Swerving onto a different path.

Actually it’s more like a u-turn.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks beginning to get to know the latest inner me, in an effort to understand what I really want to get out of life and what kind of better human I’d like to become.  More than once I have actually found myself sitting cross-legged, silently communing with the Universe (a fact the younger me would have mercilessly ripped the piss out of!).  But it’s all really helped, so as much as I’d like to, I’m not taking the piss out of myself this time.

It’s OK, I’m not going to blather on about my findings (you can breathe a sigh of relief now) but the upshot is that for the moment I don’t really have any specific use for this blog (another sigh of relief!).  I’m off to chase my heart’s desire now that I know (some of) what that is.  And luckily for you it isn’t really something that I want to document here.  I’m keeping the blog up for now just in case I want to use it in the future.  The shop will remain open for the foreseeable, but there will be changes in content a little further down the road.

New opportunities have come my way and things are really looking up.  At long last it’s time to break down some of the protective barriers I’ve spent my life building around my self – I don’t need them anymore – they’ve been holding me back and now I’m breaking out of my comfort zone.

See you around here from time to time, take care and be happy  :)

Lazy Sunday

almost finished ankhs

Ah this is the life: sitting in a toasty-warm, sun-filled studio, coffee in hand and the firm intention to do very little with the day.  All my weekend chores are done and now I can be a lazy as I want.  And I WANT.

Yesterday, in an unexpected burst of energy, I finished beading the felt Ankhs and now I just have to sew the fronts to the backs (a boring job best left for weekday mornings).  So today seems like the perfect day to break out the watercolour paints once more and make the most of this beautiful winter sunshine.  I may even venture outside into the freezing cold and get some much needed vitamin D (though the neighbours had better watch out as I’m having a make-up free day too – eeeek!).

Sundays are fast becoming my favourite day of the week.

Spring

daffs

OK I know it’s not Spring yet, but it already looks like Spring in the studio.  It’s part of my drive to be more positive.  Instead of complaining about the snow we’ve been having, I bought Spring flowers to brighten up the place.  It helps me concentrate on the coming season instead of the doom and gloom of February.  And you know, I think it’s working.  Who could be miserable faced with this burst of happy yellow?

I haven’t much else to say really and you know why?  Yes, that’s right – I’ve been really bloody lazy!  As much as I’ve been positive about the snow, there is no denying that mere sight of it brings out the hibernation in me.  Each evening has been spent curled up with hot chocolate, a glowing fire and a purring cat.  I’ve done absolutely nothing but watch whole series of comedy programs to keep my spirits up.  I’m watching all the stuff that my brother and I loved and often watched together.  I like to think that he is there with me, watching it over my shoulder, throwing back his head and letting out his roaring, hearty laugh once more.

I’ve got a feeling the weekend might entail more of the same, but once in a while you’ve just got to surrender to the cosy.

Where I’m at

So January came and went and thank heavens for that.  January contained the 1st anniversary of my brother’s loss.  It’s OK I’m not going to bang on about it here because to be honest I haven’t really analysed my feelings yet.  I’m just going to continue to take one day at a time and keep the promise we made to him – to be OK in his absence.  Actually the family all decided we’d do better than to just be OK without him, we’d do all we could to make him proud of how much we’d done to improve every aspect of our lives.  I know he would love that we’ve come so far already.

crow card blog pic

I’ve been working hard on things for the shop although somehow I have little to show for it at this stage (I’ve done my usual trick of starting loads of stuff and finishing hardly anything).  I did finish the crow card that I started last week and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.  It started out very cartoon-y, went through a kind of strange knackered-pigeon phase but finally ended up as another of the tribal style animals, which is what I was originally aiming for.  I love his kind of awkward pose and it has set of an idea for more similarly awkwardly posed animals, to make a series of 4 (more on that another time).

It’s the sewing table that’s causing me the most problems, as usual.  I’ve got so many projects on the go and really need to get them finished.  The trouble with the sewing projects is that I always lose interest in them part way through.  I think it’s probably because they are so time-consuming and you can be sewing away for hours and still not see much of a difference in the project.  Still, it has to be done because I have that mountain of felt to use up.  So no more moaning and a lot more sewing.

ankhs blog pic

The felt Ankhs have just gone through the boring stages and are now ready for the creative part, so hopefully that will pep me up enough to get them finished this coming week.  They’re already looking like they are going to be a really good product but I have to resist the temptation to make any more of them just yet – repetition is the enemy after all and I’ve got so many other ideas to get through.  Despite my love of all things dark, my imagination keeps coming up with colourful, fluffy, happy-looking designs.  I guess that’s just my subconscious keeping me in the light long enough to heal.  So who am I to fight it?  Light and fluffy it is then!

Happy February :)

Catching Up

crow beginnings

So relieved.  Last night, after months of the now customary procrastination, I decided to get everything together for my tax return, ready to wade through it in the next few days.  But it didn’t turn out that way.  As soon as I’d found all the paperwork I just decided to go for it.  Less than an hour later I pressed “send” and that was my tax return done for another year – a full 6 days before the final deadline.  OK so it’s still rather last minute-ish but I can’t believe I didn’t take the opportunity to procrastinate further – just like I did all the previous years.  I guess this new attitude of tackling things now and not wasting time really is starting to sink in.

I felt so light and fluffy when the weight of the tax return had lifted off my shoulders that I decided, in celebration, to begin a new character I’ve had in mind for a while now.  Hopefully the crow (above in his earliest stages) will join the rest of the tribal-looking greeting card characters by this weekend.

The latest greeting cards have already been added to the shop, but to be honest that didn’t take a lot of work on my part.  Most of the designs had already appeared in my shop as postcards and therefore just needed the descriptions copying and tweaking a little.  I have to say though, they look bloody fabulous as cards.  I loved them as glossy postcards but I think the slight satin finish of the greeting cards suits their bold designs even more.  Who’d have thought that a change in varnish would make such a difference?  Actually that’s EXACTLY the sort of thing that I should already have thought/cared about, as a designer with over 20 years experience.  Oops.  OK, I confess, details like that have always bored the t*ts off me in my day job!  :)

No excuses

desk mess blog pic

This weekend I’ve felt really under the weather.  Everyone around me seems to have had a horrible flu-like cold over the last 6 weeks or so and I’m the only person I know who hasn’t had it.  But I’ve been feeling really off-colour lately but with no specific symptoms.  I just feel really drained.  BUT…that has not stopped me working away this last couple of days and really getting my act together.  The more crap I’ve felt, the harder I’ve worked.  Nothing is going to get in the way of my new-found enthusiasm, so the flu germs can just p*** off!

I’m currently working on a diverse array of projects and I’ve had to go everywhere with a notebook and pen because new ideas are just flowing.  I’m in a great place.  I’ve listed a couple of the new bits in the shop as planned and I’m just about to return to the work table.  I’ve loaded all the embroidery hoops with new stuff to be worked on whenever I have a spare moment in the week, but mostly I’m going to be concentrating on new drawings and paper cuts.  The sun today is glorious despite the sub-zero temperatures and life is feeling pretty bloody terrific.  I’ve got a warm cat on my knee and a piping hot coffee in my hand, so now I just need to dose myself up with paracetamol and I’m good to go.  Happy Sunday!

Panic is the mother of invention

cards group

A colleague and I regularly daydream about getting made redundant (note to anyone who thinks we are making light of a horrible situation – we’ve both been there before and know that in reality it’s a really scary thing).  It’s a useful exercise to make us keep our skills and CVs up to date, plus we both hate our jobs and need the entertainment!  But just recently things at work seem to be changing and neither of us would be surprised if our daydream became reality soon.  We may be wrong, but it really has made me stop and think what the hell I’d do to pay the rent if my job here did indeed go tits-up (that, right there, has to be one of my favourite expressions ever!).

All joking aside, the first thing I would do if the boss told me he had to “let me go” would be to bluff it out and pretend I didn’t give a shit about his poxy job anyway (being ever so mature like that!).  The second thing I would do (figuratively speaking) is completely shit myself.  I’m a live-for-now kind of girl and don’t really do that whole planning for the future business.  It’s time I did.  So I’ve decided to start acting as if redundancy is just around the corner and sort out my finances and my career.  I need to provide myself with a little safety net, just in case.

With that in mind I’ve decided to get cracking with the artwork in all its guises.  I have the perfect means to make money – the shop – if only I’d get off the fence, stop dithering about over its future and actually commit to it.  So this little commitment phobe has been forced (by way of possible impending doom) to get a lot more work in the shop, REGULARLY.  As an interim measure, I’ve just ordered some more greetings cards in a mix of old and new designs (mostly adapting the postcard designs that people have been requesting as greeting cards) and hope to finish some of my felt pieces this weekend.  I’ve got a list of new ideas as long as your arm and they’re still coming thick and fast.  It’s kind of exciting.  Bloody hell, I really should panic more often.