Posts Tagged 'creativity'

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

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Magical notes in a day……

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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.

Loving notes………

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Lynn left work early on Friday and came home with flowers, glorious roses, which now nestle in one of her jugs in my little sitting room upstairs. They are beside Em’s beautiful bowl she made when she was young and Jojo, my sister in law’s, gifted butterfly picture. I smile every time I look over there.

It has been a busy week and as Friday afternoon unfolded, with continuing techie problems flowing through, I messaged HQ at 4pm-ish and let them know that I was cutting loose. Loving messages and ‘Bon voyages’ were exchanged and I followed an impulse. About forty minutes walk along the promenade from home one of the ferries to Liverpool shuttle back and forth. I set off and caught it for the first time since I moved here. It’s a ten minute ride across The Mersey and I could feel the week lifting off and away as I stood ‘up top’ and at the front holding the rail. I loved every second of it. It berths at the docks in Liverpool and I trusted my instincts to guide me up through the city to one of my favourite haunts. Liverpool’s Central Library. Sigh….. I have not been able to settle into a book for some time now and it was time to ease past this situation. I pottered inside and picked up quite a few books, then bought a coffee and headed up to the roof terrace. You’ll love this bit, as I got so engrossed in the first book I picked up, I completely lost track of time. It started to get a bit chilly and I gathered myself together and walked back through the city to the docks. There I watched the ferry sailing across towards home. The realisation that it was the last one that day dawned on me as no-one else was waiting and also, all the roller shutters were down on the gangway and the cafe was closed. ‘Ahhh…’ I thought as I stood there, ‘Right, now where’s the nearest train station?’ I found it and was soon settled on a train, reading again, as I headed for home. When I got back, Lynn chuckled sympathetically and gave me a ferry timetable. On this unplanned adventure I discovered new parts of the city and also, if I buy a ‘day saver’ ticket I can go on the local buses, trains and on a ferry excursion cruise which lasts fifty minutes. Now there’s a cracking thought for another day. Marvelous.

This weekend I have been creating and finishing off various projects in readiness to stock a space in a local craft shop. I also spent a lot of time reading and have finished one book already, which was bliss.

Probably going hand in hand with the reading, I have not been writing much either. I pushed myself and offered to write an article for a friend’s online magazine this week. I asked him what subject he would like me to cover and his reply was ‘Whatever you want to Jane’. I had a look and saw that the current contributors are all trained in various spiritual practices and disciplines and this is what they write about. This walloped me right out of my comfort zone, as I am untrained. I managed to avoid writing anything yesterday and then as today started I pottered about and had a ponder. I was untrained in furniture restoration and re-holstering, but I had a go. I work each day reaching out a loving hand to those in difficulties, which works best when I get out of the way of it and just let my spirit guides do their lovely thing. So I went into that mode to write. I sat here at my desk, watched the clouds for a while and breathed, then got out of the way of myself and let the words flow. There is so much written about writing tips and whatnot and the one thing I have found is not to write as if someone is reading it as you write. Try not to logic it. So, I said ‘Hello’ to my heart and spirit and then let go as it flowed. I will keep you all posted on whether this 1,000 odd worded flow will be accepted or not.

Spring is here and I am walking each morning in the freshness of the day, then coming back to this lovely home and seeing what blossoms forth. Whatever happens it all springs from love. ❤

We carry memories and they can bubble up like a joyful spring….

Liverpool Central Library

I went along to a new meeting today of ‘The Laid Back Writers Group’ and much to my delight it was held in Liverpool’s Central Library. This building has the power to take your breath away and it is inspiring to walk through the doors and breathe it all in.

There were sixteen of us in the group and there was an immediate bond of trust. It’s like an unspoken code. You put yourself out there with anything you produce creatively and it takes courage to sit there and read it out loud. There was kindness flowing with encouraging and supportive comments. We are all learning from each other and there was a wide array of talent in the room. This regular monthly Sunday meeting will be going into my diary and now there are emails pinging back and forth as strangers become friends.

On impulse I went to the reception desk as we all left and asked if I could join. ‘Of course you can’ was the immediate reply and as I filled out the form I chatted to the ladies there. I was given a choice of library cards and mine is purple with a heart on it and the words ‘I love my library’. I pottered back upstairs and chose some fabulous knitting and crochet pattern books. Gentle warning to those I love: you may be gifted sausage dog draft excluders, house door stops and owl lavender sachets. Just saying…..

As I walked out in the afternoon Spring sunshine a memory floated up that was so clear I paused and rested on the steps a while. When I was eight years old my Grandad (Dad’s Dad) lent me his library card and took me along to the library near him and Granny to choose some books. I remember that feeling of excitement that I could read all these books, as I stood there holding his hand. Libraries have been a gift ever since. Emily and I used to spend hours in them as each week, from when she was a tiny tot, we used to go to Storytime and choose the books for her bedtime stories to bring home with us. When she was little and I used to make things, it was always the library I turned to for recipes, patterns and research. The first time Em showed me round her University and we stood in the library, we could have stayed there for hours. Our shared love of the ‘word’ stood us in good stead whenever she called and said ‘Mum please can I read you my latest essay?’ My Mum and I are always swopping books and talking about the latest one we are reading. Texts of ‘I have just found a great book for you’ are frequent and I have a wonderful memory of her head popping round my bedroom door as she would say ‘Where are you up to then? as my nose was buried in the latest one. I’d tell her and her reply was always ‘Ohhhh you wait, the best is yet to come’. My treasured friend Chris Moran and I often wish each other ‘Goodnight, sweet dreams’ as we head off to read our latest discovery. It’s such a lovely way to end the day.

My purse is guaranteed to make me smile, as each time I open it now there will be a purple ‘heart’ card inside that holds inspiration and limitless possibilities.

The world is gifted with stories told and graced with those who take time to listen…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Bluecoat Chambers, Liverpool

Yesterday afternoon I took the train into Liverpool City centre and set out to find the meeting place for my first visit to a creative writing group.

It was held at The Bluecoat Chambers, another hidden gem in this city full of surprises. As promised by the kind organiser, there was an orange book on the long table in the bistro to guide us together and I was greeted with smiles.

Take three regulars and five newbies. Put them together in this beautiful setting with fragrant tea and coffee and a huge dollop of trust and you have a delightful and inspiring two hours.

We are a mixture of a playwright, a musician, lyricist and poet (I am buying his first poetry book), a poet and writer of prose, an artistically inspired poet, a blogger and writer, a poetry lover, a poet and criminal story writer (who is compelling when he reads out loud), a creative student writer and an academic, who writes and rants (his description not mine!)

Some of us shared and we all contributed with support, encouragement and how the pieces resonated with each of us.

I loved every single minute of the experience and we are all meeting again in a month’s time. This group is one of life’s gifts. As I rode the train home I gave thanks for my adventures since I moved to this special place and for the lovely souls that are weaving though them.


Jane Sturgeon

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