Posts Tagged 'creativity'

Sparks in the gloom…

Life has flowed with a few challenges lately and I've been left gasping for air at times.

I lay there in the middle of one sleepless night and simply did not know what to do to soothe myself. My wisdom said 'Stay still and do nothing.' Then I sensed a lovely dog in spirit on the bed beside me and felt my Gran and her Mum, my Great Gran, close by my side. A feeling of calm settled in and I could let the feelings I had be, just as they were. Breathing in the experiences, breathing out the feelings.

I needed unconditional love, so the next day I asked my heart family if I could borrow their lovely boy, Boris, the German Shepherd. 'Absolutely' was their swift reply and he's coming to stay with me for a week after Easter. ❤

That sparked another idea and I ordered insurance, new wellies and some marketing postcards. Say 'Hello' to Jane's Dog Walking Service. My old flowery wellies have done two years sterling work, so I took my new ones out at lunchtime today and christened them in the sea. I also found some more sea glass and treasure to add to my collection.

My heritage is rich with hand crafts, so it is no surprise that I turn to that for comfort again and again. My lovely buddy Pam and I set off on Friday to a local art gallery, as they were running a Creative Think Tank, with taster sessions on all sorts of crafts being showcased. I had it in my head that I would finally get to have a go at wood carving, which has been a long held dream, and willow basket weaving. You just know this didn’t go to plan don’t you? We had a great time and saw all sorts of wonderful things, while discovering that the basket weaving and wood carving courses were out of our financial reach right now. Then the unexpected happened. I had made a connection with one of the receptionists when we arrived and he was looking after everyone by keeping the whole event flowing. Pam was absorbed trying out a Viking weaving loom and having a great time. I glanced up and Mark came over and said ‘There’s more going on in other rooms Jane, can I show you?’ So off we went and I found myself at a table where a lovely lady was demonstrating rug making with re-cycled materials. I took a seat and Alison let me have a go weaving strips of old t-shirts into hessian and I was right there, in the moment. She showed me what materials to try and what to back the rugs with. The edging stitch that holds it all together is new to me, but my Granny said in my head ‘I can show you that Jane’. I’d discovered a new joy. As I sat at home later, knitting, my creative sparks started to fly. I have been a painter since I can remember when and for the last few years it has stopped ‘talking’ to me. With the rug making I can chalk and ink my design on the hessian and by hooking in re-cycled materials, there is more leeway. It doesn’t have to be precise and as the freedom of this sunk in, well I am sure my heart singing could be heard far and wide.

It’s been dark and raining like ‘billy-ho’ today and then just as I finished my new wellie walk, the sky brightened and the clouds looked as if they had been brushed on the blue.

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Just being…

The bulbs I planted up in my Granny’s tea set went over and I replaced them at the weekend with pale pink primroses; the label said Woodland Vale. I walked into the bathroom yesterday and there a delicate scent in the air and they looked happy in their space.

It has been very windy, with snow falling recently and I have been sitting sharing with clients over the phone, watching the sea gulls riding the thermals. At times it’s been so blustery out there that they have been suspended in the sky. A right royal squabble between them drew me from sleep early this morning and as I opened the curtains they took off to ride the wind again.

Lately I have been finding my flow in our local fitness centre. A bouncy playlist is vital for the treadmill and other muscle building equipment, as I have discovered it’s not the place to meditate. Yoga was a tad unsettling as I found myself in an advanced class and the youthful teacher came over halfway through and asked ‘Have you got an injury dear?’ Words did not fail me and I left her class early. My newfound gym buddies suggested I try other yoga teachers, as there are four classes running there. I am still pondering on that one. Aqua Zumba is so much fun, it’s by far and away my favourite activity so far.

I have also discovered new creative workshops locally and am happily signing up to take part in those.

It’s been a tough time as sharp change blew through. I have just let myself be and nurtured a loving space to be in. Sparks are starting to appear and it’s proving interesting to follow them and explore. ❤

Creative comforts….

Work is challenging at this time of year and a few days ago I found myself needing comfort from a change of scene at midday. I took off in the car and made my way to a haberdashery store in Birkenhead. Ohhh, the bliss of standing there amidst all the materials, ribbons and yarns and new choices to be made. I came away with an uplifted heart and a bag of lovely soft wool to make Georgie’s next jumper.

Often I find myself suggesting to clients that they find comfort in creativity. They often cry out ‘But I am not creative Jane’. I gently point out that we all create with our days, spaces, meals, communications and actions. The simple act of tidying a drawer, sorting some clothes, organising a space, re-arranging a shelf or even a room can bring comfort. It’s all creativity. We can also be creative with writing, painting, sticking, colouring or making something.

I was blessed to be surrounded by loving, creative women as I grew up and my Mum, both my Grannies and my Great Granny taught my sister and I all the handcrafts. What gifts they bestowed along with rich memories.

There was a lovely blog post recently from Natalie Wordless Wednesday… as she shared the quilts she and her sister were creating. It reminded me of the creative ‘sharings’ with my Mum, my buddy Pam in South Africa, my sister Debs, the knitting girls, Kirsten, lovely Em in New Zealand, special Penn, Nancy downstairs, my sailing buddy Wendy and so many more. All linked by our stories and sharing what we are creating; all linked by loving comfort. ❤

Gifts of grace…..

A sky of milky glass as the tide arrives with a respectful hush and in silence life flows with shafts of sparkling light.

Deep gratitude felt for stillness and the graceful gift of vulnerability, as light shining through the cracks creates space for creativty and change.

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops – at all” Emily Dickinson

Magical notes in a day……

DSC_0459

Throughout the summer on weekends in Vale Park we are treated to music. Yesterday I put my knitting bag together and strolled up the promenade, collected a deck chair at the entrance to the bandstand and settled down in the park. Neighbours drifted in and we enjoyed two hours of delight from the Golborne brass band who played everything from the classic marching tunes, songs from WWI and WWII right through to Abba, Queen and Flo Rida.

Little ones danced in front of the bandstand without inhibition, the sailing dinghies were out on The Mersey providing a backdrop through the trees, the bell tinkled through now and then from the Fairy Garden, butterflies flew and there was peaceful happiness in the air.

They ended by playing ‘You will never walk alone’ by Gerry and The Pacemakers. The birds took off from the trees en masse and swirled together to re-settle back on the branches again. Then they took off again and again. It took me a few minutes to realise that they were flying in time to the music. It was magic.

Love flowed when I went to the knitting group for the first time last week. I was welcomed with open arms and I could feel that the loving care in ‘Remember When’ tearoom has touched all of the ladies that join together there every week. We had a lovely time and phone numbers were exchanged with plans being made to have a special Christmas meal together, in the tearoom of course. Lesley has displayed my creativity and the orders are coming in. I am going back there tomorrow, just to have a top-up of the loving atmosphere. ❤

The quiz night last week was hilarious and the banter a joy to be a part of. I feel that the love created from the knitting group in the morning had stayed with me and it went into the hotel bar that night. We were all on top form. There is a camaraderie between the teams and a fair bit of 'sharing' of information, sometimes deliberately misleading…I mean imagine that! The moment that brought us all to our knees with laughter went like this…..

The head of the 'The Know Hopers' called across to the 'The Boys' that she needed a word with her husband, who came across to our table:

'How can I help you my love?' he enquired.

'I fancy some hot nuts' she said.

With deadpan delivery he replied 'I presume you mean peanuts'.

Do you remember when?

Teapot Love

I have been soothing myself by creating all sorts of knitted things and a local shop has been stocking them. My Mum caught the bug and between us we have created quite a stock. I run on instinct and after a while all the words from the business owners up the hill were not translating into action. All sorts was going on and money was not flowing my way either. I called ‘time’ last week, had a graceful conversation and carried all the remaining stock back home.

No matter how adept we become at ‘letting go’ of others hurtful words and actions and leaving them at source, it can take it’s toll. Dr.Wayne Dyer, a special soul, used to say that we don’t die from a snake bite, it’s the poison that kills us.

I sat for a few days looking at my knitting basket and did nothing with it. I tucked the stock away and pondered on various options and not one resonated. Fiddlesticks, I thought, here we go again as another bright idea bites the dust. Fears were evident as old snake bites stung.

A few days later a loving friend sent a message asking if I had time to make a special surprise present for a happy event in her family. I replied immediately and we started discussing the details. I ❤ her.

My characterful and kind landlady calls my creativity 'titting about' and I gifted myself a 'titting about day' today. Mid morning I needed to pop out to the Post Office, so without thinking I put three of my teapot creations in a straw bag and I set off. Coming out from doing my postie bits and pieces there was a bright penny on the pavement. I bent and picked it up, held it in my hand and felt a bit of magic. Still not thinking I walked down to sea and there on the front is a shop, where I have never been, that sells antique treasures in an old tea room setting. I went in and ordered a bowl of soup and sat there soaking up the atmosphere and breathed……

I was in Miss Marple's world as the family who run the place looked after everybody and everywhere I looked there were reminders of times gone by. Old fashioned tablecloths, handmade lace doilies with mis-matched beautiful china, bunting on the ceiling, antique lamps and old pictures of New Brighton adorning the walls. The gentle music turned out to be a customer's granddaughter playing the piano and her granny's face as she sat there and told me all about her was a joy to see. Every table was full, yet the conversation was gentle as teapots were re-filled and coffee cups were topped up. My soup and homemade bread was delicious.

As I went to pay I realised they took cash and I only had my cards on me. The 'Mum' of the family reassured me and said I could bring the money in when I could. I left and went straight to a cash point machine, giving myself a massive pep talk (silently in case you were wondering) and returned to pay. I gathered courage and talked to them about my creations, showed them my teapots and also asked whether I could perhaps use their lovely place to start a creativity group.

Bless the magic universe, because not only are they going to stock my creations, but I have also been invited to join their knitting group on Thursday mornings.

I came home with their kindness wrapped around me and I can't wait to show my Mum and Dad this special place.

Nature, knitting and magic….

De Vere Park

There have been many magic moments in the past week or so and each time my heart has tucked them in a special place.

For the first time in it’s history, the Disney cruise ship docked at Liverpool harbour for a few days and I, and many others, sat on the beach in the evening sun watching her set off for the port of Dover. There was Beatles music playing, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the deck waving ‘Goodbye’ and the captain playing ‘When you wish upon a star’ on the ship’s horns. She did a 360 degree turn on The River Mersey before she set out for the Irish Sea and it was magic. The little ones and adults alike were all smiling and waving everyone on their way. The moment wove into my heart, because a kind lady handed me her newborn son and I held him as she and I chatted, his little brothers playing in the sand, as ‘Disney’ sailed out.

My friend from the promenade took me to hear some young musicians play at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead. What a wonderful place that is and full of interesting pieces. Mo and I had a lovely time and it was a pleasure to sit in that beautiful setting and hear live music. Bless her for her thoughtfulness.

Quiz night was eventful and there was much laughter. Bless Steve and his fellow ‘quizzers’ for welcoming me into their fold. Blessings and a brickbat for the ‘He Who Shall Remain Nameless’ who set the questions, because he was poorly at the time and they were tough, I mean really tough. All our brains ached, but we managed to have lots of laughs though. I would just like to say that football related questions (like naming all the team shirts for the Euro Cup…!!!!) are not kind. Bless the chap who was on the team behind me, because he said they were leaving early and would we like some help…big smiles for him. We came second by the way and won ‘Eight pints of beer’, which we promptly put behind the bar for next week.

I bobbed up to the gift shop recently with a bag full of my handmade things, to find their shop shuttered-up. The chap in the shop next door explained that they had moved away, which confirmed my feelings that all was not well as messages had not been returned for some time. ‘Oh well’ I thought, ‘I’m up here now, so I may as well look for a teapot for my latest teapot cosy pattern’. There are lots of interesting shops up on top of the hill and I had a lovely time pottering about. I popped into one shop and couldn’t find anyone to ask for help, so I stuck my head out again to see if anyone was about. It’s like a small community up there and they all pull together, so the lady in the shop next door yelled for help. A lady (covered in paint) came flying out of the antiques shop on the end of the parade and smiling at each other, we got chatting. The upshot is that Mandy runs the shabby chic and interesting pieces shop and her husband runs the antiques shop. We bonded and she asked what I had in my large bag. I showed her and we ended up making a deal. A wonderful, kind and trusting deal. She loves my things and I love making them and she will sell them for me.

Thanks to Mandy’s kindness I am now knitting like the clappers and busy doing my ‘Miss Marple’ bit out in public. Yes, Chris Moran, your idea has stuck! ❤ I can be found sitting outside on various benches, knitting. I sat in the park recently, surrounded by all the wonderful trees and flowers, where a brass band was playing all afternoon. I sit on the sea front, knitting, and get to chat to all sorts of people. Bless Steve the photographer for sharing his knowledge of the many vessels that pass our way. The old fashioned clipper 'Bessie Ellen' was a joy to behold early the other morning.

This morning my friend Dave from one of the writing groups and I met to talk about writing and how best to flow support to each other and others who are crafting books. We initially met in the Central Library where they had an exhibition of 'Contemporary Book Art'. Some clever souls have made life sized sculptures of figures from brown paper. I stopped to photograph these and some passing 'wag' commented 'Careful now, don't wake him up' as I snapped Julius Caesar with a knife in his back.
Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare
Romeo & Juliet
We took our coffees outside into St.John’s gardens and sat in the park surrounded by all the trees and flowers. The morning flew by and between us we have a ‘writing’ plan going forwards.

This evening the lovely Hannah, from our old house, is coming to live with Lynn and I for a few weeks. It will be such a treat to share a home again and have some time together. I sense that the magic that has found me here, will also touch Hannah.


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