Giving Yourself Permission

I’ve bought quite a few arty books and magazines over the years.  Books filled with lots of inspiration and techniques.  A couple of them had a very cheesy “giving yourself permission” type of page.

You may have seen them.  “I give myself permission to create/make a mess/be my authentic self….”  etc.  I always thought they were a bit daft.

“Do what you love” is something you see everywhere.  But I’m going to admit that recently I have felt that what I love is really rubbish…lol.  Whatever I try I’m always drawn back to collage. I feel it’s rubbish.  Not when other people do but when I do it.  It feels like I’m pretending to be artistic.

I love collages that other artists do.  I think their imaginations and inspirations are amazing and I can look at peoples work for hours.

When I do it, it feels like I’m cheating.  It’s easy and I’m having so much fun!  My Etsy shop and blog has been through many incarnations and the only time I made sales was with my collages.  Shouldn’t I be happy about that?  I wasn’t because I felt like I was cheating.  I wanted to tell people that all I’d done was cut out pictures and stick them together.  My customers weren’t stupid, they knew that.  But I still felt like a fraud.  A fraud who looked at other artists’ collages and saw art, but couldn’t see it in mine.

Recently I’ve tried to do other things but I can’t get away from collage and I’m still learning Photoshop and having so much fun and I have so many ideas.  I keep remembering a conversation with an artist on holiday in Wales  a few back who told me to find my thing and “do it with Conviction!”  she was so passionate she almost shouted it at me.

I think it’s all about intention and conviction.  I’m intending to create art with conviction.  I’m doing the cheesy thing and giving myself permission!

I’ve read enough blogs and spoken to enough artists to know that we’ll always feel insecure or even fraudulent.  It won’t go away.  But I’ll be doing what I love.

Lainey x

From wallflower to sunflower…



Cherished Blogfest 2017


This post is part of the annual Cherished Blogfest which you can read about by clicking on the picture above.  Joining is simple but finishes tomorrow.  The list of participants can be found here. 

Post about an item and visit the others posts,  if you don’t have time this year, follow the blog ready for next year 🙂


My little guys…

In 2000, before we were off on the trip of a lifetime to see friends in Malaysia,  we bought the Rough Guide to Malaysia.  We wanted to get an idea of what we wanted to see and try to get a plan together for the trip.  In the end we pretty much left it to our friends to show us places because it felt like too much country and too little time!  Our friends had  been there a while and knew all the amazing places to visit.

There was however one place that I’d highlighted in the guide.  The Batu Caves. One of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India.

At the time I was feeling mentally, and spiritually tired and was starting to get interested in Eastern philosophies and especially Hinduism.  So the caves were the one place I needed to see.

A couple of pages on from the caves was a really cute little picture of these little monk type of souvenirs.  There were several designs of the figures and the picture was simply called  “Market stall.  Jalan Petaling.”  I took quite a shine to those little guys and was determined to find some on our trip.

Could not find them anywhere.

We visited the caves, which are incredible.  And surrounded by the views, the statues, artwork, and the little Macaque monkeys,  I had a sort of spiritual epiphany, lol.  The weight of internal struggles fell away and started  me on the path to Pantheism.

We then headed over to get a drink and there were my little guys.  To the disgust of my friends and maybe even the stall holder, I didn’t haggle.  I just got them on the spot!

A reminder of a beautiful place, a great holiday and the start of a (slightly!) more peaceful heart.

Lainey x


This post is part of  the Cherished Blogfest. The blogfest is hosted by Damyanti BiswasDan AntionCheryl Pennington,  Peter NenaSharukh Bamboat, Mary Giese, and Kate PowellPaul Ruddockit is open to anyone who wants to tell the world about something or someone they cherish. If you want to join us, click here. The blogfest is open until Midnight Sunday.



Cherished Blogfest 2017

I took part in the Cherished Blogfest in it’s first year and it was one of the loveliest things I’ve ever done on the internet.

Not only does it spark your own imagination and gratitude for some things and the people in your life, it introduces you to new blogs.

New blogs, new stories, other lives.

I wrote about my dog stuffed toy “Pooh” who has been with me since I was two weeks old.  (He’s not that white anymore!)

You may notice the dates have passed.  Lucky for some of us the Blogfest has been extended to the 22nd October.  It’s not too late to join in.  Click on the picture, follow the blog and then pick your cherished item.  The blog itself has information on all the hosts and links to last years blogs.

Obviously once you’ve posted, add your name to the list and start reading!

I’ll be joining in over the weekend, maybe I’ll see you there,

Lainey x

Eye of the Beholder


This is a picture I took of my little sister in the 1970’s.

It’s blurry and a bit rubbish really but it was a pivotal creative moment for me.  I think I was about 11 or 12 when I took this.  Do you remember the days of not seeing your photo’s until they came back from being developed?!

I remember being gutted at how bad this photo was.  However, it opened a whole new door for me creatively.

The photo was developed at a local corner shop and the chap who ran the shop was a keen photographer himself.  Mr Milner was his name and I believe he was also a member of a local camera club.  He was quite taken with this one.  I don’t know if he felt sorry for me looking disappointed or if it was genuine interest but he gave me an insight into what photography could achieve.  It could become art.  He loved the fact that we only saw a bit of my sisters face, the close up of her eye could represent so much.  She’s not smiling, why?  What was she thinking about and how did she make us feel?

He made me think beyond holiday snaps and I’ve carried that with me ever since.

Lainey x

Etsy and Brexit (No Negativity)


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