Keeping busy

Art, blogging, craft, daily living, etsy, illustration

It is business as usual here in my little workshop at the back of my house in Nottingham – since last March I have been limited to walking the dog as my only outing, as my husband is fairly vulnerable to the dreaded virus. I have nevertheless managed to retain a degree of sanity by keeping up with my handmade products which I love to create, and which I sell on the Etsy platform. Making my handmade forges close relationships with some customers as I collaborate on work for commissions and have the pleasure of creating some wonderful unique gifts from customers poems.

If you don’t have that impulse, then there are always the books that I make as tributes to the things in life that have made my life meaningful – there are books celebrating the companionship of our canine companions, a book delighting in trees, the joy of parenthood, the curiosities of ancient manuscripts and a number of books which are literary tributes. I am including some pictures as tasters to provoke your interest! Why not pop along to my corner at Etsy for an in depth view!

Tribute to John Keats
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/666133475
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/662812488
Commissioned work

and then of course I don’t want anyone to forget that I print bespoke greeting cards too, and art prints. I want you to come and bookmark me so that when you need a special gift or card, I am there to fulfil your need! Why not order your Mother’s Day card right now! I print inside the card too if you would like a special message.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/682515486/
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/949491096
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/682515

There are clickable links against teh images that will take you to individual listings, or if you want to head straight to the shop landing page please go here https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/modestly?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=931938907&section_id=16665080

In the meantime I would love you to have a browse over in the shop – all that clicking helps my algorithm! And thank you for all those supporting me in my creative endeavours – it has been a blessing to have something fun to do in these days of lockdown! Stay safe – we are surely on the way to finding some sort of normality again, just a few more short weeks and Spring to look forward to again!

More from anipani – lockdown update

Art, craft, daily living, design, etsy, illustration, Life, print on demand sites, society6

I haven’t been resting on my laurels – now there’s an interesting phrase – this lockdown has put me in a creating frenzy and I have been adding new artworks to my handmade creations at Etsy and to my print on demand stores , Society6, Redbubble et al. And of course now we are all wearing face coverings it has to be derigeur to make them as creative as possible. The new fashion accessory of the decade was the result of a global pandemic – we live in interesting times. My partner and I are, like many, shielding from the possiblity of catching this deadly virus. The daily round looks a little different – click and collect shopping and socially distanced dog walking, but much of my routine is still the same. The worst aspect of the whole lockdown is not being able to mix with my sons and stepsons, and extended family – so as long as they remain safe I content myself with that thought. I cannot imagine how frightening it must be to have family affected.

But somewhere along the line, we will be accommodating living with this new peril – there really will be no alternative, so daily living will be changed forever to some degree. The more at risk will necessarily be more restricted until a vaccine comes along – let’s hope at least for a vaccine.

But to more cheery considerations, the reason I commit my time to creating art is really down to its therapeutic value. It helps me to distance myself from all the real world anxieties – global warming, social injustice, the growing disturbances in the world. And turning to making something real is truly liberating – the necessity to focus on practical considerations of making something as well as is possible results in losing a sense of self – I am lost in that feeling of ‘flow’.

So here are some pics from the last few lockdown weeks – some of the new work I am offering and some showing the processes of getting there!

https://society6.com/product/blooming-june_print

Blooming June is on lots of products – and there is a detail version in my handmade cards at Etsy too! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/812269890

https://etsy.me/3hFJfan

I had a lovely bulk order from America of my card  ‘In the Library’ – an illustration based on detail taken from a wonderful painting by Barthélémy d’ Eyck 1442 – 1445 Still life with books. I popped a little slip around them to help protect each card , (I don’t use cello).

https://etsy.me/2YNp1mr

..and I added a lovely fold out to my book at Etsy which is a tribute to an ancient manuscript The Voynich.

https://etsy.me/2UWirZO

..and my illustrated Prufrock got some bespoke wrapping paper and a postcard sent with it!

..and this is where the magic happens! My easel is an aide- memoir – it carries messages and reminders of what I need to do next!

Creative happy life…

Art, craft, daily living, etsy, illustration, Stationery

O.K. then…not always happy exactly, but that’s what you get when you have the temperament of Eeyore – the melancholic donkey in A.A Milnes Christopher Robin. One way to lift my spirits is to turn to my handmade endeavours – the cards, the prints and the handmade books. I have been doing this for a few years now, and the pace is probably just about right for me, I have enough orders to keep my interest, but not too many to make me anxious. The books are very time consuming as you can imagine, so if I get a spurt of orders on those then I have to extend my lead times. But so far it has worked for me. Recently my contact at a local gallery has taken my prints to display, and just before lockdown had asked me to do some cards to sell there. I generally do as I am asked, but before I could get them to him, the world had to shut down.

So I am sharing them here, in the hope that they may excite you enough to visit my store at Etsy, or if you like any of the artwork here and would like it as a print on A4 rather than printed as a card, which I have shown here, please message me!  All my cards at Etsy are available here   etsy.me/1PgIKTD  and can also include a printed greeting inside.anneannecardUntitled-1annecard3annecard4annecard5annecard6annecard7annecard8annecard9annecard10annecard11annecard12annecard13annecard14annecard15

Fall forward

Art, blogging, craft, daily living, etsy, Life, society6

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My dog walking is a joy these Autumn days – I took some photos a couple of days ago and turned them into digital paintings – just because I can!  My artwork has had the feeling of fall for the past few weeks, but then it is probably my favourite season. I love the smells, and the colour – there is nothing to compare with a sun infused Autumn day. What I see informs what I create – here are a few Autumn creations in my sites at Society6 and Redbubble and at Etsy. I love finding the beauty in ordinary – very Zen!

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Greetings card at Etsy

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River Impressions Art print at all sites

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Fall favour – acorn style Art Print at Society6

And a highlight for me this Autumn was being featured in a beautiful digital magazine Nurture, where I got to share how I love my creative work. You can find the link here  Volume 5 Nurture & Bloom     

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Inspiration in Hayle, Cornwall

Art, craft, daily living, decor, illustration, Life, photogaphy, United Kingdom

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Godrevy lighthouse, Cornwall

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Cliffs near Godrevy , Cornwall

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Sunset at Hayle

 

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!

 

hayle-2

on lots of products at Society6

 

 

Life Matters

daily living, Life, Thoughts

yeats

From W.B.Yeats poem

…. 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.

Merry Christmas

daily living, Life, photogaphy, United Kingdom

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Season’s greetings from Nottingham, England  – it’s been a full year here – as we navigate our way into my husband’s retirement, and see the youngest son start his foray into teaching we have had the inevitable roller coaster of highs and lows.  Into the mix goes my decision to try and manage my health conditions without the support of prescriotion medicine – don’t ask me why but after decades of regulating my body with the addition of anti depressants for pain management, I really wanted to discover life without them- more rollercoaster fun!

 

Wishing everyone peace and goodwill – remember that bit and the holidays will bring its own rewards.

 

 

Brief encounter

blogging, daily living, Life, poetry, United Kingdom, wellbeing

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It isn’t rare to have an encounter with deer here in the Highlands of Scotland – and in our village at Kinlochleven they frequently come down to the river, or sojourn on the green for a short while. I have been taking out my new rescue Patterdale morning , noon and night – we are more often out than in, and yesterday evening we met a beautiful young stag . He had arrived on the green just as we did, bounded onto the bridge and leapt over following the line of the river.  We caught up with him – the light was still hanging around although it was past ten at night – the village was quiet. Reggie and I stood rapt as the young stag was totally still in our presence. It was as though he had invited us into his space. And then he bowed his head to eat some grass – I bowed mine back – and we mimicked one anothers gestures twice more. Reggie was as quiet as a mouse – no barking, no growling, no pulling – just a three way dialogue of enjoying the meeting. Extraodinary. And uplifting – my spirits are needing more of this.

The place I want to get back to

is where

in the pinewoods

in the moments between

the darkness

and first light

two deer

came walking down the hill

and when they saw me

they said to each other, okay,

this one is okay,

let’s see who she is

and why she is sitting

on the ground like that,

so quiet, as if

asleep, or in a dream,

but, anyway, harmless;

and so they came

on their slender legs

and gazed upon me

not unlike the way

I go out to the dunes and look

and look and look

into the faces of the flowers;

and then one of them leaned forward

and nuzzled my hand, and what can my life

bring to me that could exceed

that brief moment?

For twenty years

I have gone every day to the same woods,

not waiting, exactly, just lingering.

Such gifts, bestowed,

can’t be repeated.

If you want to talk about this

come to visit. I live in the house

near the corner, which I have named

Gratitude.

(c) Mary Oliver

 

Physician – heal thyself

daily living, health, Life, lifemeaning

historicdesignin00john_0049 copy 2I am not sure how to start – why I should even want to – connecting is not the straightforward process I would like. I am in a fug. I cannot straighten my own perspective on the world I experience – and having just removed myself from the benefits of prescribed medication for the first time in a couple of decades, I am trying to be gentle on myself, but now I am needed.  My husband has retirement challenges – the common experience of finding how to re purpose one’s life.  I know I can only enable – not do anything, but it’s not easy seeing the person you live with struggle with the existential loneliness that is being human. We all struggle with it to a greater or lesser degree – a universal challenge then – but he, like me, is not a great fantasist. He cannot imagine something that is not apparent. And I am beginning to consider that the art of delusion should be on the National Curriculum in order that we maximise the potential of mental wellbeing. So how can I help? Probably cannot. I choose to try and stay kind – not leaping to judge, remembering its the tiny things that make a person feel loved. But part of me is 6 year s old and screaming ‘What about me?’

And so it is. And it will go on being like this – worrying for him, about him, wanting more for myself, feeling anxious that my sons and their loved ones are going to have to feel the pains of being human.  The only real answer is non-being and I don’t think that will do down well with the family.

So tell me how you manage those feelings of hopelessness, lack of worth, lack of meaning.  Tell me how a walk in the woods nurtures you, listening to Bach, stroking the dog. What am I missing?  My rational self understands all these strategies, even believes in them, but there is still a deep well of loneliness that refuses to be filled . It’s not completely dry, but it could do with some refreshment. This once voracious reader cannot connect with the writer’s I love, something has broken and I don’t think it’s them.

Good days, bad days

daily living, Life, wellbeing

 

yeats

From W.B.Yeats poem

 

It’s always been like this. And hard to accept that the challenge is to get up every day and face what is ahead. Easier for some than others, and that in itself is a difficult consideration to process – that my life has always had the comfort and ease of being born in this century in a first world country – there is guilt in feeling any dismay when there are problems of hunger and terrorism affecting millions every  day.  First world guilt paralyses me. I end up chasing my own tail and trying to find some meaning in life through my relationships with the family I love and through the creative endeavour I call work but which is really play.

I cannot stop weeping – the tears are inside, I could cry that river if I ever dare to open that floodgate.  Recently I made a small decision which affects everyone around me, and has brought me to realisations of my own. For the past couple of decades (almost) I have taken prescribed medication to control the symptoms of a neurological disorder – the meds help to control disrupted pain signals, but they are in the anti depressant family.

It’s complicated – of course – what’s me, what’s my stage of life (menopause), what’s the condition, what’s the meds?  So I am simplifying things a little, now I have less familial duties to fulfil. The meds are gone – first a euphoria, a feeling of connection with the world that has been dulled somewhat – but accompanying that lightness of being are emotions that rattle around like a toy railway train out of control – is this me?

Who knows? This is a territory I haven’t explored for some time and I think there’s some rocky roads ahead, but walking boots on – I mean to try.