“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.”
I love, love, love the film You’ve Got Mail. I think I can recite huge chunks of dialogue. It came out the Autumn (Fall!) we went to New York many years ago which I think made it even more special actually visiting places you see in the Movies. Last night this quote came to me. I’ve been doing a fair amount of personal journaling recently. Partly in order to decide in what way I would like to develop my own creative work and partly as a result of mum’s passing. One step in the process has been to enrol on a wonderful e-course led by Meghan Genge called Magical Mornings. I love Meghan. I loved how honest and centred she is. And I am loving the e-course. I am really delving deep down to see what magic there is around me, how it I am affected by it and how I can move that forward into my work and my life. Whilst working on one of the exercises last night I came to the conclusion that I needed to be braver (which is when the above quote came to me). I need to take chances and have adventures! That sounds equally exciting and scary to me. Now, let me reassure you, my adventures won’t involve SAS survival skills (I hope!) or the services of Bear Grylls (shame!) but they will still be adventures to me. Gentle adventures – at least I’ll start off with gentle ones and who knows where that will lead.
As part of the course Meghan shared the following link where she was interviewed by another lovely lady called Jamie Ridler. Click here to visit the interview. Meghan Genge is a storyteller, a teacher and author of the inspirational novel, Unfurl. After learning very early how precious life is, she started a journey that involved many leaps of faith and a firm belief in magic. She has taught in classrooms, retreat centres, lecture halls, and beside campfires, and now knows for sure that the most powerful way to reach the soul is by telling it a story. As story telling is at the core of my own work the interview just spoke to me. I hope you enjoy it too.
I am off to St Ives for a few days at the weekend so I will count that as my first gentle adventure and even try to do something brave whilst I’m down there – like going into a pub on my own! (something which is very scary for me!) I will check back with you on my return.
Have a great weekend all!
Sending much love xxx
TITLE – LYRICS FROM GREEN DAY
I took this picture last week on a morning walk before work with my dogs. I love going out when there is still frost on the ground but just lately I have really had to force myself to get out there. Once I’m out, I love it – but making that move from cosy bed to frosty field takes momentous effort. Stupid thing is I know once I get out I will love it! I actually made a little film of it which I uploaded on Instagram click here if you would like to see it. (And no that field isn’t at a 90⁰ angle I just couldn’t rotate the image for some reason!) The dogs always make me chuckle and I feel so much better afterwards.
I am having to sort out mum’s bungalow and there is so much stuff you wouldn’t believe. I can only get there at the weekends and I have to be honest I gave myself a weekend off last week because it is emotionally exhausting. And the stupidest things set me off. Do you remember there was a craze in the ’80s or ’90s for Colour Me Beautiful? You went and they assessed your skin tones and decided whether you had a warm or cool palette. They then gave you a swatch of fabrics to put in your handbag so that you would know if the item you were going to buy would suit your colouring. I mean as I write it I can’t believe we actually went – we must have been the marketing team’s dream – but I came across Mum’s colour swatches and just dissolved into tears. I suppose this is how it is going to be for quite a while really and there are so many lovely memories to mine that I am lucky to have.
And now I am also thinking about how I would like to develop my creative work. I know I need to do something creative as I feel so much better when I do but once again I am procrastinating about getting into my studio and actually doing something. I have started a cot quilt for Ava which I really need to finish before I can start any of my own work. At this rate she will be out of the cot and in a proper bed by the time it is finished! But, for my own work, I am thinking of returning to my Fairy Godmother boxes.
I never really promoted these that much, although I did take them to MadeBrighton a year ago. They started off life in actual vintage rosewood boxes. The idea was that it was the Fairy Godmother’s First Aid Kit. All the things a Fairy Godmother may need on her travels meeting different storybook characters.
I do still get excited when I think of them, which I take as a good sign! But I need to just get in to my studio to actually start work – whatever it is – I think just being able to create will make such a difference to how I feel.
So I love you and leave you for today. Hope things in your world are good and I’ll catch up with you soon. I may even have finished Ava’s quilt by next time. x
image courtesy of geograph.org.uk
Some of you will be aware that my mum had been poorly for the last 6 months of 2016. Unfortunately, she passed away just before Christmas. It was a blessed release really and although obviously devastating was what she wanted as she really had no quality of life left. Mum was a Christian and it is reassuring to know that she is now with her Maker and at peace. The funeral service was beautiful and we all said that we left the church feeling uplifted. The vicar was so lovely and I cannot that the people at mum’s church who organised the wake enough.
So although there have been the obvious ups and downs, and I miss mum so very much, I am starting 2017 feeling more positive than I have felt for quite a while. I used to really look forward to making New Year’s resolutions. I am much more skeptical now I’m older – especially as I seem to make the same resolutions every year! But this year I am calling them “Intentions” and that feels a little better to me.
I am intending to get fitter, read more, get back to my creative work, push my comfort boundaries a little more, and watch less television. I am also intending to treat myself with more kindness. We give ourselves such a hard time and yet we wouldn’t speak to our friends in the same way. So I am trying to learn from past mistakes and go easier on myself, to acknowledge that I am an introvert and that if I arrange to do too many things in a week it stresses me out and not feel guilty about everything. Perhaps that is the best intention of all.
I just wanted to catch up with you all as it has been so long since I have written or posted anything online really. Mum continues to be a challenge and we have regular obstacles to overcome. Unfortunately our relationship, once so very close, has suffered but I am putting this down to the stroke and trying to deal with it as best I can. It is very difficult as I feel I have lost her already really although she is still very much with us.
Last month, I felt I so needed a break and so went on my first solo holiday! Back to my beloved St Ives and this time I had Dappy, my chocolate lab, as a companion. I’ve been to St Ives many times but always either as a family or just with my daughters. Going on my own definitely took me out of my comfort zone but it was so what I needed.
I had time to chill out, walk amongst the fantastic scenery and spoil myself a little at the gorgeous cafes and restaurants there …
It was Dappy’s first time on the beach too which was such fun. I also booked on an art journalling workshop in Truro with Jilly Ballantyne in an effort to kick-start my creativity. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and left feeling very inspired and with every intention of sketching every day of the holiday – but it didn’t really happen! What am I like!!
So I am back home now and am so glad to be spending time with my two little granddaughters Ava (on left) and Lily who arrived on 2nd October (pictured below on right with Daddy.
I am trying to be kind to myself and not feel so guilty about how often I can get over and see mum. It is very difficult but I am having to protect myself emotionally and physically and I am doing all that I can. That is all I can do after all.
If you are still reading this then I thank you for your time and understanding.
Lyrics from Donovan’s Catch the Wind are resonating with me at the moment. Mum has taken a turn for the worse having had a series of falls recently. This means that she is bed bound at the moment – although I am really hoping this is a temporary thing and that she will improve soon.
It has been a difficult few weeks. I don’t live near mum and its an 80 mile round trip every time I visit. Sometimes I do really feel that I would like the world to stop so that I can get off. But of course, that is impossible and so we have to plod on, don’t we? I’m really thankful to all mum’s church friends who are there when I need them although I hate having to contact them as I don’t wish to impose. But I know there are people dealing with much worse circumstances.
On the positive side, my little granddaughter, Ava Olivia, arrived on 5th August and she is such a blessing.
She and her mum live with me and it is lovely to see her little face, especially when it’s been a particularly trying day.
Also, Evie, my other daughter will be off to University in a couple of weeks. Obviously this is fabulous and she has done very well but I will miss her so much. I keep getting these lyrics going through my head
“To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven”
Another fabulous song, written by Pete Seeger, and made famous by The Byrds and Dylan, of course. It really does seem to sum up my life at the moment. So I have to stay strong and stay positive. This all means that I am not getting in my studio at all really. I did manage to make some bunting for Ava’s room but other than that my sewing machine is feeling quite neglected. I am hoping I will be able to get back to it soon. I know a lot of people who say creating their art has been very therapeutic and has a healing effect so I will see if I can give it a go and perhaps quell the rising panic I keep experiencing in my chest!
Here’s wishing you a fabulous weekend. x
You call me out upon the waters…the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery. In oceans deep my faith will stand.
I have struggled to find an image that depicts how I feel at the moment. I searched for “Calming” and “Tranquil” but they just did not resonate with me at all. I realise that is probably how I WANT to feel, not how I am feeling. Then I came across this image with a fabulous quote underneath and that says it all for me.
And what, you may ask, is making me feel like this? Well a couple of weeks ago my lovely mum had a stroke. And, as she is the sole carer for my dad who has Alzheimer’s, I have certainly had my work cut out. It was devastating to see mum when I first went over to A&E. However, the good news is she is making a brilliant recovery. She doesn’t live that close to me so it is an 80 mile round trip every time I go over. Dad is in respite care and we will have to get him permanently settled as mum will be unable to care for him now but the place where he is seems good and the staff are lovely.
When things like this happen I definitely lean on my faith and I love the quote above which is from a Hillsong United song. I am also thankful for all the lovely people at mum’s church who are praying for her and visiting regularly and taking things over that she needs when I can’t get there. It is a scary thing when something happens to your parents. It really hits home that our time on this earth will come to an end and as an only child I am finding it difficult as there are no other siblings who are going through this with me. But, as in all trials, you take one step at a time. I can’t think too far ahead or I will feel overwhelmed.
So, dear hearts, I am trying to be gentle with myself at the moment. I know I need to look after myself better. So I am sending out positive thoughts into the ether to anyone else who is struggling with personal circumstances at the moment, whatever, they may be.
I can’t believe how quickly May has passed and June is right around the corner. Which also means it is the Contemporary Craft Fair at Bovey Tracey soon (10-12 June) – I am hoping to go as a customer (It is one of my aims to have a stall here one year – I keep applying but no joy as yet) However I do love visiting and seeing all the lovely work on show such as Esther Connon (see below)
I love her work. I met her a couple of years ago when we were both at the Cornwall Design Fair. I love the magical quality her work has and I bought a couple of prints which I just adore.
Also exhibiting at Bovey is Lindsey Tyson (see below) who I was next to at MADEBrighton last year.
And another favourite is Anya Keeley (see below) whose quirky style I just love.
I’m getting excited about it just writing this!
So I hope I have introduced you to some people you may not yet have come across – please let me know of anyone whose work you really love that may be new to me. I always love finding new artists to admire.
Have a great bank holiday weekend and I’ll see you back here in June!