Just a few pictures of the work I have been doing this week – I loved designing and making this handmade tribute to the well loved novelist Jane Austen – quite rightly she continues to be enjoyed across the globe – Pride and Prejudice has sold more than 20 million copies world wide! I like her because of her wit – and her recognition that self worth is more valuable than external validation albeit knowing that money also makes life far more comfortable! If you like what you see, head across to my pages at Etsy – you may find something you want me to make for you!
I am feeling loss – and yet have only blessings in my life to feel grateful about. My transition is from feeling necessary to being somewhat spare partish. My youngest son is moving through his life – and I am so proud he is where he is, doing what he is, as I am of my eldest and my stepsons – I have nothing to be particularly grievously worried about apart from the parlous state of the world we are leaving them to sort out. And yet I feel hollow. I need to connect to something that creates meaning for me, and all my strategies I have used to date are not quite doing it for me. I keep turning up – trying to create something I am proud of – but it’s not really working. I know I need to go out into the world, but am not quite ready to face that. I know no answers exist, I know it remains within my own hands (or head) , and yet I am only faced with a feeling of hopelessness. Where are those bootstraps I need to pull up? My first port of call in the past has always been to find solace in the writing of others – and that has created a safe haven for me in the past – but one of my losses is the facility to read. Somehow I am unable to find it within me. This too , I hope will pass.
It’s a river, and I am at one of those sticky creeks, I need to haul myself out of the mud and find some rapids.
Hope everyone finds some kindness to share today, this week, this life.
I am enjoying a late summer break in our beautiful Cornwall – and it is not disappointing!I find it very hard not to be ‘doing’ , so once we are back from a short trek with the reluctant Reggie, who finds everything slightly anxiety inducing, I find myself at the p.c transforming the photographs into prints and images for decor . Can’t help it . It’s almost obsessive , but there are worst things in life. I have produced these images for the blog – they are lower resolution than those produced for the sites that will sell my artwork – just to avoid plagiarism!
Let me know if any spark your interest – if you are UK based and want an image producing here, then contact me and I can do that!
I am thrilled with how my latest foray into printing has gone – I sell my artwork mainly via print on demand sites in America and Australia, but wanted to sell some physical prints myself in the U.K marketplace – I thought I could use my Etsy storefront to be a marketplace as well as talk to some local galleries. I have yet to put all ten of the artworks I chose on the Etsy site – there’s always something to do! But I will. I was concerned that U.K buyers might get put off buying from USA because of the cost of postage, so this was my driver to get organised and produce some of my back catalogue of artwork for sale here. I chose mainly a 30 x 40 cm format so they can slip into standard frames easily sourced, and printed onto a lovely 350 g.s.m watercolour paper which has a slight texture. The result is phenomenal! I am so delighted with my print babies! I wish I could show you the quality ! Wish me luck in getting these out into the world – I am out of my comfort zone talking to buyers at galleries and elsewhere! But it’s time to put my foot in the water and try a little harder in the real world!
Please let me know if you would like to purchase any, and I will sort out the listing either via Etsy or direct using Paypal.
This little collection is taken from the pages I have at Society6 – this is where I spend my days. I have discovered that I have aphantasia – a brain wiring which excludes visual memory. This explains why I love to spend my time making picutres – my mind is otherwise blank! It means I can’t see pictures of my family in my head – or remember places visually – and that spills over to me not really remembering past very well. I live very much in the present. I didn’t know my wiring had a name until recently – but the knowledge sort of helps explain some of my idiosynchronicity. Welcome to my world!
If you like any of the mini prints here, then head over to Society6 and discover them there Framed mini prints at Society6
I have come to an impasse – so I need to remember this. I depend on being inspired by my travels in nature, and by my delving into the wonders of what has been written before by past masters to propel me into creativity. Because I need to create to feel alive. Sometimes the rhythm is not there, or something is misaligned – with no particular explanation – no domestic discord or family crisis to knock me off balance. It’s just not there. Sometimes its a waiting game. Funny old life.
Sharing a few images of my work in progress – I am making a new title to sell in my Etsy store – handmade coptic stitched books that connect you to the beauty already in the world – I have found amazing solace and inspiration from writers down the ages – and this little volume focuses on work by Emily Dickinson and Thoreau – both loved observers of the natural world. I have found inspiration for illustration from historical botanical painting, and found the natural complement to the written word. A celebration of new life, from old – Spring always follows Winter. I was recently very moved by a dedication requested by a customer for my Mindfulness book – and it reminded me why I love making my keepsake books – sometimes we all need a time for reflection and consideration of what is really important – the connection I make with my customers is special.
It has been some time since I updated my blog – and there is a reason for that. My first name is Deborah – though I am called by my second nomenclature Anne due to a tussle between my mother and father – and Deborah is supposed to have a meaning attached to it ‘as busy as a bee’. So I was told. I can make a meal out of anything – metaphorically speaking – everything seems to take me ages these days. I don’t know whether I am noticing it more, or whether I am definitely slowing down. The upshot is it is terribly difficult to feel productive. I am learning to live inside the moment. That sounds easier than it is – our brains are hardwired to be distracted by stuff that makes us feel useful. I don’t feel useful. I feel increasingly useless. But I am trying to change perspective on that. I don’t want to live a rushed life. I want to live a meaningful life. Alot of that meaning transpires to be spent in connecting with my little rescue dog who is needing alot of attention. So be it.
Let me share this with you – it feels great to slow down a little. I hope you find some time to spend doing absolutely nothing .
A portion, of course, from East Coker ‘The Four Quartets’ by T. S Eliot, a poem in its entirety that continues to move and intrigue me as I spend my portion of life on an increasingly perturbed island on the edge of Europe, very much greater in it’s own mind than is realistic or desirable. But then in his words ‘Mankind cannot bear too much reality’
This is where I come in – reality is where I live and it hurts. I notice others can perform the human dance a lot better than I – there is a dissembling in order to accommodate and I find it a tricky route. I feel stranger than perhaps I am – a half century on feeling on the edge of a tribe, and never within it.. Even the one I produced myself , of which I am inordinately pleased with.
I would liked to have met Thomas Stearns, spent an evening of ordinary discourse, shared a bottle of wine and a meal. It’s not going to happen. But like Mr W.B. Yeats, he is as much a presence in my life as the living, and a very welcome one that.
I shall be raising a glass to both my companions, and feel gratitude that they were here – in their end was my beginning.
…. and it is the start of a new year for all of us. I am listening closely to the world via the radio – my trusty Radio 4 gives me the impression I am part of it all. Life is struggle – there’s no way around it for any of us, but the struggle can be fun, uplifting, treacherous – all a mess. That is what I bring today, a big mess of confused memory, thoughts, stretches of imagination – every day I have to pull myself dragging and screaming into the world and try and imagine something new and beautiful to make it worthwhile. For some people it may seem a hop and a skip to get on with the day – what a blessing that would be! But I had dealt me a melancholic disposition, so it starts with me talking quite sternly with myself to arise. Once that’s done, everything seems to fall into place – breakfast, dog walk, and back to the p.c for some illustrative work.
I like having the voices over the radio lull me into the sense of belonging to a tribe – this morning the voices were singing my song about how its ok to have a disposition like Eeyore. It’s easy in today’s madcap world of social media to imagine your life is a little one, in comparison to the amazing lives everyone else is leading – but I told myself decades ago that an Ordinary Life is a Good Life. And beats the alternative. I suffered severe anxiety in my twenties and it propelled me into making some very healthy decisions – quit a corporate job, raised children (sans childcare!) and chose alot of frugal living choices to support me not working at a full time job. Its not for everyone, but I love that there is a new awareness growing exponentially that we do not need to consume all the time – that we can mend and repurpose stuff, and that self worth is separate from the external measures of success that we were sold.
So now I shall quit rambling and move into doing some of my stuff for the day – I hope you are living safe, secure and loving lives out there.