Thursday, 10 January 2013

Day 10 - Calling all creatives....

I watched a very interesting programme on C4 last night about women of a certain age and the decisions they were making. I am a woman of a certain age and I think I might be moving towards my second mid life crisis. My first was clearly 10 years ago or so when I turned by back on an excellent career and moved my family to the island. I am particularly proud of that crisis! But I am now 48 so I must be due another one soon. All women should aim to have at least two points in their lives when they turn everything on its head just to see what happens. I am currently surrounded by women who are making big life changes and thriving so it might be time to think of some more crazy things to do. Those of you who know me well know about my love of narrow boats and my obsession with wanting to live on one. One of the women in the programme has done just that along with her husband and two children. Good for her. Mind you, her boat was not as I would want it at all. I will want to paint my in the traditional canal art and I will want a vintage interior. I will run a small florist and craft studio from it and offer courses to women of a certain age. Now no one is allowed to steal that dream as it has been a long time in the making! As with most of my dreams I fully intend for this one to happen; it is merely a matter of time (and money).... I loved that one of the ladies said that she was addicted to the buzz of her old life and was unsure whether that could be replaced. I thought that as well before we started our downshifting journey. What I found was that I just replaced that buzz with other buzzes. From the start of our new life on the island I loved the constant challenges that a simplier life brings. The first, and most obvious, challenge was the lack of income. We dropped from approximately £65,000 a year to about £10,000. Quite a drop. Except it isn't when you start teasing it out. I was in the higher tax bracket back then and my pension contribution each month could have paid off the national debt as it was so high. Our outgoings included a mortgage with all the many add ons and we had the usual credit cards with their shocking interest rates. When we moved we got rid of all that and what a relief that was. We reduced our weekly outgoings massively by moving to the island and soon got into the swing of supplementing income from our part time jobs with other money making schemes. We also started the whole grow your own thingy that we now love so much. Once we had started the business our income went up steadily until the recession hit. By then we were on our sabbatical in Derbyshire so we simply sold our business and came back to the island to re-group. The underlying message I guess is that we really have learned to 'cut our cloth' so to speak and that skill has enabled us to live a life we want rather than work to try and live a life we want. Once the decision to home school was made we knew nothing would be the same again. One of us would always need to be at home and ideally we would both work part time so that we could both have an input to the children's education. This we have managed to achieve and this is what makes the real difference. We both get to spend lots of time with the children and that is, of course, priceless. I was particularly impressed with one of the women on the programme that had dyed her hair orange and got numerous tatoos. Watch this space is all I am prepared to say about that! Today has been a quiet and peaceful day as life returns to normal after holidays and illness. The boys have been busy with their different school activities. Harry and I have been deep into lactic acid and George and Max have been continuing their quests to be able to spell every word in the English language. George has a dictonary like mind so we all marvel at what he can spell. Needless to say he is way ahead of me now. The temperature outside is dropping so the fire is on early today and I am starting to watch every weather update for news of snow. Lots of you guys elsewhere in the UK look like you are a dead cert for the white stuff but we are, sadly, less likely to be blessed. Our land is sloping and I have the pastic trays ready - need I say more? I have managed to steal some hours and get into the studio and finally created my design board for my silk tree project. The next stage is to start taking aspects from the board and sketching possible designs for the collection. I then make up a test run on a very small scale. I always make these tests into cards which I sell in a local shop. I can then gauge the success of the design by how quickly the cards sell. From that point I move forward with a bit more confidence as I sketch out final designs and start laying them onto the silk. Then I am off and running. At this stage I am thinking wax resist, paint and some distressing effects but we shall see. The whole process must be allowed to develop organically and I have to resist the temptation to over-plan; a particular weakness of mine. I would dearly love to see other people's creative work and I am starting to add links onto this blog so that we can all share. I use an etsy shop to sell on line and that link will go up eventually as well. If you have a blog or a web site that shows your creative work do include it in the comments below and I will add it to my links. The picture was taken yesterday evening in Brodick with the sun beginning to set. Perfect. xx