Browsing Category

Words

Words

The relevance of memories. Armagh food +cider festival.

September 21, 2017

I am a great believer that things happen for a reason, what’s for you won’t pass you by and so on. I’m all for it.

So, when things come up on my calendar that are perfectly in line with my ethos of nostalgia and positive associations to landmarks, objects or words – I jump at them.

That includes this weekend the Armagh food and cider festival. 

Normally we are a family who make the most of Culture night in Belfast. Our eight year old has attended since he was a year old and we love the buzz. Continue Reading…

Words

Why fear is holding you back

September 8, 2017

Wanting to open that shop front down the road where the hipsters gather and you just know fancy coffee will sell along with pea sized over priced salted caramel brownies.

Taking the plunge and actually entering yourself into the open mic night at the local pub.

Daring to wear a dress that, god forbid, shows your scar from childhood.

Or maybe it’s the dream you have of taking yourself out of your current job and into the unknown where you would turn a small business idea into a lifetime adventure.

No matter the idea, the concept, the foundation of a plan, we can get stuck.

Fear creeps in, self worth takes a nose dive and reality bites.

‘How can I leave this safety net for something I have only researched in the last six months?”

“What if I share my dream and they laugh at me?”

“Who do I think I am trying to pull off this jumpsuit with a waist like this?”

Fear can stunt us and shatter our illusion of where we want to go.

It is a bugger, really.

So how do we face it?

Tony Robbins says “catch fear before it catches you”.

You can tackle fear head on by deciding that you will still move forward even without knowing the answers or the timing or the outcome right this second.

Weigh up the pros and cons if you feel that it is something which will practically help you see the light.

Know your vision is worth something to the universe. You are worthy! You can pursue this fresh idea.

Make a strategy. Small determined steps will serve you well and eliminate fear.

It may seem minor but I had the fear for about three months and didn’t know whether I should share my ebooks with the world.

I had made my mind made up that I would “just leave them until September” even though the content and design was ready to go.

Then, after a call to my web designer yesterday who had the whole system set up and ready for me, I weighed up the pros and cons, decided that failure was ok (they are free ebooks after all so, seriously, what odds if they don’t suit the masses?) and I ploughed on.

My assistant and I thrashed out the last of the copy for the ebooks and within six hours they were live on alyharte.com.

Face your fear and push on regardless my lovelies!

Continue Reading…

Words

For the love of (Belfast) art

May 5, 2017

I often get asked “Ah, so you blog about art?” which I know would make most sense, I am an artist after all. However it didn’t come naturally for me to blog about other people’s art or art theories two years ago.

What came naturally and still does feel right in this space is leading you into my own day to day life which inevitably fits with my theme of “placing importance on the everyday”. Fitness , food, family, wellbeing and life stories are the main leads in my daily life.

Last night I had the absolute joy of attending Belfast late night art. Have you visited art in Belfast recently? I mean , more than just the Ulster museum. Saying that I adored the exhibit which showed my MFA tutor Willie Doherty’s film included in The new past exhibition.

The first Thursday in every month the art galleries in Belfast open their doors for anyone to visit and see the latest exhibits.

Can I take a second to tell you that I have had three babies, two house moves and a whole lot of breast milk on my tops over the past eight years. For me, to be able to actively leave my house with the intention of going to an art event, UNACCOMPANIED , is a really big deal. Continue Reading…

Words

5 business books every start up needs

March 9, 2017

Running my own business was never at the forefront of my life’s ambition. It really wasn’t. Art College was a great fit and teaching seemed like a fun occupation so I sort of ran with all of it.

Until teaching was no longer a passion or indeed an option. Then I had to get creative and start to open my eyes to what on earth I would do after I finished my Masters in Fine art.

I want to say my business has been running for eight years but really I shuffled along paying more for childcare than I was earning at the start of this venture. So it is only in the past three years (possibly since launching my first website) that the ball has rolled more than it has had to be pushed.

I grew so much in the early days- I talk about them here, and continue to grow with every podcast I listen to, painting I under price and fellow business mentor I meet.

My love for sharing information and encouraging other people has been in my bones and I love that my business, and in particular this blog, allows me to extend from my art in your homes to helping you ( albeit on a minor scale) with all things wellbeing and business.

Continue Reading…

Words

What I’ve learned in 10 years of marriage

January 9, 2017

 

Where do I start as I think about the relationship that my mother in law once called “loves young dream” ? T

he one that started with monthly gifts (yes, every month a different gift) bought from him to me. Not just flower gifts – a stereo, tickets to the theatre, fun dinners. For seven months he swooned me and hit the nail in the coffin (for want of a better term) by proposing on one knee while we painted the bathroom of his new house.

Deal.Done. Continue Reading…

Words

A Norn irish gift guide

December 3, 2016

Put simply, here is my super special Northern Irish gift guide.

It is quite literally full to the brim with makers, locations, drinks, interiors and more to help you decide what gifts to buy this Christmas.

I have not been endorsed to do any of this by anyone, I am just an artist who is passionate about and happy to share the love and to support local. Continue Reading…

Words

A sustainable business – my strive for better

November 23, 2016

Image credit Gather and Tides

I’m all for clearing out junk in the home. So much so I even made a post about minimalism here.

My husband views my ‘tendency’ for “gutting out” as a bit of an illness. This urge to clear out normally raises it’s ugly head on a weekend.

You know the kind- all is well and quiet in the world of family time, there are no work emails to distract the mind, a general state of untidiness has already descended the minute the lads come in from school and dump their School bags on the Friday.

So, with all of this in front of my very eyes, I take a head staggers and start to trail everything out. Literally.

“You have to crack an egg to make an omelette” my good friend once said.

Nothing will do except a good clear out from top to bottom of a drawer, a medicine cabinet,  the baby’s room, my shoe boxes, even the pots and pans can take a bashing.

Feeling overwhelmed by “stuff” is something I struggle with. It sits better with me knowing that someone somewhere else can use what I no longer will.

Looking around my house and feeling overwhelmed often is perhaps not the best trait for someone who is in the business of selling prints which in themselves can be viewed as “stuff”.

Perhaps it is to the detriment of my yearly income that I don’t like to harp on about sales over and over again, but if you meet me for more than five minutes you will learn that my driving force behind these long hours, juggling three kids (one aged six months) and keeping a large number of people happy on social media, e mail and face to face, is not to line my pockets. Continue Reading…

Words

“Seeing” dead people.

September 28, 2016

I spoke to my husband about how I *really* wanted to use this title even though it has perfect associations with the weird horror film ‘The sixth sense’ where a wee lad actually sees dead people.

It goes something like this…

“How often do you see them?
Cole Sear: “All the time. They’re everywhere. ”

What a skill set, eh?

Or like Mel Gibson in the movie ‘What women want’ where he hears what women think ALL THE TIME.  Sure you’d make a fortune.

I digress.

My point being that with a title like “Seeing dead people” you’d be forgiven for thinking I had paranormal abilities.

But I do not.

If you’re looking for ouija boards (a guy I fancied at the holiday camp site when I was 10 said he tried ouija board. Said he and his sister lifted off the floor. He also told me that he owned his own motorbike and had snogged twenty girls that Summer, so it’s fair to say he might be a liar), karma instincts and/or a deep rooted sense of ghosts you will, sadly, not find that here.

I am a complete scaredy cat if truth be told.

I grew up in the countryside and when I locked my pony’s “stable” (which was the old cattle pen within a big shed) I would sprint the one hundred metres across the yard to make sure I was clear of the dark, the leprechaun my uncle told me resided behind the big shed, or any kind of “bad men”.

This post is more about “seeing” my deceased Dad in the bodies and brains of my three children, my brother, and I guess, myself. Continue Reading…

Words

A photo walk how to |Insta meet Belfast

September 13, 2016

When we think of a photo walk there can be an association with senior citizens in hiking shoes, binoculars, an old tripod and maybe some walking sticks. 

Or, at times I imagine my husband with his geography classes on a field trip in Newcastle county down and maybe a wee stick that has a rotating circle on the end that detects every metre you walk!

But that is not what a photo walk is.

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset

A photo walk is unique to the group who attend, it is an opportunity to meet like minded people, spot some cool areas or objects, point your camera at them, edit in camera or at home, then talk about and share what you have after the event.

Mel and I are doing just that in Belfast on Saturday as part of World insta meet day. Details in the image above. Continue Reading…

Words

The privilege of motherhood | A celebration.

September 2, 2016

I read blogposts about motherhood these days and it is often about the struggles and strife of trying to parent young children.

I am as guilty as anyone.  You can see my gripes here and here. Sometimes venting helps with the support network we feel as Mums finding our way in this.

But what about if we celebrate motherhood, the laughs, the raves, the fun and the joy that these mini Mum and Dads bring us?

What about looking at the best parts instead of the worst or even still, what is yet to come in our lives once we get through the sleepless nights or the teenage years. Continue Reading…