as a  pretty gift package.    I am excited.  I will be at The Square Tower – at crafts in the tower   –  on Sunday 16th September… come and find me…  come and hear what I have been up to.  Buy the book.  The first group of people to purchase this lovely fairy story will receive a pair of free sinamay fairy wings.

 

TIME to reflect

Sometimes in life we have to step back and take stock – go within, go without!, go round in circles and come back to the place we were once at – but at a new level. I went without many things over the past months and particularly my art – nothing seemed right. So I didn’t create for a while.  I cleared out my studio – in fact gave it up. Sold off most of my materials and resources –  and gifted lots to The Rowans Hospice and a local Children’s Charity. (Bens Haven)  All done very happily.

This freedom gave me the much needed breathing space I had been craving. I cleared out lots from my Summer House of Enchanting Dreams ( my  SHED) in my garden.  Life began to feel lighter.  I was ready to retire  – and just enjoy life, but hey ho  – that creative urge came knocking at my door   — and then I realised why I had saved all my paints!  My fingers were itching to be creative. After reading about brave intuitive painting , I found an unused canvas among  my reserved stash! I found my acrylics and a brush – BUT instead  of using brush strokes, I found myself finger painting . I loved the feeling of smearing the paint on to the white surface with out any preconceived idea of what would form. I allowed. I played.   I was having fun. I took my acrylics and smeared them over the canvas and scratched houses into the paint using my finger nails and the end of the brush that was lying idle. I finally added some inked lines and figures. I had never done this in my life before and I LOVED the result. I had found freedom.

Houses by Lake

Houses by Lake

So then  I created another. I was on a roll. This one bugged me – there was only one figure in it and I wanted there to be two people so I eventually added another figure.

Coastal path

Coastal path

Finally I really let loose and  created a flower scene.  It was kind of wild. BUT that’s how I was feeling.

Wild Flowers on canvas

Wild Flowers on canvas

Its not the best art in the world,  but it was my art and it flowed from my heart-soul. I felt good.  I felt free and ready to make more art. The colours were calling me.

TIME set me thinking. What did I want to do with my time now I could choose to do anything I wanted and  I came up with the deep longing only to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it and with whom I wanted to share time.  Being retired gave me that luxury. COLOUR called me.

So I started to paint again using bolder colour.  The houses theme jumped out at me and  I happily created some new art from my heart-soul. My Hugging Homes (C)  were born.

Colourful hugging houses

Colourful hugging houses

These are just a few that I have created and people are loving them. Maybe thats cos I love them too from deep within.  I have let go of the NEED to create  from that position of being DRIVEN to earn money ( tho i am happy to sell my art – don’t get me wrong  – we all have bills to pay ! ) but my art now comes from a different place within me. It’s from a joyful inner desire to have fun.

Hugging homes by Freya Perry

Hugging homes by Freya Perry

My face book page Freya Perry: Enchanting art is full of my latest art escapades. So do take a look and enjoy. I am.  Though now I could with a studio again!  –   but for now I am creating from my kitchen work surface!!!  —    as I look out over my  inspirational garden.

 

Freya's garden

Freya’s garden

TIME!   The racing rabbit from Alice in Wonderland in my last post some months back had a great personal message to me. I fell down my rabbit hole and came back renewed.

Down the rabbit hole

Over the past few months I have been drawn to the story of Alice in Wonderland and in particular the ever “in a hurry White Rabbit.”  He keeps popping into my  mind and calling me. I think its to do with time!   Perhaps I feel I am running out of time. Perhaps my chronological age bears no resemblance to my inner spiritual age ( ah that’s true – I may never grown up!) though I have slowed down.

I’ve been creating ceramic pieces around the theme of time —  small fantasy clock pieces, a rabbit with a tea pot and a clock! I’m having great fun. Found a box of old watch parts and am using them in my work. That was serendipity!  Is that what it’s teaching me?  To let go and have fun!? Whenever I have fun with my creative work – others enjoy it more too.I know that.

A group of local artists have a light- hearted  day coming up – with some  creative play for kids, followed by a mad hatters tea party and an exhibition. I’m making  clay biscuit with the words EAT ME  on them  – for kids to paint   —  and some wacky clock circles  too. Also  creating some framed time themed art for the exhibition. The theme is the ‘Lost hour project’ to coincide with the clock change.

Ceramic Alice in Wonderland biscuit.

Ceramic Alice in Wonderland biscuit.

 

Ceramic and old clock pieces  ART

Ceramic and old clock pieces ART

 

Alice in Wonderland squares.

Alice in Wonderland squares.

ceramic clock circle 014 (2)

Ceramic time themed fantasy clock pendant .

rabbit where's alice 025 (2)

  The White rabbit ready for tea!  

INNER SMILE and HAPPINESS

About a week ago I decided to write a little each day on my face book page about my inner smile and happiness –  commenting on how I was feeling  – hoping that I could actually write something light and positive each and every day. Days 1 – 6 were easy. My smile was naturally there. Life was good. I was busily preparing art for a  forthcoming mad hatters tea party and a TIME themed exhibition. I was mega busy!  – hence having lapsed in my writing here.( Photos will follow in another post.)

Since starting the  ISH journal I had  woken each day with joy. However today, as Day 7 dawned, I was feeling a little under the weather. No, I was healthy, nothing wrong with me, yet that smile and inner happiness was merely lurking in the background.  Maybe I had been too busy. Maybe it was because the sun wasn’t bright – and I NEED sunshine. Being a colourist I don’t do well with grey. It was colder than recently and the wind was buffeting. I don’t like that either.  So I was ready and up for the challenge to find ways to bring back my natural inner glow. I am believer in following my heart – so I did just that. I knew that something that when something  “called me”  —  what I call following the pull of my heart,  it would bring me back to my normal bubbly self. So I  decided to watch some morning TV. Fiona Bruce was hosting a programme about art – and  was in the process of discovering whether a wonderful art piece possibly by Vuillard was a forgery or REAL. I was fascinated by the long winded and painstaking process  they had to go through to get the piece authenticated.I was so happy to sit feet up watching breakfast time TV! I was elated when the owner was finally given a REAL verdict. His joy was palpable.  I started to lighten up, though in all honesty SELF was still a little subdued. I knew I needed to do more of following my heart. Next I went B & Q to buy a new light fitting for the kitchen. They had exactly what I wanted and then I got side tracked into buying a few other household items including tile paint for the kitchen. I reckoned it might be cheaper and quicker than re-tiling, though not sure when I will get to start it!   By this time I was feeling a little brighter.

I next planned to go to our local community garden to do some yarn-bombing.  I am making over the  bicycle which stands by the gates to attract passers by.  I sat in the weak sunlight for an hour or so happily stitching knitted pieces to cover the bike. I was getting cold and hungry BUT still loving what I was doing. The colourful knitted pieces were piled high in a large bag. All I had to do was choose the colours, sit, sew and enjoy.

AND I DID!

Freya Perry Yarn-bombing a bicycle

 

My spirits lifted.

The Southsea Greenhouse garden is such a beautiful place to go and visit. I thoroughly recommend it.  (www.southseagreenhouse.co.uk)    All the other volunteers there are a great bunch. The area is so full of life.  A dad and small child walked by and the little girl’s eyes lit up when she saw the bike. That made my day. The simple things in life – and free in this case  – had just brought joy to others  – and suddenly I was back to being a happy bunny.

I have also found another way to bring back my sense of happiness – ie a way to balance my mood. I LOVE colour  – as you can see from the bike photo –  but sometimes I just  need the balance of black and white to regain equilibrium  —  and so I create zentangle  patterns. This particular one was of a bird. I create the designs from my heart.

Freya Perry  - a black and white zentangle bird creation

Freya Perry – a black and white zentangle bird creation

It ‘s nice to know that we can choose to create our inner happiness and bring back our inner smile.  

Transformation

When I start with a lump of clay in my hands- I very rarely have any preconceived idea of  what will evolve  = what shape will find its way into reality. It’s an organic process – a melding of head and heart and soul.   These photos show the transition of some recent pieces.  The first is a clay heart with a pattern imprinted.( Greenware – unglazed.) After the first  bisque firing  I then decide on my colours.  The second shows  the heart ( and other pieces)  having been decorated  or  ‘glazed’ using oxides and underglazes.  I prefer to use underglazes – as  I am not a lover of a shiny finish. I prefer to add the final  sheen details by hand   It’s a magical experience , as  I am never quite sure how they will turn out. When they come out of the kiln after the second firing it’s a delight to see what appears.   I will put up a photo of the final piece when it comes out the kiln.  So it looks like you and me both have a waiting period.  Can’t wait to see the transformation.

The final photo is some recent artwork – ceramic hearts – ready for new homes

Clay heart before firing

Clay heart before firing.

heart - with underglaze and oxide decoration
heart – with underglaze and oxide decoration

ceramic hearts by Freya Perry

ceramic hearts by Freya Perry

 

Vibration!

I have just been away on a weekend of ‘clay play.’   This time I wanted to explore  creating with porcelain paper clay. It’s so fine and different to others I have recently been experimenting with such as Crank, St Thomas and even flax paper clay. Me thinks my love affair with flax paper clay is about to come to an end  – well just for a while,  as now I  love the feel of the new found porcelain paper clay in my hands.  I can work in such fine detail.  Bliss.

I chose to stay at a lovely hotel close to the centre where my course was being held  … and on the first evening chatted for about 5 minutes to a lovely lady in the lounge while waiting for friends. She said she was a potter and ceramicist. We barely had  time to chat and  I had so many questions to ask her  —  being a ‘baby beginner’ so to speak. I so hoped that I would see her the next morning at breakfast. She was there, alone and happy to chat to me.  I found out that she was a very  well known ceramicist.  How lucky was I?  What amazing  good fortune! I felt as though my guardian angel had placed me in that hotel at the right time. I am a firm believer that when our energy field  vibration is clean and clear – that  our desires can be met – and so it feels that Dorothy  Feibleman and me were destined to meet. Dorothy has actually made her own very fine translucent parian clay and designed some amazing extruders to create millefiore designs.  I had so many questions  to ask her and she she answered them patiently.  I could have stayed forever gleaning knowledge but my course was calling me and I had to leave. She was checking out of the hotel that morning, and  I have her details to keep in touch. How lucky am I?  

At the course later that day –  we were creating spoons and  brooches using porcelain clay – and we were all chatting  – as you do! I mentioned having had breakfast with Dorothy and a couple of the women on the course asked if she was Dorothy Feibleman?  One of them knew her and had studied with her years ago. They were  all so envious of my breakfast time chat.

I had been playing with polymer clay recently – and although I had a small hand held extruder to create piped shapes and learned slab mixes to attain millefiore and more  –  I had been wondering how I could create those intricate designs using earth clay. That’s exactly what Dorothy had designed – large extruders with a variety of shapes for use with (earth)clay. Naturally I have now spent time on the internet checking out Dorothy’s work. Her translucent porcelain art work is stunningly  beautiful.

I have to thank my guardian angel   –  and myself too for listening to that small inner voice to let go of financial worries and choose that particular hotel. It was expensive.  I could have chosen a cheaper one miles away but I decided that I would have a lovely weekend and pamper myself.   A treat for me.  So glad I did.

And so today – my first day back –  I am  beginning to assimilate all that I learned over the weekend – not only on my course with the delightful Emma Wilson,  but also of course with Dorothy. I feel blessed. 

Here’s a photo of the porcelain clay spoon I created with Emma  – and the photo below shows the bowl of the spoon in detail. I decorated it with oxides.That was the hardest bit – as you cannot see the final colours.  In fact its hard to see where you have added the oxides in some places at all as they are so feint until fired. Now I have to be patient until all my art work is fired and the colours show.  I also created some brooches. Ooh – the excitement to come.

Freya creating a porcelain clay spoon

Freya creating a porcelain clay spoon

Head of  porcelain clay spoon

Head of porcelain clay spoon with accented colour detail using oxides.

You can find more info on Dorothy Feibleman and her extruders  if you google  her name and  ‘magic tool system.’

As for the talented Emma Wilson, her website is http://www.emmalouisewilson.co.uk   and she has a facebook page too. The delightful Emma is running more workshops soon at Barlaston Village Hall ( Nearest train station is Stoke), which I can thoroughly recommend.  Have fun if you decide to go! 

 

 

On yer bike!

Life has been crazily and happily busy this past week, so all I have time to write today is this tiny piece.

I don’t own a bike anymore … but my friend Sue has and old battered one that she wanted yarn bombing  to create a feature at a  wonderful community garden project.   ( I am an artist and crafter linked with the centre. )  Check out http://www.southseagreenhouse.co.uk    and you can see what happened to an old  overgrown piece of land when people in the community took it over and created the most beautiful community garden.

I am mega busy  this week too –    but it was a delight to step back from my own creative work today and sit in her lounge late this afternoon – until early evening  and stitch umpteen donated knitted pieces around the bicycle frame. We drank much tea, ate cake and hot cross buns  – and nattered while we stitched!

And although it’s not finished  yet –  here’s what we got up to.

Freya yarnbombing a bicycle.

Freya yarnbombing a bicycle.

Freya and Sue Yarnbombing a bicycle.

Freya and Sue Yarnbombing a bicycle.

It was very therapeutic and relaxing and was finished off with a roast chicken dinner. ( Thanks to Sue –  YUM!)

As I have said before I love my creative life.

It’s playtime!

Sometimes it’s really important to step back and play. The trouble with artists and crafters –  ie  ME – is that  playtime often involves more of the same.

Today was different – my playtime involved walking in the sunshine which in itself was a huge change as we have been experiencing violent gales and rain for weeks now. Much of the seaside area close to my home has been damaged. However the sun shone the whole day today and so I walked  along the  prom – very happily!

My friend was working today,  so I borrowed her husband for an hour or two to have coffee and see an art exhibition and sellers market near to their home. There was a  play table ( in the cafe area) with a notice inviting people to create badges.  Well I couldn’t resist.  By the session starting time – not his things at all – my  friend’s husband wanted to go home and watch footie on TV. I was free to play to my heart’s content – and play I did.  

I just let the child in me have fun.  I created childlike drawings and coloured them in with felt tipped pens – there was even some some shiny metallic paper. Finally I added a  few words. Huge fun. I was the only person at the play table.  No one else stopped by – and there were no kids around. Then out of the blue another friend came and said hello – she didn’t stop to play – she didn’t have the time.  So I continued to have fun alone. ( Can you imagine my joy – I had a whole table to myself – with all those coloured felt tipped pens and metallic foil! )  Needless to say many adults looked and smiled – but hurried on by. A few minutes later another friend stopped by to say hello. She thought I was running the class. I explained I was just playing – just wanted to enjoy ! She sat a while and we chatted –  and then she joined in too.  So now there were two adults playing.  A little while later three more adult friends passed by and said hello – and they all joined in! Very soon the table was full of adults playing  We had a ball. ( I just realised I am lucky to have so many arty friends!) 

Below is the ‘naive’ result of  my bit of fun!  Not at all like my own art  …  this was just the child playing … the child being me!   I quite liked the orange one in the middle with the gold heart and wore it home  …. and received quite a few comments too!  My second favourite was the orange and green one with writing.

I’m into hearts as you can see – and this playtime today was quite different to the ceramic hearts I recently created.  

 

play day - freeing the child within and making badges

play day – freeing the child within and making badges

Ceramic Hearts

Ceramic Hearts

It was a happy play-day Sunday.  I should do it more often!

 

 

my LOVE LIFE!

Well it will soon be Valentine’s day –  that time of year when our LOVE LIFE  is uppermost in our thoughts. It’s great to receive those cards and wonder who sent them!

.. but  I am not referring to that sort of love life – rather LOVING LIFE  itself.  I have the most amazing time, daily, weekly, monthly  – having fun enjoying being creative. I really do Love my Life. The past weeks have been spent getting ready for an exhibition  which starts tomorrow. I love colour as you well know and have a passion for it. This art work has given me free rein to indulge myself by using a variety of materials and textures  – and dipping into the rainbow.

Here’s a selection of my quirky art in the Exhibition LOVE LIFE at le Cafe Parisien in Portsmouth –  7th February 2014.

Rainbow hair art doll

Rainbow hair art doll

This delightful rainbow haired art doll is approximately 12 inches tall.  As you can see she loves colour too!  I was drawn to purple and dark aqua for this elfin (fairy) lady – who has soft wings.

LOVE LIFE exhibits  by Freya Perry

Above is a group of art for the exhibition.  Long tall Lizzie – as I like to think of her – represents loving life itself.  She is about 3 foot tall. I created her pattern, stitched and stuffed the form and then had a ball creating her costume.  I took an old sweater of mine and felted it in the washing machine. Once I’d cut it down to fit her, I added  embellishments by hand.  I created pink tights, then  went on to makeover her sneakers  – great fun!   I painted them, added sparkle, glitter and words. (Dream.)  Hair hair is made from merino wool and her fingers sport stick-on nail art!  Like all good kids she has a water bottle draped over her shoulder. You can see close ups of this work on my facebook artist page   Freya Perry : Enchanting art.

The next photos are mixed media . A wrapped wire heart   “About time” – ( there’s a small clock on it)  makes me wonder if  ‘he’ will ask ‘her’ to marry him!   This is followed by  an aspect of a larger ceramic piece. It is hand made paper clay. The words read “spend time in nature.”

Art Heart "About time!"

tiny part of a  ceramic exhibit  - come find it at the exhibition.

tiny part of a ceramic exhibit – come find it at the exhibition.

The final photo is a ceramic piece with a touch of yarn. I love knitting too and so does this character.

"I Love to Knit"   Ceramic Art

“I Love to Knit” Ceramic Art