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! ❤

Le Club…

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. ❤

Joy in moments..

Our house is full of family and friends from Scotland visiting my landlady and when she was growing up her home was always full of music, as her Dad played the guitar and sang and her brothers have followed suit. Singing is the one thing that brings my landlady’s Mum back from her dementia to the present moment. Each morning someone has been playing the guitar and it was a different style from any that have flowed before and I’ve found my feet tapping as I worked. Yesterday evening I was wrapping up parcels in my workshop as they had a family gathering below. The old Scottish ballads floated on a pure voice and I paused to listen, as my eyes filled with tears.

He gifts joy with his voice and this morning I bumped into him downstairs and was able to tell him so. ❤

Feelings, feelings and yet more feelings…

A cruise ship left port the other evening against the backdrop of a dramatic sky. It was drizzling from a dark sky first thing this morning as a new ship came in and she had all her twinkly lights on. I was reluctant to disturb the moment and find my phone to capture the image.

There has been a sharp awareness lately of feelings and how they can steer the ship. A loving friend became concerned that I was alone a lot and asked why. I appreciate that she asked and didn’t immediately judge, or try to fix. I created the aloneness, as my engine room needed a thorough service and new oil. The peace from turning off distractions, saying ‘No’ and relishing the silence meant I could just be. Acknowledging what actions I was allowing, the choices I was making and where my parts were seizing.

Another loving friend asked when I had last had a paddle? Goodness, it had been a while, so I flowed that into my daily round a few days ago. The tide was in and I happily pottered at the edge of the water, discovering a new piece of sea glass and a heart shaped pebble. Making my way back up the slipway I met a Granny, her daughter and little granddaughter making their way down to the beach. Well, Gran and Mum were, little Ava was swinging on the Coastguard’s gate and showing reluctance to move. I opened my hand and showed her my treasures. We started chatting and walked back down to the sand. There was a small scallop shell that was perfect for her little hand and we set about filling it with shells and sea glass. Then we found a stick and a Seagull’s feather and started to draw hearts on the wet sand and chat about fairies. Her Gran called out to Ava to drop the feather, as she said it was dirty. No blame, but our joy disappeared in an instant. The energy changed and Ava ran to her Mum and I listened to Gran for a while. She and her husband had recently moved back to this area, after living in a very different place. Her unhappiness poured out. I replied that I moved up here a few years ago because when the souls here ask how you are, their hearts listen to the answer.

Being alone has sparked much creativity. I’ve made tunic tops from men’s shirts, tote bags from denim jeans and lined them with vintage frock material, crocheted tote bags, knitted throws and baby matinee jackets. I am blessed to be gifted many items of clothing, yarn and all sorts of bits and bobs. They ‘speak’ and I create from their energy. ❤

Exploring dances…

Photo by Emily Baker…Hoar frost

The beauty of nature moved Em to go outside and explore on Sunday, as it often does.

Recently, I took a leaf out of my own book and re-arranged my ‘happy bubble’ home by the water; de-cluttering every shelf, drawer and cupboard as I went along. This also involved moving furniture as a new writing space was created in front of my bedroom window. A loving friend gifted me a notebook and on the front it says ‘She believed she could, so she did.’ I take it everywhere with me, as I jot down notes for a new writing project that’s coming to life.

This kind of exploring energy has been touching my clients.

There is a raw vulnerability when we enter into another’s private space and it touches everything. I am mindful that it’s not about how I would do things, the suggestions I may make, or how I see situations. Exploring together opens things up so that we can connect and find other ways of daily life flow. Some may fit, some may not, and signs of distress and upset from my clients call for a safe sharing with no labels, judgment or blame. It always touches on the way others see themselves with their inner scripts and beliefs and everyone is different, needing things that are unique to them. Exploring is being invented between us, moment by moment (sometimes with mis-steps in the dance), yet the overall energy is love.

A Diamond of Sixty Years Together….

My Mum and Dad – sixty years ago…. ❤

We gathered as a family to celebrate my Mum and Dad's Diamond Wedding Anniversary recently.

The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren bearing testimony to their lives together. All sparking in unique ways with the love, blessings, resilience, fortitude, flexibility, adventuring spirits, creativity and care that has sprung from their foundation.

We all love you both. ❤

Kindred spirits…..

I was buying groceries recently and a bunch of Gladioli had fallen out of one of the water tubs, with the stems still tightly in bud and their bottoms bone dry. They were going to be thrown away and I asked if I could have them. As I unpacked my groceries at home, I plunged them into cold water, then later trimmed the stems and popped them into vases dotted about my peaceful bubble. They opened up next morning and are a glorious deep purple.

Life has been messy lately and I have felt ‘out of water’. I flowed along, showing up and trying to nurture my balance. As opportunities presented themselves, I felt a personal responsibility that I needed to run with them all, as if divine timing was at play. My reasoning being that bills needed paying and life keeps going. I felt more weighed down with each day unfolding, then a thoughtful friend from across ‘the pond’ reached out.

Pete, (Grandfathersky), sent an email and attached a book that he had bought a few years ago. It is about all the different things you can do from home to generate income and nestled within it’s pages was a ‘spark’. I shared the spark with the ‘Aqua Babes’ and their loving support fanned it into a flame. I chopped some wood and have started to build a fire around that flame.

The love from kindred spirits that flows into my days, wrapped me in a space where I recalled all the times that ‘sparks’ have lifted me before. I was able to sense which other options were weighing me down and release them.

I am grateful for the kindred spirits who share space, without the need to control, or cage.

‘You are you, just as you are and I am here for you, just as I am. Let’s just be.’ ❤