Sunday, 31 December 2017

2018 Transitional Beginnings

To be honest, I like to think of every day as a new beginning, whether it be the 1st January or any other day of the month, but this year feels different. New Year's really does have a transitional energy about it.



This New Year's Eve feels as if we are stepping through a door into a secret garden, where all is beautiful and filled with light. 2017 has been a trying time, particularly learning to live with hearing loss but I have also learnt some wonderful things about myself and the world I live in. Things that look set to make 2018 the most magical of years yet. 


Discovering deep gratitude and appreciation have been incredible gifts; grateful to awake in my lovely warm, little cottage with my beautiful man and my gorgeous dog. Appreciating the water in my taps and food in my cupboards, Grateful for the trees in the woods, the sea at the coast, the river ever flowing, grateful for friendships, for love. Grateful for my creativity and how I have let it steer me on this path. It is these lessons that I take through the opening door of 2018.

When I woke up deaf, it knocked me for six.  It may seem as if 'grateful' is an odd thing to be when things go wrong. To put it in simple terms, when you have 10 flowers and one dies, you understandably grieve for the loss of that flower but it makes one acutely aware of the 9 flowers that are left. 


For instance, yesterday, when I took Maisy for a walk with my hearing aids in, I could hear the birds singing. It was the most beautiful song that I have ever heard. I could feel my whole body smiling. A song I might never have heard, ever again. 


So, Happy New Year Year to you, I hope it brings you the kind of joy that gratitude has given me. That you are able to count all the wonderful blessings in your life. That you see the beauty in the small things that are actually huge. For me, having learnt how to count my blessings, I intend to keep counting.






Friday, 29 December 2017

As One Door Closes



Six months ago, I made the brave decision to confront my hyperacusis. Since suffering sudden hearing loss and tinnitus, the onset of hyperacusis made me almost house bound. Hyperacusis is a sound distortion caused in the dissonance between my tinnitus tones as they clash. Once triggered, even my own voice becomes distorted in my head. 

To avoid becoming isolated by the condition, we converted an old shop in the village into my studio and during that 6 months, I learnt how to manage my hyperacusis rather than hide from it. 

I'm so glad I took this step. Last term, I went back into schools as an adviser for the Young Promoters Project, Night Out, The Arts Council of Wales and found that with my new hearing aids and some sign language, I was flying high in class, once again. I could feel my old mojo coming back.



And now I have been offered a contract for the coming term with the Creative Lead Schools Project, The Arts Council of Wales, working with a small group of children who have special needs. There will be myself, a film maker and a theatre maker working collaboratively to devise a piece with the children which will be performed & filmed at a local theatre. 

With this new found confidence and return to self, I made another brave decision and that is, to let the shop go and re-base my studio at home.




For now, I have re-camped in the spare bedrooms and look forward to moving into my woman shed by the Spring, it's a bit chilly out there just now. 



One of the most important aspects in coming to terms with deafness has been a pair of magnificent hearing aids from the wonderful, NHS. My hearing aids have literally given me my life back. Massive thank you to Aneurin Bevan, the Minister for Health that introduced the NHS and to the Welsh Labour Party that he was part of, for backing him. We are so very blessed in the UK to have a National Health Service. 

The other equally important thing has been to open up and allow transitional energies to flow through me, trusting my heart to make the right choices. I hope my journey inspires you to do the same.




Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Live Your Gift




  
If there is something you love to do, something that eases your troubled mind, that brings peace to your heart and yet sets your soul alight, then grab hold of it, give all of yourself to it. Jump right into your desires for these are your gifts, given to you by that which gives light to all. 

Trust yourself, rather than question why you desire to do something.  Does the daisy doubt that she should turn her golden face to the sun?

For me, it is the writing of short stories and poems set with an intention to help others feel better, to inspire folk to look at the world in new ways and then, to make beautiful books that are kept forever as a reminder of how much we are loved. 

What is it for you? What is the gift that you have so lovingly been blessed with?

If you like my blog and would like to find out more about me, why not pop over to my website by clicking the link below ... 


Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Heartfelt Christmas



There is something very special ...


Knowing that there are people ...


all over the country ...


          Who opened a gift Christmas Morning ...



              that was written and made by me ... 



Heartfelt Stories



It's an absolute joy, making little heartfelt books to house my stories and poems. 

I have been making books for fun all my life but during my MA drama, I made them to house haiku as an exercise in stripping back stories to their core ... and my passion for teeny tiny books was re-ignited.

Then, when I was staying in France as a Sound Therapist in an Artist's Retreat, I did a little course in how to make concertina books. I made them all Summer. I fondly remember collecting the paper from the Boulangerie and making a concertina book for the baker, who had kindly baked me bespoke bread every day of my stay.

So, this evening I started experimenting with concertina books but this time using handmade paper and hemp.





I can't wait to put my stories inside these lovely books ... 







Sunday, 24 December 2017

How to cheer up your stairs



Stairs are an important part of the home. Without thinking, we whizz up and down them. They are a portal to upstairs and down again. So why not cheer them up with some yarn, laced with Christmas ornaments, topped off with sparkling lights.  


If you enjoy my blog, 
why not pop over to my website ... 


6 Baubles for Christmas






















A set of six baubles, fit to put a smile on any baby's face, so he gave the shop keeper a three-penny pence piece and put them under his arm. 
       'Keep the change,' he chirped and carefully carried the cheerful glass ornaments to his van. Steady, so as they wouldn't rattle and break, he wrapped them in his jacket and took them home.

She had never had a Christmas before, nor would she remember this, her first one, but for sure she would remember his love for eternity. 

Now the age he was, she unwrapped the old faded tissue paper, holding the two surviving baubles in her hand, placing them ceremonially upon her fireplace.  

Though he was long passed away, she knew that his love would keep her strong through many Christmases and beyond.


Sending you Yuletide Blessings for you and Heartfelt thanks to all those that have ever loved you.





Thursday, 14 December 2017

HEARTFELT BOOKS




It is with heartfelt love that I share with you today my new bespoke handmade books. They are teeny tiny stitches of love, handwritten with poems and stories. 


They started like this, on a lap tray in the evenings and are slowly growing into just the most beautiful way of sharing my poems and stories. 


Making little pouches, pockets and books for my own handwritten stories and poems is quite literally divine.  


I put everything of myself  into the making. I like that they look as though little elves have visited in the night and helped make them.


But the tricky thing is the writing ... I have tried writing on the pages before I sew them, however, they end up all wonky.


So, the writing comes at the end, which means that I have to be extra specially careful or unpick and start all over again, which has happened a few times.




And now, off course, it's Christmas, and I find myself busy writing commissions of bespoke poems and stories to touch the heart of others.  How lovely.



They are such personal, heartfelt, teeny, tiny morsels of love. When I wrap them up and send them on their journey, I am filled with joy knowing they will make folk smile when opening them on Christmas Day.
  

I now have a website page dedicated to my heartfelt books ... here's a link if you'd like to pop over and have a look.



Monday, 4 December 2017

Earth Angel Tree of Life Talking Sticks


Living with the sudden onset of hearing loss, the ritual of making talking sticks has been such a welcome addition to my world. 



With Christmas fast approaching, it feels like the right time to send my Earth Angel Tree of Life Talking Sticks off into the world to find new souls to empower. If I close my eyes, I can visualise a community who take the time to listen to each other. 

When Grandfather Speaks by Alfredo Rodriguez

The talking stick is ceremonially made by the speaker, with all that is felt in the heart and is held with the intent to empower the sharing of one's voice. In response, all others welcome a respectful space for listening intently to the speaker. Utterly beautiful ritual of communication.



In many ways, a talking stick could be equally known as a Listening Stick. No-one may answer until the talking stick is passed to them, at which point they are granted the same respect.


And so in the long nights,  as a distraction from my tinnitus and hyperacusis, I set about making a collection of talking sticks that represented the empowerment of the Earth Angel within.


My Earth Angel, Tree of Life Talking Sticks are made from driftwood that I have lovingly collected from Cei Bach, my favourite beach here in West Wales and are the very bones of a Fallen Tree who became the centre focus in one of my stories from my new anthology Earth Angel: Stories to Inspire, which is currently with the Editor.



The driftwood bones are wrapped in Llanwennog wool, spun from sheep that I can see from my home studio, on the distant green hills. The wool is hand dyed in the colours of the autumn coastline.



Each piece has woven into it, a Tibetan Silver Tree of Life charm to give gratitude to the magnificence of trees and their constant gift of breath.


As I was making them, it dawned on me that each one is not only a talking stick but a magic wand, for in re-birthing the broken parts of a fallen tree, so I was re-building the broken parts of myself.



Earth Angel, Tree of Life Talking Sticks are now available at my Quiet Space Studio Facebook Shop. 



They come with a hand printed & hand written information card and are wrapped with paper that I have infused with Frankincense Essential Oils. If you would like more details, please click the link & come on over to my Quiet Space Studio Shop  ...