You Are So Very Beautiful – a Craftivist project

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The photo above is one of the pieces of encouragement I’ve been leaving around the place for a few months now. Not all at once, just one at a time, when I can. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen them. But now I find something similar you might want to be a part of: because that amazing Betsy Greer is at it again, stitching things to make the world a brighter place. And she wants YOU (points finger) to get involved.

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Creating my shining year!

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Hello hello, it’s 2016! Welcome to The Future (which I always accidentally type as ‘furore’; I must get stern with my subconscious).  I was intending to write a gushing review of my favouritest, most usefullest, organising-success-making workbook, in the hope that it would help someone as it has helped me. But it just sounded sycophantic and weird, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet:

Leonie Dawson is a wonderful, magical, rainbow-unicorn hippy mama, and also one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Australia. She has produced a ‘Create Your Shining Year’ workbook – you can buy one for your Life, one for your Business, or go all out and

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Neeeeearly Christmas… An Advent Calendar most wondrous to behold. Or something.

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Ermagerd, it’s Decermber – that snuck up on me :/ The conversation in our house on the evening the 30th Nov went a bit like this:
Supergirl: Oh wow, it’s the 1st of December tomorrow! Do we have Advent calendars?
Wonderboy: They’re parents, of course they’ll have Advent calendars, you’ll see. Do we?
Me, out loud: Maaaaybe *secret smile*
Me, in my head: SHITSHITSHITSHITSHIT

Anyway,

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Upcycled snuggly patchwork blanket

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In the spirit of clearing out clutter and making our house all nice for Christmas, I finally (about four years after I stashed them there) pulled out the pile of old/outgrown/accidentally felted woollen jumpers from under my desk. So snuggly, and so useless, and so bulky – ugh. I cut them into large squares, along with a couple of charity shop scarves I’d got

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Elephants at the Edge

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It’s funny when I hear people talking about how ‘storytelling is dead’, or maybe, ‘storytelling is “the dawn of a new creative movement”, when in fact, it’s as old as humanity, and has never gone out of fashion. This summer saw the 24th storytelling Festival at the Edge, in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, and I was invited to take along my crafting skills and weave some crafty-story magic.

I know, sounds amazing right? It’s just

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A Just-Past-Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Fellow crafters and creatives, here’s a question: do you have a stash of ‘craft/art supplies’ that you swear you’ll find a use for one day? A big pile of boxes or bags or just stuff, filled with shiny things, pretty things, useful things, things to be made into other things? Do you? Will you ever use them? Will you? Really?

Yeah, I know, you don’t have to answer

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Imaginations running wild

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We did it!  We maked a shop! So, last weekend (Midsummer) was DNweekeND – Doncaster’s free festival.  There was a LOT of fun going on, all across town, in empty shops, town squares, and all over the place.  But for our part, the great Dr de Cleyre and myself – masketeer Abigail Emilia – transformed “Unit 24, Waterdale” into the “Imaginarium of Wonder, Wyrdness, and Curious Tales”, with just

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How to build an Imaginarium

Close up of two chicken figures, one wearing a bow tie, the other a lace veil. Of course.

There are great things brewing here, make no mistake. For Dr De Cleyre’s Imaginarium of Wonderment is taking shape…

Curiously pitted lump of volcanic rock
… just appeared all over the top meadow! Honestly I have NO idea…

I’m very excited to have been given the chance to work with storyteller fantastique Tim Ralphs, and bringer-together-of-things superbe Warren Draper, to fill an empty shop in Doncaster with the most amazing and gasp-inducing … stuff.  Together, this coming Midsummer weekend, we’re creating an Imaginarium of Wyrdness, Wonder and Curious Tales, in which I will show people how to make their own masks, and Tim, er sorry, Dr De Cleyre will be beguiling and entertaining all comers with tales of his travels and the mysterious objects he has collected upon the way.

Row of brightly coloured fox masks, and a piano accordion
Yeah, and you know what it’s like when *that* lot are in town…

 

Weird stuff in jars - cuttlefish beak, rat skull, bits of lung
… and this was all they ever found of him. Tragic.

It is an utter delight to work with Tim and Warren, and they are awesome people to bounce creative ideas off.  Right now I’m still making masks, putting things in jars of vinegar, and tying on labels.  There are walls to be covered, paintings to be painted, and plenty more to keep my idle hands busy before we open up on Friday.

Dr De Cleyre’s Imaginarium is part of DNweekeND – Doncaster’s free festival – and can be found (betwixt British Heart Foundation and Iceland) in the Waterdale Centre, Doncaster.  Open on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday.  Full details, and more information about the huge wealth of amazingness happening right across town, can be found on the Right Up Our Street website.  Plus I’m sure I will be tweeting about all the last minute preparations, so follow me on Twitter for pics and links as they come in. I hope you feel teased to come along and see…

And if you’re still unsure, and you’re wondering about the chickens, take five more of your earth minutes to listen to this enchanting tale told by Dr de Cleyre himself…

We’ll see you there… 😉

Welcome to my new website! This is how I got here…

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Hallo you gorgeous things, and welcome to my shiny new website! Do you like it? I’m pretty gosh darned pleased with what the fabulous team at Nobody on Fire have come up with, but now that it’s down to me to maintain it, I’m all ears if you have any suggestions for improvement.

This site is the result of over a year of working and learning and growing, myself and my business, to get to the point where I was ready to launch into the wide blue yonder and really believe in what I do. I didn’t do it alone, I couldn’t have done.  I think trying to go it alone has been what’s held me back for so long.  My first butt-kicker (in the nicest and pinkest possible way) was Gala Darling.  Her Radical Self Love e-course (Dare Dream Do) got me believing in myself and my art again.

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Radical Self Love even got me posting daft selfies on Instagram. Hmm.

So when I found out about Leonie Dawson‘s Shining Year book, I was in the right place to take up that challenge and get moving.  And wow, it’s been brilliant, I cannot recommend it enough (as you can tell, because this isn’t the first time I’ve done so!). And she led me to Jennifer Lee and her Right Brainers in Business annual video summit, which then led me to an enormous wealth of amazingness and inspiration which I’m still working through. And then I read Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking, which is Truly Most Excellent. Phew!

'Meet Amanda Palmer' sign outside Waterstones bookshop
I totally did. My book is now signed. Squeee!

 

I’m telling you all that because I want you to go and check these people out, and see if they can help or inspire you in your turn. Maybe, maybe not, but it is the human prerogative to point and show when we see something we like (no really, it is – as far as we know no other animal does it, yet human babies do it as soon as they can control their fingers), so *POINT* look at these shiny things!

Close up of two chicken figures, one wearing a bow tie, the other a lace veil. Of course.
Philomena and Count Emil. You’ll see.

So, anyway, here we all are. I have some really exciting projects lined up for the summer, and I can’t wait to share them with you – I promise there will be lots of pretty pictures 🙂  In the meantime though, off you go and check out those links 🙂  Especially Gala Darling, because she is glorious.