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Glittering Shards

Glittering Shards: July 2010

Glittering Shards

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mosaic giveaway...and some quick mosaic projects in the making!

I do believe my heart rate picked up just a little when my dear husband's hand went into my daughter's brown hat to pull out a green slip with the name of the winner of my dragonfly mosaic stone! And the winner is...
......Nutty  from Australia! Nutty is an artist and writer who has recently set up her blog so do head over there to wave hello! Send me an email with your address Nutty, and your dragonfly mosaic will be flying its way over to you very soon!

My creative work this week has been split between finishing my Moonscape triptych commission and preparing for two mosaic workshops which I am running as part of the Skylark Gallery Summer Sizzle Festival.

The workshops are happening on 4th and 10th August between 10-11.30am at the famous Oxo Tower in London's Southbank (one of our favourite family spaces in this big 'ole city!). If you are interested in participating, you can sign up here .

Running short, all age, workshops in the mosaic medium is challenging. My way round this has been to order 3kg of soft glass so that no cutting is necessary and to mock up some quick and simple mosaic projects to give people a little taster of the world of broken art!
3kg soft sorted into colours
 Here's some pics of my prep in progress. There will be a chance for people to mosaic picture frames, a small tile or make their own simple mosaic stone (mmmm...transporting all those tiles and stones on the London Underground may be a little challenging).
Mosaic tile, ready for grouting demo

Yellow soft glass mosaic stones (the others are made with cut tiles)
Yup - dragonflies again! This one is easy for even little ones to do

Picture frame now home to my favourite pic (glue still drying!)

I recently posted a tutorial on making soft glass mosaics with children here, so head on over if you want to play at home! See you Sunday for our reflection on the week just gone...

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


This is one of my favourite pictures. I took it at the Lavender Fields in Banstead last year.  The lavender is now in full glory so we are off there again this Saturday. Looking at this picture makes me want to take a deep, belly breath as if I could smell the lavender from the image. breathe in.

I have been thinking about and where it comes. Yesterday, I heard this interesting programme about the brain and how it has different electrical patterns when we are 'thinking' normally to when we are daydreaming. I realise that I get my best ideas when I am in the daydream zone. You know that feeling, when you drift off and then have an 'aha' moment and seconds later you are jiggling with excitement, like a child?

I have been neglecting daydreaming. Its great having a dream-focused to do list, but I am realising that the stuff of dreams can easily get pushed out in the efficiency of time management.  I need to do some more daydreaming, some more deep breathing. Maybe I should add 'daydreaming' to my to do list?! Mmmm...then again!

Back here tomorrow (Thursday) to announce the winner of the dragonfly mosaic! Any latecomers, you have until 9am on Thurs 29th July (GMT) to enter by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post. Good luck!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Celebrating Each Step on our Creative Path - week 4

Gosh, is it really a month since this little space started? (If you are new to this weekly space, click here for background and how to participate). Looking back over one week and acknowledging what we have done is great. Looking back over a month and maybe we can begin to see how we  are different ways of being, doing and thinking are altering us? They say it takes 12 weeks to form a habit...

I am noticing a sustained change in my feelings of being calm and in control of the monster 'to do' list since using the "capture list" idea for my work and home life. The other big change we are trying to make is in our eating habits. We are avoiding meat - especially red - dairy, wheat and alcohol. We are in week three of this change. Hubby is feeling full of energy. Me? I hit the wall  this week. I felt like someone had pulled the plug from under my feet and the energy was pouring out. Not sure if its a combination of diet (not getting enough protein?) and lots of yoga...which I suspect is releasing years worth of stored up stuff. Anyone have any expertise on this? Feeling a bit more energetic today. I am having fun making food with spelt instead of wheat (pizza...yum! Bread in oven as I write. Might try pasta tomorrow). I am also making the starter dough for rye bread. Loving it.
 Creativity wise, several things to report and celebrate (which I wouldn't had thought much about if I wasn't writing this blog post - guess that's what this space is for!). I facilitated a local school to create a large mosaic mural by training two extremely enthusiastic and dedicated teachers in mosaics, helping them design their mural and advising them along the way. This week, after a huge amount of work by pupils and teachers, they unveiled their beautiful new mosaic mural which is now happily brightening up the school playground. Fantastic!
 Work on my triptych commission continues...I am really liking how its coming out and have had fun using a  new material that I have 'discovered' from recycled objects (will reveal in a later post for you mosaicist...its a good'un!).

I am now fully booked on my autumn mosaic workshop (yay!) and nearly fully booked on the last course of the year. Lots of enquiries coming in so I am soon going to schedule an extra course for 2010 - watch this space. And to top it all, I met a lovely lady at the Urban Art Fair in Brixton last Saturday. We got chatting and I mentioned that I was a mosaic artist. "I am just looking for one of those" she said. And so it is that I am now running two workshops as part of the Skylark Galleries Summer Sizzle art fortnight at the Oxo tower on the South Bank. Beautiful serendipity.

Last but not least, I have announced my first blog giveaway! For those of you who have not seen it yet, jump to here as you have several days to enter before the draw closes. I will be announcing the winner on Thurs 29th July. Thank to all of you who have already commented on my last blog post - it was a very 'heartful' piece of writing that has been gestating in me for a long while and took ages to 'get out'. But happy that I did :)

How has your week been? What have you done that you feel good about, big, small or seemingly insignificant? Any particular successes? Any changes in lifestyle or shifts in your heart and mind going on? Lets celebrate them together.... x

PS Bread is out of the oven...mmmm... yum!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

What blogging means to me...thoughts, an announcement & my first giveaway!

In November 2004, I read an article in a Sunday supplement about the new world of blogging. Being a keen writer and thinker on life & the universe, I jumped straight onto blogger and wrote my first post - not with any great purpose in mind - but just because I could. For a few months, I posted several 'missives' (as my friend Steve put it!) quietly flirting with this online world, but really not knowing very much about its possibilities.
Love this pic
In May 2005, I got pregnant. Enough said. The most exhausting early pregnancy (ehm...and middle and end), followed by the arrival of our beautiful baby girl who did not 'do' sleeping (gastric reflux for months, poor wee thing). Then, when Isabella was 6 months old, I was pregnant again (yes, by choice!). The arrival of our precious Toby meant I was mum to two under two's. A challenge like no other, not helped by that fact that I hardly slept a night through for 3 years, so much had my body forgotten its sleep rhythm.

Come Easter 2009, my sleep came back and slowly my energy returned (I still wake up after a good night's sleep full of gratitude). A few months previous, I had bought a magazine called Craftzine and, rummaging around their web site, I came across a blog by a mum and paper artists, Patricia Zapata. I was enthralled by this new world. Around the same time, motivated by crafting with my children, I ordered Amanda Soule's "The Creative Family" on Amazon. Wooooo! A book about creativity, community and family life- 3 subjects closest to my heart all in one book. On the back cover was a link to Amanda's blog. One click later and I was off, into the rabbit warren that is creative blog land. It was a rich and addictive journey, finding one blog after another by women, many mothers with young children like me, who were (re)discovering a more creative, authentic, simple and 'green' way of life. The power of connecting with others on a similar path, hearing their stories and seeing how they lived their daily lives, was instantly liberating and empowering.

By this point, I had already made the monumental decision to step out of my career as a social worker & trainer in order to dedicate myself to my family and my mosaic art. It wasn't long before I dusted the cobwebs off my blog (which bore the same name as my mosaic art web site which has been running for about 7 years). I wrote my first 'I'm back' post just over a year ago (here) at the end of June 2009. During the last year of twice / thrice weekly blogging, I have often asked myself 'why?'. Why do I spend time writing blog posts and reading other people's blogs? What motivates me to use my precious spare time in this way?

When I restarted my blog last June, it was a simple act of reflection...a desire to record my journey as a mother and artists - and the meeting of these two areas of my life. My profession had trained me in the importance of reflection. I place enormous value on the act of stopping, reflecting and writing. It deepens me. It causes me to savour life rather than rush through it without tasting it. It helps me work through thoughts and feelings that may otherwise bubble under the surface unacknowledged.  Since reviving my blog,  photos have also been central. I was always keen on taking snaps of ordinary life and capturing memories, but since my new season of blogging, I have fallen in love with my camera (did you know that you can make a blog book of all your posts and photos at How cool is that? Gonna do that one day!)

A craft table I made for Isabella and Toby

For many, many months I had no idea if anyone was actually reading my blog or even how to tell the wider world that it existed. It was very much a pure story-telling space for me (and still is). Whilst I am aware of my personal boundaries as this is a public space, I also wanted to be real about my life and not just present the happy side. Here, I had a 'mama melt down' and decided to show it like it is. I know how much I have appreciated others who have done the same. Memorable, 'honest' posts have been this one by Soule Mama, this one by Amelia and recently this one by Rachel. (Do you have memorable 'honest' posts that you have read?)

Why do I blog? It is a daily reminder that I am not alone. Modern parenting is isolating, no longer tribal. Blogging connects us. Being an artists is a lonely business too...making away, alone, in a bubble, away from feedback, team work and daily connection.  Blogging inspires, challenges, helps us take risks and put our artistic selves out brings about amazing creative connections and collaborations (UK people, have you seen that Moyra is brewing some plans for a UK art retreat through blogging connections?).

As Kelly Rae puts it, blogging is like inviting people to your kitchen table for a cup of tea. I am very grateful to the countless people who open up windows to their worlds, their kitchen tables and their studios so that I may be encouraged and inspired.

Yes, that's another reason for the power of the blog. It is pure role-modelling. We don't seem to talk much about role models these days, yet they are so central to forming us, teaching us, motivating us. I used to bemoan that there were not many around but since discovering blogging, I am awash with connections to the most beautiful, inspiring people.  I can read about a great idea in a book, but still lack motivation to turn the idea to action. Yet, when I read a blog post by someone I have followed, whose spirit I have got to 'know', I feel inspired to have a go at what they are doing, to put ideas into action. She has become a role model. An example of this for me has been Heather at Beauty That Moves - this particular post has got me making green smoothies several times a week as a way of looking after myself. But more than that, Heather's whole attitude to food, nutrition and looking after our bodies has got me making big changes in my ways of eating. Heather also started dabbling with making art on her own last winter, and took herself off on a solo art retreat in a quiet corner of her home (how cool is that?!). Reading about her journey with art inspired me to not remain in my comfort zone with mosaics but to pick up pen and pencils again (which ultimately led me to doing Amelia's Experimental Art e-course - see, its all connected!).

The flip side of the role modelling story are the comments of gratitude left by readers of my blog and the now numerous occasions in which friends, who I didn't even know read my blog, have told me how this space has inspired live more creatively and more deliberately, to do more art with their kids. Recently, as a result of the Celebrating Each Step forum on this blog, a good friend told me that they have now started a new family ritual. At the end of the day, they write on a white board what they did that day that felt good as a way of engendering a spirit of celebration and motivation in their family.  How cools is that? This genre of "creativity / simple living" blogs are powerful. They cause mental shifts and they bring about actions that change us and the world around us (mostly unknown to the blog authors, which is kind of beautiful).
 A few months into my revived blog, I realised that one of the things that I love about other people's blogs is when they equip me with resources for daily living (tutorials, links etc..). Being in the midst of experimenting with creativity and parenting, I started recording my exploits in trying to make mosaics toddler friendly. A new series of tutorials was born (see here and here and here for examples) both mosaics related and general stuff on nurturing creativity in children. Not long after starting this series, I was contacted by Disney in America, asking if they could publish one of my tutorials in their Disney Family Fun magazine. I haven't mentioned this yet as its been months in process...but can now announce that the October issue of the magazine will have my sun catcher mosaic tutorial in it! Yay!
Isabella with one of her mosaics
My blog. My little bubble in cyberland. A space for reflection. A space for journalling my journey into deeper creativity,  authenticity & motherhood. A space for sharing connections, celebration, ideas, techniques, inspiration and motivation.

Thank you for visiting my home in cyberland, be that once only or several times a week. I have often wondered whether to continue having the 'followers' button on this blog - my hesitation being that I know many people come here regularly who are not 'followers', it makes me sound like the leader of a (mosaic?!) cult and I do not want to become focused on "follower / commenter" numbers for fear that it skews my authenticity (if you blog you will understand...). But I know it helps us all stay connected, so it will remain. And if you are one of my 'followers' (hidden or otherwise!) thank you, sincerely, for the honour of being listened to by you.
To celebrate, and as a sign of gratitude for all the goodness that running this blog has given to me and others, I want to  give a piece of my mosaic art away. This is one of my pebble mosaics - a dragonfly which symbolises enchantment & freedom. It has a hook for hanging and is made with beautiful iridescent glass that changes as you walk past it!  Do let others know about the giveaway and if you want to play, leave a comment at the bottom of this post. This time next week (29th) I will do a random draw of names from the commets and will announce the winner and post it to you. Happy days!

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Celebrating Each Step on our Creative Path - week 3

How has your week been? I was touched by all the on and off blog encouragement I received this week from many of you. Sincerely, thank you. Those of you who tried the Capture List idea last did it go? Mine is working - hurray! I sit with it at the start of the week and day - just a few minutes - and prioritise to make my small, manageable To Do list. I haven't hyperventilated with overwhelm once this week....celebrate with me here folks...that's a BIG achievement for me!

I am not sure I mentioned last week, but I was so chuffed with myself for working out how to make a badge and HTML grab box (see column on the left) for this Celebrating space. Gosh, I felt clever! If you want to grab a Celebrate button for your blog, just copy all the html gobbledygook in the little box below the Celebrating badge on the left and then paste it into a HTML widget in your blog. If you want instructions on adding badges to your blog (and a host of other blog design how-to's) go here to Sneaky Momma's Blog Tips. Thank you Sneaky Momma for your generous sharing of information - I have turned to your clear instructions on many occasions ;)

Other steps taken this week:
  • I started on a new commission...loving it already
  • did my last mosaic class for the summer - what a great bunch of students  
  • promoted my courses a bit more and had new enquiries for my September course which almost full
  • made some good decisions about the best use of my time...keep asking myself when I am in the middle of doing something, or planning an activity "Is this actually contributing to achieving my goals?"....
  • met with another blog friend, Jenny Lee Wentworth, who was visiting over from the states. Lovely, lovely evening
  •  Oh...and have been to yoga 3 times this week (the most I have ever done) and am amazed at what my body is beginning to do!
Well, that's me. Would love to hear from you as you look back on your week...what did you do? What are you happy you did? What do you want to celebrate?

I'll leave you with this thought. Whenever I go to the theatre to see a big play or musical (not often these days - last one was The Sound of Music for my lovely friend Oonagh's 40th last year! ) I always feel really moved at the end when everyone claps the actors. It really wells me up. I am not sure why but I think its something to do with appreciation and acknowledgment - they have done a good job and people are showing their gratitude. I always have this strong emotional reaction and then - every time - this thought runs through my head. Why don't we celebrate other people's work in the same way? Why do only certain human endeavours get rounds of applause?

For me, this Celebrating space is a way of us applauding and acknowledging each other, for the seemingly small accomplishments on the path to greater creativity & authenticity and for the in-your-face significant achievements (Kim's first solo show underway, Amelia's about to start, Dana's great new series of interviews, Louise's one year 'blogoversary'!).

I am loving how, in the comments here, people are listing their achievements and then other's are coming back and saying "yay!" to fellow bloggers. That's the spirit of the end-of-show applause which I find so moving - the power of acknowledging the gift that is in others and celebrating when their hard work allows those gifts to emerge. Even for the greatest West End actors, it is all in the small steps taken with the eye on the path in front. Here's to you and the steps you took this week.

Concetta xx

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Emerging art...

New to the planet...emerged and emerging mosaic art for you to peek at!

 Lorna's seascape coming to life
Caroline's 2nd mosaic! (yup, only her second!)

Fiona's penguin (he has a proper, 3d belly...too cute!)

My butterfly stepping stone...

 ...which will have to wait as I am working on a commission
A triptych moonscape...

Ooooooh....I love mosaics (had you guessed?!)

I have some new work brewing in my head and heart too. Do you ever have that feeling when you can 'see' something in your head (art, writing, music) but have no idea if you can actually externalise it so that it comes to life? That's me at the mo...

Back here on Sunday to do some more celebrating of our creative steps...  Come and join us and do grab a badge from the column on the left for your blog if you like!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Things that make you go ahhhhhh....!

Thank you to Amelia for prompting me to think of a list of things that make me happy. Inspired by reading Amelia's list,  hubby and I took turns to make our own, whilst sitting in the garden one warm summer evening last week. What a great shot of contentment it generated - must remember to do this more intentionally when I need some happy juice to counteract life's stress and blagh! Hubby came up with the most hilarious thing for his list... "That feeling you get when you fall asleep with your arm above your head, then go to move your arm and its all numb and flops onto your lap". Ha ha! Love it!

So, in no particular order, here's my list:

1. Looking intently at the moon and the stars, the wonder of the bigness of it all

2. Sitting round a fire with friends, whisky, guitar and song

3. The feeling of cool sand under your feet on the beach on a hot, hot summer night

4. My children's laughter

5. Watching my children sleep

6. Falling asleep on my husband's chest

7. That intense, eyeball to eyeball look of a baby taking in your face for the first time

8. The smell of tomato and geranium leaves (ahh...beautiful Italy...)

9. Huge, soft, fresh figs melting in your mouth

10. Total silence and stillness, (preferably at the top of a mountain).

11. The spicy smell of woodlands

12. A good foot and head massage

13. Running into the wind

14. Jumping into waves

15. Kids jumping into bed with us in the morning (not too early!)

16. Getting engrossed in creating something and losing time

17. Smell of salty, sea air

18. Making my own bread by hand

19. Walking bare foot and feeling the earth under your feet, particularly soil and grass

20. Sewing by hand, quietly....

....ahhhhh. What about you? Share you happy things in the comments or do your own blog list and link back so we can see and get more happy juice!

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Celebrating Each Step on our Creative Path - week 2

Welcome (back!) to this online space dedicating to celebrating the steps we have taken on this journey of creativity. It is a way of helping us keep a balance between all that we want to do and what we have already done. You can read more about the story behind the 'Celebrating' space here

Did you take small or big steps towards your goals this week? If you are anything like me, you may suffer from wanting to do it ALL and do it NOW - a recipe for overwhelm if there ever was one.

This week, I am realising that its not just about the goals but about the we treat ourselves and others as we walk the path of fulfilling our life's dreams. It may be great to tick off all the to do's on our list...make beautiful stuff...write excellent words...but if at the end of it we have treated ourselves like the harshest task master and neglected our relationships and our bodies, then something is amiss. I am realising that with the amount of energy, determination and drive that I possess, I can lack gentleness towards myself and others in my pursuit of my passions. That is why this space is good for me. It is teaching me to pause before getting on with the next thing. I have never appreciated the power of the 'pause' before. This week, I have noticed myself allowing more time for pausing...momentarily slowing and changing the gear so that my pace is not so frenetic.

So, the questions I pose to myself and you this week is "What steps on your journey have you taken that you want to pause to acknowledge and celebrate?" and "How have you treated yourself and others on the way?" Our celebrations are not just about what we did but how we were in the midst of our doing. How are we dealing with our selves, our internal processes, those around us? If we felt overwhelmed, how did we cope with that? Better than normal? Than that is a cause for celebration! This week, I started feeling overwhelmed but I managed it so much better than normal and I feel really good that I was kinder and gentler to myself  - its a major thing for me.

One thing I did this week has helped me enormously. After 18 months of leaving my profession to take up the creative life, I finally realised I could benefit from applying some of my old time and task management principles. So, here's what I did.

1. I worked out what the broad areas of my life are from which actions and tasks flow. I came up with 7. Household, Family Fun, Art Making, Creative Business Admin & Development, Home Craft, Community & Charity and a last category that is about my own personal and spiritual development.

2. I gathered all the notebooks that had jobs and ideas jotted in them. I got a brand new book and some stick on tabs from a stationers.

3. I made a tab for each of the 7 areas of my life. I went through all my ideas and to do lists and transferred them all into the appropriate section of the new book. This book is now called "My Capture List"...the place where I capture all the thoughts, ideas and things I need to do so that I don't have to hold them in my head or panic about having forgotten something.  The calm this process  brought was great...and while my task master was telling me I was taking way too much time making my book look like it wanted to, I ignored that voice as I was aware I'd struck on something important.

4. I then went through each area of my life and picked a manageable number of things important for me TO DO do in the next week or so. This is helping me restore balance between all the areas of my life (know that feeling when you spend loads of time on creative business and little on actually creating?). It is also helping me keep my TO DO list manageable, because it is this To Do list that I look at, not the Capture List with all the 101 jobs it inevitably contains.

5. I am keeping this (now sacred!) book close by so that as soon as remember something that needs doing I can jot it down. My intention is that at the start of each week, I spend 15 minutes (and maybe 5 mins at the start of the day), going through every idea and task and deciding what is important to do for now. That feeling of overwhelm is fading. Hurray!

So, this week, I have (re)discovered my own way to manage my time, my tasks - my panic about tasks and the time there is to do them in!
Amelia, me and Louise in my studio

In the midst of all this process, a beautiful evening spent with two creative bloggers and fellow course members on Kelly Rae's Flying Lessons - Amelia (who lives in the same town as me) and Louise Gale from New York, who was in South London visiting her parents and got us all together for which I am very grateful. It is amazing meeting people for the first time and feeling so relaxed and able to talk from your heart straight away. And talk we did...about our journeys, our art, our feelings about our art, our dreams and about the raw, beautiful power of creativity and all the mystery it contains. Wonderful.

Now I'd love to hear about your week...

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My mosaic stones featured on Crafty Crow

Have you experienced the Crafty Crow yet? I just love this blog. It is the hugest archive of creative projects for children (big and little!) with regular features on recycling and nature. It has a massive readership amongst people doing arts and crafts with children (parents, teachers) and today, one of my mosaic projects for children has been featured on it! Hurray! You can see it here.

Hello to all the Crafty folk visiting (*waves*) and thank you to Cassi who does an amazing job in compiling this collection of the funkiest art and craft activities in the blogosphere.

I will be posting the new badge for "Celebrating Each Step" hopefully tomorrow, for any of you to visit on Sunday / Monday / Tuesday and share with others what steps you have taken this week on your creative path.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Celebrating Each Step on our Creative Path

Welcome to a new monthly space called Celebrating Each Step! This is the first post that explains the story behind 'Celebrating...'.  You will find a Celebrating posts on the first Sunday of every month.

So many of us are coming alive to creative dreams, paying attention to the whispers in our heart which urge us to an authentic, creative life. Some of us have been on that path a long time, others of us have stepped onto it more recently. With the burgeoning of technology we also have the opportunity to express and grow our creative dreams within global communities of connection, bringing a host of 'techie' jobs new to all of us, no matter how long you have been using your hands, pen or voice to create.

I stepped away from a 20 year career in social work into life as a mosaic artist just 18 short months ago, finally giving my my artistic calling the attention it deserves. I duly launched myself into a whole host of projects, initiatives and 'to do' lists to develop myself as an artist and sell my art.

Then, five weeks ago, I began Kelly Rae's Flying Lessons e-course on developing your creative business. The first lesson encouraged us to get our journals out and let the creative dreams and goals unfold. At that moment when my pen was poised, something in me decided to pause and list what I had already done before listing my goals and what I wanted to do. This was a light bulb moment...the list was long and took me by surprise, so little had I acknowledged these landmarks in my determination to get on with the next thing! I decided at that point that I would blog about significant steps I was taking as a way of celebrating them. The following week, my excitement for establishing my business office spilled onto a blog page and I cannot tell you how meaningful it was for me to read the comments of others celebrating this landmark with me. As if to underline the importance of building celebration into our lives, Kelly Rae talked about this very subject in Flying Lessons this week (telling us how she and her husband now make a point of chinking glasses and naming something to there is always something to celebrate, however small).

And so the idea crystallised to create an online space where we can tell others about our achievements - the steps taken, the things done, no matter how small - and have this wonderful online creative community celebrate with us.

(from a wine bottle we drunk appropriate!)

So, here's how it works...

On the first Sunday of the month I will write a post called "Celebrating Each Step".

In the comments of the post, you can :

- write about any step taken or accomplishment that you want to celebrate


- write a Celebration blog post on your own blog and paste the link to your blog post in the comments section here (that way, people can visit your blog too!).

I will do this every month. You can come any time you like! You can see old Celebrating posts by clicking on the "Celebrating Each Step" link on the left which you are welcome to scroll through, or just jump to the latest Sunday Celebration and join in! It is a space to help us all step back, reflect, acknowledge what we have got done as a way of balancing the growing list of what is still to do.  It is a space for me and a space for you when you want or need it.

I want to be clear that any step or accomplishment is acceptable, the only requirement is that it is important and significant to you. It can be that you set up a facebook page, mastered online newsletters or a new art technique, did your tax return, ran a great class, booked onto a course to develop yourself, did your morning pages, tidied your studio or craft space, reached out to connect with other makers, gave up your day job, got a commission, sold some of your work, set up your online shop, learnt from something you did wrong on a piece, got some business cards printed, managed to squeeze in 15 minutes of making whilst caring for little ones, coped with feeling overwhelmed, called yourself an artist when someone asked you what you did....

I have a long list (from my journal entry 5 weeks ago!) but I will start - here and now - by saying that I feel great about creating this online space for myself and others to celebrate our steps along the creative path. And I am soooo chuffed about the picture that I made on the beach today to symbolise the heart of what this initiative is about (which will be turned into a badge next week for you to grab and put on your blogs!).

How about you? Stop and look back for a moment....what have you done? What have you achieved? What steps do you want to celebrate?

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Holiday musings and an exciting announcement!

We are in Wales this week enjoying beaches, coves, caves, castles and LOTS of ice cream. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy beach combing for treasures. The stones on the local beaches are just beautiful, one type in particular is jet black and formed into geometric shapes by nature and very flat - perfect for mosaics.  I had a lovely surprise when we arrived at our friends where we are staying. Julia, who did one of my mosaic courses last year, had made this mosaic on her bathroom beautiful is that?

I the midst of it all I have snuck away to try and keep up with Kelly Rae's Flying Lessons E-Course on developing your creative business. I have just read the last post and it has brought tears to my eyes. Kelly Rae, as well as teaching sound and creative practical strategies for developing a creative career, has conveyed thoughts about our humanity and way of being that resonate deeply with me. Being in a bit of a hurry to write this post (we have a castle to visit this morning!) I can't expand on this right now but I promise I will in the next couple of weeks, sharing the key learning that I have gained from this wonderful course. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Righ now, I do want to briefly tell you about a thought process that I went through as a result of the course though. The first week we were encouraged to reflect on our goals. I was just about to put pen to paper and start listing my creative goals when something in me paused...and I decided instead to first pay attention to what I have already done, before focusing on what I want to do. You may know that 18 months ago, I  gave up my job to concentrate on my art. Being quite a focused, determined soul, I have the tendency to get things done and straight away plough into the next thing to be done. When I stopped and wrote my list of all I had DONE so far, I was totally was so much and I hadn't celebrated all these small and big steps already taken, so pre-occupied am I with the path ahead.  So I have decided that I will regularly start writing my accomplishments into blog posts...did you see the post about my new creative business office last week? It was sooooo good to share this accomplishment here and to have others in the creative blog world celebrate with me (thank you!).

So, here's my announcement! From this Sunday and every Sunday, I will be hosting CELEBRATION SUNDAY on this blog.  A place where we can  CELEBRATE WHAT WE HAVE DONE, the steps we have taken, big or small, the goals we have achieved, any particular accomplishments or successes. I will explain more how it works on Sunday but simply put, I will do a post every Sunday, titled Celebration Sunday and you can announce your achievements either in the comments of the post or by putting a link in comments to a celebration post on your own blog.  I will be doing a grab badge for it next week but in the meantime please do spread the word...I want it to be a place where people can head over to celebrate the big and the small steps taken along the creative journey whenever they feel the need to celebrate with others in this wonderful, creative blog community. In the meantime, I leave you with a picture of my daughter full of joy on the beach - very fitting me thinks!