Friday, 29 June 2012


Yes....  it is time to load up the Random Number Generator and to select one of the comments left on my BLOGIVERSARY post.

Drum roll please ........
Ta da!!

No 3 means BEVERLY will receive the giveaway!

And the second giveaway goes to Karen, for being the first person to name PROGRESS as my word of the year. 

Please send me your addresses, Beverly & Karen so that I can post to you.  You'll find my email if you look in my complete profile.

I'm hoping for fine weather this weekend as I am leaving today to spend some special time with friends on a creative retreat.  We'll be MESSING ABOUT ON THE RIVER, and I'm half packed and full of excitement.  Just how much can we cram in the car I wonder?!

Tell you more next time!  Have a good weekend, what ever you are planning...

Sunday, 24 June 2012


We have just returned from a weekend in our campervan.  It was our first VW Show and despite the threat of black clouds and rainy forecast the sun did shine and I did not need my wellies and waterproofs. However, true to form, the wind raged and we fought to put up the awning, but at least the rain held off for us this time.  We are getting quite expert at putting up the awning in extreme weather conditions, I think our resolve is being tested.  But we are not easily put off.  And I needed this break, as I was feeling exhausted and felt like this camper looked....

Shows like this are held around the country most weekends for VW owners and enthusiasts. It was a chance to see what other people have done to their campers and to meet like minded people.  And I didn't expect to see so much creativity so while my 2 men admired at engines and bodywork, I looked at decor, design and enjoyed lots of photo opportunities.

But one of the first things I saw that I liked was a suitcase for sale, with one of my favourite quotes written on it.  Since I am trying to declutter and make space I resisted buying it, but next day I got to know the artist who had made this case into something special.  And I learned that at school he was dyslexic and always felt a failure.  He left school without qualifications and 3 years ago he started to draw... the one thing he loved to do at school.  And he has not stopped drawing since, because other people love his art and they want him to put it onto the bodywork of their campers and cars:

I loved how this personalised a vehicle and gave it character, but what I asked for was a cartoon of our camper on paper so that I can frame it, and by now I had felt a real connection with this artist and I wanted that suitcase!  And so I went over to pick it up from his campervan. And guess what?  I discovered he owned the very one that I had fallen in love with that weekend.  Inside it resembles a gypsy caravan or a narrowboat on wheels, a thing of beauty and character.  Every inch inside decorated, and he seemed pleased when I told him how much I admired it.  He invited me to sit inside, he lit candles, and shut the door so I could enjoy the atmosphere.  I could have curled up and read a book... or two, it was such a special space. 

But all good things come to an end, and a few minutes later he opened the door with my suitcase in hand.  And here it is.  Don't you love it too?

Friday, 22 June 2012


Work has reached a peak of craziness again.  Long hours, much longer than they should be, and still no time to do what I need.  Yesterday I even thought of phoning in sick... something I never do unless I am incapable of leaving the house.  I knew my body was telling me to slow down.... to rest.  But my day was scheduled with important meetings and commitments.  I knew I would feel a sense of achievement if only I could get through it.  And somehow I dragged myself through the day.  And I did feel a sense of achievement, and I discovered what helps me when times get difficult.

You see I work with people who struggle to be in touch with their bodies and their needs.  During the day I ran a group about how we look after ourselves (can you see the irony here?!) and it gave me a sense of sadness that some people are unable to take time or to see the things around them.  For even when life is madness, I still manage to be in the moment....
.... to stop on the way to the bus stop to smell the honeysuckle that fell over the fence, spilling its scent onto the pavement.  My companions had walked ahead at a pace and when I asked if they had noticed the scent they looked surprised at the question.  They said they had been preoccupied by thoughts and had not even seen the honeysuckle.
.... or to notice a water spout and plaque as we walked along a road.  I stopped, took out my camera and took a photo.  And again, I had been the only one to see this oddity among the rows of shops.  

This building housed Beckenham’s first volunteer Fire Brigade, using a cart pulled by horses borrowed from nearby residents and traders whenever a fire broke out.  The lions head spout was used to refresh the horses with water piped from the Thames by the then Lambeth Water Company.

This morning I received a message from Jessica Broden.  I have already signed up for her Artist's Way Bookclub, but today's post resonated with me.  I have always wanted to be part of a bookclub, where I can meet other like minded people and share our experience.  I've always wanted to read... really read... the Artists Way.  Crazy working hours and pattern stopped me joining local groups, and not creating time for myself stopped the second. Now I am putting that to rights.
I am feeling tense and frazzled this morning, my body locked in by pressures and time schedules.  Tell tale signs shout slow down... look after yourself... to make time for just BEING.   Another reminder to myself about what is important in life.  So I am sorting out a journal today, picking up what I once started (albiet not daily writing but writing in a journal nonetheless). But more importantly, creating time for ME! .

That moment starts now.  I have booked 2 days off work ... so I am breathing more deeply and slowing down so that my mind and body can reconnect.  Loving the idea of this bookclub...  life sometimes gives you exactly what you need if you take time to see it.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


20th June

Why is it when you want to find the words they don't come, and when you haven't much to say, they do?  Oh well.... no time for pondering or feeling frustrated, because today is my 2nd blogiversary.  Last year I organised a Blog Hop which was such fun but sadly time means I need to celebrate in a different way this year.  Hopefully I can do a Blog Hop another time.....  

Looking back at my posts this year I realised how many things I had achieved.  Some of these started as a thought, a page torn out of a magazine, or an idea written in a notebook

Or, in this case, a post: '5 Things 5 Years from Now'.   And I have a big smile because it could have read '5 Things 1 Year from Now'.  Because all those things have been achieved and other things too:

My first art journalling pages

A trip to Sark (a long time wish)

Collection of our campervan (f-i-n-a-l-l-y!)

Taking part in Pass the Book, as well as sending and receiving good mail.  

And we also spent time in North Wales.  It is our son's favourite place and he had been wanting to share some time with us there ever since he fell in love with the area.  When we went up Mount Snowdon we discovered someone had driven their car near to the summit.  It seems the owner had it on his list of 50 things to do before you die.  I can think of other things I'd put on my list.... and they would be less adventurous as I don't need adrenalin buzzes.  You see, I am happy with the simple things of life, and being  spontaneous or finding ways of managing the mundane keep me satisfied.  If I had a list it would feature travel, family, creativity, and of course photography, so driving a car up a mountain would not be included (although finding a route might be described as creative).  

And on my list of 'things to do today' it would include a Giveaway.  As I like to be spontaneous this has not been planned since I also like giving and receiving surprises!

So, just leave a comment, letting me know which of the above links you liked and why.

I will choose a name from random on Friday 29th June.  

There is a second Giveaway offered to the first person who  can say what my Word for 2012 is.

Thank you to everyone who follows, comments or reads my posts.  I feel part of a wonderful network and never cease to be inspired, amazed, and touched by your own writing and creativity.  And by the way, I'm interested to know what you might put on your list if you had one!

(Just in case you are wondering how they got the car down from the mountain, it was loaded onto the train that carries passengers and materials to the summit ).  

Friday, 15 June 2012


At the end of June I am organising a creative residential on the riverside.  There will be boats, hopefully lots of boats, walks along the seawall to clear our minds and inspire us. And photo opportunities... my goodness, there will be lots of those.  And sky... in this part of the world you have lots of sky.  Which leads me to clouds.  Hopefully they will be the white fluffy kind, but I guess the black ones do create atmosphere and drama....  both create amazing reflections in the water. But I'd rather not rain please... we have had our fill of that!!  There will be a gathering of friends, relaxed and busy around tables.  There will be paper, lots of it, and ideas flowing and buzzing.  I can't wait!!

I've been trying to think of projects for the weekend, something that has a twist and that it is fits our theme. I have not had head space recently for coming up with original ideas, which leaves me frustrated as I LOVE being in that head space, bouncing ideas and bringing them together.  So far I have decided on something using bunting, because it is so cheerful and immediately puts me in a celebratory mood.  It is also versatile and lends itself to so many ideas.

And so I was excited to come across Jennifer's 21st birthday card with bunting.  What a great idea!  I have made mini albums and cards like this using tags, but that piece of cord that ties them together just makes all the difference.  And it immediately inspired me because I want to use bunting during our stay, and a mini album.  Mmmm... finally my head space is where I want it to be and what's more, I'm off work today so ..... deep breath..... long and slow.... I can do what I need to do, and that includes making some ME time.  For some that would mean having a manicure, dressing up to go out, but my ME time?  That would be clearing my mind and doing something creative, a walk with my camera is always good.

But I digress.  While visiting Jennifer's Jumbles I also came across 'An Announcement'. From Friday 29th June – Sunday 1st July Jennifer is having an ‘Organisation Celebration’. So pop over and find out more because there is lots going on.

And what's more, I have my own announcement!

20th June is my 2nd Blogiversary (a name conjured up by Ruth that I loved).  Last year I organised a Blog Hop  which was such fun. 

It would be good to do it again and perhaps I can save that for another time.  But for now I am pondering ideas and I'm running out of time so if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them!

Have a good day and thanks for popping over.


Since posting I have been shopping and I bought the latest CRAFT STAMPER magazine.  Guess what??  On the cover there is a clear BUNTING stamp designed by Stamposaurus.
And inside, a number of sea side themed projects and quotes that have really got my creative ideas buzzing.   Serendipity?   


Saturday - And again!  Todays 99cent Digital Brush email offer was words to do with the sea.  And I've just opened the TV programme for today and see PERFUME is on tonight.  This is a film Susannah Conway recommended yesterday for us to watch as part of the EXPLORE YOUR SENSES course.  We have been focusing on scent this week.  I was going to order it on Lovefilm.  Now I don't need to!  The universe is looking after me right now.

Sunday, 10 June 2012


When I had a recent stay in Guernsey and decided I'd like to go back, I didn't realise it would happen so soon. But a bargain day return by ferry was just too good to miss!  So, here are 10 photos for this months 10 things on 10th.  We left England in rain and gales, and arrived in Guernsey to blue skies and sunshine. How lucky were we?!

And to add an extra element of fun to my trip I was on the look out for specific colours.  You see, I am currently taking part in an online course run by Susannah Conway, called Exploring your Senses.  This weeks challenge is to be more aware of your surroundings and there are suggested photos to take.  Some of these here fitted my search beautifully, and I just loved these shoes and couldn't resist sneaking them in!

Hope you had a great weekend too.

If you'd like to see more 10 things on the 10th, pop over to Shimelle where you would also find some great tips on how to pack for a crop.

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