Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ever After 2018 starts 1st July!

Ever After 2018 Registration is OPEN! Yay!


The classroom opens on July 1st


Ever After is now open for registration! :) Yay! Will you come and follow us down the rabbit hole?

Spend 4 months making beautiful fairy-tale inspired art and develop our own style and unique story while we're at it! Sounds intriguing? Read on! :)

Ever After” is a mixed media art & style development course with a fairytale theme hosted by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. Tam is joined by 14 popular mixed media art teachers who will all share beautiful fairy-tale inspired lessons with you AND they will also divulge all their hints and tips on how they developed their own style and how YOU TOO can find your own unique voice as an artist! :) Yay!


Early Bird Offer!

Get 20% off by using coupon code: MAGIC2018 at check out! 
Offer runs until July 5th 2018.


You can find out all the magical details (and sign up with the Early Bird price) by clicking HERE

Make sure you check out Tam's Magical Ever After 2018 Video:



Start your summer drawing and painting fairy-tales, exploring your own personal story and style and hang out with a wonderful creative community of like-minded souls, be sure to join us now! :)



I hope you'll join us on this magical journey, see you there!

From my world to yours! Gracie x

Thursday, 14 June 2018

How Law of Attraction Can Help You Predict the Future

A friend of mine is so good at what I'm talking about today, and it astounds and intrigues me.


This friend seems, with total ease, to attract to them what they want.

Like a powerful, secret and elusive magic she weaves her dreams into reality and I am in awe every time. She manifests stuff, situations, people to her with awe inspiring ease. How? Magic.

Seriously. It's happened so many times throughout the years I've known her, that I realised a long time ago: this cannot be a fluke. Now, don't get me wrong, she works super hard (like seriously I'm exhausted watching her) but, there is no denying, through the years I've been witnessing her working this 'magic', there is more to this than purely hard work.

Have you heard of the law of attraction?


In a nutshell the Law of Attraction goes like this: like an athlete before a big event, you visualise how you want things to go, what you want to happen and then, like magic, these things happen and you attract what you desire into your life. For the pole vaulter it would be to visualise jumping really high, a runner visualises winning the race or beating his/ her time, a singer visualises reaching all the notes perfectly. The idea is that what you visualise becomes real – is attracted to you.

In these scenarios the law of attraction is at work. Visualise, in a 'positive vibe' way, with sparkles and glitter and certainty, how it will feel to get what you want, experience in your body and mind how it will FEEL, the more you feel you have it, the more likely you will be to attract it to you. For this law to work you need to NOT fixate and spend too much time thinking about what you don't want, ie the runner wouldn't visualise or fixate on falling over or losing the race because that's not what he wants to happen (or attract). It's important to note that they do then need to go and do the work too.. ie practice their running/ singing/ craft.

Many people (knowingly and unknowingly) do this law of attraction thing regularly, with great results.


I'm sure there must be some pure magic in them that I didn't get when magic was being given out.

The Law of Attraction sounds easy on paper but I usually notice (ALOT and often) what I DON'T want and focusing on what you don't want is what you're not supposed to do.

I am totally desperate to be more healthy and to lose weight (mostly for health reasons, but also because I want to fit into clothes properly). I work pretty hard to try to do all the right things to get to my goal of feeling healthy. Despite all my hard work and determination, I am still over weight and most of my time is spent feeling ill/ unhealthy/ 'migrainy'/ in pain/ overweight/ 'insert bad feeling about myself here'. This means most of my thoughts and visualisations about myself are about how I am an unhealthy, fat, ugly, total waste of space person. I have the 'you are a total fat waste of space person' type of crippling thought AT LEAST four or five times a day. My body, clothes, mirror image, unmeaning looks from loved ones and even people I pass in the street (i.e. lady on the street that I don't know looks at me = she's totally thinking I'm a fat waste of space), these feed into and remind me often that I'm not healthy/ the right weight/ worthy etc.

So how do I visualise feeling and being healthy when my body (and mind) is constantly reminding me that, right now, in this moment here, I'm not.


I don't have any answers here but, remember that amazing magic friend I mentioned right at the beginning? Yep her, well here's some of the things I've noticed she does (not necessarily intentionally) to manifest her dreams (I'd like to mention here that I'm talking about how I see what's happening from my viewpoint - these are my speculations, not necessary my friends!):

  1. She totally believes she will get the thing she's visualising – she believes it so much in her head that it's like she already has it.
  2. She works super hard to get what she wants, she puts in a back breaking amount of willpower and effort to achieve her goals.
  3. She builds her dreams and desires into her artwork and her private art journals. This seems to create a 'stepping stone' between her desires not yet being real to them being real... it's almost like the story she builds with her art and the writing within her artwork help the goal/dream/desire to manifest and come into our 'real' world - as if the artwork is a window for the dream to step through. I'm not sure if she intentionally does this but I often see art work she creates that has later become real, in her life. Also she seems to create this work in a purely 'for the love of it' way - i.e. rather than thinking of the end goal, she's focusing on the process and the enjoyment of what she's creating in the moment.

I find point 3 above fascinating and am reminded of the question 'why did humans start to create art?'. Quoting Nathan Lents here:

'As fully modern Homo sapiens began making tools that were more and more sophisticated, we suddenly found ourselves with the ability to depict our memories using primitive painting implements. With our newfound cognitive abilities, our impressive memory-recall, and eventually tools, it is not at all surprising that the first art produced by our ancestors depicted the very subject that probably spawned all of our cognitive abilities in the first place: the hunt'.

What is a goal, if not a 'hunt'? Creating, working towards and achieving your goals can be likened to your 'hunt'; You using your brain to plan and prepare to make something happen - visualising and using your abstract thought to manifest what you want into your life. I truly think ART and creating art is the number one way to create a life you want :)

Nathan Lents (in this post here) goes on to say:

'The visual arts were probably right there with us along the way, helping to provide a means to express the complex thoughts that were beginning to materialise in our massive brains.'



"Preparation is half the job done"

Some other things that can help you and me on our journey to get what we desire:

 A gratitude list
Positive acceptance of where you currently are
Dream board
Affirmations
Meditation and self awareness
Inspiring quotes (this Pinterest board is a good one)

 

Ramblings

I'm being woken up at 3am by Summer (my toddler) lately, then I stay awake for ages unable to easily sleep again whilst she snores beside us, happy in the knowledge that she's safe and we are near (and she snores REALLY loudly – how is that possible she's so tiny?!). I very much understand the fact that when this stage of parenting a (mostly cute) toddler goes I will miss it, but at 3am I just wish this 'stage' and age would be over already. Then she wakes in the morning and asks for a 'booonana' and my heart melts into stupid gushy mumma shmooshness again – sigh :)

My Vegan Journey

I cannot currently call myself a vegan. I really like cheese at the moment and egg fried sandwiches. I am definitely vegetarian, the thought of eating flesh makes me feel sick, which I think is a migraine thing - the meat stuff makes me feel migrainy and sick. I LOVE the idea of being vegan but I'm still not sure health wise how I can maintain it. I am determined to keep trying and will keep you posted :)



Reading


My work wife Tam, got me onto a series by Karpov Kinrade (1st in series is called 'Vampire Girl') and I am hooked. I am also listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear' on audible, I highly recommend it for any creative people out there, it's awesome and I find her voice soothing and supportive.





Listening to

As part of Summer (my toddler)'s bedtime routine I put on this album and it's SO calming for both Summer and I and helps me and her transition into a calm bedtimeness. She still sings very loudly to herself before she passes out at night – which is NOT so calm, but I find that this album calms me and her and is a helpful reminder for our unconscious minds that bedtime routine has started and it's time to wind down. Also it sounds nice :) So much so that I'm sometimes listening to it during my down time even when Summer's not about. Ha! I'm parenting my child and my inner child :)



Watching

I'm in Netflix limbo at the moment, unable to commit to a show to watch. I flit between 'Grace and Frankie' and 'Episodes'.

The Shadow Hunters (oh my goodness Cassandra Clare you are a storytelling genius weaving angels and demons and magic!) and The Shannara Chronicles (fantasy lord of the rings type, elves and druid awesomeness!) have both finished for now and I NEED A SUPERNATURAL, ANGEL, VAMPIRE, OTHERWORLD fix!! If you know of any fantasy type shows I might enjoy please save me from sad Netflix limbo by letting me know in the comments below.



Journaling

I am playing on larger canvases at the moment. Current obsession is big boats. This is a large work in progress which I’m slowly adding to whenever I get time - finding the slowness of it a big de-stressor:




I was also given a personal challenge from Tam (Tamara Laporte) to do a face a day earlier this year – I was frustrated that I couldn't do shading on faces at all well and Tam suggested I do a quick daily  painting, with limited supplies, to work specifically with shading on the face. I feel that I learnt and developed LOADS from doing that so will be challenging myself again in the future, any art challenges out there that you recommmend? Here's 4 of those:



Poetry

Seems like yesterday I was dancing in the moonlight in the middle of a field. And now here I am. In the middle of the road with time ticking by.

I am my mothers dream.

I was my mother’s dream.

The seed of my grandmother swirling round and round.

Apples dropping from the tree. Fast like cannon bombs. (not long, not long).



Thank you for being here with me! I love to hear your thoughts and musings. Let me know your thoughts on the Law of Attraction, parenting, netflix and space mice below :)

Make sure to check out the Tea and Cake with Gracie series where I interview inspiring artists and we run giveaways and some free offers and tutorials not published elsewhere before. You can find that here: Tea and Cake with Gracie series

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From My World To Yours <3

Friday, 29 September 2017

The Beauty in Feeling Not Good Enough

Feeling not good enough is something that comes up for me often.


It's like a little friend that comes and sits with me when I'm feeling low. The sort of friend that wants to be there for you when you just want to be alone. My 'feeling not good enough buddy' doesn't want to take away from others what they have. I am SO happy seeing other people with stuff and being happy, that TOTALLY floats my boat. BUT, there are things I see that I WANT TOO (insert toddler stamping feet here) and, in these moments, I'm comparing myself to 'them that have these things'.


I understand in my head that this is not at all helpful for me, but I just can't help it.


It's like my eyes are drawn to the car crash of what I don't have, moving my attention away from what I do have. It makes me sad.
 

I am blessed and lucky to have all I have. I have so many things to be grateful for. So WHY does this 'Feeling Not Good Enough Buddy' come and visit so often, and maaaaaaan he stays for SO LONG!?

I would like this 'Feeling Not Good Enough Buddy' (F.O.G.E.E. for short) to be on my side, to be acting in my best interest, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he's not.


So I wrote him a letter:

Dear Fogee,
Thank you for helping me to see that there are things I want by noticing them in others. When you show me beautiful artists and their work, I know you are saying 'here look at this, I would like this, please work towards this', but I feel inadequate because I'm not up there on that 'Perfect Artist' pedestal and when I notice I'm not it takes me away from the happy place down here that I'm in. So, with that in mind, please can you visit for a cup of tea, let me know what it is you would like, and then move on and NOT stay over and make a tent in my garden that you live in permanently.

Many Thanks!
Gracie :)

I think the thing is, really he's a part of me that wants the best for me right?! So really he's a blessing...? Something in me to just 'notice' and not dwell on ...just 'gently notice' and move on :)

So here I am trying to see The Beauty in Feeling Not Good Enough. 


Trying to see it as a blessing. As a signpost that points the way and says to me 'Over Here is Quite Nice', but you can go whichever way you want and whatever speed you choose because underneath all that deep wanting you are a beautiful person that deserves acceptance for who you are Right Now in this moment.


I find acceptance amusing. How is it I can accept so much from others but when it comes to me I fall short. Really I guess that's what this blog post is about: Acceptance of myself how I am Right Now in this moment. Not in the future, not in the past, but right now.

And that's what I find tricky. It's easy for me to ponder on the future and on the past, those take me into my brain, into my thoughts. To be right here in this moment is tricky, it means I need to STOP and FEEL. Check in with myself. Not calculate some thinking thought process.

'Thinking Thought Processes' are 'safe', I can calculate them, work them out, control them. Feelings (in the now) are more obscure, less obvious, more scary (sometimes). Maybe really that's what this post is about. Acceptance.

How can I accept myself fully without accepting the parts of me I don't enjoy? The shadow parts, the Mr Fogee parts. I can't just hide those bits away and pretend to myself I'm accepting ALL OF ME.

I guess what I'm getting at here is, to make sure Mr Fogee stays for just a cuppa and doesn't set up camp in my garden, I need to welcome him in, sit with him for a bit. Accept him. Because he's only trying to help. He has, at the core of him, the need to protect me and get me things that would benefit me and, for that, I thank him :)

...So, Mr Fogee, will it be a Lap Sang or Earl Grey tea today?



Ramblings


I've been spending alot of time in the woods recently. Peaceful green caves and tunnels = Bliss.

I feel so happy under trees. It's really not an 'I want to hug a tree' hippy thing (although I have been known to hug a tree), there is something very therapeutic for me about being in a wood, the cool dampness invigorates me physically. Did you know that 'Forest bathing is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. The practice originated in Japan where it is called shinrin-yoku in Japanese. Studies in Japan have measured changes in immune markers and stress hormones in people who regularly walked in specific forests in Japan. In addition, people with diabetes but not taking insulin found substantial benefits by lowering blood glucose levels' (quote from Wikipedia btw). Go hug a tree!

My Vegan Journey

I still eat cheese. Can't help it. And butter ...and occasionally ice cream. There I said it! Ha! Apart from that, I'm vegan... IT'S A WORK IN PROGRESS! :) Seriously though, since I gave up meat I feel so much better. I gave up meat for health reasons - it makes my migraines worse when I eat meat - I dont' know why but, tried and tested, it does. Plus when I was pregnant with Summer the thought of meat made me sick.

...also hummus and tomato sandwiches are AMAZING.

Reading

Life's Companion by Christina Baldwin. I LOVE journalling. Imagine a friend you can tell anything to and completely trust that they won't judge you or share your secrets, a friend that is always available and ready to let you share your thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, fears. That's what journaling is for me. This book talks about and journeys with this awesome journaller
Christina Baldwin and everytime I open it it's like greeting a friend. 

From the Inside Flap: In "Life's Companion, Christina Baldwin points out that writing is a means of expanding our inner horizons, of relating more meaningfully to the world we live in and to other travelers on the spiritual path. Baldwin, a leader of the renaissance of personal writing, has taught personally more than 30,000 people the joys of journaling".

'...her clear calm vision for writing as spiritual practice emanates from every page' - Kathleen Adams (author of 'Journal to the Self'.


Listening To



Watching

Recently finished watching Bitten season 2. Loved it, it's awesome. Can't wait for the next season to be released on netflix. If you enjoy vampires, werewolves, shadow hunters, supernatural, you'll love this.



Journalling

Water is coming up alot. Mostly probably because I live next to the sea :) I liken water to the unconcious mind and to intuition. These three things (unconcious, water, intuition) are fluid in nature, strong and flowing with the opportunity to travel deep underneath.
Houses also coming up for me alot in my journal. Houses, for me, represent my life and myself with many rooms and winding corridors ...there's the strong possibily to get lost.

I wanted to work on animal personalities and attributes. So I did a series of journal pages each using a animal that expressed to me what I wanted/needed/was expressing in the page. Apart from the Peacock which was seen on a beautiful day out at Herstmonceux Castle with my husband and daughter, little Summer. On that day it's almost as if the Peacock wanted to be in my journal :)





Poetry

'Badger'

As the dusk of a still
And a silent eve,
Descends to the arms
Of the waiting night.

A rustle does sound
Through the lying leaves,
And the brittle twigs
Of the dying wood.

The cautious eyes
And a wary stare,
Emerge from the dark
Of the hidden sett.

As the badger roams
In the quest for food,
Through the bones
Of the tracks he wore.

Andrew Blakemore



Do you have a Mr Fogee? Do you notice him staying a little longer than he needs to? Making camp in your life?

From My World To Yours <3


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Life Book 2018 - It's on it's way!!!! :)


Life Book Life Book Life Book!! It's here!!

 Registration is Now Open!
Class Begins January 1st 2018

Click here to find out more: Life Book 2018

The one and only AWESOME Life Book! I have to say I am absolutely besotted with Life Book. I have seen first hand how this course changes lives. With a massive following and established in 2012, Life Book is the original Year Long Art and Wellbeing Online Course. AND you don't even need to be an artist to join, seriously, you don't even have to have ever picked up a pencil! Let me tell you a bit more about Life Book in case you haven't heard about it yet: 

“Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU”
is a year-long mixed media art class organised by
Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts


Tam is joined by 23 incredible art teachers who are all gearing up to share their mixed media techniques, tips and tricks with YOU! PLUS this year, Life Book is going to be bigger and better by including another 12 fantastic artists and wellness guides who will focus on additional personal development practices and other art modalities, think: sculpting, yoga, sacred bowl making (clay), working with angel energies and creating angel inspired jewelry, photography, conscious dancing, archetype work, poetry & story telling!

Themed around self-development and healing, you’ll be creating several loose mixed media art journal pages per month which by the end of the year you will bind into a glorious journal (a Life Book)! You will have a wonderful keepsake that you can treasure for the rest of your life! You will also be introduced to yoga, aromatherapy, angel energy and other wellness exercises to help support your personal development journey more holistically. Imagine the fun you will have getting introduced to and acquainted with some of the other wonderful art forms out there!

  Here's who's teaching on Life Book 2018 this year:


PLUS this year, when you join Life Book, you will get a VIRTUAL GIFT BAG too!!! In it are: free classes (yes really!!!), lots of discount codes for amazing products and courses, beautiful and uplifting high res prints, free colouring pages and ezines! Awesome right?! You get SO much extra fun stuff!!

It's a whole load of yummy in a supportive environment! :) PLUS the ease of it being an online course that you can dip into when YOU are ready. AND you can choose which classes to do too - it's like a pick and mix that you can cater to YOUR needs :)


Registration
is Open!
Class Begins January 1st 2018

Click here to find out more: Life Book 2018


Come and join us and be part of this wonderful supportive team and community of teachers, healers and students! See you there! :)

Friday, 7 November 2014

Setting Sail


Since my last blog I've moved home. I'm not very good at moving and tend to end up having a mini breakdown, this time has been no different. There's something very unsettling about moving from the cosy space that holds many memories. From the wall that I knock on when I'm bed ridden with a migraine and wanting tea and love from the husband, to the stain on the curtain where me and my best friend spilt wine whist doing our best rendition of Celine Dion one New Years Eve, my old home is a space that holds many good and happy memories and had become my little family's safe haven. I will miss it. The new place is lovely and I am so happy... but it hasn't got any memories yet, and memories are what will make it a real home for me. So I sit now in my new house, like an artist with a blank page waiting for those memories to be created by the wonderful family and friends I am so lucky to have around me and in my life. And the word 'Trust' comes to me again. Trust in the Process Gracie. Trust that all is going in the right direction. All will be ok. Just Trust :)

Settling into our new home

We now live right on top of a cliff and the views are epic


Akita's happy cause there's lots more rabbits to chase on top of cliffs


As it's been a while, I thought I'd let you know about some of the other Arty things I've been up to too. I went on a FAB art retreat with Tam and some other lovely ladies in the Summer. It was in beautiful Oxford (UK) and run by the fabulous artist and teacher Erin Faith Allen called so appropriately: 'Call of the Wild Soul'. We stayed in Magdalen College, which was most definitely haunted, and had the most enchanting deer park on the grounds which made for magical morning walks.



Me and Tamara Laporte :)

 

Morning walks through the Deer Park


We visited beautiful Godstow nearby. Godstow is where Lewis Carroll and the real Alice took a boat trip that started the amazing Alice in Wonderland story on 1862, and the inspiration for C S Lewis's Narnia. I can understand why.

The ruins of Godstow Abbey



The river where Alice In Wonderland was born


It was awesome and so so inspiring. Being around a group of like minded arty women for a weekend is such an awesome experience and will stay with me forever. 



We made some art too of course :)
Made during Tamara Laporte's lesson on Call of the Wild Soul Oxford

***


I've also been making and creating in between packing, stressing and moving

I have started one of Tam's courses 'Life Book 2012 The Tam Edition', which I'm loving!




ATCs made recently
... I'm still very much loving ATCs!

Close Your Eyes and Set Sail - ATCs
There Is Always Beauty - ATCs
Give the Earth LOVE - ATCs
Mia and I made beads out of fimo clay with our friend Jess - crafting fun!



I've also discovered Keaton Henson. His music is vulnerably haunting -wonderful. Check him out here: http://youtu.be/f2fCcggNkT or here:



Wow, I didn't think I had much to say, but that's a lot lol! As always thank you for listening to me and letting me share my stuff with you, I really appreciate you being here with me :)

p.s. I want a cow:
http://youtu.be/cIp3nIBhUBY



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Monday, 14 July 2014

Artists Around the World (blog-hop)


I've been asked by the awesome and coffee loving, tradigital artist Minerva Levinston, to join her in a blog hop! Yaaayyyyyy! The blog hop is called 'Artists Around the World', and this week is my turn to answer 4 questions. So, here goes :)


1. Why do you do what you do?

Most of the time I'm 'happiness seeking'; If I enjoy it, I'll do it. Because of this, I tend to drift from one genre to another and from one medium to another, I'm a bit of a happy hippy drifter. I've dipped cut flowers in hot wax and hung them spiraling from an auditorium ceiling, I've used old dolls and paint to create sculptures, I've sung in, played in and promoted bands and band nights. Maybe I'm using art to work out what life's all about and what I like, most probably its just self expression. Currently I'm really influenced by mixed media art (especially Tamara Laporte's work, Tam's a lady I work with at Willowing Arts). I'm loving the mish mash beauty of creating mixed media pieces using collage, paint, ink, wax, stencils. I find joy in using whatever I can get my hands on to create stuff and, by using whatever comes to hand, I'm not too confined in my creation and thinking.


2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Eeeerrrmmmmmm..... I have no idea lol! ...it's got me in it :)


3. How does your creative process work?

My process is this: if it works and makes me feel good, I do it more. If I'm stuck or it makes me feel bad then I wallow in the bad feelings for a bit and then ask for some feedback from someone I trust to be gentle on me (or I make and drink tea)... then I make more stuff and see if I like it and the cycle starts again.


4. What are you working on now?

Right now I am loving ATCs and swapping ATCs. ATC stands for 'Artist Trading Card'. They are miniature works of art on small (2.5 x 3.5 inch) cards. Usually made in twos to swap with a partner, using a pre-decided theme. I made these (below) for the June ATC swap run at Willowing Arts (http://willowing.ning.com/group/arttrading and the Life Book 2014 ATC swap. Materials used: watercolour crayons, markers, glitter paste, pocket stencils, music sheets for collage, stamps and acrylic paint.

ATCs made for Willowing ATC Swap - Theme was 'meditation'

ATCs made for Life Book 2014 ATC Swap - Theme was 'Daily Rituals'

 

I've also just put my first video 'Safe Home' up on YouTube, yay! That was super exciting for me! :)




I have also been working on and off on this mixed media girl (below) for a while now. I keep coming back, changing and adding stuff, leaving her for a bit, then coming back again to do some more. She doesn't feel 'finished' yet and I'm not yet sure why that is so I keep experimenting.





Thank you for listening and letting me share my stuff with you, I really appreciate you being here with me, thank you! :)


Next Monday 21st July, these 3 lovely artists will post their answers:

Angela Kennedy, my goodness I LOVE this lady's art so much!:

Fellow ATC swap partner and awesome artist Carmen Sánchez-Buster: www.carmensanchezbusterart.blogspot.com

Nina Spolar, architect, photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, and maker of one of a kind and super cute handmade objects: www.madebynini.net

You can also find out about the lovely Minerva Levinston here: www.minerva-levinston.blogspot.com

Go and check them out! :) 

Here's the husband and I at the top of Snowdon mountain (in Wales) dressed as Han Solo and Princess Leia :) Us and other family members climbed Snowdon together, dressed as Superheroes, for the Princess Alice Hospice charity. It was hard work! You can find out more about that here: www.justgiving.com/Catherine-Fry1


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