I do this blog for fun, just like I craft for fun and relaxation. I am always pleased when someone tells me they enjoyed a blog post or something I've made.
So when I got an email out of the blue offering me free crafting equipment in exchange for testing it and reviewing it I was super chuffed. That only happens to the other craft blogs I read!
Late last year, DecoArt, a large American based craft equipment suppliers, offered me any craft equipment I would like to try, in exchange for a blogpost, talk about a kid in a sweet shop!
It's all part of their blogger outreach program, they have an excellent scheme set up in supporting and promoting artists called the Helping Artist Program it's the perfect relationship and makes total sense.
So I had been approached offered anything I would like, and was grinning with glee, ready to craft!
Then my brain froze, I went completely blank, what do I make, what should I make, what would I like to make.
As a crafter of pleasure and relaxation I do tend to follow my whims, for instance I am well into crocheting right now, and have developed a thing for origami cranes (they are so lovely).
But I wanted an idea I would be driven by and wanted to explore as I created it.
Over the past few years I concluded that I am mainly driven by textile based work, stitching and sewing and painting on fabrics. So I was drawn to DecoArt's fabric paints selection.
Firstly I went for the SoSoft fabric paints, as in my experience of fabric paints they can be stiff or plasticy, so I wanted to try something that had SoSoft in the title. I also saw they had T-shirt paints and I thought it would be fun to make some T-shirts.
The product that really caught my eye was the Ink Effects range, I watched their video and it was truly intriguing. You could paint on paper and then do multiple prints by ironing onto the fabric.
I liked the idea of not struggling with the fabric but using the canvas of paper to comfortably paint in your image.
Now I needed a concept.
Over the year I have been hyped up into a birding frenzy by my neighbour at work and joined the RSPB. There's a couple of 'Birders' at work, who've got me looking at birds more closely.
Then my father and I, with some binoculars next to the French windows and bird feeders, did the Big Garden Birdwatch in the summer and I counted 5 greenfinch in the tree.
Now I have developed a particular fondness for the finches, I decided I would make them a subject for a textile project
Join me in the next instalment to see my experiments with Ink Effects, textiles and Finches.