It’s funny old world, isn’t it?
This time last week, I was knackered. I’d been out four nights in a row with only Monday night off to recover after a week of hedonism with my mate Lisa (There’s a rumour going around that we’re not good for each other. Can’t think why.) and, after a gruelling week at work, I was more than ready for a weekend hibernating in my flat – and very nearly cancelled my catch up with fellow arty-type and good friend Laura. Laura was pretty knackered too, but like the troopers we are, we hauled our arses out of our pits and met for an exchange of collages (I’d left a couple of creations at Laura’s last time we met), a mooch around the South London Gallery, tea, cake, and a bit of mutual mentoring.
You see, Laura and I have “buddied up” and meet once a month to talk about how we have been getting on with our respective projects – and offer moral support when things haven’t quite gone according to plan. We both work full time, have busy social and home lives and often find focusing on our creative pursuits more than a little challenging. Laura admitted that she had not done as much of her “to do” list as she had hoped – but had the excuse of a new voluntary job, manic work schedule and an addiction to Coursera – a directory of free online courses on anything from philosophy, social networking and mathematics. Take a look at your peril – Laura is currently signed up to about half a dozen courses...
So, last week was busy. This week, however... has been pretty dead. Other than a rather dull evening meeting I’ve been in every night – which, whilst relaxing, does lead to a bit of cabin fever, along with an over-indulgence of jaffa cakes. Having said that, it has been a rather productive week. I’ve caught up with my writing (novel number two is at about 12,000 words and counting) and have been getting on with a bit of crafting. Not only have I made my mum a snood (modelled by Dog below) and a rosette-style brooch to accompany her ticket to see Carmen for her Birth/Mother’s Day treat, I’ve made Breezy, a metre-long beast of a draught excluder commissioned by a chum who has unusually wide doors. And tonight I’ve titivated my collage “Fist” yet again... keep an eye on the “Art” section of this website for its unveiling once I decide it’s finished.
Readers... I have a plan. It isn’t particularly cunning, but it enables me to keep focused on what I want in life and where I want to be. My plan is haphazardly divided into three parts; Plan Part A is to be a published novelist (which I rambled on about last time I blogged), Plan Part B is to pursue my other creative pursuits and Part C is to sort out the rest of my life. Keeping them separate stops me getting too overwhelmed and, most of the time, they bumble along quite nicely without bothering each other. But the other week my desire to buy a flat (a la Plan C) inspired my dream to create things for a living (see Plan B) – and escape the rat race.
You see, when I last looked into it, I discovered that I could just about afford to buy a flat in Walthamstow. Having already explored it a month or two ago, I recently returned to have a look around the Lloyd Park area. I was pleasantly surprised – the surrounding streets looked nice enough, the park itself had a lovely community feel and, to top it off, it was the home of the William Morris Gallery.
I admit that, unlike my mum, Mr Morris’s designs don’t really excite me, but what I love about him and his contemporaries was their creation of the Arts and Crafts Movement – the rejection of mass production in favour of carefully crafted wares made by skilled artisans. It’s a concept I very much admire – and one that I feel is having a bit of a revival at the moment. However, these days, your average person has more free time than the working class Victorian and many of us are embracing craft into our own lives.
Whatever the reason, I will not be defeated! I have already created accounts on both the aforementioned websites and shall be getting some of my stuff on line for people to buy asap. So, if you need a little bit of something different to stuff your stockings with, watch this space... or, if you see something you like on the site, just drop me a line via my contact page and I’ll see what I can do!
Hello there! Sorry it’s been a while but, as usual, I’ve been super busy updating the new website, producing a newsletter (hope you liked it?), applying for not one but TWO secondments at my day job and writing reviews for the recently re-launched Capital Life. Yes, that’s right, another blogging string to my bow! Take a look at www.capital-life.co.uk – and watch this space for further news on what I’ve been up to with their big sister, Urban Life...
Unsurprisingly, all this wonderful work is leaving me a wee bit tired. Last weekend I caught up with a few friends who told me off for taking on so much. Okay, I admit, they may have a point – so I have been making sure that I make time for a bit of R&R too. Last weekend I found myself in a spa and, after a manic hour in the gym, I turned my attention to doing very little other than alternating between the sauna and Jacuzzi, reading my glossy and enjoying views of the Thames with a glass of wine over an admittedly mediocre lunch. By the time my chum joined me at 2pm I was nearly comatose.
Last week I also went to a bonfire and firework display in Wimbledon – a ritual that for me is almost as integral as Christmas when it comes to unleashing my inner child. Fun was also has this Saturday at Biscuit in Greenwich www.biscuit-biscuit.com where I took a bunch of chums pot painting. Despite a bit of a mix-up with our booking, Mr Biscuit himself saved the day and gave us access to his party room downstairs – result! – and I was soon, I quote, “grinning like a child in a sweet shop”. Speaking of results, my (mainly non-artistic) friends amazed me with their wares – take a look for yourself below.
Well, that’s it from me for now. Except – are you at a loose end next Saturday? Fancy a spot of Christmas shopping and a swift pint? Then come and see me at Wonderhill Market www.wonderhillmarket.co.uk in Tooting! I’ll be the one with lots of cushions crying into my mulled cider because no-one has bought anything...
See you there!
and very cool vintage decor. I am tempted to go back just to enjoy the ambience over one of their super thick hot chocolates and a good book - or even for an afternoon of writing. And, if I want a change of scene, I can always pop over the road to Canterbury Court which apparently has space for creatives to get down to business. For a spot of pub grub and a bit of liveliness after a productive day, you could do worse than an evening in the Brown Derby on Clapham Road, too.
So, if you are passing through south London on the Northern Line, stop off at Oval - and,whilst you are there, take a walk down Caldwell Street and say hello to my old flat!
Have a great week everyone - maybe I'll see you at Battersea Park's Bonfire and firework display on Saturday night...
Here you will find my latest news, including what I have been up to and what I have been writing (and making). Hopefully you'll like what I have to say - and perhaps I will motivate you to get creative too...