Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Really must post more often!

Hallo lovelies!
I can't believe I leave things so long before I blog- time just runs away with me these days it seems!
But here I am again with things to share with you so that is good!
Life round here has been crazy busy lately.  In September I celebrated my 40th birthday - I was amazingly blessed! My hubby took me away for the weekend before my actual birthday, to a beautiful hotel in Worcestershire. We spent a lovely afternoon having ice cream by the canal, I bought a funky pair of red boots and we had a great meal out in the evening. The next day was spent in Stratford Upon Avon before returning to pick up the kids from our amazing neighbours round the corner who had looked after them for the weekend! Thank you, great friends!

Hubby and me by the canal

Our gorgeous hotel break

Mustn't forget my funky boots!!

I spent my actual birthday with my best friend, Emily having lunch and a mooch around a butterfly Farm/ Garden Centre near Swindon and she blessed me so much with her generosity of heart in the birthday gifts she gave me!!! (We were so busy having a lovely time that I forgot to take a photo of enjoying ourselves!!)
My celebrating was topped off with a shopping trip to Cardiff  a week later with my church besties and a meal out with some of  my school mum friends!
I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful friends to share this journey of life with! Love you all ladies! xox

Since then I have been progressing with my painting and getting work ready for a Christian Art Festival in Cheltenham next year as well as being accepted as one of the artists selling work in a newly opened Arts and Craft shop in Cheltenham! The shop opened last Tuesday and I am excited to see where this will take me! 

My space in the new shop!

Art work aside, we also have two new additions to the family as my daughter asked for some guinea pigs for her birthday this year!  So we are all getting used to the little fellows being a part of our family! I can truly say that life is full! Full, but good!

Well cooking tea calls so I shall say bye for now!  Will try not to leave it too long before my next post!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

Hello Lovelies!

Well, that's the end of the summer break then! We had a busy 6 weeks but with lots of fun too-visiting family and friends, days out, days in, late nights, late was lovely. I am so grateful for the job my hubby has as a Teacher because it means that we can all spend quality time with each other during the holidays especially while the kids are young. Having him around makes for some super memories together!

On top of that this summer I was able to stay more creative than in previous summer holidays and have been working on the holiday face challenge that I set myself at the beginning of the break. I made sure I didn't pressure myself into unrealistic goals, but managed to do 14 faces over the 6 weeks-just over 2 a week! I am chuffed! I have always said that I need to be totally on my own to get creative, and although I did nip out into my art room on occasions to draw, I am super pleased that I managed to get so many ideas into my sketchbook with the family around. And I have decided to keep the challenge going for myself as it its good practice to keep on practicing! :-) Here's a peak of some of my faces. (My friend Emily also joined in with the challenge and you can see two of her sketches at the top.) I have really enjoyed setting myself this goal, and was extra pleased that Emily joined in too! I wonder how long it will take me to fill up the sketchbook! Now that's a challenge!

I have been thinking of how to progress with my artwork and have been coming up with some possible ideas too...more on that soon! Hope you are all well and that you have had a great Summer.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 20 July 2015

The Summer Holidays have arrived!

Hello Lovelies! 

I can't quite believe that the Summer has arrived! It only seems like yesterday that my eldest was starting at Secondary School and here we are at the end of the first year already! I know I have been busy, but time does seem to have flown by!

I always seem to find it rather tricky  to fit creativity into the Summer break as there are lots of things to do, and 3 kids to keep occupied, but I have set myself a mini challenge this time round to see if it helps me to continue with my creative process as well as enjoying the kids being at home.
So! I have decided to try and keep a sketchbook of face designs over the break-exploring and developing my whimsy faces. The sketchbook is fairly small so I am not giving myself a huge task to achieve each time, but I am going to try and carve a bit of time every week to keep my creativity flowing.

Funnily enough, it seems to have already helped me to keep my focus!  Because I haven't 'written off' being creative in my head I have taken quite a few photos of things that have inspired me over the last few days, which has also been lovely! 

So there's my plan! I have finished my first face, so that's a good start! Let's see how many faces I can create in the next six weeks! You are very welcome to join me on this challenge too! Would be fantastic to see how you get on! :-)

Hope you all have a joy filled summer break!

challenge no.1 18.7.15

Friday, 19 June 2015

Here and now Joy

Hello Lovelies!

Today's devotional reading in Ann Voskamp's book 'One Thousand Gifts' struck a chord with me.
It reads "As long as thanks is possible then joy is possible." 

I find it so easy to get tossed about by things which alter my state of joy. I find I can move from being satisfied and happy with life one minute to being frustrated and fed up the next-all in a matter of minutes-just because something has shifted the perception of my world from feeling 'all is well' to 'nothing is right and it's all a mess!' 

But if what Ann says is true, then when I thank-when I choose to thank, then I can experience and live in joy, because joy is always possible when I thank. If I slow down to see it; to search high and low for it if I have to, it can be found, in the here and now.

What a challenge this is! But a fruitful challenge which will result in a renewed sense of wonder and thankfulness for the celebration of our daily lives; for the celebration of Today!

So I will remind myself: Be thankful, and celebrate Today.

Have a lovely weekend.

Adorned in beauty

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

I Choose Joy.

Hello Lovelies!

It feels like I am letting life pass me by so quickly these days and I am forgetting to be thankful for the little things.
So today I choose joy, in naming the things I am thankful to my Maker for:

*  Today
*  Strawberry slices and rocket leaves
*  Squirty cream into open mouths
*  A growing boy!
*  Beads and wool in the hands of a creative girl
*  The pre teen in his uniform
*  Coming together in prayer
*  Hubby eating breakfast
*  Togetherness in the morning
*  The little one still needing hugs
*  Turning round to wave goodbye at the school gate
*  Brother and sister walking into school together

So small and yet so Big! And my heart is fuller because of them!

Have a beautiful day all.


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Building a Brand

Hello Lovelies!
Wow! I hear you say! Two blog posts in one month! A miracle! :o) 
I am just so excited at the moment and I wanted to share with you! I have been thinking about branding a bit lately, when my friend posted a photo on Instagram of a new book which she thought I might be interested in~'How to style your Brand' by Fiona Humberstone. Anyone read it? What do you think? Anyway I became aware that maybe this is what I need to hear at the moment!

I was tidying up a drawer yesterday, and came across an old birthday card. The words just went straight into me! Inside it also said: "You make a difference just by being you, and you are a blessing to all who are touched by your life." How beautiful is that?!!

Reading this just lifted my heart and I caught a glimpse of how we can enrich peoples' lives by being ourselves and loving them!
A quote on Facebook posted by another friend, and by Catherine of Sienna, also spoke to me, adding weight to the card from yestersday: "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!" 
(Isn't it amazing how these things all come together, and when God wants you to know something, He manages to get through to you from all different places? It's all starting to add up, excitingly!)
I was tidying (again!) in the kitchen and found some notes from a video from Art Agent Lilia Rogers a few months back. and after reading the notes I made I just felt I wanted to share them with you to encourage you! 

So here goes: (Please note that this information is a response to the comments that Lilia Rogers spoke on her video)

We already have our own unique brand inside us. Because we are all unique we already have our own tastes, likes and dislikes, preferences and favourites, whether it be colours, shapes, styles we like, patterns we are drawn to, types of people we spend time with etc. We already have that inside us. Branding is about discovering that uniqueness and letting the world see it! And the whole point about us being unique is that our art expression won't be the same any anyone else's! Yes, we have influences, but when it comes down to it, our own style needs to come from who we are individually, not from copying someone else's style. We need to be brave and show the world ourselves! For we are beautiful and creative and that is what the world needs to see!

Our art is to become a reflection of the unique brand and style that already exists inside us! There is much to learn by embarking on the journey that unveils what is special inside us, and releasing that to the world. we need to allow ourselves to be 'me'' outside and on canvas as well as inside!

We need to own what makes us special. What is it that makes me-'Me'? Can I start to choose imagery in my art which is individual to me and expresses how I view the world, and incorporate that into my work? These then become part of my work and my message from the heart. 

Once we have found our voice and imagery in our work, the next step is to be brave in stepping out and expressing that to others. That's the scary bit! But also the exciting bit! We will not know where our unique brand and style will lead us, but that's part of the journey~seeing where our brave, amazing uniqueness will take us; who we will meet, who we can share our story with and how we can impact and encourage others to find their own beauty in their work and so tell their story too!

I hope you have been encouraged by my thoughts! Have a blessed day! You are awesome!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Keep on Journeying.

Hello Lovelies! Isn't time flying by as always! It has been a while since my last post and our Art Exhibition! I am thrilled to say that it went very well, with lots of lovely feedback and some great contacts made for future events which is very exciting!

Life is crazy around here as always, and juggling family, home and artwork is a fragile balance! It has taken me a while to get back into painting since the show, due to the Easter Break (which we spent in DISNEYLAND PARIS!!!!!It was sooo good!!) and the fact that I was feeling rather burnt out from putting all the time and effort into preparing and making work and having the exhibition. I forgot how much emotional energy goes into doing these things!

Thankfully I have got my inspiration and motivation back and am so thrilled with my latest beautiful girl!!  She is now my favourite!!!Maybe its due to the place from which she emerged~from me learning that as I let go and open up my heart again to letting Love flow and heal, I am fuelled again to carry on!

Loving the journey-(even the bits I am out of my comfort zone) is so hard to do sometimes isn't it?!

I have also some really exciting news too-I have contacted a printer who can print my images onto a range of products!!! Soooo excited!!! So far, we are in the preliminary stages, but once I have figured out which designs and products to use, I will be stocking them in my Shop and on my Facebook page!!! So watch this space!!! So excited!!!

Thanks for stopping by! Stay inspired!

Love and Beauty surrounded her
Samples of my artwork on products!!! Eeek!
And me, modelling my bag!!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Finding joy.

Hello lovelies! Just a little post today. Things are rather crazy round here lately as I am working hard getting my final pieces of work done for our exhibition! So on this cold, grey day, just remember the beauty all around as you do whatever you are doing today! You are awesome!!!


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Onwards and Upwards

Hello lovelies! I hope you are enjoying the first glimpses of Spring that we have been experiencing lately!  I am very thankful for washing on the line this morning! 

So, what's been happening round here lately?

Well! Since my last post on setting goals, I have bought myself a week-by-week diary to help me stay intentional in my young art business. I seem to find it so easy to lose time in the week if I haven't got a specific idea of what needs to be achieved, and more often than not, I can end up doing the things I LIKE TO DO rather than doing the things I NEED TO DO! So writing down the tasks that need to be done-setting the goals for each day seems to be helping me. (And the fact that the diary is a very cute and colourful design is a bonus, of course!)

So, Brave action not procrastination!
I have found that at the moment I have both my art tasks and my home tasks on the same planner which then helps me not to forget the family events/tasks that are just as important as the creative things!!! (Just in case I get carried away with painting!!!)

Planning with the birds!

This is also going to help me with my next exciting news! A group of friends and I are putting together our very first Art Exhibition at our Church venue in March! We are so excited about this as it is the first time we have organised an event like this from scratch. So we are all working hard to get our work ready for the Private View on Sunday 22nd from 2-4pm. 

Everyone is welcome so if you are in the area do pop in and say hi! We would love to see you!

Our very own Art Exhibition!
One thing in getting together with my friends to plan the exhibition, I have found it to be very encouraging for me personally. I am happy to spend the day painting on my own, but at the times when I am feeling disheartened or lacking in motivation, it has been so good to chat and share ideas and suggestions with folk who are like-minded. It all helps to re energize and spur us on! 

On a totally different note- I saw these strawberry tops the other day- don't they look like an interesting kind of flower??!! 
Or maybe it's just me! 
But I am going to have to do a bit of drawing/doodling methinks!

Til next time! Keep on keeping on!
Flowery strawberries!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Grateful for Goals

A little while ago I bought a ecourse from the very talented artist Paulette Insall as I wanted to develop the faces of the ladies I depict in my paintings. It was one of my goals in the new year to make time to actually complete the series of sessions and I am so glad I did!  Paulette shows so many simple yet really effective tips and techniques in the course and even after completing just one portrait using her suggestions, I am so happy with the results! I can see the development in my style already!! So, huge thanks to Paulette! You are an inspiration!

I really enjoyed creating this piece. It took longer to look 'right' to me than some of my previous pieces, but I kept on working into it until I was happy with it. I especially loved using the inks to add drips and spray, and also my own handmade flower stamp in the background. I am amazed at how different the final piece looks to the start-the three birds were actually flowers in the beginning! And I love that the words look like they are being spoken by the bird! Happy accidents turning into beauty!

And am really loving too the sense of my paintings really being from a place of personal symbolism too-it is MY message to the world! My story! And I so love that!

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Wooden Wings and a Dress on a Canvas.

My friend Jo came up to me the other day and asked me if I would like a pair of wooden wings she was getting rid of.  Of course the answer was a 'yes!' as I love wings! I wasn't sure where I would put these wings but I was sure I would find somewhere perfect! 

Over the weekend we celebrated my Father in Law's 80th birthday in Stratford. The family had booked a beautiful house for the weekend and we all had a lovely time.  The house itself is owned by  photographer, Danielle King and apart from being a gorgeous house, what struck me most was the artwork she had displayed round the house. It bought such personality to the home and really made an impression on me- I want the artwork I create to make an impression on the people who view it too!
So, today I am thankful for:
*Family gatherings
*Cousins playing
*Wooden wings
*Creative inspiration
*The courage to experiment and to make a statement

My wooden wings

Friday, 9 January 2015

Unspeakable Joy.

'Joy! Unspeakable joy!
An overflowing well no tongue can tell
Joy! Unspeakable joy!
Rises in my soul never lets me go...'

The chorus of a Christmas Carol we sang this Christmas has stuck with me in this new year. In my quest for being thankful for all the gifts God gives us daily I am amazed at how the act of being purposefully thankful does indeed stir up joy within me.
So even this morning I looked a little harder at the start of the day and I thank. Joy rises up. And I thank again:

* My 5 year old exuberance and crazy love of life
*Giving of time to people instead of just rushing past
*Blue sky and cream clouds
*A bird flying past the window
*Writing down my thanks
*Pen and ink flowing across the page

I hope you have a joy filled day today!