A Welcome and a Why

Trying to decide how to start a new blog is tricky. There are so many questions. How should I introduce myself? Should I start with ‘Hello’? What should I write about? Should I concentrate on one subject or embrace everything I love? Do I really need to ‘niche down’? How often should I post, or more to the point, how often will I be able to post? Should I follow one person’s advice, or another’s? There’s so much information out there about the rights and wrongs of blogging that it can all get a bit bewildering. Then, there’s the process of choosing a provider, a platform, a theme, learning how to use it, and let’s not even mention the software updates that seem to change everything from time to time… I’ve concluded, after much thinking and pacing, some over-thinking and general procrastination, and then a bit more pacing, that it really is best to just dive in and start. So, here we go. Let’s see what happens, and let’s start with that ‘Hello and welcome’…

It seems ‘taking the plunge and starting’ is the key to beating most things that dredge up that old foe most of us call fear – you know, the inner critic that masquerades under the veil of self-protection when we think, or worse, believe, that we might not be ‘good enough’ at whatever is we are trying to do or achieve. It is all to easy to wonder if anyone will be interested in what we do, or, in the case of a blog, what we have to say, but I’ve come to a point where I believe that if we communicate honestly, if we are authentic, if we truly care about and love what we do, someone might just be curious and feel drawn to read it…

Stack of fabric pages from my Nature Notes textile art journal on my studio desk with the January title page on top
Nature Notes 2018

This blog will follow my creative journey, my ‘creative way’ if you like, through art and textiles, and will document my experiments, successes, failures and discoveries along the way. I hope it will be of value to readers, and that it will illustrate my core belief that ‘Practice Is Key To Progress’. I believe ‘Doing’ is all-important. So many of us find ourselves thinking, ‘I wish I could do that’, and time slips by while we think, assume, or convince ourselves that we can’t. The truth is, we can. We just need to put in the practice. Practice produces results. Everything we do, whether a success or a failure, teaches us something. We just need to be open to recognising it, and then, keep going. The more we do something, the better we get at it. The better we get at something, the more we believe in our ability. The more we believe ‘we can’, the more ‘we can’ and the better we get at everything…

Some of you may know me from my Instagram account which I started in 2017 under the name of Habitual Stitcher (@habitualstitcher – now @valeriebirdart) with the One Year of Stitches project, or from my previous blog of the same name, which has now been archived. I’ve decided to re-brand under the name Valerie Bird Art, purely because Habitual Stitcher felt a bit too limiting. Yes, I am a passionate life-long stitcher, but that’s not my whole story. I love to draw. I love to paint. I love messing about with fabric. I have always been a creative soul. I think most of us are when we’re young – we just unlearn the creative freedom we had, then, as we ‘grow-up’. Now I’m not saying I feel ‘grown-up’ by any stretch of the imagination, but you know what I mean! According to my mum, I started stitching when I was three at a weekly sewing group my mum attended. Apparently, I wanted to have a go, and the leader of the group duly gave me a piece of fabric and a needle and thread – brave woman! I’ve been stitching and art-and-crafting ever since, but my favourite things are mixed media art, stitching, and writing. Here, hopefully, I can combine all these things, and more.

Tiny brown-haired girl sitting on top of a reel of green cotton with a needle, thread and fabric, learning to stitch
Little Me Stitching

My mission is to explore and cultivate a deeper connection with the world through my textile and mixed media art practice and experiments. My main passions are Nature, History and The Arts. I love a good story, and adore costume drama and poetry. At present, and for the last couple of years, the natural world around me has been the focus and inspiration for my work. 2018 saw the development of a textile journal – a diary of my year in Nature, produced in mixed media art and stitch – and although it has been documented on Instagram, I will be writing about that journey here, as although the artwork for the year is done, the journal needs to be completed and hand-bound, and possibly exhibited. I have recently completed an embroidered piece for the Endangered Species Act-SOS Flag project in the United States, which I will document here (you can find it on Instagram if you scroll down my feed and under @sewtheseeds and the hashtag #esasosflag), and I am a member of The Embroiderer’s Guild and The Society for Embroidered Work. I firmly believe embroidered work should be viewed as ‘Art’, and not labelled as ‘craft’ or ‘women’s work’ as it has been historically and still is, in some arenas. Looking ahead, I plan to release pieces of my work for sale periodically, including prints and cards etc., and will set up a shop for that purpose.

Finely detailed and hand-made embroidered artwork of Roseate Tern for the Endangered Species Act  SOS Flag project in the USA
Hand Embroidered Roseate Tern

I hope you find my ramblings of interest and enjoy the journey with me, and please feel free to comment and start a conversation. I would love to hear from you.

April 2019

6 Replies to “A Welcome and a Why”

    1. Hi Deborah
      Thank you ever so much for your support, for reading and for your comments. I really do appreciate it! Another post will publish very soon. Xxx

    1. Hi Sue
      Awww… Thank you so very much for your comments and all your support. I really do appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. More coming very soon! Xxx

  1. Hi Valerie! Loving everything that you are saying here and taking great encouragement from it. I love to read blogs, such a lovely way to find out more about the artist, the communication of ideas through words in particular. I’ve been hibernating a desire to start one myself for a long time really, because I like to write…. it will emerge in its own time. Congratulations re all the hard work that you have put into getting yours published and I look forward to visiting again. xx

    1. Hi Marian
      Thank you ever so much for your comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and comment, and do hope you will visit again soon! I also look forward to reading yours when you publish it. Xxx

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