Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Inspiration and exhaustion

 "Where does your inspiration come from?" she asked.

I get asked that a lot.

"Everywhere!" I told my new friend. "Inspiration is all around us. Just take a quick walk and open your eyes and you will awaken more ideas than you can use up in a month!"

But that was before exhaustion hit me, and dried up my creativity.


 It's modern society's big killer of creativity and confidence.
And I've been dealing with it.

After running day and night and coping with a number of unavoidable crises, I found myself bone tired, utterly exhausted.

And I am so very, very grateful to have been forced to learn from it.

The answer is REST
(and yes, you really can climb off the merry-go-round of busy-ness. You can stop.)

Sometimes we have to stop. 
For plenty of sleep, 
for allowing ourselves not to be productive all the time,
for long hours of quiet without guilt.

Let's admit it: it's hard to stop.  
But I am so grateful I was forced to rest.

I am finally recharged and rested.

Ideas have flooded back.
Creativity is surging again like a river of joy.

The first hints of spring are emerging in our little valley and with them a fresh wave of joyful inspiration is filling my heart and studio!

If you are feeling sucked dry, bone tired... if you are feeling exhausted and wishing the creative fountain would flow freely again, gift yourself with grace and simply stop. Rest. Wait patiently as long as it takes for your body and spirit to be revived.

You'll love what happens when the exhaustion subsides and a short walk again brings more creativity than you can handle.

Where does inspiration come from?

A rested place that enables you to look around you and enjoy the world around you.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Work. Life. Rest. Balance.

Who has ever found the perfect balance of work and rest?
Certainly not me!

Between deadlines, holidays, trade shows and (let's be honest) exhaustion, I've been running so fast that my blog has languished... Just too much goodness to cram into 24 short hours a day.

But yipee, I'm refreshed again and can't wait to share some of what I've been up to!

One of the most fun events was the annual Craft and Hobby Show in California, where my new Garden Party line of crafting dies launched.

Maybe I shouldn't admit it, but I think this is my favorite line ever.
So dainty and feminine, and so celebratory.
Never has it been so easy to go over the top for a beautiful party!

The dies are so intricate, they do all the work for you.

With just the crank of a handle you can turn out beautiful invitations, name tags, napkin rings, and loads of other party goods almost instantly!

It seems like just yesterday I was snipping the originals in my tiny cottage studio, with the rose petals falling down in the doorway as if to cheer me on.

Next I'll show you a peek at some of what you can make, and how my neighbor, who is a first time crafter just dipping her toe in the water, is using the dies. 

And how you can get them too as soon as they ship in late March, yipee!

Just a peek at my work table. Nothing nicer than a good messy afternoon!
For me all the leftover snips are like paper confetti... 


Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Cotswolds, a story book come to life

Coming to the Cotswolds is like opening an old, richly illustrated story book and falling in.
There's honey colored stone, thatched roofs, and romance everywhere.

Almshouses, pubs, ivy and roses creeping down the stone walls.
England, no wonder we are so enchanted by your beauty.

 ...It seemed as if we'd stumbled onto the Braveheart movie set.
We half expected to see someone in period costume running out of the doorway.

The thatched roofs... real thatched roofs. 
Real. Thatched. Roofs.
And we didn't see another tourist.

Is this not just like an old, old story book come to life?
But not at all cutesy, not at all what the Brits call "twee."

If we were not Anglophiles before, Mr. Wonderful and I were completely in love with England when we arrived in the village of Chipping Campden.

Did you know those picturesque finger-thin sign posts are actually REAL?


The weather vanes, too, look exactly like those in the stories my grandma read me. 
I found myself walking around with a silly grin until we returned to our B& B and tasted (yes, really!) tea and crumpets.

Are you a fan of all things English, too?
We are already plotting how and when we'll get back.

Friday, November 20, 2015


What a gem of a city.
For those of us who love everything English, this place has it all.

For starters, there's the York Minster, regal and covered with history on every surface, inside and out.

Everything in York made us fall more and more in love with England.

Natural beauty.
Works of art.
Fabulous tea rooms.

And last but definitely not least, it's a place that can make you feel like Mary Poppins is right at your elbow. 

Look at these two, selling roasted chestnuts between the merry-go-round and the bike rentals downtown.

Even the signs are charming... Really, where else would you find a shop whose specialties are cheese, chilli and chutneys?

We walked for hours, savoring the beauty and history, and traversed the ancient city walls...

Peeking over the wall, you glimpse verdant gardens and glassy Victorian greenhouses, the spires of the Minster, and homes with laundry flapping in the autumn breeze. Even medieval spikes to protect against intruders.

After all that walking, sketching, and braving the whistling wind, it was time to rendezvous with my dear friend, Jane.

It was time for a proper brew.
Tea time.

Let's share tea tomorrow!