Just keep swimming

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Have you ever had to swim against the tide, or even worse, found yourself caught in a slip stream? There’s something quite terrifying – especially for a rubbish swimmer like me – about swimming as hard as you can and not getting anywhere (to be fair I can manage that with no tide at all!) I love the sentiment of the expression ‘just keep swimming’, but as you know I don’t like the word just (in hindsight, it was perhaps an odd #threewordthursday phrase to have picked for that very reason!!) ‘Just’ makes things sound easy and effortless. Sometimes to keep going, to keep swimming, is the hardest thing of all – especially when you are putting in a lot of hard work with seemingly not very much output.

Which is why, when I sat down to make this weeks picture, I decided that I wasn’t going to make a fish to ‘just’keep swimming (sorry Dory), or a duck or even a swan. My swimmer had to be a glorious synchronised swimmer, seemingly working effortlessly all the while doing so with huge strength, control and poise. Remember that next time you feel like you’re staying still, because I’ll bet you’re not xx

#ThreeWordThursday is a weekly hashtag challenge. Each week a different three word phrase can be presented or discussed in any way that inspires you. Be sure to use the hashtag so that I can find you and please feel free to share it with anyone who might like to join in! The prompt for next week is; create your future.
#justkeepswimming #youcandoit #keepongoing #calledtobecreative #designalifeyoulove #freehandmachineembroidery #freemotionembroidery #everystitchcounts #threewordthursday
#ihavethisthingwithsewing ##communityovercompetition

Oh I do like to be beside the sea

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Oh I do like to be beside the sea
Except I’m not at the seaside, I’m at home trying to do everything and not getting very far with anything!

If you’re currently trying to juggle your way through the holidays too, I hope you’re surviving. It’s easy to talk to other people, to look on social media and compare all the amazing, involved, expensive things that other people are doing to make their kids summer holidays amazing and feel a bit lacking. And then that 18 f***ing summers post does the rounds and kicks you while you’re down. So I just want to say that if you’re struggling to sort out childcare and just get to the end of the day, there are other people doing that too. It might not make for such glorious photos, but we’re out there too. We’re all just doing our best, and if you care enough to worry about it, the chances are you’re probably doing okay. We’ve got this!

#wednesdaywisdom #wednesdaywords #strugglewiththejuggle #spinningplates #youvegotthis #dontcompare #youvegotthis #freehandmachineembroidery #creativitywithmeaning #stitchingsmiles #westonsupermare #westonpier #grandpier

Give a girl the right shoes

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Walking in to Monday with passion, purpose, and the right shoes! Have a great week – you’ve got this!
I’ve found this holiday that hand sewing is allowing work to be a bit more portable, which means that I’ve been able to list some shoes that I’ve been working on – there’s a link in my bio
#giveagirltherightshoes #giveagirltherightshoesandshecanconquertheworld #marilynmonroe #handembroidery #stitchingsmiles #threadcounts #careinstructions

Just keep on going

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When Oscar was in preschool, he brought this picture of me home. Because he was only interested in playing with Lego, he didn’t ever do any drawings or paintings. Not so much as a cereal box sculpture came our way. So delighted was I to have finally been presented with a piece of artwork, I could almost entirely overlook the the fact that he had drawn me with a bottom that seemed to be its own state floating independent of my body 😂 I had to find a way of saving it forever… big bottom and all and so a product was born. I hadn’t been sewing for all that long when I made this – time hop reminded me this week that it was six years ago in fact – I didn’t plan to make it as a product to sell, it was just a way to catch a moment. A stitch in time.

I’ve had quite a few messages lately asking for business advice; how to get started, what I would recommend doing, how I did it. It feels quite strange to be presented with questions like this, as I don’t really I have any answers myself, let alone in a position to answer of their people’s question, or hand out advice. But six years after this big-bummed masterpiece made its way home to me, all I can tell you, is if you find something you love to do, find a way to keep on doing it. Just keep on going

#ThreeWordThursday is a weekly hashtag challenge. Each week a different three word phrase can be presented or discussed in any way that inspires you. Be sure to use the hashtag so that I can find you and please feel free to share it with anyone who might like to join in! The prompt for next week is; just keep swimming
#throwbackthursday #tbt #childrensartwork #childrensdrawing #calledtobecreative #designalifeyoulove #freehandmachineembroidery #freemotionembroidery #everystitchcounts #threewordthursday
#ihavethisthingwithsewing #britishstitchers #communityovercompetition

Bestest Nanny

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I was recently asked if it would be possible to make a rosette with a custom message in a different colour. The answer was … of course! My rosettes are completely handmade, so they can say whatever you like and look however you like… so they’re the perfect way to celebrate just about anything!! I’ve popped a link in my bio for the listing. –
Happy Sunday! –
#rosette #youdeserveamedal #freehandmachineembroidery #stitchingsmiles #careinstructions

Always be yourself – part two

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Always be yourself… part two. .
I spoke earlier about the importance of being yourself in a personal capacity and now I am going to be a little bit self indulgent and talk about he it’s also important for your work and creativity. Around a year ago, I came to a bit of a crossroads. I’d always struggled with being self taught; I felt like a fraud calling myself a textile artist, but I did anyway, because I didn’t know what else to call myself. I’m not going to make this post a debate about art elitism, because .. I don’t want to, but I don’t think it is unfair to say that it was not a world that I felt very welcomed in to. I am sure the subject of my work is too commercial and too safe and positive words aren’t for everyone, and I’m fine with that. I didn’t doubt my skill or ability (actually, that’s a blatant lie!) but the question was, did I try and make pieces with greater artistic intent so that the people who decided they could say whether or not you were worthy of the title would let me in? It all felt a lot like trying to be cool. I never have or never will be cool 😂 and I decided I wasn’t going to be a textile artist either. I decided to stop trying to be part of a group that didn’t really seem to want to include me, so I decided to embrace the idea of being a maker, which might sound like exactly the same thing, but in my experience are a much friendlier bunch. And friendly people are my kind of people. .
The crux of that decision was all about being myself. The reason that I’m telling you this story and seemingly unrelated photo is that I found out that this product had been nominated for a NOTHS make award. I didn’t make the shortlist, but to even have been considered makes me feel not only incredibly honoured, but also bloody proud of myself and glad that I decided to stick with just being me. .
So there you have it. Always be yourself. .
Ps there’s a link in the bio for the listing 😉. .
#alwaysbeyourself #threewordthursday #noths #notonthehighstreet #makeawards #wearenoths

Always be yourself

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In school, there is always that cool kid .. the person everyone wants to be like, to be noticed by. The person who we measure our own status by depending on how far around their periphery we float. Some children are kind and charismatic and this naturally attracts other children. Others wish to be the top dog develop cliques and attain status by excluding or being unkind to others. Some children desperately want to be included, others just want to do their own thing and are happy If they find someone else who likes doing that too. .
We tend to see that experience as something that happens during childhood, that somewhere on our journey to adulthood, we develop a sense of self and no longer crave approval or feel the need to modify our sense of self to fit in. But actually that pressure to fit in and want to be like everyone else can rear its head at any time and at any transition point where we have to find our place with a new group of people. There always seems to be that person or group of people that people seek out. In the workplace, in clubs, on the playground the second time around. It can be easy to feel as if we need to seek the approval of others and behave a certain way to fit in. But this will not make you happy. Dead fish follow the tide. When you are being yourself it is easier to see what you want in life and what is truly important to you. You will be much happier. And funnily enough, without trying much, your people will naturally come to you. When they do, it will because they see you and they like what they see. Which is a bit of a win-win really. Always be yourself. . I would like to thank @rosiejohnsonillustrates for her illustration for this weeks #Threewordthursday post – if you don’t know Rosie’s account then go and have a look, and you’ll quickly see why she was the perfect person for this weeks prompt 😊
. #ThreeWordThursday is a weekly hashtag challenge. Each week a different three word phrase can be presented or discussed in any way that inspires you. Be sure to use the hashtag so that I can find you and please feel free to share it with anyone who might like to join in! The prompt for next week is; never give up

Children’s pictures

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I just love making children’s pictures, as there’s always a tale behind them. This drawing is of a happy little person who appeared an my kitchen table one day .. apparently left by ‘The Person of Shadows’ (shudders; don’t kids say the creepiest things?!) who went on a sharpie rampage in my kitchen 😱 I knew – hoped – that one day I might see the funny side, so made a little fabric reminder for my wall.

Hi 👋 to everyone who has joined me from @mutha.hood after seeing Little Red’s amazing portrait of her Daddy! There’s a link in my bio if you’d like to capture your own fabric story xx
#freehandmachineembroidery #childrenspicture #stitchingsmiles

Now or never

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It’s amazing how adept we are at delay tactics when it comes to putting off something that intimidates or overwhelms us. Even if it’s something we also really want. How often do you find yourself thinking “I’ll start tomorrow” ?
In fact we can become so adept, that we might not even realise we’re doing it at all. But the result is getting nowhere fast. Focussing on tomorrow can mean you go around in circles. If you wait for the absolute perfect moment, then you may find that the moment never comes
So forget tomorrow, the time to act is now. It’s now or never.
#ThreeWordThursday is a weekly hashtag challenge. Each week a different three word phrase can be presented or discussed in any way that inspires you. Be sure to use the hashtag so that I can find you and please feel free to share it with anyone who might like to join in! The prompt for next week is; change is good
#nowornever #dontwait #doitnow #do#lasvegassign #creativehappylife #creativitywithmeaning #calledtobecreative #designalifeyoulove #freehandmachineembroidery #freemotionembroidery #everystitchcounts
#ihavethisthingwithsewing #britishstitchers #communityovercompetition #threewordthursday #startabusinessmonth

Happiness is not a number

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Not long ago my daughter came home with a food diary that someone had given her to keep note of what she ate. After I took her to the recycling bin and showed her exactly what I think about her keeping a food diary, we had a long chat about what it means to be healthy, to be happy, to be loved and kind and important. My daughter is seven. I really don’t think being on diets and keeping food diaries is the kind of thing that should be in the consciousness of children. Yet our obsession with body image is pervasive. It’s easy to blame the media, but we all have a part to play
Mental health awareness week’s 2019 theme is ‘Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies’ In a uk-wide stress survey in 2018, the @mentalhealthfoundation found that three in ten people interviewed had felt had so stressed by their body image and appearance at some point in the past year that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. .
47% of all 18-24 year olds they spoke to felt this way about their body image, as did almost one in five people aged 55 and over. .
Your worth is not determined by the size of your clothes. You are so much more than a number on a label. .
#bebodykind #mentalhealthawarenessweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #freehandmachineembroidery #threadcounts #careinstructions @i_weigh

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