So many of the lampshades I've made recently have been to commission (with the colours or design being dictated by the client) that I've been itching to express myself.

As I'm working on orders that are similar to something I have made before, I often have the urge to play with new designs. I sometimes scribble a quick pencil drawing of the idea on a scrap of paper, but have to stop myself from getting distracted and get the job done.  By the time I'm finished with the order that moment of inspiration has passed. 

This year I am going to make time for a little experimentation on a regular basis that may or may not spark an idea for a new lampshade design. 

So, I have set myself a (dare I say, weekly?) challenge:

To find something on my desk that inspires me and photograph it, paint it and stitch it – quickly.  The idea is for it to be a fast, creative burst as opposed to a well-considered and planned piece of artwork.

This time I have taken my pot of crocus as the starting point.  I photographed them against a book from my bookshelf.

Indoor-crocus

Stitched them in the only way I know how (reverse applique in paper).

Crocus-in-stitch 

And finally, dug out the watercolours and had a go at painting them.

Crocus-in-watercolours

It's years since I've used my tin of watercolours, so I hope this exercise will improve my technique over time.

I'll try and post these 'Three Takes ….' on Wednesdays, or is that a commitment too far?!

PS  And I discovered something new about the way a crocus grows – I'd never noticed the little flower bud emerging beneath the papery sheath, forcing its way through to replace its drooping sibling!

Emerging-crocus-bud

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