Another friend, who is a creator like myself posted about why she creates on social media the other day & whilst I commented on her post, I thought that I really ought to share it here too, where people who know me, can read about why I do what I do, because some will no doubt find it interesting.
The simple answer is because I enjoy it, because it makes me happy. I love taking something & making something else from it. The creative process for me is a bit of a puzzle at times, I often start down one path & end up on another, and that entertains me greatly.
I also find it wonderful to know that whilst the process of creating the items I do, brings me joy, they also bring joy to others. To see someone’s face light up when they lay eyes on something I made is wonderful on it’s own. I appreciate every share & comment on social media too. When it gets taken to the next level, where people financially support me, by buying my art, that’s pretty amazing, because that allows me to continue to do what I do & the circle of joy continues.
I admit that I also like the idea that much of what I have created will live on long after I am gone. To leave behind items that are a reflection of my true authentic self, is pretty amazing. Life is fleeing, which is why I believe that if you can find a way to follow your heart, you should do it.
Most people associate May the 4th as Star Wars Day, but did you know that it is also the birthday of the real Alice? Alice Liddell was born on May 4th (1852). May 4th (1965) is also the day that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland take place. Isn’t that cool?
As a HUGE Alice in Wonderland fan, I love today a lot. I have a modest collection of Alice in Wonderland themed items, including books of course, being that we are a family of bibliophiles. One of my favourites copies of Alice, is the book that I picked up in London earlier this year, which features the art of Salvador Dali in it. I was very fortunate to see his original artwork for the book in Wrocław, Poland, in a special exhibition at the Town Hall in October last year. The glare was awful so I didn’t really get any great pictures, but I did get a couple of overall pics of the layout, which you can see to the left, (you can also select the image, which links back to my Instagram post about it).
As well as books, I have attended many theatre performances based around Lewis Carroll’s characters. I love it that much apparently.
I of course have some fan art & even some prints of the original drawings. One of my biggest prizes is my Alice themed fabrics & fabrics that remind me of Lewis Carroll’s stories. You might have seen some of those fabrics in masks, hanging towels, aprons, bookmarks, bags & other things over the years. I am also working on some scrappie critters which will encompass more of my favourite parts of the story. Some will have noticed some scrappies with mushrooms on them of late, which refers back to my own images of wonderland, pretty cool eh?
Happy Birthday Alice! I think it’s wonderful that Lewis Carroll immortalised you in the stories he penned so long ago.
Many people are curious about my alias twoemu & what the story is behind it, so I thought it was time to do a post.
The name twoemu (which is always written in lowercase and as one word) refers to the initials of my maiden name E M W. When you say those letters it sounds like; E M “double u” thus two u’s = w yada, yada, yada = twoemu ~ ta-dah!
Why lowercase? Well, that’s just thats way that it’s always been & although we are always taught that names MUST be capitalised, I like to go against the norm & in this case I can. Although, FB won’t let you do it for pages, which is somewhat annoying. 🙃
The name is quite simple & unique which I like & came about in a brainstorming session with my other half, when I was looking at creating an alias to use online & went from there. Many have come up with their own theories as to the meaning behind twoemu, but in reality it has nothing to do with the fact that I have two kids or that I am part Australian. I also don’t have an emu as a pet, never have & nor do I have any intentions of starting an emu farm. The name is literally as described, a simple play on letters and sounds.
Oh & as far as pronunciation, it’s literally two+emu (without any long pauses in the middle to seperate the words). The word “emu” within twoemu, is pronounced the Australian way ee-mew. It was never intended to be pronounced the North American way where you moo like a cow. As funny as it is to hear people incorporate a mooing sound into a word, it’s really not right. 🤣
I knew that in order for me to actually take the plunge though, I would have to get rid of the wrapping paper we had. I donated much of the wrapping paper we had to the school that the kids were attending at the time, as well as gifting some to a friend who helped run a youth group & also had her own childcare. It was important for me to donate it directly to those that would use the wrapping paper etc, rather than to just randomly donate & hope for the best. I know that most of it has ended up in the rubbish, it was wrapping paper after all, but I felt better about the process.
Once the wrapping paper was donated, I had no choice but to proceed with reusable wrapping options.
The first thing I had to address, was what to do about Santa for the kids. That wasn’t really a huge problem though, we resolved it with a “bag from Santa” that the kids helped organize & then they wrote a letter to Santa, asking if he could use it, instead of wrapping paper for their gifts, as it was better for the environment. Prior to this we had a huge roll of Santa themed wrap that I used every year for their gifts (only gifts from Santa came in that wrapping). I always wondered when they might find it though, so switching over was a bit of a relief in that regard.
For everything else, I searched the web for ideas & discovered that the beautiful silk scarves I had from my grandmother, made awesome material for Fukoshiki wrapping. I cut up a Christmas themed flannel sheet, that tore so badly it had to be retired, & made some bags, sewing in some of the bits of scrap ribbon I had to be upcycled, to tie them. We still ended up using pillowcases for most of our gifts that year, but it felt good to make a start.
Even though the execution wasn’t as smooth as I envisioned, everyone loved the lack of waste & the easy clean up (fold up everything & put it away, ready for the next event). We went from a HUGE box to store all our wrapping paper & heaps of rubbish created to no rubbish & being able to fit all our wrapping options into a little pouch. It was also amazing to have everyone on board.
The next year (2020), I decided we needed to sort out some tags for gifts, so we knew who was receiving what.
I had thought of sewing some tags from scraps, but we also had some little round disks for other craft & art projects that were perfect. They could be decorated, have a hole drilled in them, some thin yarn threaded through, tied & voila you had a gift tag. The kids personalized them not only in their own art, but with names written on them too, something that would’ve been a little more challenging with hand sewn tags, not impossible though.
This year, our 3rd Christmas, I feel like we are more in the groove. We made a couple more bags & some more tags (as pictured), to add to our little collection. The tags from last year have been fun to look back on & next year, we will enjoy looking back at the last 2 years.
We use our reusable gift wrap year round, but they definitely get more of a workout at Christmas time. Our reusable wrapping materials, are a mixed collection of drawstring style bags, silk scarves & hemmed pieces of fabric. There are some Christmas themed fabrics, but we don’t have different themed wrapping that only comes out at certain times, in fact the Christmas ones have been known to be used for birthday’s. You could do themed if you wanted to, we just don’t care enough to do that.
Whilst I wish that we had started earlier, instead of getting hung up on the wrapping we had yet to use, I’m glad that we actually did it. So, if you’re on the fence like I was for years, you should just do it, you won’t regret it, I promise. 🙂
Each scrappie, I create has a story behind it. I have had a few people mention how they appreciate it when I share the stories behind my creations, so I am going to try do that more, starting with this newly adopted one.
As with all my scrappies, no design choice is random. This one was created when I had requests for pink & purple scrappie critters.
The butterfly “ears” (ribbon) relates to my connection to the Deaf community. Did you know that butterflies are deaf & are used a symbol of deafness? Whilst I am not Deaf, I have several friends that are. In fact, one of the reasons that many of my Scrappie Critters didn’t have any “ears” related to my connections to the Deaf community. Of course, I have since changed to including “ears” on many of my scrappies, with the belief that just because one has ear’s, arms or legs, does not mean that they are anything more than cosmetic & that we should not just assume that everyone has the same abilities because they look outwardly the same as ourselves.
The firefly motif relates to summer & the joy that they bring. I’m glad that I have been able to share the joy in catching & releasing fireflies with my children. There is something quite magical about a bug that has a butt that lights up, don’t you think?
This one has 2 legs, but no arms, this design choice happens often & it has to do with the fact that my arms are a frequent source of pain, due to chronic issues with subluxations etc, as a result of having EDS. My arms are often a cosmetic & yet very painful feature, so they are often a lacking feature on my scrappies. This one has legs, but don’t be fooled, it doesn’t mean they work any better.
The choice of patterned materials, for the legs, hold personal meaning too, especially the strawberries.
Strawberries are a wonderful sweet dessert, which are such a treat. I love going strawberry picking with my kids & the desserts & fresh jam that follows. My husband’s parents used to own a strawberry farm in Australia & when my mother in law passed away after a long battle with cancer, I inherited not only her sewing machine, that I still sew on, but several other items that she created with strawberries emblazoned on them. So, now when I create something with strawberries on it, I think of Caryl & the love the she showed me, in the short time I knew her for. The memories of those that we hold dear in our lives, do in fact live on.
The leg that features flowers, mostly daisies, in a hippy style, is very much a reflection of me & my the love of nature that my family & I have, something that I like to think my scrappie critters also share.
I love that each & every scrappie critter I make, is made to be uniquely imperfect, with their differences embraced & celebrated. They truly are a joy to create.
Farewell little scrappie, may you bring much joy to the little one you are destined to be with & may you both enjoy the adventures that await. 🙂