Ringing in Autumn

I love jewellery.  All types.  Any type.

I especially love bold, big jewellery.  Chandelier drop earrings.  Rows of plain silver bangles.  Honking great rings. 

Yep.  I especially like rings.  They're my favourite piece of jewellery to make.  And to wear.

I like seeing what rings other people are wearing.  I like browsing in shop windows admiring different ring designs.  I really like it when the display lights cast that magic glow across gemstones that makes them twinkle.  It makes me smile. 


When it comes to rings, it's not about owning a big ole rock.  It's just that I like hands.  I think hands are beautiful.  Very creative. Quietly expressive.  And I like rings.  So when you put the two together it's a winning combination. 


I recently came across this book...








...And thought I'd gone to jewellery heaven.

Take a peek...



















Gorgoeus.

I'm currently working on some new rings designs.  As soon as they're finished, I'll post some pictures.

Do you have a favourite type or piece of jewellery? 

Shiny Happy Music

I've been listening to more music.  


But this music hasn't been making me want to howl till my eyeballs hurt.  Instead, it's been making me grin till my cheeks ache.


If you don't believe me, just listen to this...








Were you grooving in your computer chair as much as me?

How about this...  









What pieces of music make you want to get jiggy and grin?

Music To My Ears

Recently I have been listening to music. 

To discover what kind of music I like.

Usually I tend to prefer listening to quiet, rather than having added noise. I like the sound of the wind in the trees.  Or the clock ticking.  Or just that gentle hush of the world going about it's business.

But as part of exploring being creative, I've wanted to find out what happens when I listen to music. 

In the past I've had music playing in the background.  Or have flipped on a cd while doing other things.  But recently I decided to start really listening to music.  Without doing anything else.  

And something a bit magical happened.

Here are three pieces of music that are so beautiful, they made me stop and breathe.  And then cry. 











What pieces of music really move you?


Squirrels And Sunflowers

Thank you so much for all your comments and messages on my blog birthday.  They are all very much appreciated. 


I haven't abandoned blogging.  I am back for another year.  Yay.


I have simply experienced a wee technological hitch over the past couple of weeks due to the squirrels who live in the trees surrounding my telephone pole.  So to speak.


They were clearly in need of some strips of wiring to enhance their home, and took the opportunity to eat through my telephone landline.


I woke up two weeks ago to find my telephone line dead.  And my connection to the blogging world, well, disconnected.


My provider company promised it would be repaired within three days.  It wasn't.  Mentioning no names. BT.


My landline has now been restored, and normal blogging can be resumed.


I have started making some new rings designs.  I have also started growing my own lettuce.  I am on fire.


And, at the beginning of the summer I planted sunflower seeds.  And they are in full bloom...





















Aren't they beautiful?  I feel happy just looking at them.

Have a beautiful, sunny weekend. 

Has Being Creative Changed My Life?

Yes.

This post is a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be.

Not really.  I've got more to share than that.




 I used to only ever wear black or brown shoes.
Look at me now. 




A year ago, in the early hours of the morning on 24th August 2009, I woke up.  I had just had an idea in my sleep.  This happens to me a lot, so I keep a notebook by my bed, and jot things in it in the middle of the night.  It's always a surprise to read it in the morning without much of a memory of what I've written there.  On one occasion I wrote a whole short story out that I thought, at 3 in the morning, was fantastic.  At 9 the next morning, not so much.

Anyhoo, a year ago.

I had remembered a conversation I'd had with a friend in 2004, where she told me that she believed being creative was "The Answer".  This had popped into my head as I slept, and I decided I wanted to see if she was right.  Would me being creative be "The Answer" for me?  And, how was I going to do this without running like the wind when things got scary?

So, lying there in my bed, I decided I'd write a blog.

I got out of bed.  Turned on my computer.  Went to blogger.com and started a blog.  At 3 in the morning.  Then I went on Facebook and told people what I was doing.  Just so that I wouldn't chicken out.  Even though by this time I was feeling the need to change my big girl pants. 

And then day by day, week by week.  For a year.  My life changed.




 I used to be a brunette...




Because here's what I've learned...



 1.  Being Creative is Heaps of Fun and Helps You Learn How To Be Playful Again



I have had so much fun over the past year.  

Writing, knitting, sewing, baking, soldering, painting, drawing, experimenting, trying new things, following my intuition, being playful.  It's been so much fun. 

It's been like being a child again.    

You know those days, where you laid down in the grass and watched the clouds go by?  Or went into the woods and watched ants climb a tree?  Or got your pad and pens out and drew a whole landscape of houses and trees without worrying whether what you had drawn was any good or not?  Because you didn't question or judge yourself?  You just lost yourself in doing something without feeling guilty, or worrying about bills, or  when the house was going to get cleaned. 

You lived in the moment.  

I've got back in touch with that part of myself.  And I've found that that part of myself is curious, fun-loving, a bit naughty, and just enjoys being alive.  That's good to know.




 A page from my sketchbook.  Colouring in is so much fun.




2.  Being Creative is Very Healing and Helps You Get to Know Who You Really Are 


I am forty two in a couple of weeks.  Gulp.

I don't think anyone reaches forty two without having things happen in their life that have left them feeling sad, lonely, hurt, and afraid.  When I started being creative, I thought it would be all about the external things in life.  Making my home look prettier.  Making my cooking edible.  Being able to bake cakes that didn't make a knocking noise when you tapped them on the work surface.

Actually what I've found is something a bit different.  Yes, being creative is about making things.  It is about the external things in life.  Soft new blankets, pretty jewellery, shabby bunting.  But it's also about something else.

It's about being open to who you really are.  And taking a look at what you find inside yourself.  

And sometimes who you are is a bit sad, a bit afraid, a bit lonely, a bit hurt.  

I have found over this past year, that there are parts of me that needed to be be nurtured, by no-one other than me.  

I have found that over time I had been neglecting myself.  Not really listening to what I needed.  I had a tendency to be a bit rigid with myself and other people.  I made "To Do" lists and didn't stop until I'd to-done them.  There was very little time in my life set aside for me to relax.  I was stressed a lot of the time.  I was worrying for large portions of the day.  I was very, very driven.  And I wasn't taking care of parts of myself that needed taking care of. 

Being creative meant I had to start listening to me.  What did I want to make?  What kind of day did I want to have?  What was I feeling?  What would make me smile now?  What would make me feel happy now?  What would I really enjoy doing right now?  What did I want to create today?

Being creative has meant I've started to listen to that quiet voice inside myself that knows what's good for me. 

And I've found myself wanting to do things like:

Walk barefoot in the sand.
Paddle in the sea.
Bake a cake with lots of icing on the top.
Knit a scarf.
Put fairy lights in each room in the house.
Burn essential oils. 
Make a rag doll.
Paint a picture.
Make some bunting.
Set a gemstone.
Cuddle my cats.
Soak in a hot bubble bath.
Paint my nails.
Dye my hair bright red.
Read a good book.
Keep an art journal.



Without realising it, all of these things have been very kind things to do for myself.  I have found myself being my own best friend.  And I have enjoyed my own company.  And when I've touched on those parts of myself that have felt sad, lonely, hurt and afraid, I've had a cry, a cup of tea, a packet (or two) of ready salted crisps.  Then, I've done something creative, and I've felt taken care of.  I've felt warm.  Being creative has been very healing for me.  




 I love walking barefoot on the sand at the beach near my house.



3.  Being Creative Can Be Frightening But If You Follow Where It Takes You, It Makes You Brave 


When I started this adventure this time last year, I was nervous.  Would anyone read my blog?  Would anyone be interested in what I was doing?  What if I tried to be creative and only created a mess?

I felt frightened.  I was afraid of what I didn't know.    I was taking myself out of my comfort zone.  I felt really vulnerable putting the things I'd made, as well as my thoughts and feelings, out into the internet ether for people to read, and possibly judge harshly.

But as I went with the flow of what I was doing, and began following the slightly out of rhythm beat of my own drum, I grew less nervous.  People started to leave comments on my blog, giving lots of support.  Creative people I had never met, and friends who supported what I was doing,  were cheering me on.  It felt great to know people were wishing me well.  I stopped worrying about what people might be thinking about what I was doing, and started thinking more about what I wanted to do next.

I stopped being nervous about putting myself out there.

I started to stretch out into a new comfort zone.

I became a little bit brave.

I like that.  It makes me smile.



 Me smiling a very dimply smile.





3.  Being Creative Connects You With Other Like-Minded People and Strengthens Your Connections to People You Already Know


Over the past year, the way I connect with people has changed.  I find myself and my friends talking about things we've made, things we want to make, things we've seen that other people have made.  We talk about exhibitions we want to go to.  Gardens we want to explore.  If it's possible to make your own soap in the kitchen without causing any unnecessary explosions.  When we meet up for a coffee and a chat, we bring with us bags of goodies that we want to share.  Scarves we've knitted, books we've read.

My friends have been fantastic this year.  Some have brought gifts of wool they've found and thought I might like to knit with.  Or given me books that I might like to read.  Others have given advice on technical computer issues that were causing me problems when putting together the layout of my blog.  And all of them have left comments and given heaps of support from the beginning of the year to the end.  I had no idea this was going to happen.  And have been really touched by it.   

And I've changed how I relate to my friends.    When I'm out and about, if I see something I know a friend would love to make something with, I buy it for them.  Or I find myself sitting making things for my friends and giving these things as presents for no other reason than I know they'll enjoy getting them.  I want to share being creative with them.  It feels good to pass it on.     

I had no idea that the world of creativity was so much fun.  I had no idea that the world of blogging was filled with so many creative, fun-loving people.  I had no idea that I would make so many new friends.

Like:

Psychedelicsister who lives in San Francisco.  Her blog is an oasis of beautiful things in the internet ether.

Kim Ayres.  He's a photographer.  His wife is an artist.  They are both very creative, interesting people. 

Helene.  She has two sets of twins.  She makes me snort tea over my computer when I read about her day.

Zlatica who paints the most beautiful pictures of children.  And makes the most beautiful wooden dolls.

Lizzyloolaa who is striving each day to fulfill her dream of having a small-holding.

Laalaa , who loves crochet and sewing and quilting.

Aoife who gives you a window into her world, and writes about what she sees.

Pillownaut writes about space travel.  She is fun and informative.  A winning combination.


I had no idea I would meet these people, and that over the year would come to consider them new friends. 




 My Significant Other and I.
Drawn by my friend's daughter. 


  

4.  We Are All Creative, Even When We Think We're Not or "It's Not So Much What We Do As How We Think"




As the year has gone by, and people who have been reading my blog have chatted to me, one of the things that I've heard most frequently is "I'm not very creative".  Each time I've heard this I've remembered my friend who believes Being Creative is "The Answer". 
  
She believes that Being Creative is a spiritual thing. And that it's very important for each person to find a way to be creative in their lives.  In whatever form that might take.  

I particularly remember her saying that making a bed could be a very creative thing to do.    If we were aware that making a bed could be a creative act, it could become something more meaningful  than simply making a bed, a chore.   If we made the bed "consciously" rather than simply going through the motions.  Instead of being frustrated that we had to make the bed, we could appreciate that we had a gorgeous bed to sleep in.  Fresh bed linen to keep us warm.  And be glad that we had the limbs and energy to make the bed at all.

I have decided that everyone is creative, we just may not be aware of it. 

Every day we have millions of thoughts and ideas.  That's creative.

We have conversations.  Very creative.

Make meals.  Totally creative.

Build things we've bought in Ikea.  Frustrating and creative.

Put together outfits before going out of the house.  Fashionably creative.

We send emails, take photos, write letters, have dreams when we sleep, plan for our future.

All of these things are creative.  

We are born, learn to talk, learn to walk, learn to drive.

And then some of us have children of our own.  How much more creative can you get than creating another human being?

Being creative isn't just about painting, sewing, knitting, sculpting, designing, writing.

Being creative is what we all do, every day, even when we sleep.  

I believe we are all very creative.  I think some people are more aware of their creativity than others.




 A cake baked and decorated by my beautiful sister.
She makes the most amazing cakes.
She doesn't consider herself creative. 







5.  Being Creative Can Be a Hobby or a Way of Life 



I've noticed this year that the people who are very comfortable in their creativity are the ones who see being creative as being a way of life for them, rather than a hobby.  They may not necessarily make a living from the things they make, but they see their creativity as an integral part of who they are, and are creative in all aspects of their life. 




Even holiday snaps are creative.
Sunset in Malta. 
We had a lovely time. 




6.  People Who Make A Living From Being Creative Are No Different Than You Or I  



They simply believe that they can make a living from being creative.  And they do whatever they need to do to support that belief.  They are not necessarily more talented or gifted than another person, although obviously they are very skilled with the materials they are working with.  

The difference between them and a person who says "I wish I could make a living from selling the things I make" is that they believe they can make a living from selling the things they make and then do it.  That's it.  They aren't luckier.  More gifted.  More talented.  Mysteriously blessed. They just believe they can do it and then do it.  And there are lots of people out there making a very good living from being creative.  I have found this repeatedly over the past year and it is very heart-warming.



 It's heartwarming to know, lots of people 
make a living from their artwork.




7.  I Would Like To Make Being Creative a Way of Life For Me, And Make a Living From Doing That. 



There.  I've said it.  Now it's out there.  There's no going back.  I've tried being creative in everything I do for a year and have loved it.  I've decided I would like "Being Creative" to be more than just a hobby for me.  I'd like to continue living creatively.  Not just for the next year.  But for each and every day I've got left.  And I'd like to make a living from the things I create.



 Is it possible?
Could I make a living from the things I create? 






8.  My Next Challenge 


To turn "Being Creative" into my way of life.  

To make "Being Creative" how I make my living. 

So for the next year I'm going to continue blogging about "Being Creative", with the purpose of turning my creativity into "How I Live My Life and How I Earn My Living". 

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to create to do that.  But if I have anything like as much fun finding out, as I've had this year,  then,  August 24th 2010-August 24th 2011, is going to be fab!  

So, follow me over the next year, and see if I can turn Being Creative into a Way of Life and a Living.


 There's no looking back for me now!




9.  The Answer To The Age Old Question " Why Are Ready Salted Crisps Such a Great Mood Enhancer?"  

It's the combination of saturated fats and salt.  As powerful as a Long Island Iced Tea (Yum, totally love those).  But with a less disastrous effect on my driving skills.



 So wrong and yet so right.


To everyone who has followed my journey over the past year, left comments, and supported me along the way, thank you so much.  You have made the journey so much more fun.  You have made me laugh.  And you have added smiles to my day.  It wouldn't have been anything like the fun it's been without you sharing it with me.  Really.

Sending smiles, 

Another First Anniversary Blog Giveaway Prize

I've had a lot of interest in my First Anniversary Blog Giveaway.  Thank you.  To all my new followers, a big hearty "Hello! It's nice to meet you!".   And to everyone who's entered, a big hearty "Good Luck!". 


I've decided to include another prize in this giveaway, simply because there's been so much interest, and to give my lovely blog friends more chances to win.


So, here it is.  The other prize.














These earrings are made from 925 silver wire and amethyst nuggets.  The amethyst nuggets have their own natural colours, ranging from lavender to dark purple.  Amethyst is believed to be a very cleansing gemstone, as well as supporting restful sleep.  These earrings are a little more understated than the chandelier droplet earrings, but just as lovely, in an "I'm small but I'm still cute" kind of a way.  Kinda like Dolly Parton.  I'm thinking height-wise.

You still have a couple of days left to enter my giveaway.  It ends at midnight (GMT)on Saturday 21st August.  I will announce the winners on Monday 23rd August.  

If you've already entered my giveaway, there's no need to enter again.

If you haven't entered and you'd like to, go HERE for details of how to be in with a chance of winning. 

Then, on Tuesday 24th August (the anniversary of me starting this blogging adventure) I'll post all about my experiences over the past year, and let you know if being creative really has changed my life.  I originally thought my anniversary was on the 23rd August, but I've just read my own profile and can see it's actually 24th August.  It's a good job I can remember my own name. 

Oooh!  I'm a little bit giddy and excited!


Sending smiles,

Art Journals and Encyclopaedias

I've been working on my art journal.  Coming up with new inspiration for some jewellery I'm making.  I've been focusing on the theme of "Insects", and wanted to share some of the journal pages I've finished.

And this week, I'm going to be catching up on my blog reading.  I know I haven't visited for a while.  I've not intentionally been a Blog Trollop (Formal Definition:  A person who gets all over-excited when comments are posted on his/her blog, but who is unable to return the favour due to he/she being lost under piles of dirty dishes, unwashed clothes, empty junk food cartons, as a result of intense period of creative endeavouring.) but my art journal has been making unreasonable demands.  I'm sorry.

Here are some pages I've been working on...








This copper wire dragonfly has fine silver wire wrapped through and around its wings.  Sadly, my camera hasn't picked this up in this picture, but it looked beautiful when I held it up to the light.  Really twinkly!  The definition of "Insect" that you can see in the centre was cut from an encyclopaedia, dated 1932, I found in a small second-hand bookshop. 

As a small tiddler I used to like reading dictionaries and encyclopaedias (I did have friends, just in case you were wondering, and yes, one or two of them may have been a little bit imaginery...) and I still do.  Did you know John Travers CORNWELL was an English sailor born in 1899 at East Ham?  Neither did I.  I also didn't know that he was "On the cruiser 'Chester' which was engaged at the battle of Jutland, May 31, 1915...  He stood steadily by his gun at a most exposed post awaiting orders till the action was over."  Sadly the poor fella was injured and died the next day.  He was apparently awarded the Victoria Cross after his death.  Fascinating.   







This page shows some initial sketches, and ideas.







Some more pen and ink drawings.  And another cheeky definition from my encyclopaedia.








Using five layers of different textiles, I wanted to recreate the textures of the moth wings in the previous sketch.  After sewing the layers together I then cut through different sections to reveal the textiles underneath.  This took hours to do, but I was really pleased with the finished result.  And with the help of my lovely friend, H, I have managed to master the art of using my nana's sewing machine.  Phew.  Thanks H.







This little butterfly is the inspiration for my main jewellery design this summer.  This butterfly is known as the "Greta Oto" and lives in South America.  It has beautiful fragile wings that have completely transparent sections, like little windows that you can see through.  Utterly, flutterly beautiful.  From this initial pen and ink drawing, I have made a series of designs for rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.


Do you keep an art journal?  Do you enjoy a nice flick through an encyclopaedia?  What have you been working on recently?   




P.S.  As a rule of thumb, I normally take a very firm stance on people abusing books.  But pages were missing and falling out of my encyclopaedia when I bought it, so I saw no harm in helping it on its way with a craft knife.  Ahem.

What's Wrong With This Montage?

So, I was catching up on my blog reading, when I came across this gadget at myheritage.com.

You input a picture of yourself, the site "reads" your picture with face recognition technology, and then matches you with your celebrity look-a-likes.

Simple. 

Now, admittedly, the picture I used was one of me on a plane.  Strictly speaking, one muscle relaxant and several gin and tonics into the flight.  I'm a nervous flier.

But, you tell me, what's wrong with this montage..?

http://www.myheritage.com/collage



I've Set a Gemstone!

As personal ambitions go, one that has been with me for a very long time has been the wish to be able to make rings from silver and gemstones.  

  With gemstones set in silver.  Not wire wrapped.  Or glued.

And I've only gone and done it.  

Look!





Using sheet metal, I have cut, sawn, hammered, and soldered.

My finished ring isn't lobsided.  Or a bit wonky.  And the stone hasn't fallen out.

It's a simple silver ring with a gemstone set in a silver mount.

And I am ridiculously pleased with it.



 



The ring shank is made with a chunky piece of silver that I have hammered, so that it's textured.

The mount is plain, smooth silver.

The stone is a type of jasper, I think.







I haven't taken it off since I finished it.







One very long-standing personal ambition achieved.

Yay!

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

After reading my blog post last week, my lovely friend Ange told me she had something I might like to read.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

I read it a few years ago and liked it.  And this week, I read it again.  It meant something different the second time around.

It's powerful stuff.




Australian Ballet Company





If you're not familiar with the poem, here it is:



The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me which planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. 
I want to know if you can sit with the pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer




I think this is a beautiful poem.  And I think I'd like to be the kind of person who can accept Oriah Mountain Dreamer's Invitation.

So, perhaps it's time for me to find out what I ache for, to see if I dare to dream of my heart's longing, or can risk looking the fool for love, for my dream, for the adventure of being alive.  It's time to see if I can sit with my own pain or yours without moving to hide it or fix it.  It's time to see if I can be with my own joy or yours.  To find out if I can see beauty, say "Yes!" to life, and do what needs to be done even when I am weary with despair.  I want to know if I can stand in the centre of the fire with you and not shrink back.  I want to know what sustains me from the inside when all falls away.  I want to know if I can be alone with myself, and like the company I keep.

No pressure then.

I've got my goggles on and plenty of ready salted crisps to hand.  I'm going in.  Gulp.  Wish me luck.




P.S.  Thanks Ange.

Creative Thinking

Hello again.

I'm sorry I haven't been around for the past ten days or so.  But something a little bit strange has been happening.

Over the past few months since starting on this creative journey, I have changed.  And it's been good change.  I have felt a new part of me unfurl, and that has been interesting, surprising, and fun.

I've had a bit of a struggle sometimes on this blog to know how much of my private world to share.  Too much information seems a bit uncomfortable for me and possibly for other people too.  And I've always tended towards the less is more approach (unless that applies to red shoes).  The whisper is louder than the shout way of looking at life (unless you eat the last cake).  I'm a pretty private kind of gal.

So I've tended not to post for a few days if I'm going through a bit of a "thinking" part of being creative.  I've tended to wait until I've made something new, and have posted about that.  But I have to tell you that this creative journey got a bit intense recently.  And I've been umming and aahing around whether to share it with you or not.  

And again, because I'm an in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound kind of a gal (and also because I can't hold my own water, no matter how private I tend to be) I'm going to share.  Whether you want me to or not.




Wild flowers near my home.



It's nine months now since I started this creative journey, nine months since I started this blog.  And I began by trying out new ways for me to be creative.  Baking, sewing, drawing, knitting.  I spent time thinking about how I was feeling and what I wanted to make.  It was fun.  I found that I had skills I didn't know I had.

Then I found myself wanting to change my external environment.  I wanted my home to reflect who I was, and I wanted to include in my home things that I had made.  So I spent time changing how my home looked, adding fairy lights, bunting, the odd rag doll or two.

Then decided I wanted to change how I looked to reflect who I was.  I stared dying my hair red.  Wearing big, floppy bows in my hair.  My style changed.  I bought bright purple baseball boots.  I ditched the black and found myself wearing pink, red, stripes, dots.  And I tucked away my black messenger bag, and bought myself a flowery oil cloth tote.  I'd never felt more me.

Then over the past few weeks something started to happen.

I've learned new things, I've changed my environment, I've changed my style.  Where next?




More wild flowers near my home.



And then before I knew what was happening.  Before I'd had time to strap myself in and turn on the "I Have No Idea What's Coming" sign.  Well, that's when I started asking myself the Big Questions. 

And we all know...  When you take the lid off those boxes you haven't opened in a while...  Well...  No good can come from that.

At least not straight away.

These were the doosies that I found myself mulling over...

What kind of person do I want to be?

What kind of life do I want to create?

Am I happy?

What do I need to bring into my life so that I can be the kind of person I want to be, live the kind of life I want to live, and be happy?

How do I get from Here to There?

You can imagine the result.

Yes.

It's been ugly.

There have been times, I'll admit, where I have sat, mouth open, with the silence ringing in my ears, looking generally stunned and confused. Every once in a while putting the kettle on to drown my sorrows in warm, sugary tea.  Muttering gently under my breath.  Tumble weeds rolling softly across my lounge floor as the clock ticked. 

My cats have been forced to throw themselves at my feet, clutching at their stomachs and pointing with their paws to their mouths, in a bid to get me to fling some food their way.

Yes, it's been ugly. 

It took more sugary tea than I'd expected.  And more packets of ready salted crisps than I thought it would.  But they're a winning combination to bring me through most instances of emotional Poking Around With a Big Stick.  And I'm out the other end.  My cats are well-fed.  I've washed my hair.  And I'm back.

With some answers to my questions.  And that feels good.

I thought when I started this creative journey that it would be all about the art and craft.  Making Things.  The external stuff of life.  I had no idea this whole commitment to creativity would be such a powerful internal journey.  Creative thinking.  Who knew?

Secret Gardens

I bloomin' love flowers.

And last week the village nearby had its "Secret Gardens" festival.  And people who also bloomin' love flowers, opened their gardens for complete strangers to tramp through.

It was marvelous.

So my Significant Other and I went.  And I took my camera. 

It felt a little bit invasive and rude to be wandering around someone else's garden, photographing their flowers.  These gardens were intimate.  Part of someone's home.  A testament to hard work and retirement.  It felt a bit like wandering around a complete stranger's house photographing their wallpaper.  Only, well, we were outside in their garden.  But the owners were smiling and welcoming.  They had little badges on saying "I'm the owner".  And I wasn't escorted off the premises after getting up close and personal with their tulips, so I figured it was all ok.

There were people looking through windows into the garden owners' homes.  Sneaking a peak at their kitchens.  Their choice of furniture.  It was very inappropriate.  And, when I say "people", I mean me. 

So, I whipped out my camera, and after asking if it was ok to invade the owners privacy further by taking pictures, I let myself loose on the flora at large.











































 
A huge thank you to the garden owners for their generosity.  I very much appreciated taking a look at their beautiful blooms.

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