In this month of slowing down I've thought a lot about new skills, dwelling on simple tasks and enjoying a good fling with being polycraftual. Someone I've followed in her polycraftual exploits is Martine, the queen of crafts as far as I'm concerned. I asked Martine to guest post for me this month and amazingly, she found time to pop in and say hi! It's an honour to host Martine here, she's bursting with ideas and inspiration.
Martine hosts the iMake podcast from her Guernsey based home and writes for several publications. I first fell for her amazing ability to write tutorials- I found myself wanting to branch away from knitting and get seriously into soap making and crochet!
Here's her thoughts on a little motif work...
The word “motif” doesn’t seem be used in conversation very often, which is a shame, as it’s rather a lovely sounding word with a variety of meanings. A motif can be a decorative design, or a pattern, or sometimes a symbol. It can also be a reoccurring or dominant theme in writing, artwork or music. For example, Guernsey (my island home) is a motif featured often in my podcasts and photography.
Whatever your incarnation of “motif” is, it seems that in most cases, motifs are not just decorative they can be meaningful. Here are a few examples of where I have used motifs in my creative endeavours.
My Favourite Things
In August 2014 I hosted a knitalong and our chosen project was the “My Favourite Things” Infinity Scarf by Jill McGee. It’s a stranded colourwork/fair isle scarf knitted in the round as a long tube, then grafted at the ends. The utterly joyful part of the making process is choosing your own motifs to feature in the scarf (the idea being that they represent your favourite things).
My scarf included coffee cups, flowers, squirrels, sheep and an Apple logo. It also included a number of traditional fair isle bands those bits weren’t particularly meaningful, I admit, but they looked pretty!
This scarf is, without a doubt, the best thing I’ve ever made. The design process was incredibly enjoyable and the constant pattern changing meant that the project was completed quickly. Seeing KAL participants’ pattern choices, and learning about the reasons for their choices, was also quite wonderful.
I’ve had a love affair with cross stitch for years, but, try as I might, I cannot seem to finish a large project. Small -projects, though, are totally achievable and completely satisfying. There are lots of free resources online for cross stitch motif patterns alternatively grab some graph paper and felt pens and design your own. One of my favourite cross stitch projects was creating and stitching my own QR code it’s both meaningful (it’s a link to my website) and functional (it works!)
I’m a compulsive doodler. My doodles invariably feature a whole host of motifs, often relating to the situation or my feelings at the time. Doodles aren’t just a tool to pass the time in meetings though. They can look fantastic on handmade greeting cards, scrapbook pages or as part of your website (scan them, tidy them up in your photo editing software of choice and then you’ve got completely unique, personal motifs for your website). Here are a few of my doodles.
Over To You...
Do you use motifs regularly in things you create? Are they meaningful, decorative or both? I’d love to know.
Thanks for reading, TTFN.