Thursday, 29 August 2013

Moving On




I'm feeling very grateful for all the amazing opportunities in my life ... a recent increase in custom orders for jewellery with special meaning, a new development in my Etsy shop, a joint venture for a new craft fair, and new stockists for my work.

As well as looking ahead to a busy and productive Autumn, I am looking back with gratitude to everything I have learned and enjoyed as part of the Fourseven Collective.

Sadly our lovely shop at Heartlands is no longer 'Open ... please come in ...' but is now Closed. Due to a number of challenges and changes faced by a number of our members we found it no longer possible to continue with our venture at Heartlands.

The good news is that we are all moving on in our individual businesses, and we have joint ventures planned both as a collective and with colleagues.



You can find links to websites and on-line shops at our facebook page, where we will also post updates on upcoming craft fairs and other events.




Naturally Heartfelt continues to grow, you can find out more on my website at www.naturallyheartfelt.co.uk and on my facebook page .



Monday, 15 July 2013

Hope is the thing with feathers ...


In a previous blog I've told the story of my sister's work on the North Shore, Vancouver, Canada with babies and mothers who desperately need love and care. 

Here in her own words she explains the background to Spectrum, the charity that has acceptance and respect for all of us being different at it's heart.

"Through my experiences as a foster mother I purposely built relationships with the mothers of babies in my care.  Their stories broke my heart, broken childhood and families, drug and alcohol dependency, mental and physical health issues, financial stress and the agony of having a child removed. The mothers love their babies but in some cases life circumstances are just too overwhelming and they are no longer able to care for their children.
So I began to wonder how different these mothers stories would be had they received support and encouragement earlier.... when they needed it most... before the baby was born, during labor and delivery, in the early weeks of parenting, when post partum depression hit, when financial stress became too much, when they were planning to leave an abusive relationship.... before hope was lost."

 Sally soon realised that what they needed was someone to spend time with them in the home and for someone to spend time with their children so they could invest in self care.  So Spectrum was formed and she began to recruit trained and experienced caregivers and mentors to support these mothers along with a doula to work with mothers prenatally.

"We will love you to be the best you can be"

This could well be the motto for Spectrum, in fact these are Devon's own words, Sally's adorable daughter who helps nurture the foster babies in their family, giving cuddles and telling them: "we will love you to be the best you can be".


Love, hope and a dream in the heart ... 
with strong and fearless determination to make a difference.

You can read more about Spectrum on their website: http://spectrummothers.ca/ .

I'm so blessed that I am travelling out to see my sister and her family in Vancouver this week, and this pendant will be sold to support their work.


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Giving up the day job

I have recently had cause to think about what my work means to me, and when I found myself saying "It's not about the money", I had to really consider what I meant.

Actually, it is about the money, as this is my livelihood and the only way I can earn the money I need to pay my way. When I moved to Cornwall five years ago an unexpected change of circumstance meant that I found myself in a position of having to re-establish my financial independence. Within the space of a year I went from working at a well paid job teaching adult literacy, to planned non-employment with a partner, to being on my own again, but this time as carer to my dear mum.



I've always been a creative/maker and so thought I would try to start earning some money by selling my work at local craft fairs. After a few disastrous episodes including my display taking flight at an outdoor fair, fairs with no advertising and no visitors, and my table collapsing, I started to find my feet with fairs that combined Vintage and Craft.

Gaining confidence, I took my work into a couple of shops in town, and was delighted to be accepted by 'Two Little Birds' and 'Tyto' boutique. Although these two shops have now closed, I am indebted to them for believing in my work. I was also delighted to be invited to sell at Avellana Crafts in Mevagissey. I opened my shop on Etsy and really began to sell.I now also have shops with 'Two Red Trees', 'The Honesty Shop' and 'Not On The High Street'.

In August 2011 I joined Studio 47 in Redruth, which later moved to Heartlands Cornwall and became the Fourseven Collective



Now I recognise what my work really means to me, and it is about more than the money I make when my work sells. It's about the story behind every purchase: the set of three earrings I sent to Canada as opening night gifts for a musical production of 'The Secret Garden'; the 'Joy' pendant sent to the States for the baby shower of a Christian singer; the 'Bright Dream' locket that was a present for a music teacher.

It's also about being able to create my own business and support myself through my creativity, and to know "I did that". That's satisfying. I'm also having to learn a heck of a lot about selling, both in actual shops and on-line, and about being a professional. 



But most of all it's about being part of a community, especially with Fourseven Collective. To be part of a group of artists/makers here in Cornwall, and to run the shop at Heartlands with them is probably the best thing I've done since I moved here, as far as my work is concerned. We have been open just over a year now, and I'm looking forward to a fabulous summer. Rather than 'giving up the day job', I have created my own job, except it keeps me busy morning, noon and night, rather than just the day!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

All Aboard The Honesty Shop


The Honesty Shop is an on-line gift shop with a difference - combining a choice of gift with a choice of charity.

That's not the only difference: the London Honesty Shop is housed in a classic 50 year old double-decker bus operating from tourist locations in central London. 'Trusty' is the world's first unattended city shop, where payments are made in honesty envelopes into a custom-made letter box.


Honesty shops are typically seen at the farm or garden gate, where products are left for sale with an 'honesty' jar for customers to put their money in, usually for plants, flowers and vegetables. Trusty takes this to a new and intriguing level.

The bus helps showcase smaller items in the range but at the same time introduce more gifts that are available on-line at www.thehonestyshop.com.




The rural honesty shop was a common sight in Norfolk where I used to live, and often seen here in Cornwall, which may be why I was delighted to be asked if I would like to have a selling space with The Honesty Shop.

 





Friday, 29 March 2013

The poetry of the earth



'The poetry of earth is never dead ...' 

The words of John Keats' poem 'The grasshopper and the cricket' speak of summer and winter as parts of the same, wonderful cycle of the seasons, each with its own beauty and melody.

Hot summer's day or bitterly cold winter, nature's vitality is always present.


Spectacular skies above the sea ...

... tiny bird on the hedge ...

... small orange shell on a rock ...


... or the fragile beauty of the wood anemone.

Every month and season ... pure poetry.



Friday, 1 February 2013

Celebrate Imbolc: festival of spring, dreams and the waking of the earth


This is the festival that celebrates the beginning of spring, the first signs of life now beginning to emerge. After the weeks of rain and cold, it's a welcome reminder that the first snowdrops are flowering, the first lambs are being born, and the energy of the earth can truly be felt stirring.


"The question isn't who is going to let me: it's who is going to stop me" Ayn Rand 
In other words, when you have a dream, let it be bright enough that nothing and no-one can stop you!


This pendant contains a print of original artwork by Reiki teacher Theresa Field
The Earth Star code contains the energy and essence of the Earth Star chakra and can be used to connect you with earth energy.

Let's celebrate the spring, our dreams, and the awakening of the earth!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Living from the Heart


Living from the heart ~ think positive, be joyful, be open to possibilities, expect delights.

My intention this time last year was to find the joy in the everyday, and a never-ending source of joy for me is nature. 


My all-time favourite book, 'The Secret Garden' inspires many of my pieces.


Living as I do by the coast in South West Cornwall, I give heartfelt thanks that I have the joy of walking by the sea every day, as well as working on my dream creative job.

Molly loves it here too!


Another way in which I connect with nature and learn to live from the heart is through meditation. The teacher of my meditation group is also a talented artist, and she has created some unique artwork to express the chakras or energy centres of the body.

I'm inspired to live from the heart by everyone and everything around me.