Thursday, 24 July 2014

Why I do what I do: Blog Hop

I was recently asked by Penny from Planet Penny would I mind joining in with a Blog Hop... a sort of "Why I do what I do" type of meme. I don't usually join in with these sort of things, not because I mind answering the questions or whatever, but because I don't like to have to pass things on. It feels too much like a chain letter... or those facebook things where people claim to know who their true friends are by those who will re-post. I never re-post those things, ever, I tear up chain letters... and I won't pass on the blog hop to other bloggers. It makes me feel uncomfortable. But Penny was okay with that, so I'll answer the questions and join in anyway... just in case you might be the least bit interested!
1. What am I working on?
Loads of things... there's knitting and crochet on the go (several pieces), half finished machine embroidery which I suppose is my real "work"(more of that later), not to mention the odd quilt or two. But what is actually on my kitchen table today are various cake books because I've been asked to make an 80th birthday cake this weekend... for a fabulous Frenchman who cycles and plays tennis, has been an active and hilarious member of our local amateur dramatics group, still goes to work at the craft market in Covent Garden at weekends and generally acts about 60 years younger than he is! I've looked at so many ideas and seen so many images on Pinterest that my head is spinning but I think I know what I'll do. I'm keeping it simple and have put aside all ideas of tennis racquets and Frenchmen on bicycles... I'll show you when it is done!
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm not sure my work fits into a genre... maybe "machine embroidery" can be considered a genre, I'm not sure? In which case it is not unique as there are others of similar style. But although other people tell me they can identify my style, I'm not entirely sure I can. I think it is quite an eclectic style depending on what I'm trying to achieve. Not easy to answer that one as you can probably tell!

3. Why do I create/write what I do?
I think it is in my genetic make up to create... I have to do it. I need to do it! It can be anything from knitting, drawing, gardening, cake making, embroiderery to writing but if I'm not creating or making with my hands in some way or another every day, I get very restless. I have always done it for as far back as I can remember... there were dolls clothes, little hand made books full of secrets, and miniature gardens for fairies (anyone else do that or is it only me?) The writing is a more recent creative endeavour. I suppose I have always jotted things down in diaries and suprised myself when I was writing essays for my degree in that I really enjoyed researching and writing. But the blog has turned it into something more creative for me. It is a way to connect and share with like minded people, a way to get feedback (we all like that reassurance, don't we? )and a method to sort out my ideas in my other creative pursuits. I can't imagine not writing my blog.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?
This really does depend on what I am working on. My machine embroidery work has various starting points and can be triggered by words and text as in the pages of my lace book pictured above, or from pages in my sketchbook as in this recent work based on Dia de los Muertos images - I'm still working on Frida Kahlo ideas! You are getting to see this in a still very rough stage and I will continue to stitch into it and adding to it until I achieve the effect I am after. Then I'll be ready to show you again!
My writing process is entirely different and is almost always visually inspired. I never really have a clear idea of what my next blog post will be. Sometimes I plan them ahead in my mind and then the days pass and they are not relevent any more, occaisonally I write two or three at once and schedule them but there is no real pattern. Mostly I take lots of photos of the various things I am working on or places I have been and then write as the moment grabs me. Most of the photos never get used! This post was particularly difficult because it was the questions that have prompted it and not the visual images.

So those are my answers for what they are worth. I won't pass this particular baton on, but if you would like to take it up just let me know and I'll add your blog post to the few I've that added below that have gone before me. There are some fascinating posts and interesting reading so do take a look!
Penny at Planet Penny
Claire at Mrs Brown Makes
 Sue at The Quince Tree
Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jessica at The Rusty Duck
Sarah at Mitenska


  1. It was great to read about you and how you work and what you are working on Gina, I am not really good at passing these things on either, so I just opened it up to all! Lovely to see some more examples of your work as well. xx

  2. Great to read this post without any obligation to join in! I can remember making miniature gardens in my childhood, but my textile creativity had to wait till my mid-40s before it could be given a free rein. I feel a bit lost if I haven't got a project of some sort on the go.

  3. Lovely to read a bit more about what makes you 'tick'! :)
    Looking forward to seeing the cake, he sounds a very interesting man!
    V x

  4. A thoroughly enjoyable post. I used to make special books and gardens on trays too. Must be a rite of passage 😀

  5. Lovely post, so nice to find out more about you and the creative process. I used to make little gardens too, but I was always so disappointed when they died!

  6. I enjoyed this Gina, I'm always tremendously nosey about other people's ways of doing things.

    Fairy gardens, yes, me too!

    Thank you for the link :)

  7. I immediately got an image of a moustachioed Frenchman in breton stripes, beret and a string of onions. Quite a romantic if streotypical picture.
    I did all that fairy stuff too. It's the sign of an adventurous mind and fertile imagination, I like to think!
    And I like that you didn't want to pass on the blog hop baton. This was my first time doing anything like this and that was the part I didn't enjoy - luckily I got some great bloggers (including a few you've mentioned : Annie and Sue) but it felt a bit awkward asking people to do it.
    Great post and I do like the Day of the Dead skull :)
    Sarah x

  8. An interesting post to read. Look forward to seeing the cake.

  9. Great post Gina.
    I like that blogging gives us the freedom to mull over ideas for a day or two and that you write when the mood takes you. It makes the post more natural somehow and gives a better insight into a real person's world.
    Good luck with the cake!

  10. Lovely to read what makes you tick, Gina and looking forward to seeing your cake. I'm sure it will be fab!

  11. What a great post, Gina. Thanks so much for joining in, you do sound like a kindred spirit!
    P x

  12. Dolls clothes- Yep! Little hand made books full of secrets- Not sure about full of secrets, but definitely little books. Miniature gardens for fairies - absolutely! I even had a doll's house that I spent more time making things for than actually playing with it. My Grandad made that for me.

    I am glad you didn't do the Blog hop too. I can't abide anything that is similar to a chain letter in the same way you are. I definitely do not repost stuff like that in Facebook and the "Breast Cancer" ones really annoy me, such a shame for such a great charity.

  13. I made it over here, at last! Loved reading this, especially the part about how you write blog posts. I do the same thing - start with photos. I used to have a motherhood blog that was topic driven, not visually driven, and it was much harder for me to write those posts and that's one reason I switched to creativity as a topic. I also agree that blogging is really a creative endeavor!


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