Archive for the 'Adventures' Category

Sail your way on Patreon….

Image courtesy of Pixabay (danielbuescher)

Many times lately my eyes have crossed in confusion and forehead lines have deepened, as I hit the trail of ‘indie’ publishing. There is an abundance of information out there because (as many of you have discovered) it is not enough to write a book, you also have to learn how to promote and craft its wings.

Blessings are plentiful in the wonderful Global Village we all share here, the Twitter community, Facebook groups and kind authors who have trodden the independent publishing path. There are so many avenues available and I have chosen a few, and hopefully, to flow without getting overwhelmed. This seems wise as crevice like facial lines are not a good look at any age!

My unicorn buddy Debby Gies shared a helpful post on Writer’s Tips and that led me to the generous Deborah Jay, who shares her personal writing wisdom and knowledge gained from different writer’s conferences. Deborah wrote about merchandising and mentioned building a community at Patreon. My technical saviour Grandfathersky also mentioned Patreon a few weeks ago. Two mentions and I take it as a sign to research it. Patreon offers creatives a platform to showcase their work, where tiered benefits are offered to people who kindly become patrons to support your work. So, I’ve done it and made my progress transparent, so that anyone can see how I am faring on there.

Three things have become crystal clear to me lately and one is to be myself as I sail along, whilst holding deep gratitude for others’ generosity and to also keep things as simple as possible. ❤

Writing on Water…

My bank of dreams has held a precious one for over forty years and during the last few months I have been getting up early to sit and write. A loving friend Pete (grandfathersky) suggested I put a board up on my wall, so I could pin all the ideas and titles for the pieces I was writing. He had the feeling it would all come together in that way and he was right.

Over the past few months, as I sat creating with my sewing, an inner drive to reach out and offer practical support to others grew. The dream became more than writing and it evolved into offering a service uniquely tailored to individual needs. Over the years I have held various training and therapy roles under different corporate umbrellas and I now wish to do it in my natural style. I felt by writing a series of books in an open and heartfelt way, that others in need would feel ‘seen’ and able to ask for support.

Pete (grandfathersky) stepped in and formatted the chapters for me and dug me out of a few technical holes, for which I am so grateful. I was in such a pickle that I was tempted to eat my own body weight in chocolate and his encouraging suggestions came from the heart and were ‘spot on’. ❤

So, here I am with my first eBook published on Lulu:

Writing on Water; Self-awareness

With a web site to support it

Jane Sturgeon

Dreams…

Over thirty years ago, far away in Johannesburg, I watched my sister in law carve a headboard for their home out of wood. She had been to a workshop and was hooked, admitting that it was addictive as she found herself staying up into the wee hours carving after her family had long gone to bed. This memory took root and became a dream.

Over the years I spotted classes and courses, and when life gifted a gap, I signed up only to have them cancelled because not enough people were interested. Various creatives have offered to teach me in exchange for paintings and other creativity and for a multitude of reasons, their promises disappeared on the wind.

A few years ago I met a lovely lady called Marie, who weaves basketry in a shared studio not far from here, called The Wellington Road Art Studios and we stayed in touch. I had an email from Marie recently and she invited me to join them for a workshop with her talented woodcarver friend Jo. I didn’t hesitate and on Saturday we all had a magic day.

Jo is a gifted carver and a natural teacher. The peace of the studios gave us a foundation to create and Jo’s gentle encouragement and knowledge soon had us absorbed. Nothing is a mistake to Jo and wood can be carved around anything to restore balance. ‘I’ve lost my stem’ I called out, as my chisel removed an important piece of the ivy I was practising on. ‘Nothing is a mistake, Jane’ Jo soothed as she showed me how to carve down and raise it up again. When you are carving all else falls away, even the constant mind chatter. Feeling neglected at one point my mind chirped up with something I had forgotten to do that day and I found myself saying ‘Shhhhhh, later’ as I went back to carving the undulations on my dragon’s wings.

A heartfelt thanks to Jo for her loving care, Marie for sharing her space, the kindred spirits I created with and the moments that birthed a long-awaited dream. It was a gift to do something for the sheer joy of it and I loved every second. ❤

Love Restoration

Doris modelling re-purposed jeans and fabric from various dresses

The pull to go quiet could not be ignored a while ago as a wealth of change rolled in. I was not managing to wrap myself around everything that was calling for attention.

Hitting the pause button carved out some space. I didn’t try to make anything happen, as I just let myself be. I found peace in leaning into the discomfort of change and not knowing immediately what to do to ‘fix’ it. Who says things always have to be ‘fixed’?

Many moons ago, back in the eighties, I used to make clothing for friends from a vague idea, or a strand of conversation. Then I forgot that I loved doing that.

Recently, I was searching for a creative workshop that a friend and I could do together, as her birthday pressie. I came across one re-purposing clothes, but it was fully booked. I went to bed that night and had a dream about the things I used to make. Waking up excited, I started to explore the idea and it came together effortlessly. I already had a sewing machine, my dining table is now a work bench and I have years of stored threads, ribbons, buttons and my Granny’s old sewing basket. As soon as I mentioned this to my birthday friend she lent me her dressmaker’s dummy, who was immediately nicknamed Doris. The re-cycling contacts that have been established with my de-cluttering business were delighted to be of use and I simply started to create clothes. My friend asked to come here for her birthday, so we could be together and knit. Cake was involved and it was lovely. ❤

I find myself waking up with designs and ideas in my head.

Internet research and some experimentation with different platforms led me to open an eBay shop. Another dream gifted me the idea of taking the photographs on our roof terrace with The Mersey and Liverpool as a backdrop.

This name seemed perfect…

I can step back from taking on new de-cluttering clients now and spend some days creating, whilst still flowing with loving family care and my existing clients.

Happy days, as I’m just off to edge a jacket. The edge was an old blouse of mine, but as I took it out the wardrobe I thought ‘Ohhh, that would make a perfect edge for the jacket I picked up the other day.’ Then I reached for my scissors. I will end up going out dressed, but only just!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/loverestoration

The tide still runs…

Gosh, getting the hang of the new WP editor is fun (not!!). Sometimes change for change’s sake, at other times because life flows in the unexpected.

A few months ago my phone rang on a Sunday morning and Dad said ‘We’re in trouble, can you come?’ My mum was lying in the back yard with a broken hip and wrist.

What flowed from that was a steep learning curve for all of us, with moments of loving grace, sharpness from ‘front line’ living, organisation, getting to grips with new social terminology, healing, care, the kindness of strangers and keeping the ship afloat. All bonded together with fear, resistance to change, quick decisions, prayers and love.

We’re several months down the road and a new routine has emerged. Mum is healing well (down to her indomitable spirit), Dad is less fearful yet poorly, support is in place and I have returned to my home, with regular visits back to flow care. Mum and I ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’ and cherish our teamwork. ❤

The tide still runs outside the house I call home as I pick up the threads of my life and business. Grateful for this peaceful space and treasured friends, who flow with unquestioning love and support.

As I go back into my clients’ homes I find myself asking the question ‘What do you need now?’ The answers have been varied and surprising. Two lovely souls needed help rediscovering the love of their homes, with each home as different as they are. We’ve had fun planning, exploring in local DIY stores and experimenting. The things we’ve purchased on-line have gifted the most fun. I found myself holding some beautiful dolphin decals yesterday , looking at my client and commenting ‘Gosh, maybe we ought to have checked the measurements!’ They are now leaping across her bathroom window and loo seat, raising smiles for all who need her bathroom.

It’s been a sign of discovery for me. ❤

Loving roots manifest…..

The phone has started to ring for my new venture and not one call has been for cleaning. Most calls start with ‘Hello Jane, can you……?’ and the requests are for help with de-cluttering; sifting, sorting and creating calm in their homes, for all sorts of reasons and happenings. My heart is touched that folk feel safe to share their vulnerability.

Things are brought back to my happy bubble and I am selling on anything of use to others. Then in turn passing on clothing and accessories to my aqua buddy, who runs a second hand clothing shop. Anything else not obviously saleable is going to my buddy down the road, who runs a house clearance service and shop. He has been there for years and often helps those in difficulties with gifts for their homes. He gifted me some tins with lids, and with a named tape (and heart) on the handle of each one, they sit on my shelf to collect the abundance for my clients as their things sell.

It’s all community based and as I returned home yesterday I felt full of loving gratitude. The people I am meeting, love, stories and laughter we are sharing, hard graft, fresh air, support of loved ones and buddies and loving roots manifesting. I thought I would be cleaning, but life had another purpose and I am loving how this is growing. ❤

‘Sploring…..

Mum, Dad and I headed off to Anglesey, an island off the North Welsh coast, for a week recently. A thoughtfully equipped bungalow, nestling above a beautiful bay, gave us a cosy foundation and we had a grand week ‘sploring.

We were on the east coast of the island and the peace there is unique. Friends from North Wales came to visit and we also visited friends who live there (lucky souls). No SatNav in the car was a gift, because with much laughter and lots of ‘How about going left, or right?’ at different junctions, gave our ‘sploring a magical touch.

Dad got to rip it up on his scooter on various promenades and he went steam train riding with a buddy. Mum, a friend and I discovered a wonderful knitting shop in a tiny fishing village, where it’s possible we covered her takings for the day. We had ice creams, yummy meals and a memorable lunch by a lake in the middle of nowhere. Mum and I went beach combing, collecting treasures for my creations. Farms, bays, a lighthouse, little islands, estuaries full of yachts and boats and happy pausing places for coffee and hot chocolate were discovered along the way.

We had time together creating heart memories and that is the greatest gift. ❤ Our 'sploring added a different dimension to it all! ❤



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