Sparks of creativity…

A few months ago, I looked across at my yarn stash and ‘saw’ a bedspread in my imagination. After a few false starts, I settled on doubled-up strands with blue and cream crocheted together as long as each ball lasted, as I wanted it to flow like the sea. A friend gifted me a load of cream from her stash and that gave me the yarn to finish. Ironically, my yarn stash has increased since I made the bedspread. No, I am not sure how that has happened either, but I suspect my long-held love affair with craft shops has something to do with it!

None of my projects are mutally exclusive and ideas came thick and fast, regardless of how many projects are in the pipeline. It’s a true lesson in life’s abundance. All the creative ideas, the many times I stand with friends holding yarn as we exclaim with delight ‘Ohh, this would make a great …….’ or I spot something beautiful that a kindred spirit has crafted and shared online. All those moments spark other moments and it flows and grows.

I am aware that the loving connections in my life may be a little weary of the facecloths I knit so I have been casting around for something different to tackle. ‘Socks’ was my lightbulb moment and no, I have never made them before. A patient friend took me sock yarn shopping and then sat and showed me how to do it on large circular needles with the ‘magic loop’ method. I discovered that there is ‘blow all’ magic in the loop method for me, as I got in a terrible pickle and decided that I can’t be alone with this challenge. A quick internet search revealed a wonderful tool called a ‘Sock Wonder’. I quickly ordered two and looked forward to no looping.

Sock creating was going swimmingly well till yesterday evening when I came to knit my first heel. The pattern may as well as have been written in ‘double dutch’ for all the sense it made to me. I held my efforts up, squinting at them, and was absolutely sure that they would never fit any kind of foot. After undoing the mess I searched the internet where a kind, farmer’s wife in America has posted clear, simple (thank you) and instructive videos. I felt soothed watching her hands work and listening to her voice. Step by step I followed her and produced a heel. She even says in her video ‘Now pause and congratulate yourself with a beverage, or at least some chocolate’. What’s not to love about her? Her channel is called ‘Purl Together’ and she’s on YouTube.

Yes, I will post a picture up when my first sock is complete.

All those years ago, when my sister and I sat learning handcrafts with our Mum, both Grannies and our Great Granny, who knew that they were gifting a loving calmness that would last a lifetime. Whenever I feel my emotional state going to places I don’t want to dwell I turn to handcrafts and am a devotee of there not being any such thing as ‘too much yarn’ or ‘too many projects’.

You know you knit too much…….when Microsoft sends through updates and you hit ‘Restart’ immediately, so you can knit while your laptop is out of action. I may have done this today! ❤

Blooming marvellous….

It’s so peaceful here today, that even the ships and tug boats are sailing past silently.

There is much loving calmness in the walls of this house and the old cobbled pedestrian streets around us mirror that. Several conversations have flowed lately and we all agree that there is something special about being here. The local stories from when this old house was a care home, all speak of kind memories and thoughts.

My Mum has gifted me some great planters and they are filled with blue and pink hydrangeas and hardy plants that can survive the salt wind out there on the flat roof. I have tried various experiments with bird feeding and the latest one is an upturned iron Poppy holder that sits in one of the tubs. I found an old curved plate that serves as a bird bath and I can see all of this from the window where I sit and work. Thank you, my Mate ❤ Years ago I was learning German at school and came home to tell my Mum that she was Mater in German. This got shortened to Mate and has stuck over all these years.

It's like an Aladin's cave here and my landlady was having a sort out a few days ago. She warned me about possible noise, because her crew of Bob the Builder and Helpful Brother were shifting stuff upstairs to the floor above. We had a natter and I put in a bid for a lovely, long sofa in place of the two seater that was here. After some tender loving care it now looks at home and as I laid out on it at full stretch yesterday evening, I said 'Thank you' out loud.

This morning I woke up early with every intention of going out for a walk, but the sight of pelting rain put me off and I switched ideas. My little kitchen is quirky and I have an old Belling worktop oven with two solid plates on top. This has a mind of it's own and if I put the oven on then the left hand plate does not work, both plates on and the oven doesn't work. Over time he and I have made friends and I stood in the peace this morning to make a cake to flow 'sofa gratitude' downstairs.

My place is now filled with homely scents, with the rooftop plants soaking up the rain, as the working day starts. Feel the love ❤

Holding our loving space….

In my sifting and sorting this week I have re-discovered my Granny’s tea set in a box. I have started to use her cups and I am going to plant her teapot, sugar bowl and jug up with spring plants. I let my Mum (her daughter) know about my discovery and then we went on to talk about family treasures in my space. The embroidered cloths that Mum has passed my way, Granny’s sewing basket that I use nearly every day, the bookcase that my Dad gifted his Mum when he got his first paycheck is with me too, holding my beloved books. Creative treasures that Emily, my daughter, has made over the years are here too, with a set of her paintings alongside a creative table I have put together. Everything in one place and accessible, so that I can create in a spark and not have to hunt for anything, or set anything out. Marvellous.

Each circle in each day brings me back to a calm centre within, where I am held in a loving space.

Sharp winds of change have blown through life lately and I have found peace in this calm centre. It’s not about denial of upset, because as feelings rise up like waves, I acknowledge them and then ‘park’ them. In turning my mind back to the nurture of creativity, and what soothes naturally, the temptation to layer up against the pain doesn’t happen. I flow with accepting that it is how it is.

So many times in my work and life I meet souls layered up and sheltering behind their shields. Sometimes so layered up that they have managed to convince themselves that they don’t need nurture at all. So many painful stories from the past playing out as if they are still happening now.

We are like vessels that fill up and whatever we hold inside gives us the view on how we experience life.

I spend my working days helping others to unpack and gift themselves some room within to breathe and explore new perspectives and options. Recently, a client said ‘I am sorry Jane, I can’t tell you what you have just said, but your voice is so calm I’m falling asleep.’ I burst out laughing, which made him chuckle…laughter and calm in his inner space. ❤

The nurturing effects of silence and the peace this can bring to unsettled emotions….

We don’t feel quite right, our emotions are unsettled and our balance is just slightly out of whack, but we’re not necessarily sure why. Things aren’t flowing, our daily routines are a bit ‘scattergunned’, we go upstairs and can’t remember what we went up there for (I refuse to accept this as a sign of aging) or we feel that we simply have too many things to do or there are just too many demands on us right now.

Try finding some time in your day to be silent and if you can’t find that then change your routine a little bit. Walk outside without earphones in, turn the telly off, turn the radio off, if you are doing something you love turn your mobile off, turn your phone off. Will the world stop turning if you are unavailable for five minutes?

Silence is nurturing for within that peace we can settle and the ocean of our emotions finds a calmness that we lose in all the activity that fills our days.

If within the silence you find yourself having thoughts that unsettle you, then acknowledge them (so they don’t get buried) then let them go, for your own good, just let them go. Trust that all is exactly as it should be right now and enjoy the silence for a few minutes.

Within silence there is peace.

Keep calm and carry on…….

This was the poster that the government produced in the Spring of 1939 just at the start of World War II. Em and Morgan bought a tea towel back from Norfolk for me recently with this slogan on and Em said ‘We saw this and thought of you Mum’.

I have been tested again lately and yes, I completely understand that it is as a direct result of my own choices, but that aside I had a real mess in front of me that needed sorting. When things go wrong, or turn out not quite as you had planned, then I believe it is absolutely essential to remain calm as the minute you give vent to emotion you lose your ability to think in any way. Calm, rational thought will give you the steps to take to resolve whatever you are facing because it allows you to hear your inner voice, your guides and the wisdom we all have nestling within us. Humour also helps alongside the love and support of family and friends.

So although I am in ‘sort’ mode I can still laugh and quip with ease thank goodness and I love what I found on the internet this morning when I was searching for an image of this poster. Several companies have taken the slogan and changed it to suit a few situations and this one caught my eye…….’Drink martinis and then seduce the gardener’….fantastic and I laughed out loud. I would just like to add ‘Graham and Craig you are perfectly safe, please come round with your chainsaws and get rid of this wretched conifer that is undermining the foundations of my house and I can assure you that all you will be offered is homemade cake!!’