Miss Clara

For the benefit of those who don't follow me on FB I wanted to share the beautiful work and home of Miss Clara. She makes paper sculptures, dolls, is also a photographer and illustrates books with her art. Her Read more

6 Things That Will Stop You Living the Life You Want & What to Do About It

1. Fear - That your're not good enough, that you will fail, what people will think and say, not wanting to feel vulnerable. Fear of the unknown, outside your life experience, not what you grew up with. Oh, a Read more

New Year Resolutions (Part 2)

1. Travel all of Irelands Coastline That's a journey of 3,172 kilometres (1,970miles) We want to take the girls travelling or to live in another country for a short time at least but with my brothers wedding in Malta in September (first world Read more

A Cure for January Blues

It's 4.40 pm so I'm struggling. It's the dark you see, when it closes in it closes me. What to do about January? I love all weather, all seasons but the dark and me don't agree. Go to bed early? Read more

New Year Resolutions 2015 (Part 1)

2015 is going to be a great year. I've no wishes only plans. After weeks of trying and failing to find a word for the year, the right one found me. I have no idea where it came from Read more

2014

Well friends here we are, another year almost at an end, a new year about to begin. When I think back to Christmas 2012, three months into starting this blog, how much I needed Christmas that year and how Read more

My First Week of the Year

Happy Friday! Here’s my first week of the year in review…

Monday

  • Wrote the first of a two part blog on my New Year Resolutions, the first of four posts this week.
  • Cleared away Christmas decorations, well, made a start.
  • Meant to hit the cookbooks and plan a really good shopping list and menu plan for next week – didn’t get to that.
  • Drove down the town and to the school for the second time, instead of going round by Tesco and parking at my mums. That felt great.
  • Head full of the book as I start back editing tomorrow!!!
  • Booked flights to Malta for my brothers wedding later this year.
  • Moved the table to the window to make the most of short hours of daylight, such a big difference, uplifting too. Seating is now round the fire in the middle of the room.

streaming light

Tuesday

A playschool morning meaning, a few hours without children, and, book editing time.

Couldn’t get the family out of the house quick enough.

I was dying to get at it, determined not to be swayed by housework and other stuff. I needed focus but first day back after a break is often slow. I struggled, I felt sleepy, NO NO NO!!! This just wouldn’t do. With only a few precious hours I had to do something drastic.

instagram

Nothing like sitting at the front door in January to bolster you…window lights

I was SO awake after that I did this…my first large scale painting, 2ft by 3ft, plus a blog about it, felt so GREAT I forgot it was January.

art abbb

Wednesday

Another blog post, I think this blogging spree is pent up, wanting to get at the book but can’t with the children blogging.

That’s a thing you know.

I can paint or blog but not work on the book with the children around me, when I was writing it I could to some extent, I even wrote some parts standing up, but with editing it’s impossible.

Did the driving thing again. Felt great again.

Carried the cookbooks up to bed and down again next morning, still no shopping list or menu plan.

Thursday

Adrian: What did you do today?

Me: ‘I read 30 poems

journey

‘Wasn’t that great? It’s by Mary Oliver. I made a treasure map for the children with sweets in different locations for treasure, we painted and I painted this, though it’s not yet finished and really not good…I don’t even like it but hey practice is practice.

dancer

And I found this painting by Matisse and I thought to myself, this is what life is like for me. I find it hard to go to sleep and would just keep going until I keel over, because the world is such a beautiful, crazy, colourful place and I have so much I want to see and do, sleep seems a waste.’

matisse tired

And you know, the rest, bins, compost heap, laundry, homework and cooking and now I feel tired again and I just wish I had enough energy to never sleep but write all night. How was your day?

Adrian: Nothing like that

Friday

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”
― Neil Gaiman

Oh the relief! All the elements were in place…

  • Early morning start
  • No children
  • Rain

rain

I don’t why but the rain works for me. It went well, it went better than well.

Some of it was easy, it flowed, that was great. Some parts were a struggle. All of it was reading and re-reading, changing and swapping up words and order of words and re-writing, feeling discouraged and then feeling excited, getting lost in the story.

With the sound of wind and rain and a sleeping cat beside me, I was in heaven.

With the children, well one so far, back home, I even got to that shopping list/menu plan, plus this sneaky blog post.

All that’s missing now is a cool glass of wine. Hurry up Adrian! Ooh I can’t wait! And on my grocery list so far is the soft goats cheese I’ve been dreaming of, eaten straight from the tub, with good honey. Bit detailed for a grocery list but I feel inspired and hungry.

book cook

Plans for the weekend include more editing, I’m on a roll now (woohoo!) grocery shopping of course, cooking, eating, drinking and you know, pleasure seeking. Have a brilliant weekend :)

Posted on by Jane in Creative Living 5 Comments

New Year Resolutions (Part 2)

1. Travel all of Irelands Coastline That’s a journey of 3,172 kilometres (1,970miles)

We want to take the girls travelling or to live in another country for a short time at least but with my brothers wedding in Malta in September (first world problems I know) that ain’t happening this year so we came up with this as, if I do say myself, excellent alternative.

Ideally we’ll hire a camper, they’re expensive but it should work out cheaper than staying in hired accomodation. It would be so much fun too, I know the girls would love it plus we’d love the freedom of it.

Only money could stop us now, bah, only short term if it does. We will find a way.

For now I’ll be researching the best budget options and plotting coastal locations of Lidl.

cliffs of moher

The Cliffs of Moher

2. Renew my Passion for Food

I lost my food mojo for a while there. My problem? I know too much.

We can’t grow enough of our own food or buy/afford an all organic diet and the state of supermarket food produce is just really overwhelming, ok depressing. It got so bad for a while I even lost my appetite and that just never happens to me.

But then one day over Christmas I ate a tub of the most spectacular soft goats cheese with honey and was cured. I just felt the old love return.

On that note I’m starting fresh with renewed zest for wrangling with Leitrim earth and wet, for growing what we can and beyond that for sourcing the best local and organic food AND for bringing you lots of new recipes for 2015.

All the best and most decadent food and recipes on a budget. Phew. We’ll be proceeding with our permaculture garden too.

kitchen globes

3. Shake up or Shut Down the Blog

In the lead up to Christmas I was considering the future of the blog. I don’t like to do something by halves and that’s what’s going on here. It’s a matter or priorities I know but in the scale of priorities how many things can share billing?

The blog kick started my writing, painting and led me to a community of like minded people. Has it served it’s purpose? I know it’s better to have your own site than rely on Facebook but I’ve a very strong presence there, perhaps that’s enough.

The blog takes a LOT of time, other bloggers will understand that and I’m not sure I want to give it that time at the moment BUT I don’t want to go on and NOT give it that time either.

If I continue I need to put a plan in place for running it at the capacity I’m capable of and that it deserves, but to do that will take investment of time, planning, tightening, focus, WORK!

I’m not afraid of work but I have the book to think of, and the family, and currently 10 dedicated hours a week in which to do it all in.

I just don’t want to be sloppy.

It’s not a good look on me. So this one is still undecided but for now at least I’m still here.

I am a writer

My new banner currently leading the way on the blog Facebook page click HERE

4. Tune Out to Tune In

I spend a lot of time reading and thinking about the major challenges facing our world. Very often I feel overwhelmed by the scale of hate, injustice, greed and corruption. In fact just before Christmas a few stories came to light that upset me to the point of despair but then, it was only a little thing, we watched ‘War Horse’ the movie on Christmas Eve and my faith in humanity was restored.

I consider myself well informed on world affairs though I avoid mainstream media like the plague (that’s why I’m well informed perhaps!) I don’t like that they feed us, how they influence and control us according to the agenda of whoever is paying the most.

That agenda in my view is  to keep us living in fear and distrust of each other, to hate. Never to question, never to try understand, just to hate.

Last year we barely watched tv at all and it’s just as well as whenever I do catch the news I end up wanting to throw things and scream! I can get whatever I need online, like the food I feel I know too much for my health sometimes.

We’ve decided to pull the plug and tune out in order to tune in. We’re not watching tv at all unless there is something specific on we want to see. This resolution is closely linked to my ‘nature immersion’ one from part 1 HERE.

To sum up this resolution I want to feel connected not dis-connected from the world. So from now on I’m not listening.

I’ll learn more here…

land

Townland of Potore, Aughasheelin, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim

Talking to this fella…if he’ll talk to me.

shergar

Oh hello…

shergar2

No? That’s ok, you know where the answers lie too…

shergar3

Photography

As I was thinking about the blog over Christmas I realised that one of the things I’d miss the most if I stopped is the photography.

I never expected to love it so much.

Thanks to the blog again. Everyone should have a blog at some time… for a year at least.

I love planning, thinking about, staging, styling, vignetting, selecting and laying out photographs for posts so this resolution is to stretch myself and explore photography more.

I should start using a camera maybe instead of just the phone. We have one…I don’t have a clue what it is. This is my total lack of interest in the tech side of things.

I can stretch myself in other ways too. I discovered Conceptual Photography this year and that’s something I want to explore further. It’s when you plan and stage a photo to illustrate an idea. Reylia Slaby is a great example, I love her work, click HERE

shay concept

Finally

It was going to be meditation but I read up on it and discovered I’ve been meditating my whole life without knowing. For example, I’ve never walked down a path and not noticed every stone and blade of grass, thought about it, savoured the moment. Turns out my life has been one long mediation.

At times I may have been too future focused but not any more. I’m all about the present now – well aside from that I’ll be glad to see an end to these blooming dark evenings, but aside from that!

So I think overall I’ll just keep stretching myself with painting and writing (meditative in their own right) and explore other avenues in these such as mixed media collage, really want to try that, more large scale painting, short stories, flash fiction, poetry, competitions etc, etc etc

Just think, this time last year I wasn’t driving or painting and I hadn’t written a book yet, so 2015 woohoo! Bring it on!

You can’t believe I’m finished can you? But I am, honestly! Chat to you soon, take care :)

hazy

 

 

Posted on by Jane in Creative Living, I WAS JUST THINKING 2 Comments
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