How to keep your parents entertained

Kids….. Over Here…….Hello there !

How to Remove Paint from Hands | LoveToKnow

Shhhhhh. The thing is.. even though grown ups pretend to know EVERYTHING; you know, and I know and they know really, that you are the ones that have the best ideas.

50 best indoor activities for kids - It's Always Autumn

Right now, everyone is wondering about a lot of stuff. Have you noticed? Looking around, with a confused expression, checking the cupboards a lot.. opening the fridge door…… even more… taking the dog out for so many walks he’s hiding in the airing cupboard…

The Reason Fridge Doors are Magnetic Today Is Terrifying

This woman has been there for three weeks….

Hilarious photos of dogs hiding! : Funny : BOOMSbeat

Your parents don’t know what else to entertain themselves with.. Give them a wee hug. If you’re in the house anyway, it’s ok. Look them in the eye and tell them you’ve got this entertainment business sorted, and you love them…

A Study Suggests That You and Your Dog Fall in Love When You Look ...

Let them do that stuff that normally annoys you …..

Mom braided your hair every day when you were little~~ Vintage ...

…keeps them quiet….

Rejoice, all you embarrassing dads, you're doing a brilliant job ...
Agree to a few little things that might make life a bit easier . Just don’t let them dress you in old curtains.

Now here are some cool ideas to help your parents de-stress over the holidays. Just do not tell them it might be fun. ANY mention of doing something which doesn’t involve bleaching their taps and ironing their pants will FREAK them out. TELL them it is for you, That will show them….

Overwhelmed Mom Syndrome: It's Real If You Have ADHD

Right….. you might need some serious motivational tools…..

Colorful superhero kids with superpowers | Royalty free stock ...

And some serious checking out of what there is stashed away.

Forget Crayons: 11 Great Art Materials for Toddlers - Artful ...
And then find a peaceful corner to explore your ideas.
How to Turn Kids Art into Posters | Kids art galleries, Art for ...

1 Bottle Sculptures

Start collecting washing up or washing liquid bottles .

To cover the bottle and build up the layers, tear up old newspapers, mix 50% pva glue with 50% mixed water to make the glue.

mix PVA glue and homemade glue (starch flour and boiled water ...

Before you start, bunch up a newspaper head into a ball, cut cardboard arms, wings or feet. stick these on with masking tape. Paper mache your whole sculpture with three layers of newspaper. If you are lucky enough to have modroc. Use this next. But this is just an extra idea.

paper mache around a plastic bottle to make characters. | Paper ...

To decorate, use the same technique to add coloured tissue paper layers on top. You can create any character by adding detail with more pieces of card and old jewellery, wire wrapped with wool and pieces of plastic covered in your paper layers. Paint details on with acrylic paint and varnish if you have it. Things to remember, glue guns are fabulous to use, but you are going to have to keep this out of reach of all adults, as they are clumsy with hot things and they get very messy .

Paper Maché Animals | Paper mache crafts for kids, Paper mache ...

While your art is drying , there are LOADS of things you can listen to online which make your brain get HUGE . Grown -ups hate this because it means you’ll be cleverer than them.. Ted Talks for kids have lots of good stuff. BBC audio have stories and music. Sometimes, it is nice just to hear things in the background while we get on with interesting things we need our eyes for !

2 Grow a family of Cress Heads

Mr. Fothergill's Cress Heads Fun Seeds: Amazon.co.uk: Garden ...

Rummage around for some lentils, cress, mung beans. Empty out some cooked egg shells after lunch.. Very very carefully. Put some cotton wool in the base with some water in it. Sprinkle your beans or seeds on the cotton wool. Carefully design your family’s faces with features and stick on eyes . In a couple of days, their hair should start to grow, and you can cut and eat it. Brownie points on the healthy food score too.

3 Paper Dolls.

All adults think they know how to do this…. why not test them on it?

Paper Doll Chain Template (With images) | Paper doll chain, Paper ...

4 Washing Line Tents

Make a super quick garden tent for the kids | Jardin de niños ...

Plonk your picnic blanket under the washing line. Fold a sheet Probably not a Tk- Maxx Egyption cotton zillion thread one….add in cushions, snacks, and lastly either the odd human, or failing that, animals or teddy bears.

5 Use what you have

We all know you’ve got some school stuff to do . Maybe not for the holidays but afterwards you’ll need to keep your brain ticking. Try really hard to get a good chunk done in the morning. Are those Adults trying to look everything up on computers? Doh. ! I bet you’ve got tons of cool books already with interesting ideas and things to do. Do you know there was a time between dinosaurs and now.. where we looked at books to find stuff out 🙂 Impress the oldies with your vintage methods…

Bright Book Night Light

6 Invite everyone to lunch

Ask what food is available to use and what you can safely prepare. Make a menu and get them to tidy their bedrooms while you make the tea!

This was my daughter’s invention…

7 Nature Study

Everybody has these kinds of books. And on your walk, in your garden or if you can get to the beach; start to look at things around you as if you were a scientist. Make drawings, write down where you find things, what they looked like, press flowers, make small collections of shells and find out what they are called . Be mindful of not taking home any creature’s house, or picking flowers (other than one or two wild ones if there are hundreds in a clump)

My Nature Journal | Emerging Creatively Jewelry Tutorials

8 Sleep upside down or in a Box

A change is as good as a rest! This activity incorporated playing in a box, hugs and animals. Boxes are good fun for millions of things, so keep any that arrive from online stuff….

Pop up a tent and look up stars online.. only eat white food and chocolate.. only walk backwards, have a pyjama day and invent a new language…

Indoor Camping Ideas for Kids | HGTV

9 Make a mobile

Use the same techniques as the bottle sculptures. For this you’ll need cardboard, sticks or driftwood, wire, pva/water mix, masking tape, white acrylic paint to make a base coat, coloured acrylics and any sparkly top layers. Don’t forget to make little metal loops for hanging your shapes on your string or wires. Balance the weight of shapes equally each side.

10 Use tiny toys in a picture

Could you re- purpose some of those annoying little toys that get in the hoover? Make a display case, glue them to a canvas and add some paint or make a photo frame. Your feet will thank you…..

And lastly ..

11 Revamp your wardrobe

If you are lucky enough to have a sewing machine about, learn to use it. Anything will be easier than your what your distant relatives had to use.

Cleaning and Operating a 100-Year-Old Sewing Machine – Lindsay ...

Be careful. Don’t let your parents use it if they have had wine. Insist on hand sewing only in that case.

Teaching A Child to Sew — Phoebe&Egg

This is a piece of time which will pass. You will be a bit taller, your clothes will be a bit smaller, you will be a little fed up but a lot wiser and everyone will be a little bit more grateful for the normal things we love.

Snow stride | Maddy, striding out in the snow Boxing Day, De… | Flickr

You will march out there into the world in clothes you’ve revamped yourself, showing off art you’ve created, talking about books you’ve read and having made the most of this unusual time.

you are amazing - Google Search | You are strong quotes, Rainbow ...

And you have to keep reminding those big people that they are too xx

Mortality due to heart diseases increases by 50% in winter
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Pumpkin says Eat well, keep safe and give your best smiles, See you soon xx

January 2020

Pumpkin tastic. Well, he has now had his modelling debut, having been a life model at our Coldingham Art class, delighting everyone with his ability to be hypnotised whilst lying on his back with his feet in the air. Yep, who knew ? … He has been my pet therapy whilst waiting for treatment.. oh did I forget to check that I moved to 1940 where the idea that health conditions are swiftly and painlessly fixed ?…. and he is my best pal when my 11 year old isn’t speaking to me.. (every other ten minutes… What’s that I hear you say…. expect that to last for the next ten years….. ) A guinea pig has pools for eyes , a devotion unsurpassed and a craving only for snuggles, a carrot chunk and fresh hay.. if ONLY men were that easy…

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‘Pumpkin’ by Alan Simmons

Pumpkin has decided he wants to comment on the recent portraits of him…

By eating them…

Last year I spent more time making original artwork than I had in years. Partly because I was stuck at home, or in hospital, but also because the time was more mine again, with a slightly bigger small person, and the inspiration flowed.

I was delighted to be asked to be included as one of the artists at Artisans at serendipity in Berwick. The range of my artwork is now being made as cards, and there are selected posters and art prints. I also have beach bags and little treasure boxes for your beach finds. We are using funds from Art sales to fund our Sea Sparkle enterprise. Which in the first instance needs to be a van. To carry equipment to venues with access and also because it is harder and harder to lift and carry all the stuff .

Oh yes.. we plan to do this in style.. If anyone has a spare camper lurking anywhere?

Currently .. this is the problem!!!

Without help both ends, and storage at venues, we are pretty stuck…

Pop into the shop, over the next two months to see Artwork, or contact me by email for any details of things going on lizatthebeachhut@yahoo.co.uk

Unfortunately our last art class space, which was perfect for disabled access, and had storage is no longer in existence! Thankyou to Fiona and Susan the Splash team for hosting us last year. It was a great venue while it lasted x

Cosy Craft Club

It was important to keep a link through winter, available and organic for makers to access. gathering around the fire, amongst friends, is a lovely way to enrich your skills, keep sane in the months where some folk can become a little isolated, and share nice food.

Thanks Sarah.. this kept her quiet for a whole ten minutes!!

We are always richer than we think when surrounded by good friends.

Below are more detailed pics of the stock made throughout the last year

And a little of the mess it takes to create it!! Sometimes the belief that something beautiful will come from a pile of bits of paper being sat on by animals has to be pretty strong. ….

Meanwhile during the day the day the fight continues to stay afloat and keep Skye Blue house, five animals, and us healthy.

If I never have to waste my sore hand on a complaint ever again it will be too soon..But someone has to stand up. A year has gone by and we are now back to a different health board..

Good job prescriptions are free…..

Happy Imbolc dear ones. Join us in our group or stop by to say hello

There have been a few signs of life in the garden, a couple of snowdrops, Christmas roses and the bulbs are starting to shoot. Even being outside for ten minutes and smelling the earth makes you feel connected . ( And gathering the furniture upended against the studio door with the howling winds hurling them around at night.) Good job the chicken hutch is heavy. !

We are busy rehearsing for Eyemouth Variety Performance of Wizard of Oz in March. Tickets go on SAle very soon. Occasions in Eyemouth.

Find a friend and snuggle. Good things will grow.

Lots of love

Liz and the zoo xxx

Do it your way.

Sometimes life stops you in your tracks. But sometimes it’s a handy way to look at the view while the lights are on red. To take a moment to see who you are listening to. Is it your own wisdom, the intuition you were born with or the mumblings of other voices ?. Everything we do comes from a source of love or fear, and the option you have is choose to absorb only those who want to share the former.

It can take a long time to unravel the conditioning of a lifetime’s habits, a familial pattern, a marriage, a community belief system. But if a structure starts to jar, and prevent your creativity shining through, perhaps it’s time to regroup. Close your head to the noise everywhere around you. Break life down to its component parts and change, if change is what you seek, one breath, step, or thought at a time.

When we moved to a tiny place to start over, I made deliberate choices to simplify things financially and pressure wise. It isn’t easy to do this and it is a hard thing on your own. But at every junction, a new skill or resource, friend or doorway appeared when we least expected them to, and there was always enough. (That isn’t to say things haven’t been a challenge.) but there were very few moments to doubt that there should be trust in the bigger picture. And our abilities to navigate life’s ‘B’ roads.

This was us three years ago today. Before building our new home here by the sea.

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You look back at things you do sometimes and wonder. How did I get here? How did I manage that? The house was only on the market one week. generally the best things we do in life are things that happen through a sense of pure will and determination, perseverance and intuition that it is simply what has to be done. We get our heads down and get on with it. finding a drive fuelled by a belly fire.

The night before News Years Eve our favourite place to stay told us last minute they had a cancellation. Already nearly ready for bed, we were at the time struggling to get a 2nd hand charity- shop games console to speak with and work on the TV. It was  driving us both a bit doolally. Out of nowhere a text arrived from the b and b . It was a lifeline out of the doldrums, an injection of adventure we both needed. The house suddenly became a mad frenzy  of hovering, packing, sorting out animals and arranging the details with neighbours..

We made it happen in a couple of hours and more  that, nothing dreadful happened because it wasn’t in the plan. Sometimes the plan appears to be no plan. But we know deep down, there’s been a plan all along.

But I believe there is more to it than that. Looking out of the window at the garden, it’s so hard to believe that there will ever be blossoming plants and grass that never stops growing. It happens like magic. Just as our kids grow… And keep growing and changing, non matter how much we keep a snapshot of their baby faces on the mantle piece.


What we do with the time and resources we have then becomes a matter of not only trust but personal intuition. Right now, she’s cleaning her room, but she doesn’t know she’s doing it. My girl is ‘looking through’ some old toys, and thoroughly enjoying the process of re discovering, memories and finding lost treasure. There is singing, that’s a good sign.

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Making a creative – being go from a to b, in a straight line can cause huge stress, and disarm their natural instinct to tweek, nibble at, shuffle around and sidelong glance at a project before jumping in ; And almost put out the fire of passion before it has begun. These spectrum based qualities can become clearer once labels start being given, especially when diagnosed with various types of autism. But this can take years. We know instinctively if our children need more variety in their learning, or a work better with a hat on, or sitting on the floor.

How many times a day do you rebel against yourself? Or someone else? This time of year, with the pressure of change and renewal , being better, living better, morphing into  a new version of the old creaky us, can create lists of to do which hang heavy. The thing is, these lists aren’t created out of badness, their heart is in the right place. For instance, making new crafts, eating better, finding new love, clearing out the garage…its just.. all good, its just.. a big old excuse always comes up . We will always as humans want to do the opposite of what we tell ourselves we should.

Its actually not the worst thing we can do. Making excuses, being a little bit different to the expectation makes it far more likely to find a way of living, loving and being that is really you.  I Was the kid in school dreaming out of the window of running across the fields out of he window, wearing nothing but a tutu and a huge straw hat.

In order to get the most out of ourselves we need to feel we are cheekily being slightly bad at the same time. Life should definitely not feel like we are colouring by numbers. Dry January should surely wait until such months as we are outside enjoying the spring sunshine (not needing a warm fire and moonshine)

I could have been only seen as a dreamer, But somehow, the gaps between the dreaming, when no-one was looking enabled productivity and studying. Squirreling away multiple projects and coursework at once until such times as a ta dah moment was needed. Reading through a leaflet for the village hall fair competition I came across recently, I was gobsmacked at hw many prizes one child could win with a few sticks of corn, potato printing and plasticine ‘Morph’ people in a shoe box.

And when at college I after bashing away at a project all morning in a flurry of paper and sticky back plastic, I was told by  a student teacher , that the ‘mess’ was not the outcome of a perfectionist , as I was explaining I was; I took great delight in finally showing her the finished sparkling object.

Nobody should judge your process. And your process is special to you. No matter what it is you are trying to acheive. I am finding more and more that with arthritis in my hands, the limit for specific tasks is short.. So working with that, I might paint one area of a picture, and then using a different technique ( and hand movement) maybe work on something which doesn’t need a pincer movement! In a way working within your health restrictions, creates a different way of thinking and maybe new skils to try.

In reality this looks like various random piles of things. To paint a whole wall in one go is too painful, so there is some paraphernalia waiting to be completed in the hall.. slowly but steadily getting its Spring facelift. Many ideas have late have hatched little design chicks in Skye blue House. Some are harder to make than others, so need a blast of energy and a rest, some need passion and a breathing space from their grip and some are old friends which can be tinkered with and finished between the crafty imps of art which tear but fill your heart. 😊

Such is the tug and the drama and the pain of needing a physical body to make what we crave. Almost every activity needs some physical dexterity . But not finding it easy doesn’t mean stopping altogether

It is so easy to forget who we truly are. Especially if illness or fatigue creep in, when then destination we work to reach seems to get further away. Just like a never ending horror hotel corridor. Your tropical beach will I promise await you.. perhaps you just have a few things to organise first. But if you can see yourself there, you’ll be there. With an extra large tequila sunrise in your hand.

A strange things happens when people see you happy, especially when we shouldn’t be . When the odds look like they are stacked against you, but you strive anyway..Distracting your pain or temporary immobility with your permanent rose coloured specs. You will notice that your life becomes a story book..Witches and trolls will thwart your progress and joy. (banished as they are to their own lands of permanent misery) and their barbed comments will chip off your varnish . If you let them.

Forgetting to trust the process which has got you this far safely and creatively. lowers your resilience, stops you making, opens up your heart to hurtful jealous noise and ultimately proves your doubters right. If you start to see the creative unfinished processes waiting to be completed as shabby, you let other people’s negativity, pour doubt on your story.

Its not shabby. Its Shabby chic.

Having questions and consistently being aware is good. Seeing yourself through the judgement of others isn’t. Be grateful for this negativity though. Because it reminds you how much we can all do to use our obstacles as reasons to push further on our journey.

Bits fall off, bits gets broken. bits stop working. You can still be seen. Find the right people, find your process, find your passion and a way of showing it. If weeks and months have to go by with piles of half finished work waiting for warm weather, more money, finding your muse.. ITS OK..

For me, I have found that I have to creep up on finished tasks, by doing several at once. this not only gives an element of variety to the job, but stops it feeling like one huge mountain. If you can get past the ‘one- thing -at -a time- rule’ which is drummed into us from an early age, it can be liberating to challenge several tasks into bite size chunks, until they all get done. Its what we do in daily life anyway, why not throw in a few things that we love too? Stir your pot of homemade soup while listening to a story tape, paint a strip of wall every day until you finish the whole house, keep chipping away at your beautiful ideas and keep them alive.

And never stop believing that your instinct is 100% right and what you must do ..

Because, if you don’t, who else will ?

At our most taxing time, a time when I was literally frozen by fear, and by another’s control, I did the following. Every time I had an idea, a dream, a sketch of a plan to make a new life, I drew it and put it in an old carpet bag. I thought of the bag as a kind dragon that I had to keep feeding. Pop the morsel of trust and instinct in its mouth and it would keep growing.

One idea becomes a whole story

This kernel of knowing you have it in you, is what keeps you safe, creative and moving forward. Every aspect of our home and the life we have now has come alive from seedlings in that bag. The big friendly dragon is more likely now to be a chicken or a soppy collie, cat or guinea pig. But even they have their own self affirmations in their bedrooms…

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Stay cosy and warm, especially if you live somewhere cooler! and use the time to gather resources, potter, paint and plant those seeds.

Spring cleaning can wait

You’ve got baby dragons to feed

xxxxxx

Harvests and Hijinx

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A little light on lobster soup.

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Ever feel you might be cooking yourself in slowly boiling water without realising you left the cooker on? You shout for help but the people you call can’t hear.?

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A hand reaches in. It isn’t who you shouted for, but you feel this pure and honest friendship from someone you least expected. Up you come for air, and the world makes sense again. You just needed somebody to hear you, to matter enough to be rescued.

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Because you do matter. We all do. But being your own advocate is so often the hardest job. Often we are so busy hearing our own negative thoughts and conditioned responses in our self deprecating belief system, we forget we might be wrong. Actually, what if, all around you, there are real people bigging you up, believing in you and willing you to succeed?

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I often get asked why I don’t just do my art work and have a simpler life, not traipse about with bags of brushes and paint. Simple. How would I ever spend time with the most amazing people if I did that? And how, would inspiration and ideas flow between us all? The gorgeously creative people I meet, inspire me as much as I hope they are inspired; and we are growing a community of friendships as well as creating confident artists. And that is how and why we all keep each other afloat, in our pot of lobster soup, bubbling away and hanging onto the croutons..

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.

But , we all feel abandoned by something sometimes.

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Especially when we feel nobody is properly listening.

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Especially when our life map has turned into a soap opera.

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For ten months my battle with the nhs has raged on, causing much travelling to hospital ( an hour away) over ten times in one month, three stays this year alone and an operation which has taken five yrs. too long. And still it continues. But, as you know, it’s part of our story, and our journey here by the sea. What has been the hardest part of this recent chapter is being heard. New gp’s, a different area, fewer coffee pals! And the sinking feeling of going nowhere with ever decreasing energy.

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We all need to be heard, no matter how hard the conversation is. And it might be the most unlikely ally that becomes your rescuer, your friend or your spirit hoist. The big old hand that plucks you from your despair, smashes your boredom or challenges your bravery can be from the most unlikely source and to not feel gratitude would be pretty mad. I am blessed with a cornucopia of fabulous friends, most of whom live nowhere near us. But often the true hero is someone we might never even meet.

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One message in particular lifted me at just the right moment with a kind thought or two. True friends are simply people who get what it is you need and give you unconditional love at the exact moment you are breaking into pieces. If you live every contact that way you build your reserves of self worth brick by brick until you feel whole again.

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In a world where everyone wants to find a blemish and create the perfect background, why not pause and consider. how one small message or conversation you make time for, can make so much difference to another’s life. Imparting a sense of warmth and belief can then spread to all the people that that person comes into contact with, and that renewed grounding, calms and strengthens others. The butterfly affect. Cheers D.G

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As you know, this place, Skye blue house is an ever-changing Ark, on this clifftop and our latest little addition is taking our minds off things somewhat, with his ridiculously cute nature and doe eyes. His name is pumpkin. I might actually be a bit in love.

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He is however, making it very difficult to get any work done! Yet another creature to distract in the house of pets and panto rehearsing, paint and peculiarity…But…a very wise friend of mine, Phil said to me once that some of the best artwork created, can be in the cracks between the real things that happen in our lives. When we aren’t looking. The inbetweenie times, when you might be walking through a room and stop for five minutes, while the kettle boils, or scribbling on your napkin in the cafe while you wait for a friend. We can take the pressure off our bossy brains and let the flow back in, if we make every moment an open opportunity rather than a tedious task. These seedlings can turn into great forests. So between clinic appointments and trips to referrals I’ve done some artwork that finally got finished and set up a few new meetings for the community interest company I am building. Letting go of expectation and the imagined voice of criticism, or comparison has paid off.

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The forest is growing

If things are going pear shaped and the wolf is at the door, prowling and growling we can also allow the energy of the pain we are in, to fuel our creativity in a constructive way.  Keeping your hands busy and your heart occupied soothes your mind and gives you your voice. In turn you are a stronger you, ready to take on the world.

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Ten minutes here and there, half an hour in front of EastEnders, and lifting the pressure off one perfect piece at once, changes the dynamic of your endeavours to play at your own volume.

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There is always something you can do

And It is never going to be quiet enough

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So make the most of every opportunity

What you can achieve in short bursts is sometimes an accumulation far greater than one great big plan.

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I’m not alone. Women Artists throughout history have struggled with their combined roles as artists and mothers, wives and home makers. Often, we wait until the chores are done and the dinner is made, the kids are clean and in bed, or in school, the real stuff is done, before we allow ourselves the freedom of creating. Because, and I know this because I brought up two stepsons before Leah, made the perfect home, survived a rollercoaster marriage and held a teaching post at the same time; all the while I kept feeding my art in my sketchbooks and journals, on paper and in presents I gave away. I spent a huge chunk of my life, and still do, thinking and caring about other people. (sorry guys, I know there’s a few of you too)

Creating in the zone and turning off the time, the shoulds, the agendas, is utterly liberating and terrifying and wonderful. ( But when fully immersed, one never thinks about the ironing of school shirts or buying chicken feed…)

These pieces have all been completed over the last few weeks, bit by bit in the evenings between cooking tea and bedtime

So we have to learn to grab our tween times with a much passion.. Waiting for the perfect studio, unlimited blank paper and no annoying interruptions.. well, highly unlikely .. ever. But your art and dream can still breathe, grow and find its way, in the gaps of your real life, not instead of it.

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It, I, my drawings still existed. The living breathing artwork in you always matters no matter when you let it out, what route you take and how old you are when you finally fold your last pile of laundry

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It takes faith in yourself, your abilities here on the planet and the bigger picture you fit into, to jump. from feeding your dream to letting it loose…

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It is never going to be better than everyone else. Let it go. let it go.

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From here on in we are going to do a monthly diary on this blog page as well as our new seaside community art page blog Sea Sparkle. We hope you can sign into both and spread our ideas and joy!

So, we are now on Instagram as well if you want to say hello on there. Liz at the beach hut. And you can see our groups or Artwork on facebook- Liz at the beach Hut or Sea Sparkle.

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Right now I have a panto to help with…. Oh yes I have….

Lots of love and keep creating. Love Liz at the beach Hut. xx

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Bad Hair day

Ever have one of those? Ever have a grooming decision turn into another decision, until you find yourself back where you started.. or worse..

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….in a state of hair hell.? Because what you thought was going to be what you wanted, was actually somebody else’s idea of what suited you?.

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And you naively assumed your instinct button must have gone on the blink. It hasn’t.. you heard it all right.. you just chose to ignore it!! Nobody knows you better than you, so why do you keep ignoring your instincts?

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Do not get me started on my hair. In this instance, we’re talking one night of attempting blonde (ish). Four hours it took by a well-meaning hairdresser.

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This is not me

Only it turns out you can’t do it all at once and so I ended up stripey. And a bit orange.

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Bad hair moments, days, years.. woah!!! karma kryptonite . When your hair feels wrong, everything feels wrong.

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The next day, before my coffee had cooled, I had slathered on fiery red once more, and my head was once more mine. Too hard to explain why this is soooo important, because actually as my friend pointed out, I do cover most of it up with a massive scarf.

But I was back to where I started. My… me place. My comfortable spot. My – only- I -can- explain- why- this- is- ok- place.

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Again..

And now I’m waiting for it to grow……

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Again…….

Life has felt in the last two years like we were running to keep still. When your health isn’t playing nice and your mobility deteriorates, even the basic achievements often become horribly unmanageable . The last six months have been trickier than usual and our travel, adventures and plans curtailed.

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My head does big thinking, thank goodness, dreaming up schemes, tinkering at plans and knowing we have each other and our spirits to keep going. Leah and I are proud of our achievements at Skye blue House . And we love your comments over the fence! Curtailed by much movement this summer didn’t stop the fun .

When life gets a bit crap, it can give you the impetus to decide who you really are, what your passions are and what you want to say. If your audience isn’t listening, don’t stop talking, find another audience.

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Especially if we are curtailed by a set of directions, from a well-meaning (??) partner, friend or family. Don’t wait until an illness sets you free from the boundaries you carry with you like a script, decide to step into your honest self.

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Especially if we are curtailed by a set of directions, from a well-meaning (??) partner, friend or family. Don’t wait until an illness sets you free from the boundaries you carry with you like a script, decide to step into your honest self.

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The more people I come across and the more stories I hear, I realise that we’ve always known the things we wanted to say and do.. we just didn’t have the skills to communicate them. So we learn to make things, play games, sing, create and mould the world we know we should live in. As children all the ingredients are there to protect us from the future world we will live in.

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And then we unlearn it all for the next eight decades. We can all be our own tough crowd sometimes..

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If only we could take our small selves by the hand and urge them not to waste a moment worrying about the big bully in the year above, who kicked us for looking different, or from agonising over the meaning of a painting in Art college .

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When our choices are taken away in one sense, because we can’t do something it enables freedom of a different sort. Let yourself go with the new plan, no matter how temporary your illness is and work with the rhythms of the day or seasons too.

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This year began with drawing in a hospital bed, sketching in a village community class, and putting together these designs which then became prints. On other days photography was more immediate and I loved the immediacy of creating abstract snapshots from well known parts of the village. I was delighted to exhibit both types of artwork in a local art exhibition a few weeks ago.

In winter when the weather impacts on everything, fireside felting compliments the painterly work and a new cycle of creating more tactile work will begin.

Nobody will like everything you do, big and little kids can be critical. I realised one one of the reasons I had a desire not to be a red head which I’ve always been since the first forays into the henna gloop in the eighties, was a comment made an elderly neighbour of my parents . It was just Too much for the suburbs of Bognor. But when I look back at my photographs however, it was fabulous. All our younger, vibrant, freewheeling selves , no matter what colour our hair was , were wonderful.

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So life is going to be a roller coaster.

We had better enjoy the journey

Getting on the ride, any ride is going to cause some turbulence. But the thing with a roller-coaster is, you might get flung about, soaking wet, turned upside down, throw up, and lose the contents of your stomach, but then.. you arrive back.. where you started.. Because a roller coaster goes in a circle. You can get off when you like and the choice is yours whether to get back on again, or ..

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Do something a little more relaxing…

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Either way you’ll still be you

Today I went for a walk with two dogs, on crutches. Big deal. Right? As I noticed these Autumn shapes and the light playing on the sparkling sea, I realised something else. As many of you know, (because a lot of you have been providing us lovely soup in the last week) !! I haven’t been at all well of late. And there are things still to be done, diagnosed and mended. But …… I had been listening to a screaming noisy soundtrack for as long as I could remember and suddenly it was wasn’t there….. well, it was now quiet enough to hear the birds singing anyway. That extreme pain which blurred everything pre- surgery on my knee last week.. was at last significantly quietened. How fabulous to see the Autumn changes in such crystal clear brilliance without anything else in the way. You only notice how heavy something has been after it has been lifted.

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Six years of staying positive have enabled a trip back to where I began, almost like being a child again, having to relearn how to walk and use the limbs we all take for granted. This disability stole much of Leah’s active childhood, this daft crumpled knee, and my hard won teaching career- impacting on my other joints and causing further health conditions.

Please don’t feel sorry for me. This is just a celebration of a moment and a reminder that at any point something can fail, break or become loose in any of our well seasoned bodies! Getting back to a place that we started from, before we struggled is a bonus. And feeling grateful is important.

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Joy can last for a lifetime or lift us in a moment of reprieve. Somewhere long ago we knew the answers to what would feed our souls, no matter what outside factors tripped us up. That child in us still understands who we are and what we need.

My six year old self knew

and is Still rooting around in button boxes wearing a vintage hat..

Listen well to your small you .

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Unless they persuade you to dye your hair. Then I suggest you phone a friend.

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Don’t be too good, Much love, Liz at the beach hut xx

Baby steps

This year has floored me, and thankfully after months of persistence and perseverance things are starting to happen now on the medical front, although, they are far from resolved. Tomorrow a knee operation will start things off and then hopefully the long-awaited tests and mri’s we are waiting for will get organised. It has been much harder being on crutches when another area of disease attacking the upper body has spread.

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However, dwelling on the pain and things we can’t do isn’t what we are about around here, and helping each other out; making activities possible is not only what we do, but what we want to continue to build for lots of other people. Right now my gratitude overfloweth..

We have some amazing people in our lives, some who we see once a year, appearing with beach hut goodies to build our vision, others who donate lovely art materials for classes to use, others who collect stuff to draw, or help set up tables and carry bags and others who just are kinder than kind with their offers to be available to help.

Post op, we are pulling together our plans under a second blog- a seaside vintage community arts page which will celebrate your achievements, show our progress and tell people our ideas.

We would really love your help. If you would like to be a trustee right at the start of this exciting project, please contact me on lizatthebeachhut@yahoo.co.uk. We need people who have experience in funding applications!! And generally nice folk who want to help people less able to be creative at the coast.

The project is called Sea Sparkle and if you click on the link you’ll see why. Hope you like it. x https://seasparkle.org/2017/09/25/what-is-the-beach-hut/

We are on facebook-

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*Sea sparkle

*Liz at the beach hut

*Liz Walker (request) picture of me and Leah

Your donations, your beach hut additions, your offers of lifts and volunteering, make activities possible. You rock xxx

But first.. Off to get a bit better…

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Better pack a bag and dream up new plans. More bits to follow, but for now, sending you all Much love,

Liz and the gang at the Beach Hut

In the Zone..

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Sorry.. sorry.. sorry.. I keep hearing myself say in my head, as I am weeding a flower bed and dabbing at  a piece of a new painting simultaneously.. feeling the guilty pull of the list of replies I should be making to my dear ones …

I’ll be with you in a minute !!!!

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You aren’t ignored. I am ignoring The pull.

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Because, this is one of the very few weeks of the year where you can be in the zone and time and the weather is playing hard ball.

We recently spent a week with our dear friend in Spain. She and I, and the small person headed for water whenever we got the opportunity, as temperatures soared between 35 and 44! My lovely friend packed and unpacked the car with our beach clobber, and bravely transported me in the wheelchair to a water source in a different spot every day. We covered ourselves in health improving mud, trekked up a zoo path, whooshed around a moving river in a spa pool and lay like lilos when we got to the source..

It was a lovely break. Only a few friends are trusted at the helm of the chariot and I hope her back has recovered! Thank-you again for making all that we did possible. We often went to a pool where my daughter and other kids played . I was able to be in the water but I couldn’t move my joints so I couldn’t swim, however I was glad , oh so glad to be in that pool .

The bittersweet irony at the moment, is being so close to the joys around you but not being able to participate as fully as you might. In a strange way though, it makes spaces for little things you otherwise wouldn’t do. On holiday I read a great, life- affirming book whilst Leah swam, and made plans for projects, took photographs and absorbed all the laughter in the barmy sunshine.

We can either feel ‘plonked’ and act like a plonker or we can still be the same vibrant person under whatever changes our body is making. We can’t control that, but we can still exist in the cracks of our lives and accomplish more in a tiny gap between our obstacles.

You choose.

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Rebrand yourself as completely Fabulous

At this stage, with various procedures and diagnosies still hanging it can feel like I am camping in a different country, my body not knowing its own language. Small achievements are so enjoyable it is a joy to share them as we go.

Fabulous

And it got me thinking about this Summer place we find.

The magical window.

The bit where there is a sweet spot.

Gratitude sharpens your experiences and your eye for detail. Taking pleasure in what, to some can seem trivial or inconsequential.  

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Gratitude sharpens your experiences and your eye for detail. Taking pleasure in what, to some, can seem trivial or inconsequential.  

Being able to feel the moment, despite the pain or focusing on lack keeps us moving forward. And we can get there by letting it in and breathing quite a lot of other stuff out..

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Back in Spain….. At the top of the zoo hill there were tears (mine) (and a hot and stroppy ten yr old’s) and there was exhaustion, (all of us) A desperate craving for the end of day, a very cold g. and t. and a blast of cool night air.

Only when that came, and the air was slightly less oven like, and my kind friend suggested I sit down, my legs didn’t want to.

You see my sweet spot had arrived. The house was cool enough and now I had stuff to do. It was a little pocket in the day, to complete a few tasks, grab a drink, bath mini and me and potter until exhaustion proper kicked in. I had been at the mercy of others and a chair all day and I was me -ish.

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Lets go girls.. (or boys)

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The obstacle course got temporarily a bit easier once the sun got lower and this was the chance to feel useful on the planet. Squeezing as much into the magical window as possible, when you can, that makes you happy and fulfilled , keeps you going until the next carved out slot comes along and nobody knows when that might be .

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Everyone’s idea of what is perfect to relax with is vastly different. For some it may be a sun lounger by a large, noisy poolside, a spa day of treatments and a tequila sunrise . Yet after enforced exhaustion, wheelchair use, living on crutches, you want to make things, find things, be things, try things and get into the world.

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Everyone’s idea of what is perfect to relax with is vastly different. For some it may be a sun lounger by a large, noisy poolside, a spa day of treatments and a tequila sunrise . Yet after enforced exhaustion, wheelchair use, living on crutches, you want to make things, find things, be things, try things and get into the world.

Yesterday I was in the garden, crouched under the bushes , one leg poking out, listening to the birds and contemplating the miracle which is a garden. In under two years a crop of great things has blossomed and flourished . I had just found blackurrants perfectly hanging in little bunches .one of my hilarious neighbours nearly made me jump out of my skin as I was simply somewhere else. It was bliss

I am in the magical window, and it isn’t gong to last. The beautiful weather which lets the back door be open and the curtains sway in the breeze, the story tape playing while a long abandoned painting is finally completed . Trimming fairy gardens overgrown in the summer rain and finally clearing out junk squirrelled away all year by young and slightly young at heart hoarders …

There is a magical temperature which lets all this stuff happen. Not too hot that you resemble an air balloon, but warm enough to lubricate the rusty limbs for a few precious weeks

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And that’s why I know my true friends will understand why I am a little tardy with replies to messages and a bit vague here and there. This is the only time of year that a sore body can be outside pottering about so freely and with less time constraints too.

The Summer holidays began with an Enid Blyton Style camping excursion to the caravan in the garden, which enabled me obviously, to begin wafting in linen around the house whilst reading poetry to the cat..

I wish.

I watched everything on the t.v. planner with swear words in, ate hummus and talked to myself about sensible things like making a scarecrow and a pond for our one remaining goldfish, whom I feel very sorry for, having just lost his tank mate and who now spends his days swimming in his own doo dah.

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It lasted one night, but at least it was the whole night. And One has to learn to be less patient in completing creative endeavours because there isn’t endless energy, endless warm days and endless time. Getting in the zone is a sensory pleasure and is curtailed by a set of circumstances we don’t choose, but have to learn to get along with.

So we wake up, start a new day and we make again. At the weekend, a new pond! A fabulous homemade build which did in fact make our goldfish much happier: Recipe = ikea boxes + Neighbours saw+ pond liner+ duct tape+ determination+ earth+ alpine plants+ visit to builders merchants for cheap stones+ netting to ward off hungry seagulls .

I have been told, “oh but you make it look so easy”. It makes me laugh to think how lovely but how utterly misguided this is.

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Learning the rhythm of our mobility and how we adapt can free up little pockets of loveliness – your own recipe for tapping into some of that stuff on your hit list, while you can, when you can.

Getting things done..

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As an early bird; We are always up early anyway and both of us enjoy an hour or so of me- time in the morning to come round. Especially, like me, if your body needs to adjust, for meds to get to work etc. I love my mornings. Watching catch-up on tv and doing my writing, facebook, posts etc. My brain loves mornings but will be pretty rubbish past Eastenders O’clock.!

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Finding your not- so- sweet spot in the day- Perhaps ( and there is a possibility as there is a ?? in our family tree !!! ) I was from Mediterranean stock. Oh, two o’clock comes and I can just do with a siesta!! Either rest or reschedule then.. possibly for the whole winter…. .

You don’t know what is round the corner weather wise, health wise or relationship wise; so bloody hell– seize the day please !!!.

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Use the year, month, day, to your advantage and let your dear ones know you are alive but need to be in your zone while you can. From April to September you can find me in the undergrowth somewhere or deep in conversation between hanging out a shirt and feeding a chicken.

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Even in July, the tendrils of Autumn’s harsh winds are closer, and you feel you are on a train at full speed careering through the year without stopping at the stations. Looking out of the window and sharing your thoughts with your fellow passengers is an essential part of the journey. Our destination being another cycle of winter’s bite ahead, digging out the wooly socks again and stocking up on coal, enforced hibernation. So making the most of the outside time we have together is so important

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In these extremes, when our bodies are wonky all that normal stuff is doubly hard, we must seize the day, make hay while the sun shines. If we can walk, see, hug, hold a pen, plant a seed, make a paint mark, rub a dogs ear ; laugh with a friend, how lucky are we ?

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And it all feels so much better in the sunshine.

I have been busy in my magical window, sowing seeds in the garden, in creative ways only available while the studio and my hands are warm, the air is sparkly and new friends pop up over the fence all Summer! With one shoulder , one or two bones still ok and a will of iron, new projects are flourishing. Here is our entry for the Coldingham Scarecrow trail for Coldingham Priory;

Brother Benedict is a heavy thing! So lots of help has been received and appreciated . You can vote for any of your favourites at the Coldingham Gaa Sunday. Info on the Coldingham primary website.

And lastly for today..

Our new Mosaic path being made now from bits of old china, old bathroom tiles and small glass mosaic pieces. Just managed to get the glue dry before the heavens opened last night!! A hop skip and jump through the grass for soggy winter grass.

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How cool is this path? Although, yes, I can hear you say- if it was mine it would already have spots on!

Thank-you for being with us patiently and with continuing trust .  We are here, building something magical whilst still gazing up at the clouds.

With love and gratitude, Happy happy Summer xxx liz and the zoo xx

Fairy Garden

Once upon a time there was a magical garden.. full of real life fairies….who made real life fairy houses and believed in the power of their sparkly imaginations…

Most fairies know that the best magic is somewhere between what we see and what we believe… …

Hiding in the laundry…

Behind the flowers at the fishpond…..

But especially in the magical old hut at the bottom of the garden…

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So, despite, every other grown up thinking they were a tiny bit mad.. one big person decided to make a new village slightly closer to home.. just in case any visitors happened to fly by..

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After two years of .. er….mishaps.. there were plenty of mosaic pieces to pick from….

So with patient neighbours and a big hammer they began smashing and sorting…

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A fairy path was picked out with different stone slabs as well as treasured shells, seaglass, marbles, stones and other magical finds.

A rare and deliciously indulgent zone was entered into, on and off for a few days, in the gaps between children and animals who needed food and attention, and the body parts could relax in a rare moment of heat from the sun.

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After a little bit of internet inspiration……

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Tiles were covered in broken china, and an initial plan of colours and design attached with waterproof tile adhesive..

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Next the tiles were grouted with weatherproof stuff!! And then the village was patched together with areas of fake grass, coloured stones from the garden centre, to make paths and rivers, and painted in places to create pebbles, rocks and grassy banks. The paint used was acrylic and the coloured shed paint stuff used for the garden path. This all took a while to do, but by doing things properly.. getting each section into a seperate colour, texture and knowing what your plan for a design along the way gives a better finish and confuses the fairies a lot less.

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There is a beach with fishermen…

These little folks, collected by a well-wisher were donated to The Beach Hut lady last Summer at St Abbs Summer Fayre!

A Circus with animals, optical illusions and a glittery tent. We are sure this becomes a den of iniquity after lights out…xx

There is a Park with trees, picnic tables and a bridge over the path..

A playpark with a pool and fountain, a glittery elf and a ladybird convoy…

A duck-pond with benches and real ducks….

A church, with a green man and fairy gravestones..

Various houses including a shell house and the woodland pixie’s house. Already there are signs of life….

There is a bus to get about in…

And a gate for well meaning non-fairie folk…

And a fairy hill..

The grown ups and small people around here are waiting for visitors -winged or not..

This is a village which will keep on growing.. Night and day xx

A few more details…

Re-painting Aldi fairies !!! , Tiny tiny tables and a bridge for beetles!

Not sure which type though…

Better get the sketches out for the next plan….

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Be Happy…
keep believing xxx

Waiting Rooms

Who lives in a house like this?

No matter what your background, culture or situation, you might respond with an impact filled emotion to these amazing buildings, which could go one of two ways! Certainly, you would imagine that anyone creative enough to build their life outside of the flatpack universe, must have a certain amount of strength, energy and help to achieve such a lot of work.

If you wear bright colours, you paint your face, your sticks, your house, ..or around here …your path; you may find that you are seen as not really being that unwell . Can you hear your own doubting public !! ? You hear many things when you don’t always look unwell. That’s ok.. It is a choice to make. to not look ill. When a condition begins to darken the edges of your ability to manage normally, you either give in, or you let yourself be the real you. Trying to repeatedly prove to anyone you are actually unwell, is another level of frustration you don’t need. Wear a badge, hold up a placard but find the bit inside that still exists as the rainbow you.

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Some people choose to wear their faces like this… let them…

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Even medical professionals struggle to understand how someone can really be in pain, but still move enough to do positive things for themselves, and especially continue to do things for other people. In fact, often serious conditions are masked and overlooked when you have another chronic one that you are coping with over a long period of time. It used to make me sad, or angry or frustrated. Now I realise, that they are all part of a big wheel of never ending paperwork, and you aren’t that important, unless you make it your business to be. Quietly, calmly and consistently. And continuing to feel valued and worthwhile helps stop you sinking into that feeling of non existence !!

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The reality is, you can get more done when you ARE feeling worse sometimes; especially if you know you won’t always be able to .  You get things done despite your pain, not because you don’t actually have pain. You have no choice. For short bursts you can achieve amazing things.

  • A knowledge of your limitations creates a determination to push them further. Eek out a tiny bit more energy and drive until the job is done, even if it takes all night, or ten minutes every day. You tell yourself you can do it.
  • You stop thinking one negative opinion matters, you remember all the people cheering you on and offering their stories and admiration in return, or telling you how you inspired them to do similar.
  • You figure out and stick to the things you need to make life work- warmth, adapting your environment, lots of light, human touch, avoiding toxic people and food and spending time with delicious versions of both.
  • You keep your vision clear in your mind and don’t waver.
  • You stop telling yourself you are a fraud for being wonderful with a disability, a mental health issue, being in a wheelchair blah blah. And worrying that someone will catch you enjoying yourself and tip you out into the gutter.
  • You take up the offers of help you felt too proud to take up, and realise you would do the same for your friends in a heartbeat. And definitely will again one day.
  • You look around and ask yourself whether you are 100 % in this version of you, even if it isn’t gong to be permanent. Which means having only the clothes and things around you that you can wear, bear, or that make you feel like you aren’t waiting for another life to begin. Who knows what shape you might be in future?  Who knows what you’ll be in to? But if things make you sad, or make you perpetually feel like you’re waiting for a train to come for a station to the future. Tumbleweeds will knock you off your bench. And you might miss the great town you’re already in.
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I say this as someone who, currently can’t bend one arm, walk or wear my vintage dresses because they get tangled in my crutches. But. I am still me. I’m not chucking them out. (sorry!) They are mostly stored on a rail in the attic where if medical science catches up with my head and super vet takes on humans, I will shimmy down my ladder in my retro polka dots one day. or… my daughter may wear them to the prom. Either way. It’s ok. They aren’t taunting me when I open my wardrobe (s) ! I like my linen floaty stuff just as much.

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Resting up in hospital gave me time to get creative. I recycled all the medicine tubs on the ward to paint watercolours in, and spent a lovely time chatting to a wonderful lady next to me whilst tinkering away at these posters.

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These few months have been many things. I thought they were simply slow and painful at times, too cold to be in my beloved garden and to feel sun on my bones instead of these sticky pain patches! But on reflection each step has been plentiful, gathering momentum towards projects all over the place.

Flags for the village Green all now re-stencilled and painted!

Research for The Eyemouth Art Trail has created new friendships, unearthed a host of local information of local artists in the area, which I will chat to you about another time, and Artwork made which will be used for various things related to the campaign.


My community Art group have worked away at various projects over the winter, despite their own challenges, and we are developing a new relationship with a partner community group, who are lovely; and understand our needs as an entity! This is so exciting. People who can adapt when the teacher for the first children’s class ends up in hospital instead….. well they are more than ok in my book.

Winter has been drawn on and written on, when the joints have allowed, before spring comes and more time can be spent outside. Almost every weekend plan that was made was changed by various friends, they themselves having different complications, and that was ok too. So, this inside- the- house bit of time  for us was two months of preparation and of making new connections, facing the realities of what this new set of adaptions all means. But also enjoying the freedom of not caring what the imaginary little judge on my shoulder thinks.

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Kicked that little monster to touch.

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Taking on the bears

We gather habits, patterns of behaviour like we gather clothes and books. Thinking we will get the same from them as we always did. And they sit there in our lives staring at us, taunting us with their lack of commitment to the actual person we need too be now.

Sometimes the accumulation can be too overwhelming….
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Time to go easy on ourselves for a while..

Perhaps, without actually getting rid of anybody, it is time to ask who, in your current version of your self is bringing you a squeaky tea trolley of tea and biscuits? Or wine? Or who you feel like sharing your leftover Christmas stash with! x What things do you do that make you happy? If you are unwell now or if you were to be in the future, what would give you most pleasure to have around you?

Keep what and who you love close by and be grateful for what you can do, what you can achieve in a day and what your influence does still bring. Shove everything else in the attic. Keep smiling. Spring is coming xx

Or you’ll have hermione to deal with… xxx

Your Rainbow friends,

L and Lxxx