Mindfulness & other stuff.

Hello,

We are hurtling towards Christmas at an astonishing rate which means a new year is upon us, which means I will soon be turning 40. Well, July actually, but somewhere in your late 30s you enter warp speed and it doesn’t matter what you do it just seems impossible to slow it down, believe me I’ve tried. Well I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe I can’t slow down time but I can slow down my life.

I’ve always been a bit of an eye roller when the words ‘mindful’ and ‘slow living’ are uttered or printed anywhere, but I bought a new mag the other day called Moment, just because I needed a break from all those perfect home mags and designer labels. I had been working stupidly long hours with my two businesses and had a stinking cold. My house was a complete mess and the children had decorated the tree (say no more). So the last thing I needed to see was how Mrs Smith an interior designer and Mr Smith a wanker, sorry did I say wanker? I meant banker, with their children Bloom aged 9 and Venus aged 3, and Binky the bloody pony celebrate CHRISTMAS. 

Anyway, so back to the mag. I sniffed my way through articles on Yin Yoga, staying calm and coping with social anxieties. And I have to say I could relate to so many of those women, strong lovely people that had just reached exhaustion and really did need to just slow it down and think.

I’ve always said it isn’t easy to have a calm life when you’re juggling all of the things that life seems to fling at you, but actually that’s not true. I’m about to let you in on a secret about me, I’m a recluse. I honestly couldn’t be more introvert if I tried. And because I know this about myself I’ve always made an effort to push myself out of my comfort zone. Being sociable, going to that social media do, throwing that workshop when all I wanted to do was curl up and hide until it’s all over. I thought I was being good to myself by pushing myself out there and conquering my fears, after all, that is what we’re told to do. I’ve only just realised how stupid I’ve been to make myself completely and utterly stressed out by putting myself in these situations. It’s me that’s done it, no one else has forced me. But I now get it.

It’s ok to be the way I am. I am an introvert. I’m a shy creative person who likes my own company. I’m not lonely and I do have a life. With a fabulous family and amazing friends. I don’t need to prove anything to myself anymore so I’m going to finally use that word ‘mindful’ and be mindful.

I’m going to listen to my inner voice and trust it, if it’s running screaming for the hills I’m going to follow it to the countryside and enjoy the little things. I shall not be dragging it back kicking and screaming to attend a product launch. I shall listen to my body and be kind to myself. Starting with what I eat. Giving myself more time to think about the meals I prepare. Don’t get me wrong I won’t be a saint, heavens I still need wine. But I am already mindful (there it is again) about the fuel my body needs to stay fit and energised.

Ive also started yin yoga which I flipping love! It’s a cross between meditation and yoga and focuses on your joints. And now I’ve stopped saying yes to everything I’m enjoying long walks again with my dog, something I’d been struggling to find time for as I was so busy making myself do other stuff.

I can’t tell you how excited I am now about a new year. One where I’m not making any silly resolutions or forcing myself to do or be. But just to be me. To grow my flowers for my lovely customers and paint my watercolours for my Etsy store. I’m staying in my comfort zone because it’s lovely there and there’s always a nice cup of tea and a comfy seat in the garden.

I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s ok to be you! You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Treat yourself, take back time.

I wish you all a calm and beautiful Christmas whatever you are doing.

Emma x

Faux florals 

Well I never in a million years thought I’d have faux flowers in the home. Especially as my job is growing flowers. But even I have to admit, when winter comes, faux florals can be an instant pick me up.

I’ve mixed peonies and ferns here and I think the textures work great! I’ve even added some faux ferns in with some dryed hydrangeas which I’m also loving.

Gone are the days of plastic and poor quality fabric flowers covered in dust.

Easy to style, bring drama to a room and mix in with dryed and real blooms, I can’t deny it, I’m completely won over! How about you?

Colourful September 

Hello,

I just love September! It’s one of my favourite months of the year.

I was picking flowers last week for my pop-up flower stall and thought I’d share how colourful it was.

My allotment is full of dahlias right now and I’ve been visiting gardens and adding other varieties I’d like to my list.

September for me is all about colour, the shift in the air, getting the home ready for nestling down and lighting the first log fires.

I love spiced squash soup, blackberry and apple crumble and spending ages looking through seed catalogs whilst drinking copious amounts of tea.

What do you love about September?

First still life with Olympus Pen F.

  
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to pick up my new camera the Olympus pen F! Kid in a sweet shop springs to mind. I opted for the 17mm 1.8 lens over the 40mm although I will add a couple of pros to that list once I’ve got the hang of the beast!

Now I will do a full review of the pen F very soon, it is a complex little monkey and I already would not recommend it for novices… (Just stick to the much cheaper and easier pen). But I’m a little in love with it already!

I took it out yesterday for a test run and shot this bright image in aperture priority at F1.8 I have to say it’s not bad at all for a csc and I’m quite impressed! I think with a slightly higher spec lens I’ll be well and truly won over.

I hope to get out with it this wkend to have a longer faff about so will be doing my review sometime next week.

Tulips.

  
A very simple bunch of tulips for a cheery flat lay shot. Such a happy flower full of the promise of Spring. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I get every time I walk around our cottage garden and see new bulbs emerging! It’s been a little odd as we had daffs before snowdrops, but the grape hyacinths are coming now so I think it’s all back in order.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Morning coffee

  
I love my nespresso machine! I’m always a bit miffed that Mr Clooney isn’t standing by it whenever I enter my kitchen but whatcha gonna do… At least I get to sit and enjoy my coffee in peace, with my latest country homes mag sprawled out in front of me.

Have a great Thursday everyone.

Emma.

Textile design, my inspiration.

I’m often inspired by nature and what I see around me at the time. Flowers and birds seem to be the main ones, I’m always looking and marvelling at the blooms that come up and the swallows that sweep the sky. I like to study the texture, form and colour and where possible bring it home, but that’s where my camera comes in handy! It’s great these days to be able to instantly capture beauty, either on my phone or with my DSLR. Bellow are two of my favourites that inspired me to design the linen shown. 
  
My China Blue Roses linen is a slightly oriental chintz, extremely delicate and subtle with a pretty blue hue. It’s an original watercolour of mine which I have digitaly printed. The reason for my watercolour designs being printed digitaly is because they are tonal. It is great what they can do today, and this probably has to be my favourite fabric, I’ve designed  eight for digital print, although I love them, I much prefer to handprint either by silk screens or blocks as I love how instant and unique the process is.

I still draw from the same inspirations whatever method I chose to print in, but I’d have decided in my head first which tool I will be creating with. The initial process starts by studying the object and taking photos, then I draw it and sometimes paint it before tweaking it to be made into screen or block.

This year I’m looking at producing some more structured stuff in blocks and screens, I’m taking inspiration from tall plants and will be visiting lots of gardens, I’m looking forward to it!

Emma

Colours of Cambridge 

I’m in love with Cambridge! I feel so lucky to live so near this amazing town, steeped in history you can almost smell the academia, what I wouldn’t give to study here.

Last wkend the Mr & I treated ourselves to a mini break and dinner at Midsummer House. Here are some of my shots I shared over on my Instagram 

   

    
 
Needless to say I came away totally inspired! Well worth a trip! The colours and architecture were mind blowing, and I just loved walking around some of the university gardens. The Fitzwilliam museum showcased the most beautiful works and findings.

Oh, and I almost forgot… There was a man playing his guitar in a bin! I know- random!
Emma.

Textile design, block printing.

There are few things more calming then sitting down with a fresh piece of Lino ready to make your mark.   

 
I love designing and making my own blocks for fabric printing, being in charge of the whole process from drawing, cutting, selecting fabric and the instant gratification that comes with something handmade. I think out of all the printing methods, this one is my favourite!

Every single print being utterly unique and slightly different, perfect imperfections.

Emma.