New old directions

New old directions

It’s been a couple of weeks of soul searching. Life. Creativity. Career. The big questions.

Ultimately I had to face up to some personal truths. Basically I haven’t been honest with myself. The journey back to myself which I thought I had completed in the whole giving-up-slaving-for-the-man-for-life-of-creative-freedom, is in fact, not really over. I had diverted off the path. Tempted away by ‘the man’ type promises.  If  this was Little Red Riding Hood and I was Hood, then I had ended up hanging out with Hansel and Gretel in the bad part of the woods, getting high on marshmallows, instead of going to grandma’s house Like I was supposed to. Something like that.

Am I being a bit obscure here?

I had left the art I truly loved and that loved me. I listened to external fears about my embroidery not being commercial enough to be a feasible business proposition, not the kind of stuff I was doing anyway, and the long hours it took. I ended up worrying about money rather than being creatively truthful. That’s not a ridiculous thing to worry about, but in thinking this way I had to face up that I had stopped believing in doing the right thing for me – being true to myself – could lead to happiness and fulfilment in all senses of the word.

I still do feel like a bit of a loser, considering all the time and energy I’ve invested into numerous projects, and I still keep changing my bloody mind, but I guess it’s the journey, not the destination.

Linked to source

What he said.

But hallelujah, I’ve seen the light. Some well-timed advice, some encouragement, tears and middle-of-the-night obsessive thoughts, and I’ve picked this guy up again:

Time to get that background finished once and for all!

Plus some really exciting new projects and techniques to learn that I will be blogging about in the coming weeks and months.

Of toadstools…

Of toadstools…

I went to Centre Parcs in Sherwood at the weekend, like I did last year. It’s later in the year than last time, so not so many Autumn colours, less leaves on the trees etc.

But lots of toadstooly suprises!

Then I spotted this!

I’ve never seen one in real life before, and you KNOW how much I LOVE Fly Agaric mushrooms, right?

It wasn’t even hiding or anything – just sitting there in the middle of a patch of grass. I was so excited. Later on the next day I found it had been stomped on. Bastard whoever.

Art Crush #1

Art Crush #1

Today I bring you some delights from the arty/crafty world (sometimes the same world, sometimes different) to highlight a particular talented person whom I am crushing on.

This lady I am incredibly privileged to call my friend. Miss Pybis is the most talented person I know and you don’t have to take my word for it.

We used to have long conversations about creativity and she really encouraged me to have confidence in my own abilities.

Here’s what she says about herself: “My work focuses on the eastern mysterism (sic), south american folk art, occult practice and English folk traditions which include witch craft and esoteric tarot form which I draw visual reference. I also love modern and traditional art of Japan.”

Most of these images are from her latest series of works inspired by the Major Arcana of the tarot. I am totally in love and want to wallpaper my bedroom with them.

She also takes commissions.

More amazing things and contact details awaits on her blog – misspybis.blogspot.com

First day

First day

I can’t remember where I read it recently but it was about genii and how they are mischevious and trapped in the lamp because of this. When you get them out they are so relieved they grant you three wishes but always find a loophole which allows them to cause more naughtiness. So, in this version, the farmer says ‘I never want to work again!’ and the genii removes his legs. That sort of thing. Careful what you wish for.

Today was my first day *officially* working on Mother Eagle.

Tougher day than I thought. Gonna have to get really good at being disciplined about what I need to achieve. I feel like this time I have carved out for myself is so precious and I don’t want to waste a second. Not that I haven’t done a thing all day that hasn’t been Eagle-related, it’s just that there’s so much you can get wrapped up in and suddenly an hour has gone and your ‘to do’ list is still no further forward.

Here’s what I did get done:

Set up my workspace.

Set up my inspiration board. And stuck up my pod-washing line!

I also experimented with taking photos of my latest makes, found some free photo editing programmes to polish up my crap photography skills, joined a couple of Etsy teams, and tried to understand what tumblr is and should I have one (should I?)

I also listened to a lot of Nicki Minaj, stared out the window a lot, and got quite cross and feeling like I am not being productive with my scattergun approach to working. I always thought discipline is something I was quite good at but it looks like I need to get better. I then got dismayed at the still zero sales in my shop and the fact that I haven’t done any fine embroidery work for ages too. AND need to blog.

So, this isn’t so much a roundabout way of saying ‘careful what you wish for’ – I am SO happy to be in the position I find myself today (especially as I have a technicolour throat infection ad LOVING the fact I’ve been able to sip hot tea and gargle thyme oil all day) – more that, like all the best gifts in life, it will take a heap of commitment to master my new lifestyle I think.

Not TOO tenuous a link to Aladin is it?

Oh, hello. Let me tell you all about it.

Oh, hello. Let me tell you all about it.

Dover Images

Hello,

I’m back. I’ve been blogging a lot more lately after a nearly seven months gap since you last heard from me. There is a reason. Let me get a cup of tea and tell you all about it and what I’ve been up to.

So, I finally finished my Aromatherapy diploma case studies back in April and sent off the whole 18-months-worth of work to be marked. Which it was, and I got my shiny (not really shiny, papery really) certificate, insurance and all that aromatic jazz. But some spooky timing was afoot and, without going in to all the details, I had the opportunity to go for a job at the place I worked that I had always quite fancied. Now I was in a little bit of a pickle because although I USED  to quite fancy it, at this point I was fed up with working for someone else and felt ready to be more of a self-employed person. So this chance came along at a weird time.

Nevertheless I went for it anyway and got the job, knowing that unless I tried it I would always wonder ‘what if’.

Well, I tried it. And you know what? I didn’t like it.

Not that I couldn’t do it. Not that I wasn’t good at it. Not that I couldn’t cope with it. Actually some days I couldn’t cope with it.

I just didn’t like it.

Here’s what changed when I took the job:

  • Monday’s I’d leave for London, come home on Thursday night most weeks.

  • Stopped blogging

  • Stopped sewing

  • Didn’t do aromatherapy for anyone

  • Stopped eating healthy

  • Stopped cooking and eating dinner with my husband

  • Stopped feeling inspired

It’s not that anyone else stopped me from doing these things. I stopped myself from doing these things. By the choice I made to do the big girl’s job in London.

So I quit.

And you know what? It was the most empowering thing I ever did. I felt really powerful. Because I wasn’t giving something up, I was making a positive choice in my life and taking control.  I realised I hadn’t felt in control for a long time.

Here’s what else I learnt about me:

  • I am ready to be self employed.

  • Doing something ‘important’ only makes you happy if it’s important to you.

  • My family and friends really really believe in me more than I believe in myself sometimes, so I should listen to them.

So,  I’ll be spending a lot more time with you, including telling you all about what my little craftiness has been up to (not completely idle).

Here’s my new daily ‘to do’ list to keep my inspired:

1. Read my blogs.

2. Read at least one ‘Give Up Your Day Job’ post on Etsy blog.

3. Come up with an idea for a blog post.

4. Make something.

5. Take a photo of something beautiful and inspiring, or pin it.

6. Ask the Universe for help.

Here’s some inspiring words. 

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” — John Lennon