Life at the moment :: Summer

Durdle Door

It’s been just over two months since I have shared in this space. The summer has felt like it has come, gone, and come back again just in time for the August bank holiday weekend! As we near the end of the summer my heart drifts back to this space to share my musings once again. Life at the moment over the summer months has felt like it has been shaped by my job change and my day to day routine looking a little different. It has taken time to adjust to the new pace of my week, the fullness of each working day, and the amount of different things I manage to achieve during the week days. Weekends have been time to spend at home, potter in the garden, enjoy our home and time to visit places close by. It has been a season of taking it easy and doing simple things.

Life at the moment has been about…

…Visiting…new places with Mr C and Juno. We had a long weekend away to Wells then Dorset and stayed in lovely dog friendly inns, ate delicious food and were treated to sunny weather for most of the weekend. It was the first trip Juno has had to the seaside and she loved digging in the sand.

…Celebrating…passing the probationary period in my new job.

…Re-organising…and tidying my creative studio in our attic room to remove the clutter and simplify the space.

Juno on the beach

…Doing…just one thing at a time to focus and slow down.

…Making…plans for the next few months this year, to see family, friends and schedule in a few things to enjoy over the weekends.

…Playing…with Juno. We are loving her mannerisms, head tilts and getting to know her more and more. She is now 9 months old.

Juno
…Feeling…so happy for my brother and his fiancé. This summer they have got engaged and are making plans for moving to their new home together.

…Printing…photos for my Project Life album and making a start on my monthly documentation for the year.

…Buying…a few new books that have been on my wishlist for a very long time and savouring them page by page.

Dorset
…Deciding…to develop my skills further in NLP. This week I’ve signed up to join a Master NLP Practitioner course starting in late September run by the same college that I started my training with. I’m really looking forward to it.

…Feeling…a real sense of purpose and and being so proud of the company I work for.

…Watching…our garden grow and thrive. It has been a never ending job to keep an eye on the slugs and snails that have multiplied in the rainy weather but it has been worth it. I wasn’t quite as lucky with the caterpillars who have munched through many of our cabbages. I’ve learnt more about growing my own this year than ever before.

Nasturtium

…Harvesting…lettuce, beans, beetroot, carrots, courgettes, and herbs from our garden and greenhouse.

…Noticing…the changes in light levels throughout the summer.

…Waiting…patiently for a week off on holiday in September. It will be our first full week off together since Christmas and we are heading to Abergavenny for the famous food festival and to explore the Brecon Beacons.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2017
…Establishing…my new morning routine. I’ve spent the past two weeks making head space and creating time to gently reconnect to my creative passions that I have put on pause for the past few months whilst I settle into my new job.

…Shaping…new ideas for my long term career ambitions and being ok with changes to the plans I had thought about and action earlier in the year.

…Enjoying watching the skies above our home fill with hot air balloons for the International Balloon Fiesta.

Capturing the Details :: Spring – Mapping my journey of change through images

Lavender

Discovering life from a different view point can be refreshing. Getting up close with the detail and taking a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the day to capture the details, is my way of creating space for me and allows me to spend time being creative. Photography is my way of making a mindful moment in my day and is one of my passion projects that has been part of my life for many years. Many of these images have been captured in our small urban garden over the past few months and others have been captured in spaces very close by to our home. From the flowering of magnolia trees, blossom on trees, and bluebell season, through to the chives in our herb garden flowering most recently in the past few weeks…I’ve got up close, decided to see things at a different level. I’ve looked up, I’ve looked down, and hunted for details that I wanted to capture. The summer feels so very close with the astronomical summer season starting next week. We’ve had sunshine filled days and warmth over the past week that has enabled our garden to burst with greenery. Today I thought it was time to share my photos captured of nature this Spring that I really love and also connect you to how I have mapped and journeyed through change through images I’ve captured and shared…

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My Spring Manifesto 2017 :: Reflections

Magnolia
Last year I started a process of writing a manifesto for each season. Living with a manifesto added a layer of appreciation to the small things in my day to day and gave me the opportunity for more focus.  The comfort and familiar cycles of the seasons shaped the year and I began to take more inspiration and cues from nature around me, bringing with it a more considered pace and focus into my life. I started to notice more and felt that I was living life in a more wholesome and wholehearted way. Every season sees a shift, from changes in the weather and the cycles of nature, to the way we connect to our surroundings. It feels like a new chapter begins at the start of each season and I especially love the blurry edges of the seasons as we transition to the next. This beautiful magnolia in bloom was captured one sunny weekend this year and, alongside tree blossom, is what symbolises spring to me…the chance to grow and blossom.

Creating a manifesto each season enables me to declare my intentions for the season ahead. I like to use it to think about what I plan to bring into my life, what to focus on, and how I want to connect to nature and the season I am living in. Each season I want my manifesto to be a way to help me shape my life in a positive, thoughtful and wholesome way. I use it as a guide to enable me to navigate my route forwards. As the season shifts and moves forwards I love noticing what nature is identifying to me in the moment and how I can use those noticings in my day.

This Spring has seen immense change in my life with the start of a new job in an industry that is new to me and close to my heart. It has brought together my skills, experience, my personal interests and a deep sense of purpose working for an organic, ethical and sustainable company. It is pretty much close to a dream job that has taken my 13 year career to get to and I feel that the stars aligned just at the right moment to enable this to happen. This spring I’ve taken time away from many digital outlets and to take a break from this space too. When big change is happening I sometimes decide to step away from sharing, to allow space to contemplate and just be.

In February and March I jotted down a few thoughts and words of what I wanted my Spring Manifesto to be about. Prompted at that time by the impending change in my day job, I’ve noticed that many of the elements came from deep feelings that I had been experiencing at the time that I needed to work through thoughtfully over the season ahead. As we enjoy the warm weather at the start of June and we begin to move towards summer I wanted to share with you my Spring manifesto and what it has been bringing into my life…

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Life at the moment :: Musings from February and March

It has taken until this week to feel ready to write…how can I explain this most recent break from this space?…I thought best by telling you a few updates from me…Part of my own mindful practice is to appreciate what I have been doing each month, to document life where I can through photos to capture my memories, and to reflect on my thoughts and feelings through my ‘life at the moment’ musings. The past few months have seen some lows and big highs and I’ve needed a break from the digital space…I’m taking a step forwards to being back here to share my updates with you today.

Life at the moment has been about…

Juno in February
Welcoming…our newest member to our family, say hello to our beautiful puppy Juno…she joined us at the end of January and is settling in so well, growing so quickly, filling our life with new routines, change, patience and so much learning. Mr C grew up on a farm with a Jack Russell in his life and now we have one in our own…

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Capturing the details :: Winter

Holly

I love cultivating and living a creative and wholesome life through the seasons. As part of my winter manifesto I wanted to capture the details of winter, and for me this has meant getting outside and braving the cold weather. Over the past few months I’ve spent time reconnecting with my love of photography and plants. Photography is a way for me to be creative, to notice the details of the season, and to capture the moment. I love trying to see things from a different angle or perspective and sometimes use these prompts from nature to think more creatively.

The seasons for me act like signposts, giving a hint to how to we can be living during the season. This winter has been about resting when I can, and taking the time to hibernate. There have been frosty mornings, golden light, morning dew clinging to plants, blue skies and empty branches, and a gentle palette of winter tones.

We are on the cusp of a seasonal change into spring. Warmer days are becoming more frequent, daffodils are growing and are ready to flower, and snowdrops and purple crocus starting to make an appearance in our garden. But before the shift happens I wanted to share with you some of the images I have been capturing this winter season that I love…

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My Winter Manifesto 2017

Frosty twigs
Last year I started a process of writing a manifesto for each season in the year. Living with a manifesto added a layer of appreciation to the small things in my day to day. I started to notice more, enjoyed the comforts and familiar cycles of the seasons even more, I took inspiration and cues from nature around me, and brought a more considered pace and focus into my life. Every season sees a shift, from changes in the weather and the cycles of nature, to the way we connect to our surroundings. New chapters begin at the start of each season and I take real pleasure from noticing the changes in the seasons, and I especially love the blurry edges to the seasons as we transition to the next. I enjoyed creating and living with a manifesto each season last year and this year I will be taking the idea forwards once again.

Having a manifesto enables me to declare my intentions for the season ahead, to share and think about what I plan to bring into my life, to decide what I want to focus on, and how I want to connect to nature and the season I am living in. Winter is a time for hibernating, for conserving energy, being still and contemplating. The small simple pleasures to enjoy during the season shape my memories, build new routines and familiarity. From snuggling under blankets and writing in notebooks, to creating plans for the year ahead. Winter brings a gentle and slow approach to personal passion projects, the enjoyment of wrapping up in layers to go outside, a an appreciation of the gentle changes in light each morning. I enjoy having a comforting and delicious cup of sweetened chai tea, or a mug of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows that melt into a sweet topping. It’s the simple pleasures and small moments that create a comfort associated with each season.

My winter manifesto combines simplicity and stillness, with hibernation and rest. My winter manifesto is simple and made up of five intentions…

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Thrive :: My One Little Word 2017

Thrive - My One Little Word 2017

Since 2013 I have selected a word for the year and have taken the online course called One Little Word run by Ali Edwards. In the past my words have been Grow (2013), Embrace (2014), Simplify (2015) and Awaken (2016). Having a word for the year gives me a focus, it helps me shape intentions for the year ahead, rather than having specific resolutions, and enables me to action a certain way of being for the year. This year my word is Thrive.

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Review of Awaken :: My One Little Word 2016

Awaken - My one little word 2016

 

For the past four years I have selected a word to bring into my daily life and have taken an online class called One Little Word created by Ali Edwards. I hugely admire Ali and she continues to inspire me with her creativity, her approach to memory keeping, method of reflection and story telling.

My word for 2016 was Awaken, and in previous years my words have been Grow (2013), Embrace (2014) and Simplify (2015). Each year my word brings something new into my life, a new way of thinking and a way to ground myself. I believe that these words have each helped me to get to where I am now, they’ve helped me to create things in my life, deal with challenges and have given me a different way to shape my year.

Awaken became a word that softly sat behind things that I did, and gave me a gentle nudge here and there when I needed it. I wrote about my word in March and what it was bringing into my life at that point in time. Since then my word has continued to be a focus and has enabled me to create a great year and achieve a number of things.

Using my word as a base, I like to create intentions for the year ahead. Here are a few of the key intentions that I connected to most last year and a little bit about what they brought into my life…

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Living my Autumn Manifesto

Handmade silver ring on winter wreath

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, the changes in nature echo and symbolise personal shifts that I tend to feel at this time of year. I enjoy seeing the rhythmic changes, as the leaves and foliage change colour, the sun is lower in the sky creating a beautiful golden light, the weather changes, autumn flowers bloom, trees and plants drop seeds that fall and scatter, and there is a feeling of change in the air.

For me each season brings with it something new, a new chapter. I take real pleasure from noticing the changes and love the blurry edges to the seasons as they move to the next. My word of the year is Awaken and with this in mind I decided that I wanted to awaken more of a connection to the seasons than I have done before. I want to awaken more awareness and I want to awaken my senses.

To help me achieve this I’ve been writing a manifesto for each season of the year. A manifesto for me is a statement that pulls together my thoughts and the key things that what I want to get out of the season ahead and to help act as a guide. For me it’s about thinking of the simple pleasures I love during the season, celebrating what the season brings, creating direction, actions, and practical and achievable intentions, with the outcome of connecting more to each season in an intentional and focused way. Life is full and creating a practice to allow myself to intentionally become more mindful is a such a good thing. Living with and observing the seasons is something that I do unconsciously, I adore it, but I want to awaken more of an awareness.

We are now just a few days away from the Winter Solstice and wanted to let you know how I have been living my Autumn Manifesto…

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Creating a new foundation chain

crochet-ripple-blanket

I’m someone who loves working on and completing a project, for me it is about feeling the sense of achievement and seeing the results, that spurs me on to get to the finish point. During the summer months I spent most of my spare time making handmade items for our wedding day. The feelings associated with the starting phase of a project, seeing it take shape, then completing it, and using it as part of our day, gave me the drive and desire to continue making things that have a purpose and meaning. At this time of year as the weather is turning colder and the days are shorter, I am drawn towards snuggling on the sofa under a blanket and picking up a comforting project, this tends to involve crochet or knitting. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to pick up my crochet hook again.

I started making a crochet ripple blanket a few years ago and remembered how much I adored the gentle, rhythmic rise and fall of the ripples and the stitch formation. I loved the project at the start but after some time I decided to put the project aside. The reason being that there was a row in particular that I had crocheted that I was unhappy with. I had crocheted a row using a red wool and at the time of creating the row and those around it, I hadn’t noticed the impact that it had made. When I took a step back and looked at the blanket in full all I could see in front of me was the red row that stood out. The rows of colours I had created just before looked ok, and those after it were ok too, but the red row I had crocheted just didn’t fit the tone and feel of the blanket, and so I popped the project away in a work in progress basket and let it be…

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