Friday, 3 February 2017

Celebrate International Book Giving Day with our HUGE book giveaway

Did you know that not only is February 14 a special day for all you love birds out there, it is also International Book Giving Day! So what better way to spread some love than giving away some books!

My writerly pals and I are feeling the vibes of this special day and decided to do a Blog Hop devoted to the love of books, and because we are feeling extra loved up we are giving away a load of our own books too! Please have a read and enjoy. Then visit the other #Gr8Blogs listed at the end of this post for more Book Giving inspiration. 

So what exactly is  International Book Giving Day?

International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to give a book to a child on February 14th. The aim being that we get books into the hands of many children as possible. It is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to books and to encourage their enthusiasm with reading. There are many ways of doing this from donating books, giving them as Valentine gifts, swapping books, creating events etc. For more ideas of how to celebrate this day or to learn more about the event please click here 

I am sure you will all agree with me on how important reading is for a child. Here are just a few things I can think of...
  • It encourages your child to set their imagination free and use their creativity.
  • Reading aloud to your child encourages more bonding between parent and child.
  • Stories provide inspiration, thought and reflection.
  • Books provide a constant source of knowledge and learning.
  • It provides your child with some time to escape reality and still their mind.
I could write more but I shall control myself. You get the jist though.... reading is kinda important! So much so that days like this are created. So to help celebrate this day we are giving away some of our books which includes 14 signed print books and 4 ebooks.....that is a total of 18 books!! not bad eh! I am participating by giving away 2 signed copies of Animania for UK entries only.

For a chance to enter this giveaway please go to the rafflecopter tab on the main screen where you can choose which books you would like to win and follow the instructions on how to do so.

Thanks for stopping by! For more International Book Giving Day reading, visit the #Gr8blogs below. And don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win autographed copies by some amazing authors. And hey, if you’re a fellow book lover just add your family-friendly International Book Giving Day link to your blog post in the comment section. We’ll visit your blog and give you some blog love!

Cat Michaels, Cat’s Corner

Julie Gorges, Baby-Boomer Bliss

Carmela Dutra, A Blog for your Thoughts

JD Holiday -JDs Writers Blog
James Milson - Writing and Things
Tracy Bryan - Tracy Bryan
Rosie Russell - Books by Rose
Sandra Bennett - Sandra Bennett Author

Terms and conditions: There is NO purchase necessary to enter or win. Eight winners (still to be determined exact amount) will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget within 48 hours and notified by email once the giveaway ends. The winners will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner(s) do not respond within 72 hours, a new winner(s) will be chosen. This giveaway is open to all who live in and outside of the US. However, as there are several sponsors of this giveaway who live both domestic and international. Print books are available only for domestic country of author origin; ebooks offered outside author's country of origin at their discretion.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Tackling Dyslexia and Author Interview with Willy Robins

What better way to kick off the new year than celebrating the new release of a book I worked on last year. Nogard the Dyslexic dragon is written by Willy Robins and is about an adorable little dragon who is going through the process of finding his wings. However things aren't plain sailing and he has a few obstacles to overcome first as he soon discovers that his dyslexia is a bit of a hinderance when it comes to map reading. Not one to give up, he overcomes all of his challenges thanks to some helpful new friends and his teacher. I absolutely loved bringing this little guy to life, well and truly fell in love with him.

Willy will be hosting a facebook launch party on Thursday the 19th of January to celebrate the release of the book. It will then be available to purchase through Amazon

I wanted to dedicate this post to the book and the author so I have asked Willy if she would kindly answer a few questions so that we can learn a bit more about the book and the creator of this little fella. So without further ado, I give you the lovely Willy Robins....

Willy Robbins grew up in the middle of the Ozarks in Missouri.  She was raised on the family farm, where she resides today.  Willy grew up with the love of reading, as her first grade teacher, Mrs. Chapman can attest. Willy was the first one to reach the moon that year with the number of books that she read.  Reading and writing continue to be an integral part of Willy’s life, she has taught them both for 17 years as an elementary educator.

What made you choose a dragon as your main character? 

Dragons are so cool to kids.  My favorite dragon as a kid was H.R. Puffnstuff and Pete the Dragon.  Dragons never get old for a character, as they can be portrayed with so many different personalities.

How long did it take to write Nogard? 

Nogard didn't take a long time to put on paper, it did take a bit of time to get him out of the drawer.  He was an idea that was put in my head about two and a half years ago.

Nogard is about an adorable dragon learning how to cope with dyslexia. What made you choose this topic for the book? 

Dyslexia is not a diagnosis that I see a lot with my students, but I see a lot of students with various symptoms of Dyslexia.  I started paying attention when so many kiddos, were flipping their letters or numbers all the time, not just once in awhile like we all experience.  I took it upon myself to start researching Dyslexia, but the whole time I did that research, my mind kept wandering to ways to get the word out that kids need to be monitored more closely in their formative years when learning reading and writing.

How does being a teacher affect your writing? 

It affects me by having an educational theme in my stories.  I just can’t seem to get school out of my writing, as it is a major part of my day to day life. You write what you know...right?  I also get to brag that I have books published...some of the kids think that is cool.

How long have you been writing and when did you publish your first book? 

I have been writing since forever, but I helped write a screenplay in 8th grade for an English project.  I don't remember much about it except it was titled The Adventures of Bleep and Bloop. Alas, I had to wait until 2014 to get published.

What is your writing process like? 

Honestly, I don't have a process that can be described in a text book situation.  But it begins with a funny story, joke, over heard idea, a piece of conversation that stands out, or an epiphany of something I have seen of years and think HEY, that is a good children's book topic...then I decide my hero.

What advice do you have for other writers? 

Write, network, write, oh, and don't forget to write.

Have there been any things that have surprised you with the publishing process?

What surprised me is how much time it takes to market.  If you have the ability, find 5 or 6 people you completely trust, and have them help you.  This is called a street team.  I don't have one, but need one so that I can have extra hands tweeting, google plus-sing, face booking for me a few times a week.  

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do? 

I would pay attention in Math.  Why Math?  Because, if I was better at Math, then my college career choice would be a HIGH paying job, so that I could save a lot, then retire early, like let's say 25, and write and write.  

What were your favourite subjects at school and did you always know you wanted to be a writer? 

My favorite subjects in school were History and English.  I had no clue I wanted to write, but I was always a creative writer.  The closest thing I can get to a professional reader (which is my first love) is to teach reading and write children's books.

What is the hardest part of being a writer and what is the most rewarding? 

The hard part of writing is realizing not everyone thinks your book or story is the best-it's a tough pill to swallow.  The most rewarding is being able to take a mini vacation with family to England and meet the person responsible for giving Nogard his colors.

Thank you so much Willy for taking the time out to answer a few questions and more importantly for giving me the opportunity to bring this little guy to life. I can't wait to meet you in person this summer and I wish you every success with the book launch.

You can connect with Willy through the following channels....

Much love to you all

Friday, 30 December 2016

2016... What A Year!

Well that's another year over, where on earth did that time go! 2016 has been a funny old year with so many great icons taken from us and I know some people have really suffered this year. My heart goes out to all that have had a difficult year and I hope next year will be much kinder.

Firstly I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and wishing you all much love, luck and happiness in 2017. Thank you to all that have been supporting me throughout the last year. It has been a year of huge changes for me as most of you know. I haven't felt comfortable blogging about my experiences as it's all very new to me still and I didn't feel like I was in any position to give advice on taking such a drastic leap of faith as I did, because I won't is a scary old jump to make.

So for those that don't know, I left my day job of 15 years in August to become a full time artist. It wasn't a decision that I took lightly I can assure you. It was reckless and risk taking as all I was going by was pure faith and following my heart. I had no jobs in place, just savings and my gut instinct. My poor husband deserves a medal for what I have put him through as he is very much Mr realistic, and well... I live in la la land. There were many clashes over my decision, some people were like " Yeah you go girl", some not so much. It took a year of thinking long and hard until enough was enough and I handed my notice in. So what happened? Well.. I landed a big book deal illustrating a series of spiritual based childrens stories about a month after I left. All going well this will see me through until spring. After that is anyones guess, I am hoping some more work comes through to keep me living this new life for as long as possible.  If this is truly what I am meant to be doing then I am sure things will work out and the universe will provide, if not then it's not my time and I need to learn new life lessons elsewhere.

I am collaborating with other people and might well be branching into new territory next year with my art. It could be through fine art as I am working on a bunch of spiritual paintings to approach galleries with or it could be in a whole different area of art that I am keen to explore. I can't say too much yet, one thing I am learning to do is to not announce things before they happen. I  read that somewhere and it is so true.... the times I have got excited about stuff and mentioned it, nothing comes of it so this time I am keeping my lips sealed until things do actually happen. 

My writing will have to take a bit of a back burner for now, as I need to focus on Artypeace and everything else going on. Oh and my business Artypeace.... well not much to report there I'm afraid. Setting up a business is hard work! I am just treating it like a hobby for now. I still believe it will take off eventually, it's just trying to figure out which direction to go in, as the ones I have tried have been pretty pitiful. I have started an online art therapy course which I am finding very interesting and experiment when I can with new workshop ideas. So I am slowly working on it, but it will take a lot of time. 

I am also doing a bit of volunteer work which I started back in September that deals with people going through depression and mental health issues. It is very challenging and probably the scariest thing I have put myself through to date, but it is doing me the world of good, and I am learning so many new things through it which I am hoping will be put into use alongside Artypeace somehow. I am not sure how yet, but there is obviously a reason why I have been drawn to this area, and it feels so right. 

Thanks to my daughter for her artwork in this XX
I don't want to write a big post on me me me, so I will keep this short and sweet. It was a quick post to say thank you so so much for being in my life and for all the people that have encouraged me and supported me throughout the year. Hopefully next year I will be in a more secure place and will feel confident enough to share some tips and advice, but for now I have only just bought my arm bands and not a clue where I am swimming to ha ha. One thing I can say, I have never felt more alive before and every day brings new surprises. As reckless as I have been with throwing away a steady wage and security I do not regret my decision in the slightest, and as much as I have the odd wobble of this could go horribly wrong, my faith and heart tell me that no matter how things will turn out, it will all help me grow as a person in the long run. So I embrace 2017 with open arms and I encourage everyone to embrace their fears, live a little recklessly, let your inner child free, live in the present and help others.... this is my key to happiness. 

Much love to you all

Thursday, 3 November 2016

C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y - Fall Blog Hop

Brilliant foliage. Jack-o-lanterns. Apple cider. Fall is in the air! My writerly pals and I are sharing autumn moments in the C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y - Fall Blog Hop. Please have a read and enjoy. Then visit the other #Gr8Blogs listed at the end of this post for more Fall 2016 C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y inspiration.


Absolutely loving my new lifestyle. I took the leap of faith in August and left the dreaded day job to pursue creativity full time. It was the most scariest decision I have ever made and was not one I took lightly. However as stressful as it was, it is the best decision I have ever made. I am finally able to put more time into doing what I love and my art is coming along leaps and bounds with all of my experimenting. I have no idea how long this will last, but I am thoroughly loving the new lifestyle even if I do resemble a hobo most days due to the lack of makeup and permanent wear of jim jams and dressing gown ha ha. 


I am currently reading Jerry Sargeants book Star Magic. As most of you know energy healing and meditation has been a big part of my life since last Christmas after it snapped me out of a slippery slope to doomsville. It is the healing of Jerry Sargeant that has transformed my life and helped me find my true self. I was so lost last year, but after tapping into meditation and energy healing everything suddenly made sense. I knew what I needed to do, and most importantly I no longer let my fears control me. 

So much has changed this year, people have entered my life who seem to be key to my journey and opportunities are constantly coming in that all seem to be linked somehow. I just love this new game of life, it's like trying to piece together a very elaborate and colourful puzzle. I found my missing piece and now I just need to put it altogether, exciting stuff. I really need to write more posts about all of my experiences with this new “reality”. I am handwriting them all down in my journal and one day I will blog about it all. Anyway I am fascinated with Jerry's work and when I heard his new book was out I had to buy it. Its a very interesting read, quite nuts in parts but I love the unusual so it's right up my street. I am hoping it will help me understand more about it all and how I can use everything I am learning to help others. I would love to do one of his facilitator courses in the near future.

Listening To

Now that I am working from home I have been taking a trip down memory lane and listening to a lot of alternative and ecclectic sounds. I usually like my dance / house music but lately I have been listening to things like Enigma, Paul Oakenfield, Enya and a few tribal beats. I might do musicals next week, fancy a bit of Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera, although that was my Dad's favourite and might not be the most productive choice, never a dry eye when thats playing, stunning soundtrack though.

Thinking About

Gosh what am I not thinking about! Well I am still trying to get my business Artypeace off the ground so that takes up a lot of my thoughts. The latest thing I want to try this weekend is decorating candles so if that goes well I will run a little Christmas workshop for the kids again as I thoroughly enjoyed Artypeace's trial birthday party. There is still so much to do with the business but it's going to be such a slow process as the illustrating has to take precedence seeing that illustrating is what's paying the bills. I have recently handed a tonne of leaflets out for the painting party packages so I am hoping I will get a booking soon. It can be frustrating when things get stuck but you just have to keep going and think of different angles, it is one big learning curve! So far the workshops seem to be the most successful so I will have to plan more of them next year. It is fascinating seeing how much creativity does benefit people though, I am thoroughly enjoying all the experiences I have had through the company so far and am looking forward to all the ones to come.


I am off to Australia at the end of the month for my sisters 30th. I will be going by myself so I am a little nervous about the flight, but can't wait to see my family out there again, I miss them so much! I am also going to meet an Art gallery director out there so I am trying to get a few story telling pieces together for it. Fingers crossed they will agree to have my work on display and hopefully we can collaborate in some way with bringing their concept to the uk.

I am also currently working on a spiritual themed range of children's stories at the moment which have been written by Jerry's daughter… see what I mean about the right people coming into your life! I am very curious to see how these books will turn out, there seems to be big plans for them and Jerry certainly is a man who makes his visions happen so I have a feeling that they will do just fine! 

Hot off the easel

Around illustrating, launching a business and the usual motherly duties I have been able to squeeze in some other artwork to keep the creative juices flowing. I participated in inktober over on Instagram which was great fun and I have painted several new experimental pieces, trying out different mediums and techniques. I am trying to incorporate everything I have learned over the past years and bringing them together somehow. My style seems to be slowly coming together, taken long enough! I have also launched an online shop through for prints of my work. Here are some of the things I have been working on......

Thanks for stopping by! For more Currently - Fall 2016 moments, visit the #Gr8blogs below.
And hey, if you’re pumped about writing your own Currently - Fall 2016 post, just add your family-friendly Currently link to your blog post in the comment section. We’ll visit your blog and give you some blog love!

Cat Michaels Cat’s Corner 
Julie Gorges, Baby-Boomer Bliss 
Carmela Dutra, A Blog for your Thoughts 

Auden Johnson,  Dark Treasury
Sondra Robbins Rymer Fairytales Imagery

Thursday, 16 June 2016

C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y Blog Hop - Summer Dreaming

Yay another blog hop! I do enjoy these as it gives me a chance to catch up with the lives of my writerly pals. In this blog hop we share our summer dreams with you. Please have a read and enjoy. Then visit the other #Gr8Blogs listed at the end of this post for more Summer 2016 C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y inspiration.

My plans for summer are like no other summer I have had before. Huge life changes are happening in the background and will come to fruition by the end of July. So what’s been going on these last couple of months, well….


I am still very much into my new found love of energy healing and meditation. I must write up a blog post about the star magic workshop I went on by Jerry Sergeant it was an experience that I will never ever forget and I didn’t realise how much my fear was controlling my life until I attended it. It gave me some extremely deep healing and really opened up my world in ways I didn’t think possible.  I have done a huge amount of self discovery this year through meditation, reading endless blogs / articles about the whole subject and connecting with fellow like minded people. I have made some amazing friendships through it and met some real characters! I feel completely at peace and things are all snowballing into a crazy little whirlwind of much fun and excitement, with the odd spell of fear thrown in ha ha. One of the biggest changes this year, is my growth in confidence! I am surprised with what I have been throwing myself into, there is no way in the world I would do half of the stuff I am doing this time last year. I am so curious to see just how far I will push myself with it all, but the more you face your fears the stronger you become, in all areas of your life.  My blog Don't Let Being an Introvert Stop You From Living Your Creative Dreams gives some tips for those introverts out there. Don't let this trait run your life for you, if I can do this... seriously, anyone can!

with thanks to

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to do a new moon ritual to manifest my goals and desires. Are you starting to back away? Ha ha. Yes I know all this sounds nuts, but this is what is working for me and what I believe in, so as crazy as it sounds I feel I should share it.  I personally get affected by the moon a lot, and I know many others do too. It will either be a case of being on an extreme high or an extreme low or even full on internal rage…. It might just be a woman thing ha ha. So I came across a post advertising Sarah Prouts new moon manifestation ritual. The New moon was a few days away which was ideal timing to do the ritual so I thought, why not. You have to try these things right.

The new moon signifies beginnings so is the perfect time to put your intentions forward. I have had some major decisions to make this year and will be taking a massive leap of faith so I kinda need all the support I can get out there. So I thought lets give this a bash, what have I got to lose. The  ritual consisted of writing your 5 intentions out 55 times in a meditative state. I won’t give away all  the instructions as they are not mine to give away, but if you are interested then please do check Sarahs website out

Now two have already come true! The first one was to lead a healthy lifestyle and stop smoking the second was to be chosen for an art competition that would be an opportunity of a life time. I can’t say too much as I am still waiting to see if I have made it to the finals, but I got as far as the 2nd stage which I am absolutely blown away by. Out of over 1000 artists, I was chosen as one of the 200. Apologies for gloating, but I am so dam proud of myself! Anyway we will see what happens there, but it well and truly gave me the reassurance I needed for my plans this summer.


My intention of stopping smoking happened in an odd way. I put my intentions out to the universe and the next day I was struck down by an infection that literally wiped me out for a week. So while I was stuck in bed I thought I would try finding another hypnosis video for stopping smoking, I have tried them twice before and lasted a week and then the will power crumbled.

I stumbled across a video clip mentioning  Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Now any smokers out there will know how difficult it is to stop, I have lost count of the amount of times I have tried! Well this book was amazing! It encourages you to smoke the whole way through it which is every smokers dream ha ha

I just found it a fascinating read more than anything because it makes you really look at the whole psychology behind smoking and you start to see the truth for what it really is and that is MIND CONTROL! It really does make you look at smoking in a whole new way, fascinating stuff. Now you can’t force people to stop, you either want to do it or you don’t, but if you really do, then honestly… download the book! What  have you got to lose? If anything it really is a good read.

You are encouraged not to stop smoking until you finish the entire book and after that you set your stop date. I was very skeptical, but while I was reading it I was finding I didn’t really want to smoke even though I was being told to go and have one. When I finished  the book I was eager to start there and then and it has been so painless!  I won’t pat myself on the back yet as it has only been a week and a half but I will dedicate a blog to it when I reach a month, and I WILL reach it.

Making Me Happy

Everything is making me happy right now, my family, friends, the people I am meeting through my workshops and creative endeavours.  We recently went on a camping trip with some friends to the New Forest which was amazing. It was the children’s first camping trip and they absolutely loved it. We loved it so much, all of us are doing it again at the end of August. It was so lovely to get in touch with nature and to leave the gadgets behind. Days were spent on long walks followed by bbqs and pub lunches. Then the evening was spent playing cards and hanging out. Most people know my obsession with trees so this little trip was heaven on a plate for me. Beautiful part of the country!

We have started to become green fingered again and started doing bits and pieces in the garden. I have a little vegetable patch on the go which is lovely, hopefully we will have some tomatoes, green beans, pumpkin, courgettes, corn and strawberries on the go. We are also planning to deck out the side garden so that we can do some summer entertaining and for the childrens art workshops that I want to run from home.

August is going to be a month that I am a grin on legs. My sister is having a baby… yay!! So that is super exciting and my other sister is coming down for two weeks from Australia. I haven’t seen her for over a year so I cannot wait for that. My Mum is also back from Australia for a while so it will be so lovely having most of my family around me again.  Most of my family live in Australia which at times can be difficult as we are all very close, they are my best friends. Thank goodness for skype though, at least that makes things easier. August also marks the time that this bird finally flies. I think that is a rather nice little thought to end this blog post on.

Thank you to all who do read my blogs, if you have any questions at all on any of the subjects that I talk about or just want to connect with me then feel free to get in touch. I love getting to know new people and listening to their tales. Life is one big game and learning experience, there is nothing better than sharing it with people and just spreading the love.


For more Currently -Summer 2016 inspiration, visit the #Gr8blogs below.

And hey, if you’re pumped about writing your own Currently - Summer 2016 post, just add your family-friendly Currently link to your blog post in the comment section. We’ll visit your blog and give you some blog love!

Auden Johnson, Dark Treasury

Cat Michaels, Cat’s Corner  
Carmela Dutra, A Blog For Your Thoughts

Jd Holiday, JD Writers Blog
Julie Gorges, Baby Boomer Bliss 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

How to help unleash the therapeutic powers of creativity

Creativity has such an important role in society and I don’t think people realise how therapeutic it can actually be. When you are doing something creative, you are allowing your mind to switch off for that moment in time while you are focusing purely on the present, nothing else. Whether it is through, drawing, painting, dancing, singing, playing an instrument… whatever creative outlet you choose, that time that you decide to give yourself is so beneficial to your mind and soul.

I would like to share some tips below on how you too can benefit from the healing powers of creativity.

How you can help unleash the therapeutic powers of creativity

Choose something that you are passionate about

When you do something that you truly love it can fill you with so much happiness, you literally get lost with what you are creating. So find a topic that is close to your heart, mine is art, but the possibilities are endless with subjects to choose from. A good way of finding something you are passionate about is to ask yourself, what did you like doing as a child? What activities truly made you happy?

Take some time out now and again to create just for you

I do this a few times a year where everything gets pushed to the backburner for a day or two and I literally throw paint on a canvas. It is so important to take some time out just for you now and again, it really does help. We are all very busy in this day and age, but I cannot stress how important it is to allow yourself this time. It helps rid negativity and anxiety and balances your energy out on to a more level plane.

Keep things simple

To truly enjoy the therapeutic process of creativity, don’t over think things. You are not creating your next masterpiece… you are simply having fun. If it turns out awful, who cares, just enjoy the time you have given yourself to be creative. With the workshops I ran some children were not comfortable with drawing, so I had a load of colouring sheets on hand too of some designs. The colouring in seemed to be just as beneficial to the children as creating the designs.

Get people involved in group activities

By far the best and most therapeutic form for me personally, is when I actually go out and interact with people. Whether it is at a school reading, at a painting party or at workshops, all of them fill me with so much joy. Children are so easy to please, as long as you are willing to spend time with them, encourage them and listen, that is all they need to have a happy experience. By seeing other people happy, it makes you happy. I was on a complete high after two days of interacting with children and being creative with them.

You can create groups to suit your creative outlet, volunteer with organizations, run a club… so many options. Hanging out with like minded individuals will feed your soul.

Create from the heart

Listen to what your heart is telling you, if you are feeling sad and blue, or angry then express that in your chosen creative outlet. By releasing what is within, you will feel so much lighter and your heart less heavy. Likewise if you are on a high then channel that into your creation and you will most probably fall in love with what you have created. It’s amazing how different moods can effect the outcome, but the main thing to get the therapeutic benefits, is to go with what’s in the heart, don’t think just do.

Being creative has always been a massive part of my life and always will be. Some people are naturally gifted in this area but everyone, and I mean everyone can draw. Just because your level of drawing skills goes as far as stick men, it does not mean that there is no creativity in you. It does make me sad when people say things like, “I can’t draw” or “I am rubbish at art”. You do not need to be an artist to benefit from the therapeutic powers of creativity.
Creativity allows us to embrace our inner child, a quality I believe we should all embrace with open arms. To see life through the eyes of a child is truly the best way to make the most of your life. It is no wonder that so many creatives are big kids at heart. Life can be difficult at times and it is so easy to get sucked into the seriousness of being a grown up, but taking up a creative pass time allows you to find that playful side to you.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”-Pablo Picasso

All forms of creativity is incredibly therapeutic and it helped me through a bad time in my life. I still rely on it to this day along with meditation to get me through dark spells. When things get too much as they tend to do at times, I literally throw paint on a canvas; this is usually when my darker pieces get painted. It works every time though, I literally feel a weight lifted, and I am able to approach things with a fresh head after.

This year I want to explore the therapeutic side of creativity more, by using everything that I have learned over the years to help others. My first step is to work with children and to see how art benefits them. I ran my first children’s workshops last weekend on creating mandala designs for my new business venture Artypeace. The great thing about these designs are that they are so easy to do yet look quite complicated. It also turns out that a mandala is the symbol used in hinduhism and budhism to assist during meditation... my angels did a great job sending that little nugget into my head, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect subject for my workshops.  

I had the most amazing weekend hanging out with kids of all ages. There were so many different personalities, you had the very confident children, the cheeky ones, the shy and the quiet ones. Some kids would come in and just want to sit with me, have a natter and colour in, others just wanted to zone out with their creations. I cannot tell you how rewarding it was to see all these different personalities and age groups get stuck in and really enjoy what they were doing. Some children were with me for hours and the whole experience is one I will never forget.
I heard a lot of “I can’t draw” and the look on their faces after I guided them with creating their own mandala was priceless. I can’t wait to do more events to help children appreciate creativity more. The dream eventually is to study art therapy to help people on a  deeper level, but that will require much studying and time so I am really not sure how that will pan out. For now I am just having fun with it all and learning from each experience. The main thing that did stand out was how beneficial creating something is for children, I already knew how it has helped me as a grown up.

Every one of us can find at least one creative outlet, the tricky part is making the time to utilise it. I guarantee though, if you do let your inner child out to have a play once in a while, you will grow to love that side of you.

Do you use your creative hobby as a form of healing? If so what works for you? Please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below.

Much love to you all.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Station Creation Blog Hop - Our Creative Spaces

I don’t know about you, but I just love seeing the work spaces of other creative folk…. from getting more of an insight into the lives of my online buds to being in awe of how the professionals have created their perfect workspace. This has inspired another blog hop between my writerly friends and I on sharing our creation stations with all of you.

So I would like to take you all on a little journey around my current workspace, going through how I have been working in the past, how I work now, to my dream workspace. Please also visit the awesome bloggers at the end of the post to find ideas and inspiration with how they create their perfect space to get their creative juices flowing.

Creative Space 1
So how have I worked in the past… well… it’s a good job I have a sense of humor that’s all I can say! My workspace has for the last 6 years, been, what one can only describe as a tip! I have literally taken over our kitchen / dining area and filled it with my endless supplies of art materials. Having a husband who is extremely laid back has been a god send as a tidy house is not something our family has been used to, between me and the kids we really do know how to trash a house in style.

Countless evenings were spent of me losing art materials down the sofa and wondering around the kitchen muttering a few choice words of where I had left the last sketch, rubber, pencil, tablet.. you name it… I could lose it. Then I had the delights of sitting down for all of five minutes and then being told someone was hungry, bored, had just been bashed over the head by their brother / sister. Yes, very hard to concentrate! I would paint on the easel in the kitchen, living room… anywhere that fits really…paint splashes would appear everywhere no matter how careful I thought I was. Yes our last house was very, very... erm lived in, shall we say.

Creative Space 2
Well last year we moved house and I had a spare room to use as an art studio but due to a complicated house move I wasn't able to use the room until last month. At long last, I now have my own room to create in and we have an area just for eating! The house is tidier, we sit down and eat our meals on a clear table and have more family meals together….it truly is a transformation.  I had always dreamed of the moment I would have my own private space to work in, but after so many years of working on a sofa I was convinced that I wouldn’t use it, thinking that it would take the pleasure of painting away, as it would then turn things more “worky”.  I think I just told myself that to appreciate what I had at the time. Well, I take back my words because I absolutely love it! I still need to put my stamp on my room, I want to dedicate a wall to all the gifts I have been given over the years by artist friends. Then It will be my little haven, it already has a lovely calming vibe to it.

Creative Space 3
I get so much more done now, with not as many interruptions or distractions, although the kids do seem to be hijacking my room quite a lot… lock on the door sorts that out ha ha! Seriously though, even the children are benefiting from it, my daughter has started writing again and my son has started doing his homework in there and even started sketching again. Not sure how long all that will last, we will see.

The next step will be to have a bigger space in the garden to run workshops, but that will be a long way down the line, or I might even look into renting a bigger space. It all depends how my new plans evolve, there are big dreams that I am working on right now. For the now I am perfectly happy with what I have got, it suits my needs perfectly. All I have to watch out for is not hiding in there too much, so I am trying to find the perfect work / home life balance.  I believe I will have this in oooh, lets say, five months ha ha. I will write a blog later on this year about everything that is going on in the background, for now I will have to go quiet for a bit while I put my plans into action.

So I shall leave this post on that cryptic little nugget he he. Will be back with more posts on inspiration, energy healing, living your dream, stepping out of your comfort zone, empowerment and taking control of your life later this year when hopefully I will have the proof to back me up.

Looking forward to seeing the work spaces of the other hoppers.

Thanks for stopping by.  For more ideas and inspiration about writerly work spaces, please visit these #Gr8blogs today.

Auden Johnson,
Cat Michaels
Julie Gorges
K. Lamb

If you have a PG-13rated blog about work space, we'd love to have you post your blog link in the comments section below, and we'll give you some blog loving!