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Observing the world around me, even if it’s only from my corner chair. I start by looking in a room I am very familiar with and as a result no longer notice. I try to see it with an artist’s eye. The light and shade, shapes, colours, contrasts and harmonies. Accompanied by the scent from a candle and sounds of the world outside.

I pick up a notebook and make a list of nine.

– red dogwood stems in a blue ceramic vase

– crocheted stars and circles

– a rocking chair

– light and shadows cast across a wall

– a clove-scented candle

– some felted squares

– a sketchbook and pencil

– a book about wolves on the table

– a pile of blue cushions

I do a quick pencil sketch of the wolf from the cover of the book.

Later, whilst out and about, I make a mental list of things I notice. I note them down in my notebook.

In two lists and a sketch, I have a snapshot of a day. Almost a journal entry, though I am not a keeper of diaries. I am interested in this way of recording observation, energising routine, seeing the everyday anew. And I like the number nine.

Stars and circles

It is winter in the northern hemisphere. Where I live it has been cold and overcast for the most part, but with startlingly clear skies in the middle of the night. A month of supermoons, a blue moon and hidden starlight.

Our creative ideas come from our own experiences, influenced by everything around us.

So. Here is a creative narrative. A story of a blanket in progress.

I put aside my painting and start crocheting is response to the cold. I sit in my corner chair enveloped in softness, inventing a blanket which will give warmth for years to come. The design and colours are still developing but start with a star which then becomes many.

I begin hooking yarn into the stars, creating circles, then, inspired, begin to make accompanying fullmoons and halfmoons, eventual centres and borders.

Influenced by these long winter nights and dark days, I sort through piles of yarn, selecting greys, violets and blues and add a complimentary hint of promise in a scattering of spring green.

The materials are old friends, reclaimed and oddment yarns, gleanings from old projects and garments, charity shop finds and leftover oddments. My commitment is to help make the unwanted into useful ( and beautiful). And to find comfort and solace in the small and personal as an antidote to a challenging world.

Observation, experience and experimentation feeds into creativity, all informed by the personal.

Laying out the stars and circles