Since 1895, Haford Hardware Store has been a family run business in Mid-Wales. Business is steady, yet they battle competition from the internet and large chain stores.
Their family Christmas video is pure joy. ❤ Thanks, Mum for telling me about it. ❤
I saw an oldie but goodie this morning and it made me chuckle. Thank you, Debby and Sally. ❤
Women are angels and when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly, on a broomstick. We’re flexible like that!
Yesterday I played hookey and went with lovely friends to visit a wonderful converted old mill in Flintshire, North Wales, where all the stone buildings are filled with yarn, fabrics and craft supplies. There is also a restaurant selling yummy homemade food on-site, which will not come as a surprise to any of you.
The day was filled with support for each other while we chose the things we needed for future projects, bounced ideas around and at times were bent double with laughter. Plus, there was a sale on, so the bargains we found were a bonus.
Welsh rarebit for lunch added to the wind beneath our wings.
We ended the day sharing coffee and lemon drizzle cake back home in the conservatory of a clever lady who creates animals from her imagination that make you go ‘Ohhh, will you look at that!’ Her lovely buddy sparkled as she talked about the things they used to make together and it was obvious how these two souls have been the wind under each other’s wings for many years.
Today I had a tricky situation that flowed through my morning. Before I would have gone quiet, internalised it, hashed it about, stewed on it and made myself feel thoroughly ‘Yuk’. The re-vamped me reached out to my buddies and they flowed their wind under my wings. I managed to maintain a calm exterior, stop anything inciteful from leaving my mouth, handled it and stayed in my space of grace. The soul with a tendency to dramatic wind then passed on through and all settled back down again, without upset.
My Granny used to say that the older you get the more important your girl friends are and those are wise words.
Thank you girls for being the wind beneath my wings. ❤
Each Friday, my buddy in France and I ‘sail’ together on Skype as we share our working day. We call Friday’s ‘Le Club’ in honour of a group I was touched to share during my time in France.
Around about sixty creative women gather in a village hall deep in South West France among the hills and farms, where the honeyed stone buildings give out warmth and the peace is palpable. They come bringing easels, sewing machines and bags full of creativity to share a day together. All nationalities with a bond that transcends language as they sit inside nattering, crocheting. knitting, embroidering, quilting, sewing and felting, while outside under the trees are a group painting.
They sit together sharing stories of childhood, love, illness, bereavement, children, grandchildren, retirement, plans gone awry, projects, home renovations, family visits and specials from the food market. I sat next to a lady who creates pictures through exquisite bead embroidery and with hand gestures and smiles we had understanding.
The energy carved a place in my heart and each Friday my buddy and I return together. ❤
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:
With a web site to support it
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. ❤
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.
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!