Posts Tagged 'ideas'

Love Restoration

Doris modelling re-purposed jeans and fabric from various dresses

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.

This name seemed perfect…

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!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/loverestoration

Sending love….

I travelled on the Mersey ferry recently, to see the tall ships in port, and breathing deeply I said out loud ‘I had forgotten how much I love being on the water’.

The picture above is a tug boat starting the Tall Ships regatta at the end of May. I was up on our sky garden watching all the vessels go past. There were very few tall ships this year, so smaller yachts, dinghies and ferries came out to keep them company.

“When Heaven wants to protect someone does it send an army? No, it protects him with love.” Lao Tzu

I have invested hours recently setting up a new software platform to broaden the reach of my work. Right at the last knockings, I noticed a clause in their terms and I stopped. Interestingly enough, despite all my research, it does not become apparent till you are about to launch. It smacked of pyramid, multi level marketing and that is so not me. So I un-picked it all. The gifts to come out of this are new ideas.

As I gathered myself together, stilling the critical inner voice, and finding ease with the memories of other times that all my ‘tall ships’ have not shown up, other things have floated in.

The birds have discovered my bath dish on the sky garden and they come to rest, bathe and drink now. They watch me from the trees replenishing it with fresh water.

My Mum has gifted some herbs for the sky garden and they are flourishing in the trough she found to go with them, with some French lavender and lilies nestling beside in their pots.

The ‘Aqua Babes’, from our Zumba pool sessions, are in touch often sharing funny moments, flowing support and we get together to eat and laugh.

A buddy and I are flowing together with ideas on how we work and the best support for that. Two creates the power of ten.

This week saw the start of a local craft group and the energy from that has already created new connections and my knitting friends are flowing in with loving support.

“When Heaven wants to protect someone does it send an army? No, it protects him with love.” Lao Tzu

I’d rather have an ‘Oops…’ than a ‘What if?…’…

River sunset

I took a few days out this week and disappeared to Wales and it was bliss. I stayed at a friend’s haven in the middle of nowhere alongside a babbling river with only the sounds of nature for company. I took this picture at sunset one evening, as the clouds turned to gold and the swallows filled the sky. It is rare to feel that kind of peace amidst our noisy days.

It was four months ago that I started off by sharing Joanne’s space and painting some old bits of furniture that I had collected. Now here we are in our own workshop, with windows looking out over the trees by the River Weaver, making plans and tackling all sorts of things. Little did Jim and I realise at the start that our respective businesses would dovetail as naturally as they do, along with our thinking and ideas. There have been some wonderful ‘Oops…’ moments along the way and much hard graft interspersed with laughter. Although everyone in my circle has been asked to stop me ever trying to make roman blinds again. I think that was a moment where my ‘nesting’ instinct, coupled with my eternal optimism, went a step too far when I insisted on making blinds for the workshop windows! It has taken four weeks and a few incarnations, and we now have blinds at each window that are rolled up by hand and tied with ribbons….marvelous! There was also a telling moment a few weeks ago when Jim called to say that he had found a vintage metal desk, so we made plans to bring it over to the yard and I started work on ‘Mickey’ as we very quickly nicknamed him. Less than twenty four hours later I was on the phone to Jim gasping for help. I think the conversation went along these lines:

Me: ‘I have no blood left in my arms and my whole body is vibrating.’
Jim: ‘What have you been doing?’
Me: ‘Have you ever used a metal sander?’
Jim: ‘No.’
Me: ‘Fancy trying one out?’

He arrived the next day as eternal optimism had blinded me (yet again) and I was looking at a project way beyond my capabilities and physical strength. We spent a few days working together and ‘Mickey’ is now match fit and ready for sale.

Mickey 6

I arrived back at the workshop from Wales this week and had a catch-up cuppa and natter with Ray, our special yard manager, while we shared pieces of my Dad’s 85th birthday cake. Ray, Jim and I are in complete accord on our gratitude for the caring connections that weave together on the yard.

Bless John and Chris (our old yard neighbours who restore cars) for sharing their space and expertise as we beavered away to restore ‘Mickey’. Mike and Gazza, who mend motorbikes on the yard, have put us in touch with a chap who does sand blasting. I have a feeling that this connection will be fruitful as Jim and I are faced with some very ‘poorly’ projects that need this kind of start to their restoration. Anthea, who runs a beauty salon on the front of the yard, often brings me across to her space so she can restore my hands to a pretty state and refuses to take a penny for her loving care. She has gifted me a box of disposable gloves and I cannot understand why! Jimmy, our friendly yard builder, who has put a lovely new sink and worktop into the workshop (see, nesting again!) and sorted a dodgy window out. He kindly bobbed down the road last week and mended Mum and Dad’s roof, because access was a devil and Mum did not need the heart failure of Dad even attempting to get the job done himself. Lee, who does car repairs and MOT’s, for rescuing me when I got locked in the other evening. Mum very quickly baked him a cake! Last, but by no means least, Ray, flowing care to us all on the yard, who pops in daily with suggestions, things he has made and diagrams of ideas. Things would never have evolved this well without his loving care and support. Also, ‘Mickey’ is currently tucked into Ray’s office on the yard, because we could not fit him in through our door.

There was a lighting problem in the loos on the yard and I emerged the other day to find Ray, John and Lee standing just outside the loo door. My face must have been a picture….John, never one to miss a bantering opportunity, said ‘We were listening to you Jane!’. I burst out laughing and suggested that they all surely had urgent work to attend to elsewhere….

Every business starts with an idea or two, but it is people that make it happen. ‘Oops..’ moments occur, laughter is never far away, banter is ever present, help is plentiful. Our yard has loving support and that is a blessing in which we all thrive.

River

Light, dark and many degrees of shade….

(Garry Wilkes)

Trent & Mersey Canal after sunset (Garry Wilkes)

A thoughtful friend sent these photographs across of the Trent & Mersey canal this evening, so I could ‘share’ in his walk. I was tucked up at home with Mum and Dad, with Mum and I knitting like the clappers, because I was simply too weary for anything else. Bless my parents for their safe mooring. I received a message from Emily recently asking if I had time to knit her a waterfall cardigan. I jumped at the chance with absolute delight and when ‘us girls’ had some time together we had great fun choosing wool. Em was seven when she asked me not to make her any more hand knitted garments, no matter how trendy I made them look….I have been waiting fifteen years for this request and I am bubbly inside just thinking about it. There is love going into every stitch.

Anyhoo, back to the theme of this post.

I blossom in light, think in light, work in light and live in light. I have learned that fear kills light and have developed a number of ways of dealing with adversity and life’s tumbles. Holding onto light weaves through all of them.

When a soul is stuck in the dark of fear, we can shine our light and flow love to them, but the darkness will remain until they can work their way through it. If you find your light dimming then sometimes your only choice is to step away.

In the aftermath of a different step over Easter, a creative idea formed today with a business plan flowing from it. Mum and I went out exploring in the afternoon sunshine and discovered some rather interesting premises. As today drew to a close a meeting was arranged and things are starting to fall into place. I need a change and action, together with synchronicity, will bring this forth as it is meant to be.

Life’s canal is flowing and I can feel the warmth of sunshine on my boat.

(Garry Wilkes)

Trent & Mersey Canal in the evening sunshine (Garry Wilkes)

Emotional bankruptcy and ideas……

Em's sunset

Em sent me this picture the other evening, as she captured the sunset from her bathroom window. Yes, she stood on the loo to take it and I am glad she did, as it’s lovely.

A few weeks ago I took a break from working on the telephone service. There are a number of things ‘at odds’ with working in this way and I found myself unable to function properly, as I had got so tired. Cross-eyed with tiredness is not a good look at my age!

I still have my face to face work and my paid writing assignments and, ever flexible, I thought that I could take on a few other paid ‘one-off’ activities to plug the financial gap for a few weeks. Needless to say these ‘things’ have brought their own surprises and challenges with them. I took on a small garden restoration job and soon discovered that some much needed ‘male digging’ assistance was required, thank you Jeff. Hat’s off to him, as he managed to work with a fractured kneecap and a shoulder in a sling after major surgery. We also kept calm as we unearthed an adder’s nest of eggs in the garden.

Given the on-going dance I have with my landlord, the decorating work he was paying me for in this cottage was always going to be tricky, so I might leave that subject for another day.

Another ‘one-off’ found me spending the morning in a vintage tea shop and the afternoon in an adjoining gift shop. It was whilst I was behind the counter in the gift shop that I had an idea. One text to my running mate Jeff (and a long conversation later) and a new venture was born. Three weeks of research, planning and organisation and we’re about to start. With luck and application, I will be able to drop my phone work down to manageable levels and give reign to creativity again.

It is simply staggering what is coming from that one text. We both think that when you get effortless synchronicity like this, it’s best to run with it! So here’s to a completely new sunrise.

Of course, I will post up pictures of what we’re up to. In the meantime, to keep my sanity and to save Jeff’s left ear from being bashed with my numerous phone calls, I have been crocheting baby blankets. I lined this one with material from an old silk dress.

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