Friday, 29 May 2009

TGIF and Romanov Beads

So what have I been up to?


This set is called Romanov as when I was making it I was reminded of some of the amazing patterns that are part of the Winter Palace in Russia.  They really aren't my normal style but I really enjoyed making them. 

As I was making them I became aware that they were similar to other glass artists beads.  As I thought this and thought about their designs, the bead I was making turned into mush, the design slipped, and the glass boiled.  Keeping a focus on my bead was really important.  To express my voice even though similar potentially to others meant that I created something I was proud of.

The other thing that I’m excited about is that today is the first time I get to focus on my writing projects.  I have many half finished stories and I hope to spend some regular dedicated time working on them.

So here are my thoughts for Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration Friday… I'm just really enjoying thinking about this as a regular part of my blogging.

  • Trust – I’m trusting today that although it feels like my story telling voice has disappeared, by creating space for it, it will begin to shine.
  • Grateful – last week I was was saying I was trusting that I had made the right decision to start promoting and selling my beads again.  Within minutes of listing I had a sale, thank you
  • Inspiration – Following the sale I feel really inspired just to be me, to do the things I love. 

Monday, 25 May 2009

Live life as an exclamation not an explanation

004 copyI was looking at one of those posters which has instructions about living life.  Normally I look at them and think what a waste of time they are.  In this one this one sentence jumped out.

I so often find myself not truly being me, second guessing what I should be doing, worrying about what other people think.  As a consequence watering down who I am.  So often I find people disapproving of my playfulness not with words, but a look that says you shouldn't be doing that.  People tell me that I shouldn't respond one way but when I actively choose to do something different tell me that I have that wrong as well.

Actually, why do I let people tell me what I should do and why should I be trying to impress them.  But the blatant truth is I do, and I am sick of it.  I use up so much energy trying to justify and explain who I am rather than just living me.

I guess this ties up into my musing for the last few weeks of how do I perform for an audience of one and how do I relentlessly pursue who I am created to be. 

I am so aware that I feel so many things tell us how to be, how to eat, how to think, how to dress and how we unwittingly maintain these standards.  its partly about the media but its also about the people that we spend time with not necessarily in terms of friends but in terms of groups we belong to.  I have different types of clothes for different groups.  Now at one level that is logical because I couldn't wear something heavy when I dance.  But it seems to me that I am trying to create an image that fits in with the rest of the group as much as what is comfortable to wear.

This image sensor is so acute that when I do things like go shopping I am checking out to make sure I not only fit in the the general image of those around me, but I am doing it slightly better than everyone else.  Now the truth is I totally fail at it primarily because I refuse to spend the money it would take to do that but how does my little head even go there in the first place.

There is part of me that would like to go back to being the kid I was before I was bullied.  The one that was carefree, the one that when I was much smaller had to be put on reigns to stop me talking to strangers, the one who just enjoyed being me and wasn't constrained by the groups image.  You know one of the reasons why I was bullied for so long is that I refused to be like the rest of the group.  I used to do it naturally but I feel that that freedom has been beaten out of me.

I so want to be able to live my life as an exclamation not an exclamation.  Lifting my head to the world and shouting this is me rather than head down hoping that no body notices when I get it wrong.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Friday Feature. Merrett Mansion Update

So here's my attempt at putting up some of my art on a Friday and let you know what I’ve been creating this week

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Hopefully by the end of the day I will have some beadies up on etsy.  The green ones are some of my 15mm beads and the black are 6mm tiny treasures.   How exciting is this.  Beadies to sell.

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I’ve also been a painting.  Apart from the eyes on the first one which need re doing, I think these piccies really aren't too bad.  The plan will be to finish them and make them part of some affirmation cards and prints.

I have to say, that may well take some time but at the moment I;m just enjoying the painting.

To finish up, I’ve been doing a TGIF thing (trust, gratitude and inspiration Friday).  So these are my thoughts for today

I'm trusting that even though I'm feeling so very tired today that choosing to intentionally create space to do the things I love is the right decision

I'm grateful to one of my friends allowing me to home teach her children art. I had been wanting to share my arty-ness and there was a fantastic opportunity that also meant she could take her youngest to playgroup

I'm inspired by one of the clients I met today who expresses her love for people and her expression of creativity without abandon.

Thank you for dropping in


Monday, 18 May 2009

Monday Musings: Performing for an audience of one


I’ve made a promise to myself that I will try and update this blog twice a week. 

  • On a Monday with some of my thoughts and ramblings
  • On a Friday with an insight into the art and creativity which has been happening here at Merrett Mansions.

Having made that promise to myself I was sitting here thinking, so what on earth am I going to write about today. 

My new normal pattern for a Monday is now to get up early, meditate, read the blogs I follow and update my own, then get either the paints out or head out to the shed to fire up the lampwork torch. It was in this process that I found the inspiration for today's ramblings, a precious story which really touched me. There in Gypsy Girls Guide was a story which somehow resonates so very deeply with me. 

I have been mulling over the idea of who is it that I am trying to impress.  I find myself at times overwhelmed by what I fear others are thinking of me and as a consequence I perform to those fears.  In India a group of performers performed just for her.  They were not hindered by the fact that there was only one person, that their art and this part of their life wasn't going to be seen. 

For me the challenge recently has been to try and perform for an audience of one.  That one for me being God.  These guys lavishly prepared and gave their best even though only one person was watching.  Just how amazing is that?  I feel so inspired to see such a practical demonstration of performing for an audience of one.  Richly lavishing my life on what I love regardless of whether it is seen or not.

Thank you Gypsy Girl for sharing.

Saturday, 16 May 2009



I’ve been feeling for a long time that I need to re arrange my schedule to specifically create time to be creative.  I’ve felt that doing it haphazardly has meant that things just haven't happened.

I’ve finally managed to create time during the working week and what happens when I come to it…. I do all the little jobs that are on the list to do to clear my mind… then I find my mind is fully cleared and I really don't know what to do with the time.  These precious moments that I have been craving suddenly feel like an empty void. 

Why does that happen?

Should I go to the shed to create glass, should I paint the picture I have in my mind, should I continue writing a script, should I finish one of the polymer clay models, should I make the bag that I’ve just bought the materials for or should I list some of the beads I made a while back that haven't been seen or sold? 

It’s just so weird.  I feel overwhelmed by possibility, and at risk of loosing the time I have created.

I guess the truth is that I have been learning how to be and how to be fully in the moment.  So that makes it OK to be overwhelmed by the possibilities… but also it it so incredibly exciting that I can begin to devote my time to some of the things I really want to do.  To begin to create the perfect day I have in my mind… have I written about my perfect day?  I promise I will

Is this sense of excitement and overwhelming something that you can relate to.  It would be fantastic to hear how you have begun to work through it.

Given that the first thing I’ve done when I feel like this is blog I guess what I’ going to do today is write.  it feels like today is a wordy day.

Friday, 15 May 2009


For a little while I’ve been reading a blog called Ordinary Courage. Its one of those little corners of the net I find really inspiring and so helpful at this point in time in my journey.

Every Friday they do something called TGIF – Trust, gratitude and inspiration Friday.  So here are my thoughts.

Today has just started so its a really nice way to think about how I'm going to do today

  1. I'm trusting that now is the time. I've been hiding my creativity, which has been like pruning it, and it now seems to be re-growing in new directions
  2. I'm grateful for the start of another beautiful day which is yet to be enjoyed
  3. I'm inspired by just knowing that today has so many possibilities

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Peace in the Storm

I have been painting and making things with glass but not posting them.  Simply because I really strongly felt that it was really important that I fell in love with creating and why I was creating, rather than be focused on selling.  finding what it was I was trying to say rather than just loving the process.

Doing this has lead me to a whole new area of work.  Work which for me has meaning and purpose, in a way that other things have not.  A way for me to begin to express my heart in a way which I have not found before.

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This peace is called Peace in the Storm

It was displayed yesterday at an event open to the public.  The intention was to promote the work of the NHS trust I work for rather than for anything artistic.  I wanted the stall I was on to be some how different from all the self promotion whilst still promoting the essence of the work I do.  I often feel that the time I give to people is about providing Peace in the Storm of the emotions they are experiencing.

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Yes it really does shimmer all over as it does in the right of the picture.

The shame in some ways was that I am not allowed to promote myself as this would conflict with my job.  The response and the enquiries regarding my work,however, really were quite inspiring.  People genuinely could not believe that I had completed the work and the sense of peace it inspired in people.

I really believe that I have begun to find where I need to express my heart, and my love

Monday, 11 May 2009



The phrase which runs through my head a lot at the moment is “relentlessly pursue who I am created to be.”  Now given my last post when I am questioning who I am you can see that this poses a bit of a problem.

Part of this however for me is beginning to recognise the things that I am not any good at and saying you know that doesn't matter.  There are people in  my life who can do those things and I need them.  Not only to be in relationship with me, but because I need them to be who they are to support me as I can support them become all we are meant to be.

Part of this is also beginning to recognise what motivates me, what drives me.  I’m becoming painfully aware that there are unhelpful things that motivate me, like how other people see me and pain that I have experienced and am experiencing. 

There are also more helpful things like wanting to see others become who they have been created to be.  Big ideal hey, but it’s what drove me to become a therapist, its what’s inspired me to do youth work.   But it has hit me, I looked at encouraging people to become who they are without first learning to become who I am.

Its like the commandment in the bible to love you neighbour as yourself.  I came to realise the biggest problem for me with this is I have to love others as I love myself.  And I have problems loving myself… Ok I’m getting a lot better at that one and I certainly don't dislike myself anymore. 

But I realise that the first part of the commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and soul.  What I’m learning, really beginning to understand is that if I understand who God is, it kinda answers who I am.  When I stop over analysing myself and focus outside of myself I feel far more peaceful, far more centred.

I know I don't really talk much about my faith but the truth is, it is at the core of who I am.  Trying to present myself without that core of me means I cant present who I truly am.  I can not be authentically me.  My intention is not to push my faith onto  people but to express who I am.  To begin to answer the question who am I and relentlessly pursue who I am created to be

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Who am I?

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I hear myself ask that question and I find myself wanting an answer which is not trite or simple.

I can tell you things about me that I can do, some which I can do really quite well.  I can tell you about my character, my nature or at least my perception of them.  I could tell you about my dreams… but somehow that isn’t enough.  Over the last period of time it is like I have had these things stripped away from me, and I am left with just me.  But who am I?

I desire to be authentically me, the person who I have been created to be… but who is that?  I want to express love, to be loved, to create art… but what does that mean?

I look at other people and see them growing and changing, clearly becoming more the person they are created to be, to become authentically themselves.  Intellectually I am pleased for them but the cry in my heart is what about me.  Is there something about wanting to been seen and acknowledged… probably but there is something more than that in there.

I want to become me, I want to know me.  The crazy thing about that statement is that most people I know would tell me that I am incredibly self aware, very analytical… but is the answer that I am too analytical, asking too many questions?

What I am learning is that there is something about just “being”.  Holding that tension of not knowing and being comfortable with me as I am.  Knowing that I am perfect already, that I am good enough already and that I do not need to strive to achieve my identity.  I am learning how to “be” in the moment.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Dreaming vs. living in the moment

I’ve finally realized why I needed to give up my business for a while.  I have this tendency to plan and scheme.  To try and nail down my future, how I want things to be, to somehow create the life that I want to live. 

In doing all that all I somehow forget to live. I forget to create the things that I want to.  Its somehow like trying to swim against a tide rather than swimming with it.  It somehow disconnects me from my feelings, from my dreams rather than drawing me into it.

What I know is that I want to have a small business… and that’s the problem.  I want to create a business rather than create art.  I want to make money rather than live a life with creativity.

The truth is I need to learn to live in the moment.  If there is art to sell then great.  I hope that it might lead to something more but I need to somehow learn to live in the flow rather than scheme where it will end up. 

All I know is that I am so much more peaceful not planning and scheming, and trying to avoid worry… now I need to learn how to do a creative lifestyle with out over planning.