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Words

Words

Serving others is good for you

February 20, 2018

I don’t know about you, but the reality tv programme Love island was a shameless part of a my weekly tv watching last year.

After it ended my phone battery took a hit as I crept online at the couples. Olivia and her baby faced farmer, Amber and Kem, Marcel and Gabby (my faves) and of course hot Calvin Klein model Jamie Jewitt and Camilla Thurlow.
All of whom are fascinating to watch as they plummet into the wave of stardom since their departure from Majorca.

What stands out for me about Cam and Jamie is their desire to serve others. Yes, you might think some of it a little contrived or look at Camilla and her privileged upbringing thinking “it’s alright for her standing in a soup kitchen while I’m here in my 9-5 trying to make my own ends meet”.All of which is perfectly valid but… Continue Reading…

Words

Your words have power

January 25, 2018

Good, bad, ugly, inward, outward, to self or to others – words have impact.

A few  weekends ago my one year old poured a 500ml bottle of water over my laptop.
I can’t even say I was unaware of the water, the pouring, the puppy, the toddler and the busyness of the two of them in the hallway. I was in the kitchen and somehow thought “I’ll just mop it up later” as I continued to clean the lunch dishes. Continue Reading…

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

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…