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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Cumbrian crafts

I'm on holiday in Cumbria at the moment and taking advantage of the wonderful craft scene here.

Any chance to feel inspired by the vast selection of different crafts and art work on display!
Not to mention the outstanding scenery :)
I came across Lanercost Priory, dating back to the 12th century AD and built from stones from nearby Hadrian's wall.  The crafts exhibition was held in Dacre Hall, attached to the Priory which is the oldest village hall in England - beautiful oak beams and aging brickwork added a rustic feel to the variety of work on display.

I was inspired by some gorgeous flowery watercolour paintings (by the talented Christina Hargraves)and magnificent felted pictures (by the equally talented Pamela Harrington)  as well as some quirky prints with funny and inspiring quotes (by Denise Huddleston from The Cuckoo Tree )  -  definitely The Seashack's cup of tea!

I have lots of ideas to bring back to 'The Shack' and hopefully develop into new products we hope you will love!

I love exploring other people's work and trying to understand how they see the world around them and how that might differ from my perspective.  One thing's for sure, it's definitely made me feel I want to spend more time sketching and painting so I will just have to somehow create more time for this in my busy life :)

Shirley x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Your story

I thought I'd do my 5 grateful things a bit differently today :-) I have been trying to write them since this morning but life happened, as it does, and here I am at 9.35pm writing this! It's the taking life as it comes that I always aspire to...keeping things simple and not getting stressed by little things that will be forgotten as quickly as they appear. Of course it's easier said than done; sometimes it works, some days it definitely doesn't!

I started the day with a bunch of wood that we've cut.

We've been upcycling wood to make signs with four around 6 months now and we've finally come to the end of this current batch.  This is the remainder of it which will mostly be made in to mini signs.  The great thing about using up all the wood is it's a chance to work on new designs!

The rest of the day was filled with empty kitchen cupboards / painting / Mr spider / friends / the park / feeding swans / Sainsbury's / sword fighting / unsettled small person.  My life is varied ;-) My 5 grateful things are probably very different to what they would have been if I'd managed to post them this morning. I like to give thanks in that moment; that's what it's all about :-) So here are 5 things I'm grateful for right now:

1. If you follow our Facebook page you'll know about my terrifying encounter with a spider at the Seashack today! Well my Husband found it and it's left the building!! I am very grateful and now can relax knowing it's no longer under the dishwasher!

2. I'm grateful to the Great British Bake Off for inspiring me to bake again :-) I always eat too much mixture and they never turn out how they are supposed to but I give it a go! (This is my hideous attempt at a swiss roll!! In progress but not going so well!)

3. I'm always thankful for my health - and the health of my family too. There is nothing that cannot be achieved, no restraints or worries - the world is ours for the taking <3

4. I'm grateful to be able to be here for my Daughter who is struggling tonight - I think with teething. It's comforting to know I'm helping her in some small way.

5. My comfy bed - I think I'm going to need it very soon!

I thought I'd end with some words that have been in my head this evening; 'Only you can write your own story'.

I love it; it feels so empowering to know we are each in control of our story; our life; our own journey. How we choose to face each day & how we deal with life's little hurdles. What will your story say about you?

Gemma x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

"We're all just living on one big rock"

Sometimes you just have these days, don't you? Where something small could make you internally combust! Today isn't one of those days but I was thinking about it as I opened my stamps to stamp some mini signs and I realised they were upside down and now they've all fallen out! 

I'm a bit funny about trying to keep them in order. Actually it just makes my life easier and stamping is much faster when they are in alphabetical order. On a different day I mightn't patiently sit here and put them all! 

But today they've been put back and in a moment I'll start the job I've been meaning to all afternoon. I get distracted easily...although when I'm inspired to write I like to put pen to paper then and there or the idea goes. I often ponder what to write it meaningful enough? Does it have a moral or an inspiring story? Well perhaps it's just something that's good for you - another form of expression - a way to make sense of some internal feelings that might be hiding in there. 

And so I shall continue with my stamping. It's nice to feel calm today as I don't always feel this way...To see everyday 'things' as no big deal and to just let the wind carry me :-) On the subject of things being no big deal, I'll leave you with a profound quote from my Husband this morning:"We're all just living on one big rock"! 

Amen to that :-)

Gemma x

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A little adventure

I'm blogging from the car today (I'm not driving, don't worry!). We're off on a little adventure to the seaside :-) 

We actually live fairly close to the sea but we're venturing out to the north of Essex instead and it's a bit of a sentimental journey too as it's the town my grandparents used to live in <3 I plan to write throughout our day so this post may appear a little fast-forwarded!

I haven't been to Frinton for a long time; I was just saying to Mum, it must be about 15 years? I'm looking out for places that I might recognise but nothing yet. Mum is telling me stories of Grandma & Grandad and where they lived. They were adventurous with moving - followed their hearts but weren't afraid of admitting something hadn't worked out and changing tracks. They retired to Bexhill-on-Sea but when it didn't work out they moved to Frinton which is where we are today :-)

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

We've arrived! We didn't think we were going to get parked but found a perfect spot by some beach huts - and even better, the parking is free! 

This place has a lovely feel to it; it's not at all a commercial seaside resort. There are no beach cafés and no litter either! It's no surprise to see the blue flag flying proudly :-)

There's just something about being on the beach isn't there? Barefoot and connecting with the earth. I could get used to spending this much time outdoors. Even having our 4-year-old & 18-month-old with us, everyone is happy, they are having a great time. They can be free in this place :-)

This place is a perfect example of beach cafés, obvious toilets or typical noisy seaside attractions. Yes, it might have just been a little bit of a challenge and (and long walk - can blame the Husband for a poor sense of direction with that one!) to find an ice cream, but I love it here! I don't for one moment miss the noisy arcades, doughnut stand and litter everywhere! I just want to come to the enjoy the beach :-)

We've been so lucky with the tides having not checked them before we left. We've just watched it come in quickly and boy did it speed up! It's the perfect way to decide when to leave the beach - a natural conclusion to the day :-) We had lots of fun building a last minute castle with moat and watching the water engulf it. 

It was only at that moment that it really hit me how dangerously fierce our oceans are; how powerful water is. In seconds our castles were gone; they didn't have a chance. 

It suddenly in that moment felt very vulnerable to be standing there, very out of control. I can liken this to that feeling when, in life, you're suddenly hit by something. It doesn't have to be big. Often for me in the past it might be a low feeling that suddenly hits one morning and you can't seem to shift. It comes on so quickly and catches you unawares. Not quite the same but you catch my drift :-)

I'd thoroughly recommend a visit to Frinton :-) All in all a lovely day filled with laughs, memories and a ton of sand accidentally carried home which I still can't seem to vacuum up from our floor!

Gemma x

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