Category Archives: Inspiration

Bullshit Hacking, or Lies Society Taught Me

Meeting some ducks

Meeting some ducks.

I bloody love going to see my shrink. Ok don’t get me wrong, the bastard still makes me cry, and remember how it feels to feel things I thought I’d put long behind me, but he’s also some kind of ninja counselling genius who picks out ridiculously profound patterns from my what-I-always-assumed-were random thoughts. Which is kinda mindblowing in a how-did-you-even-see-that kinda way, as well as in a more personal understanding-how-my-head-works kinda way. Which is kinda the main point I guess.

So basically I’m learning lots about me. Conveniently I really like learning new things, and I wanted to share a few of them here:

The phrase “A smile costs nothing” is bullshit. True, sometimes it doesn’t cost anything, but then again, sometimes it does. If you’re in the mood for smiling, or not too bothered one way or the other, then sure – give it a whirl. But if you really want to do something other than smile, then it’s a little lie. You’re hiding your feelings, sparing other people’s feelings, avoiding reality. Stuff having a brave face (or a calm face or a supportive face) – I’d rather be in touch with what’s real. I don’t owe anyone a smile – I give smiles when, and because, I want to.

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” is also bullshit. True, if you have to break bad news or broach an uncomfortable subject you might want to err towards choosing your words reasonably considerately, but I’ll take being honest and listening, instead of clamming up and pretending everything’s fine, a thousand times out of a hundred. I have no right to assume that people want me to “protect them” from uncomfortable discussions. Equally if I don’t feel I’m being listened to, then I have no duty to stay in that situation – I have a choice of how to deal with it. And that can include taking a step back or taking some time, or taking my ideas elsewhere. I choose not to be defensive or jump to conclusions, and I can choose not to be around people who do. And that’s Ok. That’s my right.

“Always put other people first” is bullshit too. Consider other people, yes; don’t be unethical or take advantage of others – but always put them before me? Always leave myself with the shitty end of the stick? Always compromise, always give in, always carry other people’s burdens even if they’ve not asked? No. Do other people always put my needs first? No. I have a right to my own boundaries, just like other people have a right to theirs. And I don’t have to give up my boundaries to be accepted as a helpful and charitable member of society. Bugger it – I don’t even have to be seen as a helpful or charitable member of society – I just need to be me.

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Filed under Comfort, Inspiration, Nice Things

Hippy Chic: 365-18

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I took my mum round the quirky hippy shops of West Yorkshire today, to choose some semiprecious crystals for a piece of jewellery I’m making for her. This isn’t one of the crystal shops, but it is one of the delightfully frivolous and quaint shops the tourists go nuts for along Haworth’s Main Street. And yes we did end up in Hebden Bridge!

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Partytime: 365-14

Balloon Nest

Balloon Nest

This made me smile when I came home this evening – to find the wind had blown the remains of my neighbour’s party decorations into my shrubbery. I just wish it hadn’t been dark, with a bit of sunlight for that extra bit of sparkle…

Happy 65th

Happy 65th

 

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Sketchy Design: 365-13

Ideas

Ideas

I’ve got some time in the jewellery workshop starting again this week, and I’m really looking forward to it – it’s been nearly a year since I’ve made anything with silver and I LOVE the classes (and there are still some places available if you fancy it!). I do struggle for ideas though and translating inspiration into design, so I’m really excited to be doing some commissions for friends and family this time, which really helps me work out what  to create.

Planning and sketching designs is something I really could do with practicing so I was surprised how easily this sketch for a friend’s wedding jewellery came to me, and am very much looking forward to getting stuck in to making things again!

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Grandma’s Chairs: 365-12

Dining in style

Dining in style

Over Christmas I went to visit my Auntie Pauline and my uncle & cousins. which I love doing. We’ve not really managed to spend much time together until recent years, but I’m loving getting to know another bit of my family better now. As there were ten of us, Pauline needed to retrieve some extra dining chairs from her attic (well, she delegated the job to my cousins, well done lads!).  I didn’t notice these “extra” ones round the table till we’d all finished eating and people had started moving into another room, but when I did, I saw that they were my Grandma’s old dining chairs which Pauline had been taking care of since she passed away five years ago . Wonderful! I’d not really thought about what had happened to them but they are such lovely chairs – I remember them first appearing in her house when I was small, and being quite intrigued by them. They are a simple design but I’ve always thought them distinctive and I suppose when I think about it now, friendly and welcoming. Seeing them again brought back some lovely memories. And to my delight, Pauline offered them to me as she wanted someone in the family to use them rather than being hidden in her attic.  As luck would have it, I have a dining room in my new house, which has a dining table but no chairs, so I had the perfect home for them! I think they give my house a really cosy, homely feel and I love having them around – and sitting on them to write or eat at the table is just wonderful.

Everybody's Cosy Place

Everybody’s Cosy Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And the Sun Still Rises: 365-10

And the Sun Still Rises

And the Sun Still Rises

Just when you think that even though the days are technically getting longer, the daylight is still doing its shy best to hide behind grey clouds, fog and rain, this morning’s crisp but vibrant sunrise restored my faith in the Yorkshire weather. Not that I think this photo really does it justice . I do love the way the sun can be seen glowing like fire through the trees, as it peeks its head above my garage roof.

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Filed under 365 project, Inspiration, Leeds, Photography

Waterfall of Owls: 365-8

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OK I’ve no idea whether there is a waterfall of owls, or if there is where it might be, but it would be kinda nice to think that somewhere, a river cascaded through a forest and owls danced in the moonlight above it.

Today has been a bit of a wanting-to-snuggle-and-be-somewhere-familiar day, which inevitably means that I have been thinking about my next trip to Iceland. So it was with a wry smile to myself that I noticed this discount card from Icelandic wool company Álafoss still lying around in my bedroom. Icelandic lopi wool is cosy & beautiful. “Foss” means waterfall. “Ála-” is pronounced “owl-a”, although of course it has nothing to do with owls. I just think it’s a lovely mental image,  just right for today.

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Filed under 365 project, Iceland, Inspiration, Nice Things, Photography