Spring is in the Air…

It’s been over a week since I blogged but I have been plodding away.  Honest.

My gold leaf arrived and I’ve started sketching out a few ideas for new work.  There was something in the air though…I decided  to have a sort out in the kitchen in order to create a workspace in the utility room.  (Sounds a lot grander than it is – but any space is better than none!)

That very day hubby came home and said he felt it was time for us to put our own stamp on the house now.  We’ve been here over a year and not done anything to the place.  To be fair it didn’t need anything doing but we’d like some extra storage space and we would love to replace some furniture.  You know the type of thing – the cheap/passed down stuff that you had to “make do” with.   When it goes it will take a few crappy memories with it, lol.

On my personal shopping list ready for next payday is a tacking iron.

Well,  I have felt quite productive this weekend.  Except for the two hours I spent watching a terrible/awesome film about two people 50 years apart swapping letters through time via their chimney…!  Some days you just need a dose of daft.

 

Lainey x

 

My gold leaf and sketches.

My gold leaf and sketches.

Hello 2017

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2016 saw me incredibly uninspired.  I had no interest in any creative work at all.  I tried a few things to get back into a creative flow but I just had nothing.   I spent the last year loving my new job and decompressing from  the bullying  I had endured from my previous job.  We were finally settling into our own home.  A perimenopausal malaise reared it’s ugly head and everytime I sat down to do something creative I just stared into space.

My mind wandered, and it wandered to paper.  I have been in love with Japanese paper since the 1980’s and spent a lot of time last year reading about Wabi Sabi which kind of ties in with my old work in paper conservation.

“Wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.” – Lifted from Wikipedia (!)

In paper conservation Japanese paper is used to repair book pages and documents.  It’s  very intricate and all consuming work. When repairs are finished you can see where the old and new mix, the imperfections of the paper becomes beautiful and a new piece of it’s story has been added.  I really miss it.  I miss the textures, layers, and fibres.

So I thought I might go back to collage and start creating Artists Books again.  It will combine the work I miss with my creative spirit. When I think of doing this, I really start to feel inspired. I already have a few ideas sketched out.  And – I’ve been shopping!  Started a new collection of Japanese papers.  Not a lot because it’s really pricey but enough to start out on some new work.

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One of my first purchases – yame kozo paper.

 

I have to string out my art purchases.  Paper this month and next payday will see some Gold Leaf and adhesives coming my way and I am ridiculously excited 🙂

I’m hoping to return fully to blogging – I’ve also missed that.

Lainey x

10 Things to do to Centre Yourself Now

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I’ve been feeling a bit frazzled over the last few days.   A combination of a cold on it’s way, news stories, and a patch of brain fog!  I have started meditating again and had just let it lapse a bit over the weekend and  I really felt the difference.  This is a post I wrote a couple of years ago for someone when I was working from home and I found myself going back to it this week.  I think we all need a little tune up from time to time!
Lainey x
10 Things to do to Centre Yourself Now
We all get a bit overwhelmed in life.  Even those of us that think we are generally quite “Zen” like!
It’s nice to have a few little tips up your sleeve for days when it all gets too much and you haven’t the time to take a meditation/yoga class or if you’re in the middle in your weekly shop.
Here’s 10 things you can do to centre yourself quickly and easily, while busy at home or even while you’re out and about.

 
3 Count Breath

This is the easiest one to do while out and about.  Inhale to the count of 3.  Hold the breath to the count of 3.  Exhale to the count of 3.  This can help focus and slow down your breathing and help to feel a bit calmer.

Mantra or Affirmation

Just a quick, positive statement that you can focus on, again to just help bring a little calm. Something along the lines of “This will pass” or “I feel calm”.  Deceptively simple and effective.

Find Nature

Go for a little walk.  A local park is preferable but if there isn’t one close enough even a quick walk around the block can help.  You will still sense the air and feel the daylight.

Do a Mundane Task

Cleaning is such a pain.  Except when you’re thinking yourself around in circles over a problem or feeling stressed.  Get yourself out of your head by cleaning the bathroom, hoovering up or even de-cluttering a kitchen drawer.  A mundane job keeps your mind distracted giving your spirit a bit of a break!

Stretch

Stretching is awesome!  A great way to physically ground yourself and put your body back in touch with the spirit.

Write 

Sometimes, venting frustrations in writing is a great release.  Lists can also help focus you and help you feel a little bit more in control again.

Focus

Focus is probably the main feature in all the other things listed.  Focusing on something, takes you out of your head a bit. Whether it’s preparing a meal, writing or cleaning, it’s the focusing  that is the key.

Gratitude

Take a minute to mentally give thanks for something.  If you hate your shopping trip, think about why you are able to shop.  Focus (again!) on the things to be thankful for about it.  Having people to buy for, money for the trip, how lovely it’s going to be to get home!

Music

Sometimes when I feel scattered I put some “energising” music on…but that just makes me feel more agitated.  If you’re in that state of mind, find some slow, peaceful music to help bring you back to a more gentle state of mind.  I always have a particular CD handy for such times.

Find an App

This one is a bit “out there”.  There are lots of apps for your phone/tablet or computer that are a bit “zen” like.  Whether it’s a sound board of natural sounds or some peaceful music, they can help to introduce a sense of calm.  I have one called Buddhist Meditation.  It’s just a bell every few seconds for a certain amount of time.  Just a minute or two helps me feel centred again.

How about you?  Do you have a “go to” plan?  What do you do to help yourself centred?

Etsy and Brexit (No Negativity)

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My two penneth…

Etsy issued a statement on the result of the EU Referendum and, while vague, it is one of the best things I’ve read since the result.

The upshot is we have no way of knowing exactly how this will affect shops and businesses that use these online communities.

I think in the short term buyers will get a better deal from us in the UK due to the exchange rates.  In the long term, some of us will have to rethink postage costs and tax issues.  In the meantime we carry on as normal.

Changes will take time to come into effect and will be rolled out on an “as and when” basis.  We won’t have 24 hours to change everything about our shops.  We have traded fine with the rest of the world as well as Europe and we will continue to.

The thing with Etsy, as with many online communities, we have built up our own relationships with each other.  I love my many friends scattered throughout the world that I have met via Etsy, and online. Bureaucrats can’t change these relationships.  They can change how we operate but as always in business we have to adapt and evolve.

Our friends in Europe must feel rejected, this was done en masse but nearly half the country wanted to stay (for the record I voted to stay)  We have to move forward now and how our online communities behave now can show the masses and the politicians how global citizens can behave.   I think it’s a good opportunity to show politicians that “divide and conquer” techniques will not stop us anymore.

We are on Etsy to reach out to all corners of the world and show and see how others live, work, and create and fit into this little world of ours.  That will not change.

Lainey x