Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year lovely friend and follower,

I do hope you’ve had a lovely festive break? It all seems like ages ago already doesn’t it?

I had a really lovely, well needed and relaxing break. Getting back into work and the usual routine has been rather hard going this week, but then it always is, isn’t it?

I’ve resisted the urge to make lots of New Years resolutions and to plan the hell out of the coming year as I’ve done on a few previous occasions. However, I have signed up to a year-long support group for creative start-ups. It begins towards the end of January and I’m really quite excited to get started.

I was also delighted to be given also the associated Makers Yearbook for Christmas. It’s effectively a business diary/planner. After hearing good reports about it from other crafters, I’m hopeful that it will help me to establish some good business habits.

I suppose all of that is a rather long-winded way of telling you that I aim to begin selling my creations this year.

I’m unsure exactly when or how as yet. But it’s time. Time to put my big girl pants on, to be brave and see if there is anyone out their who loves my creations enough to part with their hard-earned cash to buy one.

What will I be selling?

Ah, now that’s a good question.

It’s possible that my current work in progress will be the first. I’m not sure yet.

If you’ve been following me on social media you’ll have noticed that I’ve been making progress on my latest creation, a winter themed dragon.

I’ve become more obsessed than ever with my fantasy world creations since completing my Phoenix project and of course Bryony Jennings amazing textile sculptured animal workshop. I simply can’t stay away. I can only describe it as being akin to falling in love. My creativity has become as essential to me now as eating and sleeping and I feel completely lost without it.

So of course my bag of creative bits went with me on my holiday to Yorkshire for the New Year, where I continued playing most days of my  time away.

I consider myself to be fairly experienced with a needle and thread. After all, I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. However, what continues to amaze me is how much I’m continuing to learn in the process of creating my creatures and characters.

For instance, a couple of days ago I made my very first proper curly tail. Just out of fabric and stuffing. It has a lovely smooth finish, there are no wrinkles from gathers and no wire involved. I can’t tell you how ridiculously pleased I was with myself for having taught myself how to do this. Even more so, as I didn’t seek guidance or instructions from anywhere. I had an idea of how the tail might be achieved and tried it out. It took me a couple of days and a couple of attempts to get it right, but it honestly feels like a little bit of magic was involved as I’m sure I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Another thing that took me aback was how similar his face and head is to my first dragon Concordia. As I have created his face, I have been inclined to go with what is working, rather than trying to create any particular design. So although I may have begun with one idea of how my dragon should look, the fabric has ideas of its own.

This is what Bryony calls a happy accident. It’s almost as if the creature is designing itself. I just happen to be the person present to put the stitches in the right place to secure it all together. Magic.

Which brings me nicely onto my current reading material. Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s an absolute revelation to read someone else’s account of creativity that so matches my own views. Reading it is boosting my confidence no end.

We live in an era that seems to have put so much value on exams and qualifications. For years I strived to find happiness, thinking I could find it if only I hit the next qualification, the next rung on the professional ladder. I ended up longing for holidays, for a rest and eventually for an escape route. I couldn’t understand why I felt so restless and incomplete, unable to deal with the stresses and pressures of normal life. And of course depressed.

I’ve been blessed to have been given a second chance. This may have come a little late in life but I’m making the absolute most of it. The simple joy of following my instincts and curiosity have allowed me to arrive at my current glorious stage in my life.

Yes I still have the same frustrations with my paid employment but the immense satisfaction I get from spending time with my art and creativity more than makes up for it. I feel as though I’m doing what I was meant to do for my whole life.

I would love for my creative life to become financially viable as a full-time occupation. It really doesn’t matter though as I’m doing what I love anyway. That would simply be a wonderful added bonus. However, as Elizabeth Gilbert says, I would hate to become financially dependent on my creativity as I’m sure the pressure would kill off my creative inspiration and absolute love for what I do.

So I’m plodding along as always, working my way towards that intangible dream of being paid for doing what I love best. Not minding in the least how long it takes to get there because I’m loving my journey through life anyway.

And if you happen to enjoy watching me in the process, then you are very welcome as I would love to have your company and support on my joyous journey of creative discovery.

I sincerely hope you have an absolutely fabulous year in 2019 dear friend.

Until next time

Best wishes

Mary-Ann x

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