Do you keep an idea wall? I had so many project ideas rattling around in my head and, not able to remember them all, needed a way to capture them for safekeeping. Like many, I have tons of photos on my phone, several of which I refer to for art projects. I also used to write notes when ideas popped into my head, but couldn't keep track of all the notes. Computers and post-its may be an easy storage system, yet are easily lost. 

Seeing potential creative content at a glance - on a wall, in a frame, captured in a binder - boosts the the creative process - we can see the big picture, see how pictures relate, quickly dismiss parts that don't work. There's a reason that filmmakers and designers use storyboards and design boards for their projects.  

A wall is ideal, or even a partial wall, to post photos, words, small sketches, anything we don't want to forget. Because of a lack of wall space, I converted an old frame for this purpose, painting it white, adding string to the back, and using clothespins to hang up my ideas. 

I also started a chalkboard list - specifically to capture thoughts on projects that are in the works - a next step, an idea to try to incorporate - steps I don't want to lose sight of it but also may not get to for a while. Keeping all these thoughts on display is inspiring and helps bring perspective to my works. 

A binder can be a great way to capture design element concepts that tickle the imagination and emotions.  These provide prompts when we are stuck for next steps on a project. My binder is broken down into the several sections, with removable sheets I can prop on a counter or hang in my idea frame, and includes photos, images from magazines, sketches, samples I have made when testing an idea or learning a new stitch. 

  • interesting new colour combinations I had not thought to use previously
  • lines (the lines in bird feathers, the ripples in sand, the spokes on a bicycle wheel)
  • shapes (a fern unfurling in spring, a turtle shell, graffiti letters, a map)
  • form (an acorn, mushroom, bowl)
  • value (sunsets, lightning against a dark sky, shadows, a porch light at night)
  • texture (a stone wall, tea fields)
One photo I kept coming back to was of  a crumbling stone wall in an old Kingston building. I'm now just starting to work on a fibre art piece of parts of that stone wall, inspired mostly by the texture but also the colours. 

I'm now converting my photo into fibre art - this is just the start and is very much a work in progress. I used the faux chenille technique (fabric slashing), different fabrics for each brick, and am embellishing through hand stitching, beading, heat distressing and more. 

I also wanted to share photos of a show which just went up December 1st at the Stittsville Public Library in Ottawa, by the Out of the Box Fibre Artists. The theme is 2020: Year of the Pandemic and includes the items on the wall and in the display case. My piece is the orange labyrinth - front and centre! - also using the same stitch & slashing technique. I added some beading and some small stones to complete the piece. The show is on until the end of December. 

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"Music is full of longing and movement.  Painting should be the same." I read this quote in Hundred and Thousands: The Journals of...