A special little getaway

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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.

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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.

Much love

Corinne x

When sundown pales the sky I want to hide a while …

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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.

Ava

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

 

Choppy Waters

choppy waters

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.

A sign of age!

A sign of age!

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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)

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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.

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And another favourite is Anya Keeley (see below) whose quirky style I just love.

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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!

 

On being a fairytale maker

I am often asked about the title I use to describe myself. A childhood watching Blue Peter on TV and using sticky backed plastic has led me to a passion for creativity. I have always been inspired by fairytales but my love of all storytelling pervades my work.

I spent four years at college studying City and Guilds Embroidery and when we graduated most people called themselves “Textile Artists”.  I have to say I struggled with this description. I didn’t feel it really described the work I do.  Narrative has always played a large part in my work and I wanted to convey this.  In my very early work traditional Fairytales were a huge inspiration and I still find this title motivational.  Whenever I am at a craft fair I display my Fairytale Maker logo and am always surprised how positively people react to it. It is a great ice-breaker!

However, I worried that my recent collages, although they tell a story, perhaps they don’t fit with my ‘brand’ (a word I hate).

I have recently come across Lisa Jacobs and her website Market Your Creativity.  I really love how down to earth she is and the advice she gives is very good. However, she recently gave me some real food for thought during an email. She said I need to ask “what do my customers want to take home?”   This brought me up sharp and got me thinking. I am making things that inspire ME but is that enough? I think anything I make has to inspire me. I could never imagine churning out hundreds of items that I didn’t love – just to make a quick buck. That wouldn’t work for me at all.  What I make has to feed my own artistic soul first. But it would be grand to be making things that people wanted to take home too.  Any thoughts people? xx

Help wanted please!

werifesteria

I found this image whilst trawling pinterest (http://uk.pinterest.com/threeriversdeep). I have commissioned a ring from the wonderful Charlotte Bezzant and am able to have some engraving on the inside.

 

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I have gone for a moonstone as I have always loved them. I wanted something inspirational that would motivate me when the going gets tough or I feel a little below par – you know how it is. However, everything I choose is too long. There is only space for one or two words. So I am looking for suggestions that would inspire. I’m not sure if the word Werifesteria actually exists. Not that it bothers me too much – after all every word was made up at some point – but I’m not sure that it really hits the spot for me. Other options are “Be fearless”, “Dream Big”, or “Stay Strong.”  I love the phrase “Believe, Achieve, Receive” but apparently that is too long😦

So folks, what would you go for if you were me? x

 

Hello there!

 

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So this is the first entry on my new blog. This may work and it may not.  I have tried blogging before and, if you are interested, you can see old posts at corinnephillips.blogspot.com but I always feel that I edit myself too much and I found it hard to blog regularly. On this blog I would like to write more from the heart. Whether I find my voice we will have to wait and see.

The picture above is of my two dogs, Mabel on the left and Dappy on the right. Mabel is a Labradoodle who is 1 year old now and Dappy a chocolate lab who is four.

20160419_111207Apart from my love of animals, I am a mixed media artist, (see my website for more info), I have just started doing calligraphy (with brush pens – I haven’t got the patience to abide by all the rules!),  am an avid journaller, love stationery (see my latest haul above!) reading and anything book related and I also love a good tv drama and all those house-y programmes like Location, Location etc – as does Meryl Streep apparently – so I’m in good company there.

I am an introvert at heart and am always trying to “improve”myself with various self-help books/courses etc. I am happily single having struggled through a divorce 4 years ago. I have 3 children, my youngest goes to University this year and I am going to be a Grandmomma for the first time this Summer! (Not the same child!)

So there you have it – my first blog entry. And I think I have shared more personal stuff on this one entry than I have in my entire time on my other blog!

I will post here regularly and I will try for once a week. I would love to hear from you with any comments or anything you would like me to write about here. I hope this can be the start of a beautiful friendship! x