Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Be our Guest.

Happy Wednesday to you, hope the sun's shining where you are today ... it makes such a difference doesn't it?

Thanks to those of you who played along with our guest-seeking games over the last few weeks. We've now put our heads together and decided that a party just wouldn't be a party without ......

Thanks Gabrielle - [our Twitter winner] See you at the party!

And a cake:

Thanks Natasha - [our blog-comment winner] ]we'll be in touch with the details of when, where and what we need from you come party time!

During our second year we'd like to begin inviting more guests to our Copy+Paste haven, if you think that's something you'd like to do know where we are ....


Thursday, 22 April 2010

I'd Like To : Extend the party (dead)line

The eage-eyed among you may have spotted a few things.
First, our win-a-guest-spot competition for the Copy+Paste party, both here and on Twitter. And secondly, over on Julie's blog, details on a few of the guests we've already got lined up.

By way of even more inspiration, I've pulled together a handful of images - all sorts of deliciousness, made by some of said guests.

Seriously, doesn't that make you just a bit swoony?

While I know you're not the sort to take advantage of a girl when she's feeling faint, you probably should, just this once. I'm extending the party competition deadline.

So, if you feel newly-inspired by our incredible guests, you can take your creative supplies out into the sunshine over the weekend and make something suitably party-ish to post by the end of play on Monday (that's 5pm on 26th April).

All the other rules and such can be found here.

Happy making and good luck!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I Pasted: Perfectionism

Last Friday, at the same time Kirsty was blogging her post about sticking-it to perfectionism by setting herself a time challenge to create a patchwork cushion, I was doing something rather similar.

I was creating this:

Fat-quarter button fabric bag

You can read the full story behind it on my blog here but basically I set out to make the bag in a day ... and I managed it ... even though it took until 10:30pm and required a nice stiff Jack Daniels and Coke afterwards!

I'm certainly no perfectionist, but that's not to say I don't like to do a good job. I do.

It's just that I'd rather get jobs tackled and completed than agonise over them. Part of this is a touch of laziness, part being my lifelong capacity to [literally] stumble into clumsiness every once in a while ... which can eradicate all traces of perfection in one fell swoop! Of which I have the bruises / ink splodges / typos to prove it ....

And the bag's by no means perfect. As someone commented while I was making it .... that patterned fabric hides a multitude of sins!

Fat-quarter button fabric bag

Perhaps what I'm actually expert at is not pointing out to others where I've gone wrong! If anything, I guess I've just managed to train myself to 'accentuate the positive'. The imperfections are there, no doubt about it but, to paraphrase something my Grandma would say "a blind man on a galloping horse" wouldn't notice them!

How do you deal with your imperfections ... or don't you like to admit to having any? Are you an inveterate unpicker / deleter / throw everything in the bin and start over type of artisan? Do you creatively cover up your imperfections or do you wear them like artistic battle scars?

It wouldn't do if we were all the same and if striving for perfection is what gets you out of bed on a morning then that's great too. I guess it's only a problem when it prevents you doing something that you'd really like to tackle ... that's when a drop of gung-ho really doesn't hurt ...

..... unless of course you slip over on it or spill it over your finished work of course! ;)

**If you haven't seen it already - have a look at the previous post: 'Now We Are One' to see how you can join us for our anniversary party.**

The ability to be perfect is *not* required!


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Now we are One

Edited to add: Deadline for entries is now extended until 17:00 [GMT] on Monday 26th April ... you've got no excuses now ... :D

The Copy + Paste Project is almost one.

Not in the Zen sense of 'oneness' ... although we're working on it .... no, it's just that in less than a month's time the Copy + Paste blog will be a year old. Which we considered a cause for celebration.

And celebrate we shall!

There are already plans afoot to treat you to a full weekend of new projects, giveaways and a wide range of amazing guests but we've saved a special place ... for two of you.

We'd like one of our blog followers/commenters and one of @CopyPasteTweet's Twitter followers to contribute a guest post to our party during the weekend of May 7/8/9.

We don't want to give anything away just yet, but if you're chosen as a guest you will find yourself nestled happily between some seriously accomplished contributors. So, to be rubbing virtual shoulders with people whose acceptance of our invitatation to participate, caused us to go weak at the knees, you need to...

*Copy*: We'd like you to copy [ie: take inspiration from] either this quotation:

"No party is any fun unless seasoned with folly".

~ Desiderius Erasmus

Or this illustration: [We thought that between them we'd covered a nice cultural range!]

*Paste*: You should then paste the quote or illustration in any which way you see fit. Any. Which. Way.

Your response can be a photograph, a sentence, a poem, a painting, layout, card, expressive dance movement ... anything. We're not judging you on your skills [especially not in the expressive dance category], but rather on your enthusiasm for filling our vacant guest spot.

How to share your response:

**Applications via the blog must be either:

  • within a comment on this post or
  • linked to from a comment on this post.

**Applications via Twitter must be:

  • from people following @copypastetweet and
  • in a tweet beginning @copypastetweet or
  • linked to from a tweet beginning @copypastetweet

You can apply via both the blog AND Twitter and you can make as many applications as you choose.

You can draw attention to yourself and your application[s] as many times as you wish to between now and 23:00 [GMT] on Friday 23rd April.

We'll then put our heads together and announce the winning guests both here and on Twitter on Monday 26th.

So, that's it. If you want to share in the festivities by guest blogging - then grab our attention over the next few days.

If you'd rather just sit back and wait for the show to begin, then just put a note in your diary to check in with us from the evening of Friday May 7th.

We'll look forward to seeing you. Come one, come all.

Julie + Kirsty

Friday, 9 April 2010

9. Perfectionism

Earlier this week, Julie emailed me a link. It took me to a blog post on perfectionism. To say I recognised myself would be an understatement. This is me on the outside:

One of the things that most resonated from the blog post was this:

“Perfectionism isn’t a personality trait”

And some of the things people had posted in the comments section really brought that home to me. One person wrote, “everyone needs to be a perfectionist to a lesser degree, otherwise complacency and laziness sneak in”.

My personality dictates that I think things through, work hard on the projects I design and make, and that I pay attention to every last detail. It’s what I do, and it’s one of the reasons I’m lucky enough to have clients who keep coming back to me. This isn’t the same as the kind of perfectionism the blog post is talking about. Working hard and paying attention to details doesn’t involve being afraid to get started on a project in case the outcome isn’t good enough. It doesn’t involve feeling physically unwell if you make something you don’t like, and it doesn’t involve taking a whole day to make a single, simple greetings card.

The suggestion that without perfectionism your only option is to be “lazy and complacent” really bothers me. It’s like saying there’s no middle ground between being happy and suffering clinical depression. You can feel happy, feel depressed or be somewhere in between the two, but feeling depressed isn’t the same as having depression. In the same way, I think I have finally realised that you can be – if not perfect - very good, you can be bad or you can fall somewhere in between. Perfectionism is a separate issue altogether.

So, what in the name of rare and possibly unwarranted confessions does this have to do with Copy+Pasting, you’re thinking. Enough with the blethering – you want some pretty pictures, right? Well, taking the blog post as my starting point ‘copy’, I put it to the ‘paste’ test. My challenge was to pick a project, the first thing that came into my head, and finish it in two hours, posting the results here, no matter whether the end result was ‘perfect’ or a total mess, or even if I liked it. Which is what I (almost) did.

The project was a cushion for the sofa in my living room – a worthy and most appropriate candidate. We’ve been living in this house for exactly 11 months and 1 day. A week after we moved in, I bought two plain white cushion pads, planning to cover them with something pretty. They’ve been sitting here looking pasty and unloved ever since, because I haven’t been able to think of the ‘perfect’ thing to do. Ah – Bonjour, Monsieur Perfectionsim! Can’t think of the perfect thing? Don’t do anything at all. That’s how it works.

In the end, two hours was unrealistic (patchwork? Not the best choice for quick, easy and fuss-free). It took me almost double that length of time, but I finished it and it didn't take a whole day (or more). That's a start, I think.

As it turns out, I’m really not at all keen on the end result. I like it slightly more now than I did a couple of days ago, but I think it will probably end up being an outdoor cushion for the summer, rather than a fixture in the living room. Much, much more important, though, is what this mini-challenge has taught me. I’ll spare you the full soul-searching list and go for the highlights instead:

:: My tastes are a little less sweet and pretty than I thought.

:: My sense of time (and timing) is wonkier than the seams in a rushed piece of patchwork.

:: The time I usually spend thinking and planning is important. Sometimes ideas come in a flash and work out just as you imagine, but more often they need time to stew. I think the reason I don’t like my cushion is because there’s no thoughtfulness behind it – it’s a thing made for thing’s sake, and it feels kind of soulless because of it. Over-thinking is bad, but considered thinking is good!

:: I need to make more stuff. Some days it feels like I make lots of things I don't like that much. When I look back and properly assess this, it probably works out to be half and half - about 50% of my projects I really do like. The law of averages would say that the more I make, the more stuff I'll have to be happy with, and also, the more I'll get used to being ok about the less-successful bits.

If you’ve ploughed through this, thank you. It’s not often I’m this open about personal things, especially in such a public place. It feels as though Copy+Paste is a good spot for it, though. Copy that will hopefully make a difference to the way I paste. Thanks, lovely Julie – you may have unleashed a monster...

Now you, equally marvellous pasters, how does all this apply to you? First of all, if you have similar perfectionist issues, then go – READ – right now. If not, I hope there are still a few things here that might spark a project or two. For the time-starved (that’s just about all of us, I guess), maybe pick a project and give yourself a set time-frame to finish it. You might want to be slightly more realistic with your end goal than I was, but seeing something through, start to finish, in one sitting is peculiarly satisfying. It’s also quite useful if you’re struggling to hone your style. Two of the above points helped me with this (the first and third ones), and working on something so quickly and spontaneously also allowed me to look at the end result more objectively than usual.

Even if all you take away is the urge to try a little patchwork, you know we’d still love to see what you come up with. Post your pastings in the comments below, or share them in the Copy+Paste Flickr group.

Julie will be back with another post here on Wednesday - just don't be surprised if she sends you spinning off in an unexpectedly challenging direction.


Wednesday, 7 April 2010

I'd Like To Copy : Carey Mulligan

Although I’ve yet to see An Education, Carey Mulligan is someone I’ve admired for a little while now – from the BBC adaptation of Bleak House to one of my favourite episode of Doctor Who (and yes, I did just out myself as a TV nerd – I don’t watch much television, so pick my guilty pleasures very carefully). I stumbled on these images, shot by Rankin for British Elle, late last year and love them.

Inspired by their gorgeous, retro feel, I pulled together a few more shots with a similar vibe to make a pretty, springtime mosaic.

So, whose style is inspiring you this spring?


PS. Check back on Friday for a new challenge!

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