Blimey, it’s been some time since I wrote a blog post!
I only write when I feel I have something to say… Of course, in reality, I have plenty to say. It’s more about when I feel I am ready to share something online.
Even though my card deck business has been ticking away organically, I trusted my decision to turn away from social media for a time. I find it particularly hard to show up online if I am feeling like a fragile and empty husk. I tried it a couple of times, over the last twelve months or so, but it didn’t feel right. So I let go of the struggle and concentrate on getting better.
Since moving to Kingston Upon Thames in October 2017, I have been going through a tricky time. It’s challenged me immensely and I’m still not out of the woods yet. I’m not ready to share my story, but I do know it’s been a necessary path for me to grow and develop as a person and as an artist. I am sure you can relate.
On reflection, one of the key side effects of working from home since 2011 and living in North London, was that I was feeling isolated. Although I had many friends, I did not realise I was missing a particular type of connection. I was not aware of this fact until I moved to Kingston. Unfortunately, by then I had other things to deal with. That’s life, isn’t it? It has its ups and downs: the rich tapestry and all that.
I increasingly found ways to connect within my face-to-face community. Through trial and error, I feel I have discovered a sense of belonging: a sense of place. I find it through being with my husband, Mindfulness classes, walking around in Nature and my city, therapeutic treatments, Laughing yoga, Hatha and Ashtanga yoga, and more recently through Knitting groups.
So, I particularly want to focus on the knitting.
Finding a Creative Tribe
Historically, I have not been a good knitter and have developed a clumsy technique. I had been looking for a local textile or craft group that I could join but couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. However, there is a fabulous new boutique knitting shop called Tribe Yarns opened up in Richmond. They offer beginners' knitting classes and all sorts of other events. I popped along to a beginners class of six.
Over the last few months, I have learned to knit better whilst connecting with the most lovely people. Basically, I had forgotten how important it was to find a creative tribe of people on your wavelength (even if it's only about knitting). It feels so much easier to go to these events with the shared purpose of knitting. People are so supportive, with no agendas other than the love of knitting and the value of connection. I have since found a Knitting Bee Meetup ten minutes walk from my home where we knit and eat cupcakes every Monday evening! When I go there, I don’t have to bring my various identity labels, I am just another knitter within a tribe about the craft. It’s amazing how we can collectively become excited about hand-dyed skeins and circular needles!
On reflection, developing a craft-based hobby has released some fresh energy towards the artwork that I do from home. You see, I prefer to do my art and textiles alone, but there is also a part of me that just wants to connect in a creative way without it being about my art or my work. Does that make sense?
Unfortunately, I am too self-conscious and self-critical an individual to create my art in public. I hadn’t realised, I could still be in a creative connection with the community and also enjoy working on my own. I mistakingly believed that I had to be one or the other. I don’t put the same pressures on myself when I am pursuing a creative new hobby, and am comfortable with my struggles to build skills. Who knows, perhaps these are the necessary steps I need to take to be more creative in public: comfortable in my skin.
A new card deck
There are many paths that I have taken since moving to Kingston that have opened me up creatively again. My ideas are coming back and I am finding I now have something to say about it. I am knee-deep in a City & Guilds machine embroidery course at the moment, but I have the embers of a new card deck idea that I wish to explore and bring to fruition too.
It will be different to the other oracle decks and tarot. It will bring in my textile art and all that I am discovering about living. It probably won’t have a title or a definite structure yet, but it’s waiting to be tendered and nurtured into life. Most likely, I will share bits of my journey again on Instagram and Facebook (see links at bottom of the page) and within my blog posts. Thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for all your kind and supportive words that you send me every day.
Thank goodness I am now coming back to Life: perfect for Spring here too!
Have a lovely day!