Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A moment of appreciation for life

Driving home from the school run today, the sun was shining, the Cornish landscape looked crisp and clear and Little Bee's words echoed in my mind "Joe, because your such a good boy, you can have my turn in the front of the car on the way home from school today" to which Joe beamed and said "oh thank you" i smiled from ear to ear, what a wonderful thing to see such kindness between your children. 

That set me off on a good note, it got me thinking about how truly fantastic our life is. I often read little quotes on plaques and such in shop, 'live the life you love' 'happiness is the journey, not the destination' I always feel incredibly blessed to be the sort of person who can be happy, who can focus on the positive in a world which seems consumed in people seeing the negative. What a tiring and draining way that must be to live, to always see the negative in the world. 
Life has been kind to me, i must of done something amazingly kind in my past life, because in this one I hit the jackpot. I have been backpacking around the world, I have jumped out of aeroplanes, met my soul mate who supports me, nurtures me and is my brick wall, had a little girl and twin boys and now having moved 200 miles from our home town have finally come home, to our spiritual home, Cornwall. 
Hb and myself love Cornwall beyond words, its apart of us, its Sandy beaches are ingrained in who we are, it feeds our souls, it makes everyday feel like a new adventure, like anything is possible. Like being a child again. 
In our old life 200 miles away we were trapped in a cycle of conforming, conforming to the mundane routine of life, conforming to the expectations that others around us had put on us. Here we are free, like 2 birds who might take flight at any given moment, life feels limitless, opening the front door and looking out onto fields and the ocean, how can one not feel euphorically free. 

I always remember the first time hb and I visited Cornwall on a little weekend break with my parents, as we drove down the hill into Looe it was evening and the harbour was lit up by little fairy lights, and I had an overwhelming feeling, I was home. I could feel it in every ounce of my being. Hb could feel it in me, and he new this is where we had to raise our family. 

And so here we are, since being here hb has given up on mundane day jobs which leave him a little richer in the pocket but much poorer in his soul, returned to college, and fulfilled his childhood dream of training as a carpenter, passing with the highest possible grade, and now comes home with a smile on his face having spent the day doing what he loves. 
I have taken up crafts, crochet, sewing, decoupage, i have 2 part time jobs, one is voluntary, which i love, and I raise my family, in beautiful, peaceful surroundings, around equally peaceful Cornish people. 
There is a bad note, we have lost people along the way, some of them the closest to us in our past life, unable to understand our dream and vision, couldn't find it within themselves to be happy for us, but we have learnt not to face negativity with negativity, that's not our style, instead we ask them to keep it positive towards us or take a step back from us, there is no virtue in tolerating toxic behaviour. I read a quote 'at some point you have to realise that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life' this statement has been a tower of strength for me. 

As I have sat writing this I have been listening to my Buddhism meditation music, and I implore you to sit and write out your story, tell your story, focus on the positive, then focus on those positives everyday, even for just a moment, feed your soul with it. 
2015 has become a new chapter in our life, a new twist in the plot, we have become so focused on positivity that it seems to be beaming from us like rays of sun, everything just works, it fits, and it feels incredible.
 So I leave you with some words which have become my mantra, from a man who has opened my mind:

What you think, you become.

What you feel, you attract.

What you imagine, you create.

- Budda


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Decoupage Flower Pot Tutorial

With Mother’s Day and Easter just around the corner I started to think about what would make a lovely handmade gift. After trawling through pinterest I decided on decoupage flowerpots, and thought I would share with you the process of how I made mine!

Materials Needed:

Terracotta Plant Pot
Decoupage paper (or any pretty paper you have, you can basically decoupage with any type of paper, some people even use napkins, but I find it too fiddly and they tear too easily)
Mod Podge (or PVA glue mixed 2 part glue to 1 part water)
Paint brush
Acrylic Paint
Foam Brush
A pretty Tag
Chocolate Raisins (or chocolate snack of your choice)

One of the things I love about me is that I have a great eclectic collection of craft supplies, so at any moment I can be carried away on a crafty whim and know chances are, I have what I need. The thing I hate about me, having zero organisation and never EVER being able to locate the craft supplies I need without at least a 20 minute search first. Moral of this story? Keep buying lots of lovely supplies, but perhaps also buy some sort of decent storage solution to keep them organised in! So after the obligatory 20 minute search I came to the conclusion that I used up the last of my mod podge glue at my last craft session with the kids up the school (decoupage tea light lanterns, v. popular with the kids!) And so I’m going to start this project today, and then finish tomorrow once I’ve brought some more glue!

Any who….

The first thing I did was cut my chosen paper into little squares, ready to be glued on. I usually buy the Craftseller Magazine each month, which always has a few pages on beautiful papers, so I have a lovely collection of them now. However you can use any paper you have, napkins, magazine cuttings, old books, decorative papers, even wallpaper.

Next I painted the top ‘ridge’ of my terracotta pot, I decided I wanted to decoupage the bottom of the pot, but keep the top ridge as just painted. As you are going to cover the bottom part you don’t need to worry about being too accurate with your painting. I used an all-purpose Acrylic Paint in Blush Pink as I thought it would complement the papers nicely and be suitable girlie for a mother’s day present. I took 3 coats of the paint (allowing it to dry in between each coat) to get a good coverage over the terracotta.

I let mine dry out over night ready for decoupage the following day (this of course had absolutely nothing to do at all with the fact that i had no decoupage glue, and i WILL wrestle anyone who says otherwise!)

Time to get down to the business of decoupaging!

Take one of your squares at a time and apply a layer of Mod Podge onto the back, press it onto the flower pot and smooth it out with your fingers, ideally you want none or as little creases as is possible. If you are using napkins you will find this differcult.

Once your pot is completely covered (layering where needed to fill in the little gaps) cover the entire pot (included the painted top ridge) with a coat of the Mod Podge Glue. Let it dry. Apply a second coat and allow to dry. Its better to cover in a thin layer and add additional layers than to try to go for one thick layer.

Now if you intend your pot to be an indoor one, then you’re finished, you clever thing! However, if you would like it to be an outdoor pot, then I would suggest spraying with a sealant to help protect it from the elements.

Pop your flower in, add a pretty ribbon and tag and Tah-Dah! Your done! One lovely handmade gift!